Christmas cookies

Happy holidays from Indonesia!

Given that most people here are Muslim, we were surprised at how many Christmas-y things we’ve seen here. The malls are covered in tinsel, decorations, and colorful signs that wish us a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. My Christmas drink of choice–soy peppermint mocha–is available at the Starbucks here, and many shops have a small section where Christmas trees and ornaments and sparkly ribbons are being sold. We even saw Santa greeting children at the mall last weekend!

Other than the mini Christmas tree between our desks, Josh and I haven’t done much to celebrate the holiday season this year. I’m used to Ohio winters, so it doesn’t feel like Christmas at all when I’m in 90-degree weather here. Even so, we’ve had a lot of fun at EF with an office Christmas party and a game day for our students on Christmas Eve.

Christmas Tree

Now, Josh and I are looking forward to a week of travel. We’ll be exploring more of Java–we live in West Java, and we’ll end up about 350 miles away from here in Central Java.

On Christmas morning, we’ll take a bus to the city of Bandung, where we’ll spend a day and a half checking out the shopping scene that they’re known for as well as tea plantations and possibly a volcano.

From there, we’ll take the overnight train to Yogyakarta, which is one of the most popular destinations in Indonesia aside from Bali. The highlights for us there are Hindu and Buddhist temples, some wilderness trekking, and whatever else we can find in the city, which we hear is much nicer than the big cities we’ve seen so far in Indonesia.

Our trip ends on New Year’s Eve, when we’ll take the train back home (the journey will last all day), and get home that evening. At that point, we’ll probably crash and sleep until next year. EF starts again on January 2, so we’ll have a full day to recover before we go back to work.

I hope everybody’s holidays are joyous, and I’ll have plenty to share from our own holiday when I return next week!

Love, Elizabeth

My grandparents sent a wonderful package full of Christmas gear!
My grandparents sent a wonderful package full of Christmas gear!

*All photos were taken by Josh!