Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Practice Round

The final tournament of the year, "The Golfer of the Year" competition is on Saturday. I am the defending champion, so I just HAD to go out and practice today. Golf is cheap during the week, and usually there are no people out on the course. Dave and I took advantage of that, and played the Z-nine and the back nine of the old course at of my favorite golf courses in Jakarta. The Z-nine was tough....very pretty, but tough. Accuracy is the key to this nine holes. One foot too far left or right on your drive, and you will find yourself OB.....ouch! I shot a 93. Considering the difficulty of the course, that's not bad...We will play the new course at Jagorawi on Saturday for the final round of the tournament...wish me luck.

Monday, May 29, 2006

Spoiled Rotten

It's a Monday. I spent most of the day writing my AAT exam that will be given on Thursday. Tika called during the day and said that Kayla REALLY wanted a slide like her friend permission was granted to buy one. We wouldn't want to be the last family on the block to own a slide, would we? That just wouldn't be cool.

News from Yogyakarta remains bad. Over 4900 dead now reported. Tika wants to go there to visit her sister. JIS is putting together a care package to lend a hand down there....the people really need the help. I am reluctant to let Tika travel down there, and the trip is still up for debate. I will only let her go if officials we know say it is safe for her to go. I know that she wants to help her sister, but her safety comes first. Will keep you posted on that.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Earth Quake Update

Well, it has been a week since I traveled down to Ygogykarta to take photos of Mount Merapi. My timing was lucky. If I had been there this weekend, I would have been caught in the earthquake that occured there this morning at around 6:00 am. Tika woke me up this morning at 6:30 to tell me that a large earthquake had struck Ygogykarta, and that she was really worried about her sister who lives there. After countless times trying to get a phone call through, we were finally able to talk to Tika's sister. Her house took extensive damage, but luckily, the entire family was outside of the house when the quake struck. Her neighbors were not so lucky. Everyone inside the house next door were killed when their house collapsed on top of them. It has been a real tradgedy down there with latest reports saying over 2900 people were killed and thousands injured. Tika's sister can not go back to her house for a few days as rescue operations are taking place. All are ok down there, but they are in a bit of shock over what has happened. We will of course, help them out in any way we can. I am sure they will need some money to help re-build their house...I have yet to hear how extensive the damage was. Mount Merapi is calm, and scientists are saying that they are independent events....I sill wonder what those poor people would do if Mount Merapi does errupt now...that would not be good. I will keep you updated if I find out any new news....

Graduation and Earth Quake

Graduation was last night. I am always amazed at the accomplishments of some of our students. The Valedictorian had a 4.51 GPA (over 4.0 because of weighted IB courses), is a swimmer who holds all but one of the JIS swimming records, and holds 3 IASAS swimming records. She is a beautiful girl from Thailand with a great sense of humor, and is nice as could be. One of those kids that just has EVERYTHING going for her. She has a full scholarship to Emory in Atlanta where she will study nuclear biology. Amazing kids here.

A large Earthquake struck Central Java this morning. Tika's sister lives in the area, and has called to tell us that they are ok, but the roof of their house collapsed. She said that several people in her village were killed. We are very thankful that Tika's family are all ok, but we are still waiting on news on how much damage was actually done. This could be a sign that Mount Merapi is going to blow big soon. I think I will stay in Jakarta...don't worry, I have no plans on returning to Central Java in the near future.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Mount Merapi

Well, I flew down to Central Java after school on Friday. Checked into the Hyatt Regency, and had some dinner. At 2:00 AM, a small bus picked up three of us, and took us 30 miles north of the hotel to a nice viewing spot of Mount Merapi. We were 6 kilometers from the mountain. We had a nice view, but the entire mountain was shrouded in clouds. We could here the eruptions, and we could see red lava through the clouds, but it was too dark and too blury to get any good photos. At 4:00 or so, the clouds lifted, and we saw some pretty spectacular fire shows about every 5 minutes. It wasn't what I expected, but it wasn't bad. When the sun came up, it cast some nice light onto the mountain (picture above). We stayed until 6:30 in the morning, and then flew back to Jakarta for the School party...I didn't get much sleep until Sunday.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Java Kini Magazine

Today I got a phone call from the editor of the Java Kini magazine. She had apparently seen one of my photos (the one above), and wants to do a story about me, and my trip to Aceh last year. She will also feature the book, "Letters from Aceh" in her story. That is pretty exciting. I will be sure to send you copies when the article comes out. I provided her with a CD of images that I took while there.

In other news....I just made reservations today to fly down to Central Java on Friday to take photos of Mount Merapi which is erupting now. Guides will take me and others to a safe look out point where we can get some spectacular photos of the lava flows at night and during sunrise...should be a great trip. More on that later.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

JT5 DVD Premier

The "Boy's Trip" members all met last night for the premier of the video from our Flores trip. The trip is called JT5 (5th "Jamie" Trip) after our good friend Jamie who was killed in the first Bali bombing. The DVD was excellent, and had us all laughing in hysterics with one scene of Tom Bartlett running away from a Komodo Dragon that chased him for a few seconds.

I played golf today. It was VERY hot. I hit the ball well, but did not putt well. The putting really ruined the day.

Friday, May 12, 2006

My First Post

This is my first attempt at a blog entry on my new site. If all works well, I will use this webpage to keep the family updated on the happenings here in Indonesia.