Friday, January 2, 2009

Indonesia Part II

Once created by a super volcano 75,000 year's ago, Lake Toba became the largest volcanic lake in the world. Its dramatic scenery kept us there for 2 weeks and it was a perfect place to spend Christmas and New Years. The Island of Lake Toba is the only Christian region in Sumatra and has the most unique charm out of any place I've been to. The Bataak people were extremely hospitable and every night family and friends got together to sing and play music. Music is a huge part of the Bataak culture so every where you went, guitars and voices were being played.

Renting motorbikes and exploring the Island was the occasional activity for us. One day I picked up a 65 year old lady who needed a ride to a local wedding. She closed her sun umbrella and saddled up with me. When I dropped her off at the wedding her broken English confused me a little. She kept saying that she wanted me to return that evening and that she would give me a good price. Good price on what? Our lack on communication/language barrier left me thinking a little too much.

After that, my buddy Sean and I headed towards the mountains where we met a family who invited us in their wooden house for some fresh coffee that they just harvested from the mountain in their backyard. In a circle, we sat on the wooden floor while they explained how they built their home. They couldn't speak English and we couldn't speak Bataak. Our sign language and hand gestures were the only thing that kept the unique conversations going. As I looked out of their windowless window towards the mountains, I was extremely privileged to play out on such a cultivated experience.

As we left Lake Toba by ferry, I was "feeling a little vaklempt" and "I promised myself I wouldn't cry" (Coffee Talk, SNL). I shed a few tears as the locals waved us goodbye.
I didn't want to leave this beautiful place.

Click here to all my Indonesia photos and slideshow.

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