Sunday, August 31, 2014

Savoring Sunday

Lizards everywhere: this stranger isn't as
creeped out by close encounters as I am :-)
Sunday, August 31. 

The lizard pair scared me twice today already, dashing from behind the garbage pail across the kitchen. They've been busy all day. Our home is open at the tops of windows and has vented slats rather than solid walls above the doors, as in many older houses. That brings good ventilation in a damp climate but also means we are not bug (or lizard) -free, ever.

The roaches aren't plentiful but they're at least 2" long. Their paucity might be due to the lizards. The roaches aren't the bugs that get us. It's the termites or ants in the ceilings that drop constant little black "pebbles" in the corners and middles of the rooms and in nearly every cupboard and drawer. I cover the dishes and cutlery. In the bathroom, my sink is about ready to fall into the cabinet: the wood frame for the concrete under the tiles has been eaten away. There are little black spots all over the things in the bathroom drawer each morning. Yesterday W took the doors off several kitchen cabinets because the mildew and decay makes everything inside the cabinet smell. He also affixed a faucet handle in place of the little rubber grip that let us turn water on and off.

But we love the house. It's funny to say that, because we can't yet walk around barefoot on most of the (un-scrubbed to date) tiles OR with the bug dirt falling from the ceiling. We finally moved the dining table so things wouldn't fall into our food. I cover the meals as I bring plates to the table so nothing is added from above. Besides God's blessings, that is. Haha. 

LR in process: front door is on the left, DR in foreground.
Artwork, accessories, and rug to come.
We love the scarred whitewashed rooms and the 17 foot ceiling peaks too high to dust and the marble floors not yet spotless. We can feel God's presence here. We moved the dusty green and tan sofas from the dark living room to the lighter living room. It's much better, especially with 4 bright pillows to make the seats more comfy and brighter. Every bit helps amid the clutter of suitcases that can't go in storage above the garage (the beams need propping up) and the unfinished to-dos. I want to focus on language but my space has to be orderly. Little by little, W and I are settling in.

Rainy season is almost upon us. The wind whips leaves off the roof at about 3pm and often, later in the afternoon, a downpour floods the yard (and occasionally drips into part of the hallway). Within an hour of it letting up, the porch, puddles, and streets have dried off. Laundry takes no time at all to dry outside during the windy afternoon, but I race for the clothesline when I hear the first drops. Usually I get 3-4 minutes warning before the deluge starts. 

The new maid didn't show up Saturday, as we thought we'd scheduled. Oh well. Who knows if she caught that in translation. She's due at 6:30 or 6:45am Tuesday, before we leave for language school. She'll come T/Th and on Saturday. We told her she'd be locked out on week days if she's not here before we have to leave the house at 7. I've left some ironing and bedding to be washed - hopefully she's a good housekeeper.

W breathes a sigh of relief: a building supply store
W's off to town via the little busses today. I've stayed home two afternoons this week while he races around. He loves getting out - it energizes him. I've worn out the footbeds of both pairs of Flojos since arriving in Indonesia and have to find other flipflops or comfy sandals for walking. W wears Keens but mine chafe when my feet perspire. (I hate to wear little black or white ankle socks with them.) Keens are also heavy compared to the flip-flops. "Buy hot-weather walking shoes" = another project for next week.

We took a 1-2 hour rides on a few angkots yesterday to the NE part of Bandung (new to us). We found a wholesale grocer like Costco (but with cheap products not middle end). Right next door was a building supply place, where we bought 2 faucets ($10 each). We walked over 7 miles, most of it in the hottest part of the day (90oF/ 32oC and partly overcast). My hat is instant shade but feels hot because it lowers air flow over the head. Needless to say, I wear ghostly-white sunblock from morning to night. And I'm hoping one of these days the bug spray will keep all the mosquitos away...

We met Rita in one of the shops. She immediately tried her English on me and encouraged me to use my skeletal Indonesian on her. We're now connected on WhatsApp (free messaging, huge here). Hopefully we will meet again in person.

On the way home, we stopped in Informa (household supplies and furniture) and ACE Hardware. They were out of things we needed. [W is checking at other shops in the same chains today. I gave him a list: ironing board. Dish drainer/dryer. Wall hooks. Clothes hanger/dryer. Very exciting, eh? Our first furniture (chairs) should be delivered Wednesday.]

Our local angkot stops running after dark and it took us 1/2 hour last night to admit it and flag down a taxi. There was a neighborhood concert that spilled onto the street at the university down the hill, so it took over 3/4 hour to get past it and home. The ride cost $4. Not bad, though W begrudges every cent over the 20-30c per ride of the angkots.

Today, at 3pm the imams are calling the faithful to pray. The voices, amplified over loudspeakers, resound against the hills and across the valleys. Five times a day (4am is the first and about 7:30/8pm is the last) there's this unearthly drone of men chanting and calling. Think Gregorian chant with extended notes, cranked to full volume, in many keys at once. Right now I can hear at least 4 calls to prayer between the pauses in our neighborhood imam's voice. (He's on the next block, far enough away to be clear but not shake the rafters.) We hope to meet him soon. We've begun to pray blessings on him and his family, that God brings the peace, prosperity, and hope we have found.

I can't believe we're back in class tomorrow. I'm trying to review what we should know. With all the bonus info poured on us, I'm in a fog. Lord have mercy! It will all come together, but this time of heaping us with info - before the basic files are sorted and labeled in my head - makes it a confusing time. We've had fun trying our limited language skills on people, who are SO gracious to us. They smile and help us sort out what we're trying to say before answering our questions. We love this people group! Click here for 10 Things we can't wait to learn about the city.

This morning, we attended the only other international church we've heard about in Bandung. It's connected with Christian Missionary Alliance and serves a demographic group unlike the one we've been praying about. We'll be siblings rather than competitors. The pastor's wife is from Chilliwack (our hometown) and the pastor is a Mennonite-Canadian who's lived in many of the same places as our extended family. Should be fun getting to know them.

Read more:
*Oh come, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the LORD, our Maker! For he is our God, and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand. Psalm 95:6-7 ESV

*David said to the Philistine, “You come to me with sword and spear and javelin; but I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts.” 1 Samuel 17:45 ESV

"This is what the Lord says--Israel's King and Redeemer, the Lord Almighty: I am the first and I am the last; apart from me there is no God. Who then is like me? Let him proclaim it. Let him declare and lay out before me what has happened since I established my ancient people, and what is yet to come--yes, let them foretell what will come.

Do not tremble, do not be afraid. Did I not proclaim this and foretell it long ago? You are my witnesses. Is there any God besides me? No, there is no other Rock; I know not one." Isaiah 44:6-8 NIV

*So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God. Ephesians 2:19 ESV

*That is why we labor and strive, because we have put our hope in the living God, who is the Savior of all people. 1 Timothy 4:10 NIV

Moravian Prayer: Majestic God, in this solemn moment of worship we humbly bow before you to acknowledge your sovereign majesty and to praise your holy name. For it is in your name that we make our prayer and live our lives. Amen.

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