Living in Jakarta, you're faced with hundreds of malls, and whether you like it or not, when you have kids, you sometimes have to resort to going to a mall on the weekend as there's not much else to do. I've tried going to Bogor on weekends just to find some fresh air and a park, but honestly the distance is really a problem.
Now a few weeks ago, we received an email at the office from an organization called HiddenPark and they were interested to collaborate with the YUM Organic Farm in their upcoming event, which focuses on the hidden potential of parks in Jakarta. Their first event was last year and they did it in Taman Langsat, which is a park near Barito, a park I have passed through but never entered! Can you imagine? And this year, their event takes place in Taman Tebet. The photos below are from the event last Friday when the YUM farm taught 75 school children how to plant seedlings and how to maintain them for the next month, until they're able to be harvested.
Anyway, long story short, I'm really amazed by this program, which will last for a whole month. I think it's awesome; every weekend they have activities for the whole family, from yoga in the morning, to a library in the park, to various different activities. So I think we should all go!! And even when the event has passed, I think we should all make the effort to reduce our visits to the mall and try to visit Jakarta's parks, 'cause yes, Jakarta has parks! :)



I haven't been to the National Museum for at least a few years.... I can't quite remember when was the last time I set foot there. But one thing I do remember is how low the entrance fee was, and trying to understand how exactly they were able to survive with such low prices. I also remember that the museum was building a new annexe and it looked really good, but at that time it wasn't open yet.

Now cut to about 2 weeks ago when I met a friend who told me the museum is currently organizing Weekend Events or what they call "Akhir Pekan di Museum". These activities are targeted at children and usually consists of storytelling and arts & crafts sessions, but I think all ages can enjoy. So I took Amal and my good friend Tarra & her kids last Sunday. We went quite early in the morning, took the TransJakarta since it was car-free day and arrived there around 9am. We were there to hear the storytelling session called "Samurai Bersepeda" performed by actors from Teater Koma, and I can honestly say it was really good! I think we all enjoyed the storytelling session and had a look around the museum after that. Here are just a few of the things I thought were really awesome: 

If you're interested to check out the schedule for "Akhir Pekan di Museum", you can go to their facebook page :)


You must know by now how much I love the YUM Organic Farm in Cipanas. It's such a beautiful place, and I can't believe that almost every week, I can get fresh organic vegetables delivered to Jakarta....
Anyway, here are a few photos taken in the nursery a few days ago... I just love taking pictures of seedlings :))



I can't believe he's 9!
One more year until he becomes a two-digit number!

Celebration at home with grandparents and cousins

Traditional tumpeng made by Amal's paternal grandmother

A small get together with school friends


I don't know about you but I like collecting toilet paper tubes because I know there must be something we can create with them, instead of just throwing them away. And one day on Pinterest, lo and behold, I found a cute image of owls made from toilet paper tube! So I tried them out with Amal and his cousins and they were a big hit:

I don't think any explanation is necessary except to first paint the tube in one color, then fold the top center part of the tube and use a marker to make the faces, feathers and other fun drawings. Here's the website if you want to see the original idea :)



As much as it's great to visit another country and see great exhibitions, the best type of holidays is the one you spend with family. And Amal is the one who always reminds me that when we go on holiday, we should relax more, just enjoy spending time with each other and not go from one place to the other. Very wise kids at such a young age :)


This was a simple but fantastic gift from our trip to the Art Garden exhibition at the Singapore Art Museum: a do-it-yourself kaleidoscope! I didn't think making a kaleidoscope would be this easy, but it is, and it got me thinking of making them with the kids from Desa YUM Cipanas; that would be so much fun! I just have to figure out where to find those mirrors :)

Step 1: color in the drawings

Step 2: double tape the mirrors

Step 3: fold the kaleidoscope

Step 4: et voila!


