October 18, 1961 – Manila

Manila Hotel, Manila, Philippines – Clear, cool

      I woke up early again this morning so I could pack and get ready to fly to Djakarta.  Edith and I got a quick breakfast and then returned to our room quickly to get some letters ready to mail out.  Yesterday Maria told us that many of our next tour stops would not be safe to mail packages or letters back home so I knew I should send them out from here.  I took time to jot a quick letter to Ramona to send out too:

Oct 18, 1961- Manila, Philippines

Dear Ramona;

     Just got your letter mailed Oct 11.  I have only received two letters from you so far.  We are leaving at 10:45am from here to go Djakarta next.  I hope I will get all the letters you send but you better get them mailed to me on time. 

     We have had good weather every place we’ve been except for some rain in a couple of places.  Did I tell you my coat and suit is beautiful?  I sent a package from here.  Don’t open this one as nothing is important to hang up.  I sent jackets from Japan.  Open those and hang them up.  The red and black is for me.  I’ll let you wear it though.  Love Mother

P.S. I hope Ray likes his suit when he gets it and that it will fit.  That is his Christmas present.

     As soon as my bags were ready I went down to the lobby to take care of getting my packages and letters sent out.  That accomplished Edith and I had our bags brought down to the lobby and we checked out of the hotel.  Our bus picked us up and took us back to the airport to catch our flight on Garuda Indonesia Airway.  I managed to snap a picture of Edith and a few others making their way to the plane.

Manila Airport Leaving for Indonesia

      The weather was clear, our flight smooth and we were able to see lots of little islands.  Looking out my window toward the front of the plane I had a clear view of the amazing colors of the ocean surrounding the islands of the Palawan group.  In some places it was a pale green and in others it was a vivid turquoise blue blended with shades of orchid.  The colors and clearness made the water look very appealing to swim in.

      Flying over Borneo the stewardess announced we had crossed the equator.  Then she walked down the aisle and presented each of us with a certificate from the Garuda Indonesia Airway designating us as a member of the elite Father Neptune club.  She gave them to us with all the pomp and circumstance (and smiles) she could muster and we responded appropriately.  Before landing we were treated to a great panoramic view of Djakarta harbor.  The water was so clear you could see the lobster traps placed deep in the water at various spots in the bay.

View of Borneo, Indonesia Coastline

      As we drove through town I was surprised to find Djarkarta had so many dirty and rundown buildings unlike places we had been before.  Our guide, John, made a point of telling us that under Dutch rule the Java people had been able to build beautiful homes and hotels for executives but without the financial backing of the Dutch they had become rundown when control of the island changed hands.  It was sad because you could tell the buildings had once been beautiful.

      We arrived and checked into the Duta Indonesia Hotel a little before 4pm where John reminded us that we would have the rest of the day to ourselves.  Edith and I decided after we cleaned up that we wanted to wander around and look at shops we had seen near the hotel but we found only a few shops nearby and they were disappointing with very little of interest.  While we walked around we found ourselves pestered by mosquitoes so we cut our shopping time short and returned to the hotel for our evening meal. 

Duta Indonesia Hotel in Djakarta

      John picked us all up for dinner and took us to a local restaurant where we had a fantastic twelve course Indonesian dinner.    I found most of the vegetables were highly spiced but the food was good anyway.  After eating I was so full and it was so late that Edith and I returned to our hotel room to relax before turning in for the night.

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