Sunday, February 19, 2017

Suffer the little children ...

Friday, February 17, 2017
We start the day with a long walk. IbuS cleans up the remains of movie night and irons blouses and shirts.

Saturday
Wedding book attendants
on their phones... like everywhere else in the world
My alarm doesn't sound so we miss our morning walk. While W stays home, DrW takes me to a mid-morning Batak-Medan wedding in the Bandung Women's Hall. The daughter of her classmate is getting married.
Primary school classmates, after 50 years
I stick out as a blonde among dark-haired beauties. Official and personal cameras capture my attendance, from our entry to greeting to the family, and through the buffet line. It's strange, this attention.

For someone self-conscious, it would be hard to bear. I don't care if they stare at me: the people here are as interesting to me as I am to them.
A fiddler ushers the couple and their families to the front, where dancers do a few traditional turns before posing for pictures with them.
We are close to the front of the line and soon reach the bride and groom on the stage - and what a look of surprise the bride gives me! ("Who is she and who invited her?"). I tell her how pretty she is and twish the couple God's blessings and peace.

The buffet line is in the middle of the reception room but there are four other food stations - dessert, ice cream, soup, and saté. That's usual here: the more "grand" the wedding, the more food options there will be. People leave used dishes everywhere - on the edges of tables, on chairs, and even under things. Attendants walk around and pick them up.
People shove their used buffet plates under the chairs in front of them
Then DrW takes me to a favorite cafe, where we pick up sweets to take home.

And we make a stop at a renowned bakery. Then it's after 2pm and I have an hour to pack and nap.

At 3:30, Waldemar joins me at a new neighbor's. He's not new to the neighborhood and we've greeted him many times on our morning walks. But our friendship is just beginning, courtesy of DrH, who has invited most of the guests who show up at his house. It's a distinguished and interesting group. The best-known Bandung historian is a 40-yr expat. She loves cookies and offers her driver to take me home and back to get some homebaked goodies. We add the tray of cookies to the many foods on the table.

The host, a well-known architect, lives part-time in Singapore. He and his team renovated Raffles in Sinagpore - He loves mid-century contemporary design. And he founded the Manchester University (UK-Asian) alumni club. We admire pictures of him with the British royal family and other famous alums. It's fascinating for me as former alumni director: his fellow alumni understand the value of connections and the need to support their alma mater with thousands (and millions) of pounds in donations.

Our next stop requires an Uber trip through downtown traffic. Our friend Bob is saying goodbye for a few months. He and four friends are traveling across Asia and Europe to the German VW festival in their UW combi-van and a Beetle.

Then it's our last stop of the night: an alumni birthday party, hosted at the Savoy hotel by one of the afternoon attendees. We eat supper, listen to alums sing karaoke, and celebrate.
And then it's time to come home and sleep.

Sunday
We walk the dog around the block (1.5 km) and "park" him near the security guards while we eat breakfast at Miss Bee. We enjoy this neighborhood hangout.

We take the dog home, and before we know it, it's 9am, time for church. After that is W's theology class. Today's question: "Does God exist?"

Our regular dining hall at Bumi S is full. In full swing are a wedding, a birthday party, and an alumni meeting. Every seat is full so we go to another restaurant. I have to leave early for a 2:00 meeting at the house.

DrW brings the leaders of a preschool association to discuss how we might help them. They have over 1000 underprivileged or poor preschool students in 48 informal and 70 formal schools. There are 30, 50, or 70 children in each learning group.

Most teachers of the informal institutions are untrained, and some just have primary school education themselves.

Her first request: do I know teaching interns or experienced educators who could train these local preschool teachers? They need help in understanding the stages and skills of children, aged 0-6. Perhaps could we also provide an unofficial certificate as an incentive for them to take the training? "All our teachers would try to come - we have at least 300."

In undergraduate studies, my minor was childhood education. But I need to recruit current trainers to teach these teachers.

Her second request: do we know anyone willing to share their physical resources to bless these little ones? Currently, most volunteer teachers are unpaid. A bare minimum of $30/month would support a part-time teacher and $80/month would pay for a full-time administrator. The schools also desperately need children's pre-school books, as well as educational and craft supplies.