I know the school holidays are coming to an end, but for some schools in Jakarta, the kids will once again be on a long break during the Idul Fitri holidays. So here's an idea of where you can bring your kids: the Art Garden exhibition at Singapore Art Museum. It's still open until 1 September 2013 so you still have almost 2 months to go and check it out. If you want your kids to experience art, and unfortunately it's not that easy here in Jakarta, take a short plane ride here cause it's worth it :)

Walter the bunny - probably the best part of the exhibition if you ask me :)

Hansel & Gretel malay style in the "Enchanted Garden City"

Doing activities in "Around the Day in Eighty Worlds" - felt like being in Alice in Wonderland

LANDscape in the box - boxes filled with familiar landscapes of Singapore



The "summer" holidays have started... Clearly in Indonesia you don't really feel the difference in the weather but if you check some popular blogs, you'll see many many posts about summer inspiration, and I love reading them! I haven't had the chance to browse for a really long time, and I'm so happy I finally got to do it today while helping my dad play host to a family gathering for my uncles and aunts. While they were busy having amongst themselves (and my son was busy with his dad), I found some really great ideas:

This is a picnic inspiration post by Design Mom. Love the idea of fruits and salad in a jar! She also talks about other things besides food, such as location, cutlery, etc. My parents are building a pool in their backyard, and I can't wait to get some friends over and have a picnic!

This one came from the uber talented Jordan Ferney, a post about flavoured lemonades, which of course is the drink of choice for any hot day!

Doesn't this look awesome? Instead of watching a movie indoors, you hang a white sheet outside, put some blankets, make popcorn and lemonade and watch the movie outside with your friends. This post was from sfgirlbybay.

GINDO 2013

A couple of months ago, YUM was invited to GINDO 2013 conference, a conference organized by students of various schools in Indonesia, to gather fellow students and discuss solutions for global issues occurring both in the local community and throughout the world. YUM was one of the NGOs that took part in the NGO Fair and in the ActionX activity where around 20 students visited our projects and did various activities with YUM sponsored kids here in Jakarta. I found this video of GINDO 2013 recently and thought it was really well done, and worth sharing (and you see a glimpse of YUM's booth at minute 1:38). Working in an NGO myself, it's important for us to know that the future generation does care and that they're aware of the importance of continuing our jobs in the future :)



I'm not a huge fan of gardening to be honest. I much prefer baking and cooking. But I do feel that we all need to know how to grow our own food. We're so used to buying our food at the market or the supermarket, that we have no idea what exactly it takes to grow food. This is especially true for people living in cities, like me :)
So when the Jakarta International School (JIS) asked whether the YUM Organic Farm was interested to conduct a 2-day training on how to make an urban organic garden, I jumped on the occasion. YUM's Organic Farm Coordinator, Oleh, was also excited to do it, and I think he did an excellent job teaching teachers and 7th and 8th grade students at Sekolah Musika.
Sekolah Musika is a school in Ciputat that caters to children from low income families. The owner of the foundation that runs the school used to work at JIS, and she would like her students' horizons to be broadened just like kids in international schools. That's why she has asked JIS and YUM's help to teach her students how to grow an urban organic garden.

Oleh starts by doing a 1-hour in-class presentation where the students are taken through all the steps in organic farming

The land is then cleared, marked and the soil is turned over

After a grueling 3-hour process, we were able to finish making 4 beds. These beds are made entirely from soil, the cheapest alternative to cement or bricks, and made in such a way that it will last up to 10 years.

The side of the beds are then covered with grass.

Finally the planting area is turned over and fertilizer (rice chaff and chicken manure) is added.

This is the fun part, when the children can start planting!

The whole gang at the end of the 2-day activity :)



It's a real pity that not many young Indonesians know about Pak Raden and the puppet show he once created called "Si Unyil".... As I was driving to the exhibition last Sunday portraying 60 years of dedication to art by Pak Raden (or Drs. Suyadi), I realized that my son knows only cartoons and sophisticated animations! It felt nice to introduce to him another type of "cartoon".
Pak Raden is a character created by an artist called Suyadi, who I just recently found out, spent 3 years studying animation in Paris! I knew him as the creator of a televised puppet show in the 1980s that was watched by almost all children in Indonesia. What I didn't know was that he was also a visual artist and animator... The exhibition I saw last Sunday was a real joy, especially for someone having lived in Paris, because he stereotypes french people and indonesians seeing France for the first time :)

Pak Raden teaching a song to the children who came to hear him tell a story.

Everyone wanted to be in the picture with Pak Raden.

An old lady's opinion of the wayang: "The anatomy is all wrong, and the proportions too.. my God!"

Better to make a woman blush, than to make her laugh. I myself prefer laughing but at jokes, not at the man :)

In any foreign country, it's easy to pretend to be someone we're not. Here the lady tells journalists she's the daughter of the future king of Java :)

If you want to know more about Pak Raden, you can see videos of him entitled "Terima kasih Pak Raden" on Youtube, visit his website, like his facebook page or read my friend Kyra's visit to see Pak Raden on her blog.