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Every Life is a Story
    A place to share my own family stories

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Christmas from Indonesia

My Aunt Bonnie, as I described in my last post, is a very fun person with a wicked sense of humor. She's an artist who mostly focused on Western Art throughout her career until her husband ended up getting a job in Indonesia. Suddenly, paintings she did of Native Americans and horses became paintings of leopards and the native people of Indonesia.

Bonnie made the most of her adventures in Indonesia. She told us of the marketplaces where someone once tried to sell her a cow's nose for dinner that night. She had pictures of the big lizards that crossed her front yard, and the gigantic spider that took up residence in their shower. She was even able to go and visit some of the remote tribes of Indonesia, including the Dani Indians. She had pictures of her with the Dani. The men there wear gourds over their privates that are specially grown for them as they reach manhood. We loved hearing about her adventures.

One Christmas that Aunt Bonnie was spending overseas, we were excited to receive a package from Indonesia. It was a present for my father, to be opened at Christmas. We speculated about what kind of exotic treasure it could be. We all watched Christmas morning as my father opened the gift. It was....a gourd. The exact kind of gourd the Dani men wear. She sent one to every male member of the family. For some reason, my father wouldn't model his gourd for us. We kept the gourd for a long time on top of the entertainment center- the ULTIMATE in conversation pieces.

"What IS that?" people would ask.
"Oh, that's Dad's Gourd." we would casually explain.

Eventually, the gourd was put away, but the story is still there. The record of a holiday practical joke to be treasured, and now shared.

Merry Christmas, Aunt Bonnie.


At December 19, 2007 at 6:14 PM , Blogger Kelly said...

I remember hearing this story. Good one!!

At January 10, 2008 at 8:55 PM , Blogger Karalenn Hippen said...

That is so funny. Too bad those kinds of gourds are scarce around here. I'd love to give those as gifts at Christmas-time too. :) She sounds like a lot of fun. I've enjoyed reading a few of your stories and discovering your blog tonight. Super fun.

At January 10, 2008 at 9:26 PM , Blogger Julie said...

Thank you! I'm so glad you found my site, and stayed for a story or two! Welcome!


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