I make no promises. But perhaps our partners who have a heart for children will consider spending out of their abundance (or sacrificially) to improve young lives here. Please let us know if that is you.
On a weekend night, cars creep along at 5-10mph between pedestrians, motorcycles, carts, and tour busses.
Read more:
*The Lord will again rejoice over you for good as he rejoiced over your fathers. Deuteronomy 30:9

*Paul wrote: For no one can lay any foundation other than the one that has been laid; that foundation is Jesus Christ. 1 Corinthians 3:11
*Paul wrote to Timothy: I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that lived first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, lives in you. 2 Timothy 1:5
Moravian Prayer: Good Shepherd, you search for the one lost sheep, and rejoice when it is found. May our faith in you be as strong as your faith in us. You desire good for us. Let us believe and live with that promise. In your name, Amen.

Friday, February 17, 2017

A Walk in the Clouds - missed

We missed our walk in the clouds for 2 weeks. Haven't had time to head into the hills and we miss it!
Two friends showed up Wednesday evening
to chop fruit and vegetables for the helpers.
The kitchen is where the action happens.
Sunday, February 12, 2017
I lead service in the international church (a last-minute request). W's theology class has 20 people. He loves teaching - and it shows. The response is positive.

Monday
Walk. Bible Study. Language school. Pictures for Seattle. Bake over 200 cookies.

Our landlord shows up at night, while I'm in a conference call. I pause the call to cosign our house lease - another 3 years, coming up. We are grateful for a pretty and very functional space.

Fall into bed. ZZZZZzzz.

I fry 4 trays of sausages and make 2 quarts of curry
sauce. Good thing a stiff wind blows through the
front doors into the kitchen or the house
would really smell!
Tuesday
I spend the day cooking and doing other prep for tomorrow ... IbuA deep-fries 7 kg of cut-up chicken breast. She doesn't wait for the cornstarch to settle on the meat, so we have oodles of crumbs. The sesame sauce I make is tasty but the crumbs wick it away. Oh well.

Some gals come by to ask if they can stay here for a few months. They're from a sister group, working with impoverished children. Maybe. We have a few things to talk through first.

Ibu A agrees to swap work days. She'll come tomorrow afternoon to help IbuS clean and prepare for movie night. After everyone has eaten, they'll do dishes and mop the ("you know it's going to be messy!") kitchen floor. Then she'll take Thursday off. Her family has an impromptu wedding this weekend and she's the chief organizer, mama-in-charge, and cook for the clan. The gals work hard when we have so many guests and often leave about 10:30pm. Thursday off is a good thing.

Wednesday
It's an impromptu national holiday, called by the president. (He announced it without warning on Monday.) It's a pleasant surprise because the nation is voting today for governors. Schools scramble to inform parents that they're closed. Yup - that kind of chaos hardly rates a mention here.

Regardless, we have our Chinese Bible study on Mark 1. It's in another neighborhood, a mere half-hour away. I bring fresh-baked cookies and introduce Claudia, who will moderate whenever I'm away.

I have to hurry home afterward, but first we drop Claudia off in her neighborhood. By 1:00, I'm back at work for our monthly movie night.

For the first time, on Monday, W restricted the number who could sign up: 70 max. The list was full in 12 hours. Then the negotiations began on WhatsApp:
"Sorry, I have to work so #35 open."
"I'm taking #35."

"#65, 66 - my friend and I are sick and can't make it."
"Taking #65, 66. Bringing my classmate."

"Can we bring 8 people?"
(Um no. The list is full.)

Because of a downpour in the city, "only" 50-ish show up. But no one seems unhappy - at least we have room on the floor! and no one goes hungry.

We gather from various islands of Indonesia, Malaysia, France, Germany, Holland, Czechoslovakia, Iran, China, Korea, Australia, and the USA (=countries that we're sure were represented.)

Some students bring parents or parents bring their children.

Menu: Sesame chicken, mashed potatoes, spaghetti in bolognese sauce, 6 baguettes of garlic bread, French toast, nangka (cooked jackfruit), Indo-style veges, cocktail sausages cut and reassembled into heart shapes, and rice (of course we have rice - but this month hardly anyone eats it so the helpers take it home).

