Amy, her dad, and I left Kiluan with heavy hearts and headed into the mountains nearby for a homestay experience and hike to a waterfall. It was great. The house that were supposed to stay in was locked up and the owners were in the city to celebrate Idul Fitri, so we were invited into another home for the night. As warm as everyone is in Indonesia, it can still be challenging to let our guards down and accept people’s hospitality. It is so contrary to everything that we learned as children growing up in western culture. The people in the village were stayed in were fabulous. They get very little foreign traffic and were very excited to have us and show us around. That being said, our night was another Sleepless in Sumatra moment come dawn. Not only was the call to prayer and the roosters extremely loud, but music was blasting through a megaphone through the town and into our house. At first we were angry, but eventually all we could do was laugh. We later asked what the music was all about, and our host told us that the people thought that we would like to wake up to music. At 5:30am. Suddenly, we were less angry about our early morning wake up.
We went into the mountains both for the homestay and to hike to a waterfall which also involved hiking through coffee, clove, and cocoa plantations.
It was a beautiful hike to a beautiful waterfall and we happily spent the afternoon swimming in cold fresh water and picnicking.
Leaving, I got the biggest hugs that I’ve gotten in Indonesia so far. People here both greet and say good bye with a very casual hand shake and shy away from hugs. Any one who knows me knows that I’m a big fan of the hug. I really miss giving and receiving hugs and it was great to get some.