30 October 2008

Visit to Jokja

Visit to Jokja (Djokjakarta)

At 6 o’clock Sunday morning I visited the market on the main road of Salatiga, close to our Hotel “Le Beringin”. At that time the market is already open during 3 hours. Most people sit on the ground waiting until 7 o’clock when the inside market will open. Many people sold tempe packed in either leaves or plastic. They didn’t sell “ragi”, the starting culture for tempe fermentation.

Early market in a street of Salatiga. The woman (left) sells lombok,
the boy (right) taugé.

Walking back through the noise of hundred motorbikes I heard nearby the beautiful song of an Oriole. It took me some time to find the caged bird in a closed shop behind an open window.

Main street of Salatiga; at right the entrance to our hotel.
Right: a caged bird singing like an Oriole.

After breakfast Lusi, Santoso and Alvin came in a big car driven by Utomo to bring us to Jokja. Near the town we visited an old sugar factory, Gondang Baru, that had been closed down in June. Although it didn’t seem possible we were told that the factory would be running again next year.

Pictures of the sugar factory Gondang Baru, taken by Ed Aschermann.

Next we visited a village were they made ceramics and sculptures of wood and stone. In one of the gardens we saw a beautiful Rambutan tree; what a pity that these delicious fruits were not yet ripe…. We didn’t reach Jokja-center and drove back through a heavy rain via Magelang.

Throwing large pots with clay found nearby.
Right: Primitive wood firing in a one-man pot factory.

Rambutan tree with ripening fruits.
Rain on our way to Magelang.

27 October 2008

Graduation 24th and 25th October
Saturday morning Lusi comes to fetch me; she brings delicious snacks for breakfast. In the lab Yanti and Fenny make again preparations of fresh tempe. We still have to develop a procedure for cutting small and representative samples from the tempe blocs; the staining and microscopy part seems to be easier. Fenny is a great help in operating the HP. To our surprise we do not find much mycelium; instead a lot of large cells apparently derived from plant tissue (see photograph).

Pictures of tempe taken with the Axiostar fluorescence microscope.
Left: UV excitation of tempe-sample stained with DAPI and propidium iodide. The thin threads of the mold (Rhizopus?) seem dead.
Right: Blue light excitation with a X-filter. The green cells with red nuclei are probably plant cells.

About 25 students will get their bachelor degree (“Sarjana” and “Para-sarjana”; para=many) from the “Fakultas Sains dan Matematika`’. After a prayer and some talks the students come forward in white jackets and receive a trophy out of the hands of Lusi. There is live music, again a prayer and then an informal lunch. I talk with a student from East-Timor who will become a teacher. He speaks indonesian and hardly portugeese; but that is going to be changed now that they are independent!
In contrast to nearby towns like Semarang and Solo, Salatiga has a Christian majority of 60%, most of them catholic. In the whole of Indonesia the percentage of Christians is about 10%.

Lusi, as dean of the faculty, speaks to the students and their parents. After the formal session and a lunch, students come to Lusi to thank her for the education.

On Saturday the official graduation ceremony takes place which occurs three times a year. This time 530 students will graduate. The female students have to go to a hairdresser already at 5 o’clock in the morning! Their dress will cost them another $20!

The official graduation. Left: The members of the Senate are in beautiful dresses. In the middle are standing Kris Timotius, Rector of the University, and Lusi Dewi, Dean of the Fakultas Sains dan Matematika. Right: All students look beautiful!

We are fetched from our Hotel Le Beringin by a University car and guided through the crowd of students and parents to seats in the front for V.I.P. The speeches, a prayer and the naming of all stuidents is accompanied by gamelan music. The rector, Kris Timotius, moves the tassle at the left side to the right side of the graduation cap of all the 530 students that pass him. This solemn act of confirmation is performed in all Universities of Indonesia.
In his speech Kris Timotius mentions the dutchmen from Amsterdam at the VIP table and asks us to stand up, thanking us for bringing the micrsocope. After the ceremony we were invited to have lunch with the senate.

Jeffy&Ed Aschermann and Lidie as VIP’s at the graduation ceremony.