Some of the attendees bring chocolates and one bring a box of cookies. Yummy.

Look at these faces!
I ask: "Who would like to learn to cook or bake these Western-style foods?" Most put up their hands.

Ok, that won't work. 6-8 in a class at a time = maximum. Some teachers beg for Saturday afternoon classes. Hmmm. Add schedule restrictions. (Maybe I'll consider this in a month or two.)
The living room overflow is the terrace
We also announce our first IESBandung event: Easter lunch at a restaurant. (That's actually what is taking up most of my prayers and headspace.)
A country of beautiful women
It is great fun to watch the movie "A Walk in the Clouds" together. I hear much laughter but also see some tears.

Halfway through the movie, we break for Valentines cakes, cookies, cut fruit in yogurt, and chips. Afterward, everyone talks with those around them. Our topic tonight: "What does your family think is important? Who has paid the price so you can keep your core values? Or what price have you paid for others to do so?"
Discussions are lively


One young man lost his mom last Christmas. He gives me a heartfelt hug, which makes me feel like I'm close to our own boys.

We say goodbye to the last young people at 11. W takes down the projector. The living room waits for cleanup - maybe in the morning?

Calm after the storm
Thursday
All is quiet. In the afternoon, we go to the restaurant for a study - a few regulars are missing, but we have a new guest as well.

We're reading Exodus 17. We contemplate how the people refused to ask God for help - they only complained. But Moses constantly went to God with the people's complaints and his own questions on leadership. Sometimes we feel inadequate to lead: it must have been overwhelming for this leadership novice to shepherd a nation "in the middle of nowhere".

Friday
DrW and I start with an hour-long walk at 6:45am. Between school business (syllabi, paperwork, etc.), we start to pack for our trip to the States.

I'm reading As Kingfischers Catch Fire (By G.M Hopkins) every day this week. It reminds me that God has designed each being, every stone and bell, and every facet of creation to show off his glory and his goodness. My soul is full of scripture and poetry. What's not to love?

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Memory lane

Monday, February 13, 2017
Every corner of the city has passageways. We walk around to the street that dead-ends behind our house and it looks like the end of the road.

We've been told there's a passage all the way down to the valley, so we look more closely 

and no kidding ... there is a narrow staircase that stretches out of sight. Each house has a landing
but the steps go down down down. (Look closely to see the houses, blocks away.) And when we look back up to the cul-de-sac, we notice these are not exactly regulation-spaced steps. We're so used to irregular walks on sidewalks, steps, and streets we don't even notice.
Almost at the top of dozens of connected staircases
We're asked for an updated photo by a group in Seattle. W brings his tripod and camera; we wedge that into the calendar. Click. Click. We'll hit "send" a few minutes after we reach home.

Before heading back, we pray for the people whose feet travel this lane every day. May God bring his peace to every household and every neighborhood.

Last week's review: a few more snapshots from the Philippines
Rice in a tofu wrapper. Unexpectedly delicious
Such orderly and spacious streets. Curbs, even! We felt like we were in the USA with the strong American influence

An old Jeepney - these elongated jeeps are the busses of Baguio
The seminary had a traditional shirt made for W -
I loaned them one of his dress shirts
 
And the faculty prayed for us before we left, a sweet moment
 And closer to home this week:
 The neighborhood security guards painted the community garden walls tomato red. Pretty, but after a few nights of heavy rain, they are already getting dusty.

Two 8' tall cacti are blooming along the path. We stop on the way home from church to admire them.
4" blossom vs.
12" blossom ...
 W is teaching a theology course - he starts with a toolkit for understanding scripture. About 20 people show up.


We have an early Valentines meal after a chore trip to town. We decimate the spicy tofu - whewwwwww - hot-hot-hot exquisiteness on the tongue. 
 
The meal ends with a decent gelato. (Not great but we're spoiled. We've tasted Italian gelato in Europe.)

