Three days after returning to Hong Kong from service-learning in Cambodia, I am off to Indonesia to visit another team of our students doing service-learning. Specifically, I am in Yogyakarta (Jogjakarta or just Jogja), in the south of central Java. Jogja is actually a “special region” of Indonesia, ruled by a sultan.
Just before landing, the plane flew over Jogja, and, I believe, passed over the largest shopping mall in Jogja, a city of 500,000 people. There appeared to be few buildings more than a few storeys high. Our students are actually serving and living in a village an hour outside of Jogja, and I will be visiting them tomorrow and Friday.
I was pleasantly surprised to find the plane stopping with its nose no more than 20 meters from the terminal. There was no bridge leading into the terminal, we simply walked down the stairs, and walked right into the luggage claim area. I looked around, and found only 2 planes (including ours) on the tarmac. While we were waiting for the luggage to appear, I took a peep through the entrance, and our plane was right there outside the door. It is a cozy little airport.
At dinner, I was introduced to a drink with real pieces of durian and a special coconut with very soft flesh. A good start.