Sunday morning 8 December 2013 I travelled to Kupang for the major goal of this journey, the launching of ASAKKIA, Aosiasi Sarjana Kristiani untuk Kajian Islam Indonesia.
Lion Air was the airline: cheap, but uncomfortable, narrow seats and no food or drinks. But cheap and one can survive. My invitation came from Dr. Fredrik Doeka, who defended in 2011 his doctoral dissertation in Utrecht under my supervision. During the preparation for his dissertation he stayed for some time in Yogyakarta, where he met the OCD, Carmelite-without-shoes, Dr. Bertholomeus Bolong, who wrote his dissertation at the Islamic University of Yogyakarta (UIN) on policy towards the poor by Muslims and Catholics. The two work together in a very nice way. In 2012 they organised a meeting on Christian-Muslim Relations in Kupang where finally three small books were generated: tow about practical problems of AIDS/HIV and trafficking of women to Malaysia and the Middle East. One about how nice it is that other people are really different. The booklets sold very well: in nine months already about 9.000 copies and they could even make some money with selling the books.
For the Kupang launching of the Association the cooperation between the two is crucial, because both have different networks. Bertho now works in Kupang.
Fredrik Doeka and his wife Brendalina were at the airport to bring me to the nice hotal T-more... In the evening we had a dinner in a seafood restaurant, close to the beach, where Bertho was also present. Als in the poorest provinces life can be good!
Between the presbytery and the major chapel on top ot the hill (dedicated to Saint John Paul II, not yet formally declared a saint, but it will be so next year), there is a road with ten chapels, dedicated to the Joyful and the Sorrowful Mysteries. While descending one come along the Glorious and the Luminous Mysteries. The last series of five is an addition under Pope JP II in 2002 signalling where Jesus was made known to the public: Baptism in the Jordan, Cana, Transfiguration, proclamation of the Kingdom and institution of the Eucharist.