Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Sakit but doing better

Traditional rice cone with the
gado-gado peanut salad
Tuesday, December 2
Sakit is the Indonesian word for sick or ill. W has been sakit or under-the-weather since Saturday. At first he feels weak, ache-y, and his throat is scratchy. By Saturday night, he has a full-blown cold with attending aches and pains. He's starting to feel better today and is sure he'll be fine by tomorrow. Hmmm. Quick recovery from feeling so awful that he was dizzy yesterday...

A windstorm kicks up in the morning. That is, a stiff breeze moves through the yard, rustling the leaves outside the breakfast window. I shiver. It looks cold out, judging from our experiences in Canada and the USA. Instead, a warm wind blows in and out through the screened wood grates above the doors, swaying the IKEA paper lanterns suspended in the hall. The shells of the capri chandelier clatter gently in the air currents. We moved the lamp to the side and up a bit: it hung so low in the entry that everyone banged their heads against it.

Lighting the first Advent candle. The awnings are up,
shading attendees from the heat.
Instead of staying home to recuperate, W pulls on his Sunday shirt to attend the morning service in a nearby church. W wants to make sure we connect with a German student he met last visit. She's mentioned being alone at Christmas and we want to invite her to celebrate with us. After the service, we run into her and a few friends. They've made Christmas plans - and lunch plans, so W and I head out to eat and go home so W can rest.

A few decent restaurants are scattered within a mile of the house. Today we make a second visit to My Secret Garden. Looking around the walls lined with cabinets and china, it seems obvious that 6-7 tall potted palm trees would warm it up nicely - one here, one there, maybe another one by the corner window = to make it feel chic instead of slightly abandoned. (The streets 5 miles north are lined with gardens and nurseries. Shouldn't be too hard to fix it, should it?) Be still, my interior designer. The food is okay.

... now imagine this room with a few 8-10' palm trees. Right?
The little toddler at the next table has the roundest brown eyes. He catches sight of us and panics. He doesn't know what to do. He clutches his mother and stares and stares, afraid to look away or move. We wave. Smile. But nothing. The poor kid is in shock. I do "peek-a-boo" with my hands - and he bursts into tears.

"Sorry, mama-of-a-cutie! Didn't mean to make him cry." We are the only bul├ęs (Western foreigners) in the whole place and maybe the first he's encountered.

We stay in and rest. I'm gearing up in my head for the two Thursdays ahead. We'll have an open house for students and young professionals this week and a more formal group the next. I'm not in the swing of things here: it takes more thinking to have people over because our kitchen is still out of sorts. We can't store everything in our cabinets, which are falling apart. We stash things for hospitality in a few places around the house.

One of our tasks this week or next is to find a metalworker to build the supports for new cabinets. We'll have replaceable boards - oh those termites! (They're entrenched in the old kitchen cabinets but slowly being banished elsewhere. I killed only 2 flying ones last night in the bedroom.)

First thing in the morning, Ibu A finds the source of the grain weevils that have been swarming the kitchen this past week. A big Tupperware square full of organic red rice has been eaten down by a quarter. The inside of the lid and the rice are full of wriggling bugs. And they have figured out how to escape. She hurries the plastic square to the back door - while I try to explain that she never needs to show it to me on the way out. I'm happy with an account of the missing items after they're tossed.

Where would you put such stuff? We don't want them crawling back into the house. Ah, it's perfect chicken feed. Of course. The helper and her husband pack away the offending rice: their poultry will feast tonight. Very little is wasted around here.

The grands, explaining life to Opa and Oma via FaceTime
We talk to the kids via Facetime before strolling downhill to the local grocer. We ride the angkot back up the hill before walking through our neighborhood. W is laden with 4 shopping bags dangling back and front over his shoulder, clipped together with a carabiner. I carry a little bag of tissues and washcloths. Seriously, he's only about 60% of his normal energy and he's already putting miles on his FitBit armband?

Ibu A cooks up flavorful Beef Rendang but the meat is tough. She and I explore the options on our rice cooker. Yup, there's a "stew" option. We'll try that next time around. Maybe for the first-Thursday crowd? Meat costs about the same here as in Seattle, $4.50 for a lb of stewing beef.

It's nice to have our offices at home. I go upstairs with a cup of tea and sit at my desk, looking out at the wind ruffling the fronds and swinging the fruit of the belimbing tree. It's toasty warm inside and outside of the house.

We're missing our family today. It's good to keep reminding ourselves why we're so far from home as Christmas approaches. We get news of the death of an old friend, the retirement of another from Northwest University, and the generosity of friends toward others. Life is filled with meaning and purpose under God's heaven.

Read more:
*The Lord is compassionate and merciful, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. He will not constantly accuse us, nor remain angry forever. He does not punish us for all our sins; he does not deal harshly with us, as we deserve. For his unfailing love toward those who fear him is as great as the height of the heavens above the earth. He has removed our sins as far from us as the east is from the west. Psalm 103:8-12 NLT

*He will surely be gracious to you at the sound of your cry; when he hears it, he will answer you. Isaiah 30:19 ESV

*He who scattered Israel will gather them and will watch over his flock like a shepherd. Jeremiah 31:10 NIV

*The angel of God said to Cornelius, “Your prayers and your alms have ascended as a memorial before God.” Acts 10:4 ESV

*The gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable. Romans 11:29 ESV

*Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world. Hebrews 1:1-2 ESV

Moravian Prayer: Hear our prayers, O Lord, as we cry out to you. Give us open hearts and ears to hear your answers.

Heavenly Father, you have blessed us beyond what we can comprehend. Please continue to bless us and make us worthy of your sacrifice. Amen.

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