Ironic muzak: Justin Bieber sings, "If you like the way you look that much..."
while a beautiful gal in the restaurant admires herself and her phone
This morning (Monday), I check the calendar. Study and language school. I'll get home about 2. There's no way I can do everything on the list. So my first chore is to clear the calendar of everything that can be postponed and write tomorrow's meeting agenda. 
Nice graffiti on the wall - students paint these each year or two
Movie night is coming up on Wednesday. For the first time, we decide to limit attendees to the first 70 on the list. Within a few hours, 59 have signed up. About 60 is ideal. Tomorrow, IbuA will help me cook 7 kg of chicken, which we chopped and froze last week. There are 4 new kinds of cookies in the freezer from a cooking spree last week. Bake a few Valentine cakes, peel 15 potatoes, cook a few other things,  set the tables ... and we'll be almost ready.

Ok, what can I scrape off my plate for this week?

Read more:
*Choose life so that you and your descendants may live, loving the Lord your God, obeying him, and holding fast to him. Deuteronomy 30:19–20 ESV
*See, you shall call nations that you do not know, and nations that do not know you shall run to you, because of the Lord your God. Isaiah 55:5 ESV
Jesus said, “Then people will come from east and west, from north and south, and will eat in the kingdom of God.” Luke 13:29 ESV
Moravian Prayer: God of all people, may we be instruments of your peace, and spread your good news through our loving deeds. Amen.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Cookies galore

Thursday.
It's usually our walking day. But today I have to skip - there are too many other things to do. The freezers are empty - we ate all the baking on the last movie night. A team who stayed with us last year bought us a little freezer. It has been a godsend. Being able to prep food and baking in advance makes it possible to have people drop in for meals or tea any time. We're always ready for company.

So today was cookie day. Ibua helped me bake at least 12 trays of cookies (20-24 each). It took us from 9am-3pm ... but we filled 3 big old Tupperware boxes with pecan merangues, thumprint cookies, and chocolate chippies. (You'd remember our old-style Tupperware from 40 years ago - some lady in Bellevue was clearing her sales stock 5 years ago: it's come in SOoooo handy, though it was heavy to shlep all the way to Indo.)

IbuA is cubing 7kg (15 lb) of boneless chicken breasts. I'm too tired to face the chickens and we leave for a Bible study in a half hour.

So onto cookie sheets and into the freezer they go. After they're frozen, I'll bag them up. Next week, we'll grab the cubes and make a feast of sesame chicken for movie night.

I remember when our daughter or sons used to help on baking day. The interaction with IbuA is similar: one scoops cookie dough onto the tray. The other takes cookies out of the oven or washes dishes. We've been busy all day ... and now the last dishes are in the sink. Yay.


Tuesday, February 7, 2017

I'm becoming Ant Woman (anti-ant, that is)

What you can't see: lines and lines of ants
I turn on the kitchen light to get a cup of tea and find marching formations on the sink and counters. We try to keep everything spick and span but still the ants march on.

"There are so many ants! No matter what I try, there seem to be dozens. How do you get rid of them?"

I turn on the kitchen light to get a cup of tea and find marching formations on the sink and counters. We try to keep everything spick and span but still the ants march on.

"Of course," smiles my Indonesian friend. "When the rain comes, the ants come indoors." She can't imagine that we don't share our house with them in Seattle.

I should have caught the pattern. Rain = more ants in the house. But I don't like ants any better for seeking shelter with us!

Right now, a light brown variety has invaded cupboards and counters. We cover everything and refrigerate what we can - but they're still on the move. Ants climb our arms when we reach through it to unlock the gate. They're making their way across the driveway from the garden to the house wall - we spray regularly to prevent them from making it to the laundry roof. More ants

An internet picture of what creeps me out in the shower:
ants eating a roach
Pick up a potted plant and ants (carrying white nymphs and egg cases) run from every drain hole. There are sugar ants so small they're only seen when they move. Big ants that come in from the garden. Black ants that carry away crumbs of anything we missed. Ants that eat wood trim and beams. Ants that swarm cockroaches that are unlucky enough to land on their backs. "Eat 'em alive and drag the parts home," seems to be the rallying cry of that species.

