The three weeks with our house guest has come and gone so very fast! What seems like just the other day when we were waiting at the house to meet her was weeks ago and she has already left to head back to Indonesia. We had a great time with her and I found it particularly rewarding. We not only learned a lot about the rich culture and particulars of Indonesia but we also got to show her some of what we love in Seattle and the States. This task could have been simpler with some pleasant weather here in Seattle but the three of us made due and still enjoyed one another’s company.
We had one last dinner at home with Marsya on Monday night. It was a late dinner for all three of us and we enjoyed the new-to-me recipes of garlic curry chicken thighs with yogurt sauce (a la Cafe Munir style), cabbage sabzi that came out dynamite with our bold new spices from the Market Spice, and my standby, fattoush salad. We also showcased the really classy side of the U.S. with Dumb and Dumber To.
Tuesday night while Marsya had her own dinner plans Bryan and I headed back north for dinner with our friends Philipp and Sara. We broke out one of our new wines from Novelty Hill and they fed us a great Southwestern chili dinner while catching up with one another and discussing both of our wedding plans.
Wednesday night was Marsya’s night to shine. The culmination of the Jolkona program happened at their Showcase, where each of the 15 participants had five minutes to present their pitch to the Showcase attendees; mostly hosts, volunteers, staff, and other startups in Seattle. Marsya did fantastic and was very convincing. I really enjoyed watching all of the participants and felt like I was in my own version of Shark Tank. But really, I was 100% impressed and inspired with the ideas they have to help aide their home countries of Indonesia and Bangladesh. There are many opportunities for good to be done in these regions and I am so glad that the US Department of State is trying to work with these countries and encourage these countries to do so. Ewelina also attended the event so it was nice to have another friend in the audience and an employee of the building to give us a tour of the awesome workspace.
Even better was that we were treated to, my first ever, tastes of an Indonesian and a Bangladeshi dinner and it did not disappoint. Bryan and I seriously went for two full plates plus went back for dessert and were not shy about it. Like Marsya had told us, the food was so flavorful, spicy, complex, and just darn delicious that we couldn’t stop eating it. Our personal favorites were the curried cauliflower and potato dish on the Bangladesh table and the spicy beef rendang on the Indonesian table. Of course I always am too excited in situations to take a photo of my plate but it basically looked like this.
Thursday night we were once again busy with a full crowd at FareStart and a great menu by one of our favorite pizza restaurants; Tutta Bella and their awesomely friendly chef Brian. All three courses were designed for me; roasted beet salad, porchetta with broccolini, flour-less chocolate cake with berries! I mean c’mon!
And Friday was our very last morning with Marsya before her shuttle picked her up from the house at 8 am. We said our goodbyes in the morning and finally got a quick picture of the three of us (will post later) before we parted our ways. I continued life with our monthly staff meeting and then after work with Marika.
Both Bryan and I got a ton out of this experience and have already said we would do it again. We had so many great discussions on a variety of discussions that you just can’t have everyday in the States. We discussed religion, government, towns, food, spices, daily hobbies, relationships, weddings (Indonesian weddings sound pretty cool), education, issues in the middle east, you name it and I have learned a ton. Unfortunately the only things we have learned to speak in Indonesian is nasi = rice, terima kasih = thank you, and halo = hello.
So glad for another weekend upon us!!!