Saturday, November 15, 2014

A squelching Saturday

Suradi's lawnmower: a machete
Saturday, November 15, 2014

Bapak E, Ibu A's husband, has come to look at the leaking roof. W drives him to a building supply to buy a long beam. The repair supplies for our bedroom leak - wood, water-proofing, and whatnot - cost $17. Pak E clambers up a bamboo ladder onto the roof and goes to work.

Without a winter, plants keep growing, trees drop leaves, and palms shed fronds year-round. The yard man, Bapak Suradi, arrives on his "every-two-weeks" rotation. Usually we're in Jakarta and he prunes the hedges whatever way. I demonstrate the slant for hedge and ask him to trim the shrubbery where we park the car. From the roof, Pak E translates our future plans to move the guppy pond closer to the house. Pak S clips with a hand-shear and mows the grasslike foliage in the driveway with a machete. I forget to ask him to buy bug-killer: mealy-bugs are devouring the poinsettia tree.
15'+ tall - in the mall (the little trees are 6')

We ignore our own good advice after last week's excursion: "Stay home on weekends," and head out to do three quick errands in town. "We'll be back for lunch at 1," we say, waving goodbye to the helper at 10am.

We call Ibu A just after noon to say traffic is bad. We are on our second errand. "We'll probably be late. Please put lunch in the fridge if we're not back by the time you leave."

Then, with the assistance of the WAZE app, which apparently has no other foolish drivers on the cross-streets, we follow stand-still traffic through one back street after another. Motorcyclists huddle under trees and move from shelter at any little letup in the downpours. Our arrival time moves from 2pm to 3pm to 4pm to...

Motorcycle helmets:
$4.50 in the supermarket
We get home just before 5pm, 3 1/2 hours from the last stop. (That's how long it takes to drive from Jakarta to Bandung on a bad day.) Good thing we're with each other. W flips through radio stations. "Oh joy!" he says, finding an all-Disney music station.

We read Matthew 18, today's daily passage from IES Jakarta. W notes the "believing children" and theological implications regarding the age of accountability. I mull how Jesus uses parables for more than one lesson. Here the lost sheep imply the value of every person, no matter how humble or childlike. In Luke, he stresses God's search for the lost. We wonder if Jesus knew the child he placed in the circle of disciples. "Did this youngster belong to one of his followers?"

Discussing theology and how to live it out makes the time go faster. Not fast. Just faster.

Ibu A has left us Nasi Goreng Ayam (fried chicken rice) and salad. And she's used a package of chocolate chips W brought from home to bake the sweetest-ever, oil-not-butter cookies. W likes them a lot. I brew myself a stiff pot of unsweetened black tea as accompaniment.
The weather forecast this week: chance of rain, 100%.
My hometown of Winnipeg kicks off the Christmas season with its annual Santa Claus parade today. We've also seen a few decorated Christmas trees in the malls of Bandung. Is it time to get out our little Christmas tree?

The reflecting pool at Warung Ethnic
We have one more appointment in the evening. W is still on German time so he's anxious about us being late. I send off edits on the journal article of a friend. We walk through the rain and dark to Ethnic. The potholed gravel road has been replaced by excellent paving. Wow! and eek. There are no curbs so the drop-off at the edge of the road can be over a foot down. We're seated at 6:30pm. The owners must be Christian: there's a Bible verse posted on the wall. Prices vary from $2 for local dishes to $30 for Australian steak. We've just eaten so it's tea and coffee for us. They have a limited number of menus. When others come in, the servers take our menus to their table.

We're meeting an undergrad student from the FB group Expats in Bandung. He's on a motorcycle, texting back and forth as he tries to get to us. Normally, it's a 5-minute ride. It takes him 2 hours in the gridlock ... on a motor, which usually zips by the cars. Not this time. We're not sure what's going on. Reza has lived in Bandung most of his life. He says he's never seen traffic like today's.

A pretty surprise on the guest bedding
He arrives at 8:30pm, sheds his rain gear, and orders a strawberry smoothie. We have a great chat about his project - water desalinization and filtration - and his passion to be an entrepreneur. He'd like to come to our Open House in December. He explains a few Sundanese customs and asks if we'd like to visit his house. Of course, we'd love to.

He remembers, "But my mother doesn't speak English." No worries, we say. He is fluent and can translate if he's willing.

At bedtime, the sheets we washed are still wet. Laundry takes a long time to dry, even with the house-fans on. We pull out new "guest" bedding and - oooh, what a pretty surprise! The embroidery is cheerful and the duvet cover fits the blanket perfectly.

Before crawling into bed, I ask W to check temperatures in the house. I am shivering cold after the walk home in the rain. I guess 65oF. His thermometer reads 82o. Brrr. Maybe I'm feeling the fan-moved air and the damp. The moist air is probably good for the skin. I put on a sweater.

I'm reminded to pray for our friends in Tonga: Dave, Rhonda, and their son. They live with "wet air" all the time.

Read more:
*O Lord, I give my life to you. I trust in you, my God! Do not let me be disgraced, or let my enemies rejoice in my defeat.

No one who trusts in you will ever be disgraced, but disgrace comes to those who try to deceive others. Show me the right path, O Lord; point out the road for me to follow. Lead me by your truth and teach me, for you are the God who saves me. All day long I put my hope in you. Psalm 25:1-5 NLT

*It is I who by my great power and my outstretched arm have made the earth, with the people and animals that are on the earth, and I give it to whomsoever I please. Jeremiah 27:5 NEV

*For this is the will of God, that by doing good you should put to silence the ignorance of foolish people. Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God. 1 Peter 2:15-16 NEV

*You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created. Revelation 4:11 NEV

Moravian Prayer: Loving Creator, you gave this wondrous world to us, your chosen children. Every day, we must do all we can to protect and nurture all that you created: sea and sky, rock and tree, beast and humankind, and treasure it as the gift of your power and love. This we ask in your name. Amen

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