One night a few weeks ago, I found a regular line of ants and traced them back to a door frame in the guest bathroom. I took out the toxic bug spray and shot it at the wood. OH OH OH - out pour hundreds and hundreds of black ants. They writhe on the floor, flee a few feet along the wall, and ... dead. We sweep up what is left of them the next day. That line has re-formed yesterday and so I spray again.

I open the kitchen cabinet - and there's another line. They freeze as the light hits them and then they march on. I pour boiling water over as many as I can, wipe it all up, and toss the mess in the garbage.

However, they're not all nuisance. Ants fertilize our trees, dispose of insect waste (eat it), and apparently are good for other things. 

Remember the proverb about learning from their diligence and persistence: "Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise!" (Proverbs 6:6)? We see that every day.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Sweeter every time we return

When we walk in the front door of our Bandung home, my whole body relaxes. The dog has jumped all over us in glee. He's a big beast - he can hardly let us get in the gate because he's so happy to see us. I toss the ball a few times, give him a treat and some extended pats, and unlock the door to the house. What a gift to have a clean orderly home - (which is often full of people).

It is utterly quiet when we get home. The orange fish I scooped out of the neighbor's pond are still circling their bowl. We unpack until the suitcases are empty, putting everything away so we don't have to look at it in the morning. My stomach is disagreeing mildly with the "Korean noodle" dish eaten on the airplane. I'm not used to digestive upsets: I seem to have a cast-iron stomach ... very useful here.

Manila contrasts of rich and poor, like in every global city
Friday-Saturday, February 3-4, 2017
Our trip from the Philippines is relatively painless. We start off about 10 pm with a 4 or 5-hr van ride from the mountains of Baguio (elevation about a mile) to the Manilla airport. The first hour or two is one U-turn after another. The driver mitigates with stops and starts as we descend through gravel and gouges in the mountain road. W and I snooze through most of that, feeling the bumps through the seats. The driver drops us off in the wee hours and heads back uphill. The van will make a similar trip in a few hours with another lecturer and his wife.

In the airport, people sprawl on the floors, slump against the edges of the walls or hunch over their luggage. When the final boarding calls come, dozens of people run for their gates.

A lot of shops stay open though it's the middle of the night, especially for meals. In my walk around the upper floor, I spot a spa. What's that? An offer for 1 hour of leg massage (usually painful) and a foot bath? Hmmm. Sanitation. Pain. Perhaps relief from too much sitting, hiking, and standing?

Ok - for $8 I'm in. The water is cool so the gal hurries off to heat a kettle. She pours boiling water into the soapy soup as I lift my feet to one side. Ouch. Bit hot - but by the time my 15 minutes is up, it's back to warm-ish. And my travel trousers are resistant to being pulled up the knees (tight cuff) but we do our best. The masseuse provides relief from a week of classroom and hills. Relaxing muscles and unclogging veins is strategic before 2 flights.

Bandung carvings in wood
We have 5 hours in KL but relax with lunch and a few books. (How else would university profs relax?) Then we board the final flight. We feel like we're going home, too. How we love this city!

As we descend, we can sense the spiritual forces that surround the area. The lights below twinkle as we pray. So many people live around us - and each one of us is loved by God and under his watchful eye.

Read more:
*I will rejoice in the Lord; I will exult in the God of my salvation. Habakkuk 3:18 ESV
 *Happy are those whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the Lord their God. Psalm 146:5 ESV
 *The eunuch went on his way rejoicing. Acts 8:39 ESV
*Paul wrote: I know the one in whom I have put my trust, and I am sure that he is able to guard until that day what I have entrusted to him. 2 Timothy 1:12 ESV
Moravian Prayer: Holy Lord and God, thank you that you alone are trustworthy, and will guard us until that day. Let us be ever mindful of the magnitude of your love for us. Our joy is in you.
We rejoice in you dear Father. You loved us so much that you did not withhold your only Son, but gave him for our justification. Help us to love you with our whole hearts. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Teachers teach ... and learn with others




One of the things we love to do is teach - that is, W gets high energy from teaching. I like hearing and absorbing the stories around me. We both have a great week.

