Thursday, June 16, 2011

Our 10,000+ mile trip home took us from KL to Guangzhou to Los Angeles and finally to Cleveland. After 29.5 hours we finally arrived back in Ohio. Now to readjust to the 12 hour time difference. Be prepared to be up at 3 am and ready for a nap at noon.

Arriving in Guangzhou, China. Even though we were in transit they still wanted to give us the once over and hold our passports for a while.

Finally arriving back in the United States in Los Angeles. Now to wait a few hours for our last leg: a red-eye to Cleveland.

Back less than 12 hours and time to celebrate Alex's birthday once again. He made it through the party without falling asleep.

Alex and Helen's first day back in an American school. And they get to ride the bus to school. Actually Alex's first time going to an American school.

Last Night in KL

We had a going away party our last night in KL. Pizza, fun with friends and the Royal Wedding with true English commentary(mostly about the hats!). We will truly miss all of our good friends we have made in the last 9 months.

Sell, Sell, Sell!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Kevin Cupit, Helen's social studies teacher from England.

Brisa, Gaston, Kadisha and Devy from the Netherlands and Colombia.

Alex, Amily, and Sophie.

Alex and Amily after the wedding!!

Watching the Royal Wedding!

Sophie, Frances and Chloe(from South Africa), Amily(from England) and Alex

Scott(England) and Jenky(Phillipines)

Neil and Dominique Cave and their girls from South Africa.

The Masons from England.

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Anne(South Africa) and Jocelyn(Malaysia)

Children representing 5 countries and 4 continents!

Alex's Birthday at school

Alex celebrated his birthday at school with cupcakes and friends.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Alex's 8th Birthday

Alex celebrated his 8th birthday with a movie and ice cream cake at Baskin and Robbins.


Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Ramayana Ballet

Our last night in Jogjakarta, we went to see the Ramayana Ballet. It is known as the dance you have to see when you are in Indonesia. Unfortunately we could not see the outdoor version performed with Prambanan Temple in the background. Still it was a very cool production. The smaller of the white monkeys that you see in the video is performed by a little boy who was only 5. He was swinging and climbing all over the roofs of the stage all night long.

The Ramayana is an ancient Sanskrit epic. It is ascribed to the Hindu sage Valmiki and forms an important part of the Hindu canon. The Ramayana is one of the two great epics of India, the other being the Mahabharata. It depicts the duties of relationships, portraying ideal characters like the ideal father, ideal servant, the ideal brother, the ideal wife and the ideal king.







Saturday, April 23, 2011

Prambanan Hindu Temple

Prambanan Hindu Temple was our last stop for the day. Many of the temples are in ruins at Prambanan mainly from earthquakes. The first in 1006 destroyed many of the small temples surrounding the larger temples you see in the pictures below. A second earthquake in 2006 took place a few minutes before the temples opened for the day so no one was hurt. Our guide said not to come back in 3006 if the pattern continues.

Prambanan is a ninth century Hindu temple compound in Central Java, Indonesia, dedicated to the Trimurti, the expression of God as the Creator (Brahma), the Sustainer (Vishnu) and the Destroyer (Shiva). The temple compound is located approximately 18 km east of Yogyakarta.

Prambanan is the largest Hindu temple of ancient Java, and the construction of this royal temple was probably started by Rakai Pikatan as the Hindu Sanjaya Dynasty's answer to the Buddhist Sailendra Dynasty's Borobudur and Sewu temples nearby. had shifted the focus of its patronage from Mahayana Buddhism to Shivaist Hinduism.

A temple was first built at the site around 850 CE by Rakai Pikatan and expanded extensively by Balitung Maha Sambu the Sanjaya king of the Mataram Kingdom. According to the Shivagrha inscription of 856 CE, the temple was built to honor Lord Shiva and its original name was Shiva-grha (the House of Shiva).

The temple, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is the largest Hindu temple in Indonesia, and is one of the largest Hindu temples in south-east Asia. It is characterised by its tall and pointed architecture, typical of Hindu temple architecture, and by the towering 47m high central building inside a large complex of individual temples.

Mt. Merapi

Mt. Merapi, 9,738 feet, is the most active volcano in Indonesia and one of the most active in the world. It has been erupting regularly for the past 550 years. Most recently Merapi erupted between the end of October 2010 and the first part of December 2010. Over 350 people were killed in the most recent eruption. Some people live as high up as 5600 feet on the mountain. Most days you can see a plume of smoke rising out of the crater at the top of the mountain. The first few pictures are from the internet of the eruption last year. What we saw was the layers of ash, downed vegetation and destruction of buildings and homes in the area. In the area we visited there was some new construction going on. Following are two You Tube videos I found online covering the most recent eruption.; Reminded me a lot of what happened at Mt. St. Helens in 1980.

Mt. Merapi views during our visit.