Getaway with Al-Falakiyah

My host mom is the sponsor of an Islamic boarding school in Bogor. I’ve been there a decent amount this year.

Well, my host mom decided that the students, some of them orphans, should get a brief weekend vacation and paid for them all to go to villas in Puncak. Puncak is a mountain getaway an hour or two outside Bogor.

Naturally, Sabrina and I were invited.

I’ll admit that I was nervous. I had only ever spent an hour or two max with these kids. I didn’t know if it would be awkward. Furthermore, my host mom wanted me to teach them English.

We got there late at night. When I got up the next morning, the kids had already been up for 2.5 hours. Benefits of 4:30 AM prayer.


They were all busy swimming. They didn’t have special swimming clothes to swim in, so they just swam in what they were wearing and changed later.

While they did that, Sabrina, one of the older girls, and I went on a walk.


I took the road less traveled by.


The rice fields around our villas were already harvested. I’m not quite sure of the harvesting process, but what we saw them doing was pretty cool.


For the first time since coming to Indonesia, I saw water buffalo. That actually might’ve been the reason that we went on the walk in the first place.

*guilty laugh*


It was super cool, though. My only regret is not being able to see them closer.



It was crazy beautiful up there.


After our walk and when the kids were all showered, we started our “learning English session”. Sabrina and I originally planned to just play a couple of games that would teach them basic English vocabulary.

We tried Bunda Bilang, or Simon Says.


The learning English portion was a bit of a fail, however. We tried our best to teach a couple of English words, but ultimately lapsed into Indonesian.

Then we tried a game I was very fond of as an 8 year-old: Seluru Dunia, or Around the World.


Of course, we played it with addition and multiplication, and we tried to play it with English colors that they didn’t know.

Oh well.

And after we were done with our games, they had a rice bag race.


Picture time!

Picture time!

After a nap and lunchtime, we went on a tiny hike…in sandals.

After 8+ months of wearing sandals, tennis or hiking shoes are the last thing on my mind.

The views were amazing, though.






The best part of the hike, however, was going down.

The way was a path of steep mud. I slipped a couple of times. While going down, though, I found it easier to jump and go quickly. Our Indonesian friend did as well.


After our poorly equipped hike, they had an awards ceremony. I didn’t understand very much of it, but I believe that it was awards for Qur’an memorizing.

The boyses.


The awards ceremony.

The awards ceremony.

Giving awards.

The ceremony wasn’t interesting for everybody, however.



Sleepy boy.

The ceremony wrapped up as it got dark. And then it was Maghrib, or the 6 PM prayer. I caught the boys going to the mosque while I was putting my stuff in our car.

With the boys.

The children were bussed up to Puncak via angkot, or the public transportation around Bogor. They’re not that comfortable, so I felt a little guilty taking a car.

They took some 22 angkots to and from Puncak.

All the angkot drivers were very surprised to see me and even more surprised that I could speak Indonesian. We took photos, although we only took one with my own camera:

Angkot driver.

We got a killer sunset as a wonderful conclusion to the quick trip.


Until next time, Al-Falakiyah!


2 thoughts on “Getaway with Al-Falakiyah

  1. Mike Reed says:

    It’s great seeing you hiking trip. It’s amazing that it was not polluted. I’m used to seeing a lot of that during our winter months.

    I am currently working on two new kitchens. Mom that very excited about it but it seemed like a good opportunity. She is working on the bathroom downstairs. And I haven’t helped him much. Will probably have to work a little bit harder on it this week. She needs to get a new faucet because she’s not fond of her old one. I came back early from Allyson to work on a kitchen at Country Oaks. There are a couple pictures oh and one of Neil when he was young. Work seems to be all right. That’s always stressful for me. It’s nice to have mom back from Ecuador and it was nice to visit Allison and Ethan and the grandkids. They are getting so big. You’ll be surprised. You’ll also be surprised that how tall Sam has grown. It will be nice to have you back in July and then our house will be a lot more full. Shawn will be here, Neil will be here on the weekends. That French boy sieon will be here I believe it’s spelled like Simon. Also I think Allison will be here. It sounds like an exciting summer.

    I start car on the way home yesterday from Saint George that was the good deal it was Saturn and I was thinking it would be a good car 4 College. Maybe Mom will go for it. It’s hard to believe that we have our family on 5 different continents. The only ones left are Australia and the Antarctic Ice caps I guess we have more to work on haha. Love you Rachel Shawn Annie Ruth in different countries be careful love Dad


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