Be Awesome

Look, our forefathers died for the "pursuit of happiness," okay? Not for the "sit around and wait of happiness." Now if you want, we can go to the same bar, drink the same beer, talk to the same people every day or you can lick the Liberty Bell. You can grab life by the crack and lick the crap out of it.
--Barney (HIMYM)

Monday, December 24, 2012

Helping Hands

The US Embassy in Jakarta has a group of Americans and FSNs (Indonesian staff) that conducts various community service events.  This organization is called Helping Hands.

Earlier this month, I was able to participate with this group in a trip to the Yayasan Bhakti Luhur orphanage in Jakarta.  This organization runs orphanages for abandoned or disabled children around Indonesia.  For this event, the Helping Hands organization was participating in a holiday party with the children.  The DCM Kristen Bauer and her husband also joined the event.

Activities for the children included face painting, singing carols, dancing, and lunch.  Oh, and also the exchange of presents!

Ms. Bauer giving a speech.

Time for presents!

Batman walking away happy.

Then there was dancing.

Always need a group photo!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Indonesian Weddings

I always enjoy weddings.  They are fun occasions with many happy people celebrating together.

In past month, I've had the opportunity to attend to two Indonesian weddings so far.  The first was a Batak wedding and the second was Sundanese wedding.

The Batak wedding was held in a two level reception area in northern Jakarta. The ethnic group Batak are originally from Northern Sumatra.  My general impression from the wedding was the emphasis on community, as if a village were coming together to all celebrate the marriage.  What was interesting was the separation between guests whom were Batak as opposed to guests whom were not.  When entering the reception venue, there were separate lines and guestbooks for "Tamu Batak" (Batak guests) and "Tamu Nasional" (all other guests).

The bottom floor of the venue also was reserved for Batak guests while other guests went to the top.  The top had a buffet and several stalls for food while the Batak guests ate traditional Batak style.  When the bride and groom entered, family and friends carried sacks off food and supplies for a wedding as if the village coming to support the wedding.

Two story venue.

Flower girls.

Traditional attire.

The community coming to the wedding.

A cow!

The bride and groom.

The Sundanese wedding I attending was very different than the Batak one.  This wedding was held in Bogor, a city just about an hour south of Jakarta.  This was a more modern style wedding with modern attire and held at a golf club.  The food there was fantastic.

Very nicely decorated venue.

There were even a couple ice sculptures in the back.

At the back of the venue, it looked like a beach resort.

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