Friday, January 27, 2017
W and I pack, wrap up chores and writing, and set off to the airport in the afternoon. We hand over our suitcase to some guy with a turntable, who wraps it up in pink plastic. It's one way to ensure that nothing is stolen along the way. Sure enough, the suitcase arrives intact and unopened.

We're on the first leg of 27 hours of travel. There are only 2 flights - and not long ones at that. But we stay overnight in a cheap hotel near the airport in Malaysia and then get a 6-hour van ride from the airport to the university.

It's evening by the time we unpack. We make the apartment as homey as possible. A welcome basket with a greeting card, fruit, and banana bread is waiting on the kitchen table. The staff is hospitable and thoughtful, no doubt about it.

Dr. Kay, Debbie, and Dave
Sunday
The first faculty members to greet us are a surprise. 30 years ago, Debbie and her family attended the same church we did. Since we've seen her, she's married and become a faculty member, but she still has the warm smile and mild voice we remember from her and her mother.

Debbie and Dave take us to church in the morning. Dr. Kay is the lead pastor. We eat lunch together at a delicious Chinese restaurant. It's wonderful to hear what they've been doing and where they've been. This life of faith is an adventure, for sure.

They wait while we buy mangos (the sweetest in the world must be here!), a notebook and pen (I forgot mine - what was I thinking ... it fills up page by page this week), and a few groceries.

My breakfasts are PB whole-wheat toast, a mango and another fruit, along with my big cup of tea. W always walks up a flight of stairs and down the hall to the dining room, where he has a full breakfast.

W is presenting a lectureship this week. He rereads his material in the evening and adjusts it a bit. I am working on a few chapter proposals (for books) and browse a few books I'm reviewing.

I'm enjoying hot water at the kitchen and bathroom sinks. That's a luxury we don't have at home. You hear the hiss of the gas heater starting up when the hot water tap is turned on.

The only quirk is the shower. The heater flips off every 2 minutes, so you have to listen carefully. As soon as that gas hiss stops, you quickly turn the tap off and back on, restarting the gas heater before cold water hits you. Such small inconveniences are minor adjustments in this region of the world.

"These aren't the real tropics," W notes. "There are no ants or roaches in our room. And none in the kitchen either!"

Inside an almost-empty Jeepney - lots of room for passengers,
who climb in and out of the open back door
We almost feel like we're back in America, except for the smokey cars, and the road repairs (who left that pile of dirt and a pylon near the gaping hole?), and the gorgeous Filipinas, and the street vendors, and the smells of pork baked, barbecued, and steamed. It seems like every dish has pork in it.

Monday
We have the morning off so we head to town, walking from where the Jeepney drops us. It's not that far but the elevation thins the air (1600 meters or about a mile high, similar to Denver, CO). Combined with hills and the pollution of unfiltered cars, it's a challenging walk.

We stop at an antique and craft shop. This is a Catholic country so there are religious statues everywhere, including this one of (I presume) Jesus. It is full height and wears a real-hair crimped wig that falls to its waist. A local version of "God in our image," I guess.
A Jesus statue, compete with human waist-length hair
We decide to go to the same restaurant as yesterday, where the food is excellent. Our meal is cheap, delicious, and safe. There's filtered city water - whaaaat? Everything is so modern and well-maintained.

Meanwhile, we completely miss our lunch with Dr Kay, who is also the school's academic dean. The week's schedule was a bit wonky (columns mixed up) and I wrote down our appointments wrong. So there are arrows here and there - and we've completely zoned out about our date. Kay is very gracious and makes plans for later in the week. Our friends Weldyn and Barb get to eat the "death by chocolate" cake Kay prepared, in our stead.

W's first obligation is a short introductory lecture at the dinner banquet. The food in the dining hall is good, the company warm, and we say hi to the international students and faculty we haven't seen since we last taught here.

Tuesday
It's a steep walk from our room to the academic building - about 100 steps from our room, plus a steep driveway. We don't have too much trouble getting up the hill if we pause now and again.

