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October 4 – 10, 2015
Impressions of the San Francisco Bay Area

After a week of hard work it was time to play.

Julie Anderson, our super-duper San Francisco guide, turned everyone quickly into seasoned SF walkers as she introduced several “pockets” of the city. During the course of three days we visited SF Civic Center, Union Square, China Town and North Beach, Ghirardelli Square, and Fisherman’s Wharf. Erni found words on a sidewalk of North Beach near City Lights Books where Paul Yamazaki affirmed his support of Dalang’s publications by spending time with us.

We drove across the Golden Gate Bridge and after a picnic lunch at Marin Headlands, drove through Golden Gate Park with a stop at the De Young museum and the Conservatory of Flowers.

We took the ferry to Alcatraz and then walked to the Ferry building for lunch.

One can’t visit CA without driving along its coast, visit a lighthouse, and see a redwood tree. We spent a day among the redwoods at Big Basin National Park and on our way home stopped at Pidgeon Point Lighthouse off HWay 1.

John Steinbeck being one of Anin’s favorite American authors and Salinas within driving distance of home base, we visited the Steinbeck Museum, had lunch at the old Steinbeck house, and rode across “the fat of the land” on a hay trailer. Yessenia Guzman and Eric Mora, respectively the Tour and Marketing Coordinator of the Steinbeck Center, edged our day in Steinbeck country with their care.

Tamara Donovan generously shared her time and knowledge of Stanford’s campus. A brief history of Stanford was followed by a leisurely walk that took us to from the Oval to the White Plaza, the Main Quad, the Canter Center, Hoover Tower and ended in the Papua sculpture garden.

Visiting America on October 31 meant carving pumpkins for Halloween.

The SF Bay Area is known for its diversity in food offerings but among the musts tries for first time visitors are learning to eat an artichoke, enjoy a pancake breakfast, as well as indulge in a juicy steak and roasted vegetables.

Anindita Thayf – author of Daughters of Papua (Tanah Tabu):

I learned more about America, its people and their culture. It turns out that there isn’t a big difference between us.

John Steinbeck is one of my favorite authors. Meeting him even though only through memorabilia was my highlight of our week of sight-seeing.

My translator, Stefanny Irawan, and I, were paired by Dalang Publishing and we only met one day before leaving together on our trip to CA. However, by working together through the challenges we encountered during our work week, we developed a close friendship which we took home along with lots of memories and learning experiences.

Our shopping trip to SF China Town ended at City Lights Book Store, a SF landmark that carries our books.

Stefanny Irawan – translator of Daughters of Papua (Tanah Tabu):

It was one of the most unforgettable experience I have ever had. Meeting new people who were eager to discuss Indonesian literature I had translated was surely exciting. We had good, meaningful conversations not just about the work but also about Indonesian culture and society in general. As an Indonesian and a translator, this whole experience is invaluable.

It has been swell! I wish we had more time to explore the SF Bay Area.

A whole beach full of pebbles? Wow.

It’s my first and I made a happy pumpkin!

Erni Aladjai – author of Kei (Kei):

I learned a lot about American attitude from people like Julie and Tamara. Once they committed to help they gave it their all. It was a great experience to be welcomed with such interest in our work.
Our visit to the Alcatraz prison was the most enlightening for me. It caused me to reflect and be thankful for all that I have, my freedom and my independence.

Nurhayat Indriyatno Mohamed – translator of Kei (Kei):

I went on this trip feeling that I would be contributing to a wider understanding of Indonesian literature, and was pleasantly surprised to go home feeling intellectually, morally and spiritually enriched. Bu Lian for the Nobel Prize!

I particularly liked the excursion to the Golden Gate Bridge and the Marin Headlands. Nothing says “San Francisco” quite like the Golden Gate Bridge. Walking across the bridge, with the city skyline in full, panoramic view the entire time, was a special experience. Being trained in engineering, I also have an appreciation for just how much of a technical marvel the bridge is even today and especially when it was first built.

Walking through The Big Basin redwood forest was an amazing experience. Just to be among these gigantic trees and knowing that they’ve stood there for centuries, some of them were there even before the arrival of Columbus to the New World, is a humbling experience and just goes to show how small we are in the grand scheme of things.

For sheer scenic beauty there is little that can compare to the sunset we enjoyed at the pebble beach of Point Lobos. The colors were enchanting and the play of light across the water and rocks made for a beautiful, almost tactile visual experience.

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