W sure enjoys teaching. He settles into his week's routines: a morning lecture, listening to an afternoon paper read a grad or post-grad student, and sitting on an evening Q&A panel with other faculty. I go to most meetings, but my priority is to finish and submit my chapter proposals. Of course, I have to catch up with people, too.

In the late afternoon, we meet with our regional director Bill. He encourages us, renews our tenure for another 3 years, gives permission for our house lease, and asks about our work. I felt a little stab in my heart this week, thinking about those 3 years. It's a big commitment at our stage of life. God's posted us in a place we love (yay for the people, surroundings, and food of B!) But still. It feels like a long time while our parents are aging and our grandkids are growing up without us.


Careful!!!! that's a long way down
Student workers have roped metal pipes (scaffolding) to the concrete pillars inside the dining hall. The poles extend outside through the windows. It looks pretty normal from our lunch seats. But when we look from our apartment window, we see that the young men are suspended 5 storeys above the ground to wash windows. Anyone afraid of heights need not participate ...

Wednesday
After the morning lecture, W and I eat with Dr Teresa, one of the lecturers. Her house overlooks the valleys below. The food is tasty, and the company - friends Barb and Weldyn also at the table - is wonderful.

The students have questions for W throughout the day and ask about working with me on doctoral projects. We set up appointments.

Dickie takes me and two others to Philippine Treasures, a workshop and wholesale showroom for jewelry and decorations. The creative artist and founder of PT is devoted to Christ. She sells to high fashion shops and decor outlets in the States and around the world and attributes her success to God's favor.

Oh my ... there's a lot to look at, and the "50% off" warehouse at the back... I try to resist but don't escape entirely unscathed. I buy a ring, a few Christmas ornaments, and a shell sculpture (about $30). Not bad.

Supper is a wonderful feast with Galen and Dickie, who treat us to a meal at a Greek restaurant. My, the food choices here! We've forgotten what it's like to have food options from "all the nations" in a city. And then it's back to work in the evening.

Outside our window, a 12' high gazebo and endless mountains
Dr Kay treats us to Starbucks after the evening session. It's the first time I've been at Starbucks in ages. We share a mango cake and hear about the wonderful provisions of home, work, and travels. I resist buying a Baguio mug for our family Starbucks fans. (They've said they have enough clutter.)

Thursday
While the Bandung walking group swells to 16 without us, we have a full academic day. I look at the walker's pictures and sigh at the beautiful scenery.

Our view isn't that bad, either.

The first student taps on the door at 10:30. She's brought her project for review. I edit, advise, and wrap up 5 consultations by supper. What great projects! I think of the hard work ahead and send up prayers for the students. Doctorates are hard work.
An inspiring "almost-doctor," eager to finish
W returns to our room after the afternoon session with a slight fever,  headache, and queasy stomach. Oh oh. I've already eaten in the dining hall. He's not up to that, so I make PB toast and cut up a banana for him.

He naps and heads out again for the evening Q&A panel. Hopefully he'll be better tomorrow - we have a long trip ahead of us, heading home after the day's work.

Read more:
*The Lord said to Gideon, “Peace be to you; do not fear, you shall not die.” Then Gideon built an altar there to the Lord, and called it, The Lord is peace. Judges 6:23-24 ESV

*I will exult and rejoice in your steadfast love, because you have seen my affliction; you have taken heed of my adversities. Psalm 31:7 ESV

*Come and hear, all you who fear God; let me tell you what he has done for me. I cried out to him with my mouth; his praise was on my tongue. If I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened; but God has surely listened and has heard my prayer.

Praise be to God, who has not rejected my prayer or withheld his love from me! Psalm 66:16-20 NIV
*Jesus says, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid.” John 14:27 ESV
*Jesus said, “Ask and you will receive, so that your joy may be complete.” John 16:24 ESV
*It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. Galatians 5:1 NIV
Moravian Prayer: Loving God, thank you for the gifts of your holy peace and eternal life. May we live lives that are worthy of such amazing love, and may we bring glory to your name.

Ever loving God, you are with us always. We see you in times of joy, and we acknowledge your love and care in times of distress, when it may not be as easy to know your presence. We rejoice at your great love and caring, and say, Amen.