Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Up and down the hillside

Down the hill and going back up the Dago side
We're a week late but what fun to celebrate Sumathi's birthday at the Bamboo Shack. W and I walk through the Sundanese neighborhood of Ciumbuleuit. The narrow pavement is edged with unequal stairs on one side as it descends the steep hill. Old and young people alike climb past the houses and little shops that spill to the edge of the road.

Motorcycles whiz up and down, some carrying two people on the mountainside. (If you stop, you have to wheel your cycle all the way up. And don't even think of walking it downhill. Brake hold-your-breath brake all the way.)

Small lanes, some barely wide enough for bike handlebars, criss-cross the hillside and descend into the valley. They dump us onto a muddy trail through the jungle. There's a power plant at the bottom of the valley. Water gushes from the drainage gutters above into its sluices and turbines before churching away against the boulders and river rock.

Jungle electrical plant
Then we have to climb back up the other side into Dago. Whew. It is steep. It is steep. My legs don't feel it but my heart is pounding. The neighbors stare at us as we pant our way to the top of the hill and back into the city.

Poinsettia trees tips are red, dieffenbachias uncurl leaf after leaf, and bougainvilleas splash pink and oranges in the yards. In January. Amazing.

Happy Birthday dear friend! Sumathi and Augustine ride the angkot up from downtown. I know that schnitzel (cutlets) is made with chicken, veal, or pork. Yeah, I should have listened to the voice inside my head before ordering. It turns out to be a chewy beef roast covered with breading. The vegetables taste good.

Concealed lipstick holds flowers against the stems
W and I walk back across the valley toward home. The final climb is vertical enough to take my breath away. Luckily W has a bottle of water. A few gulps and we're back on track. Up up and up. We say hi to a few people as we walk through the neighborhood, trying new ways back to the house.

Our new language tutor comes by after supper to set up our first class for Tuesday. Back to work it is. He lives right across the street, much more convenient than the hour-long trip coming and going to school in the fall! The seminary starts Semester 2 of the language course Monday. How fitting.

Read more:
*Surely God is my salvation; I will trust and not be afraid. The Lord, the Lord himself, is my strength and my defense; he has become my salvation. With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation.

In that day you will say: "Give praise to the Lord, proclaim his name; make known among the nations what he has done, and proclaim that his name is exalted. Sing to the Lord, for he has done glorious things; let this be known to all the world. Shout aloud and sing for joy, people of Zion, for great is the Holy One of Israel among you." Isaiah 12:2-6 NIV

*Who can hide in secret places so that I cannot see them? says the Lord. Do I not fill heaven and earth? says the Lord. Jeremiah 23:24 ESV

*Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. Galatians 6:7-8 ESV

*Live as children of light. Ephesians 5:8 NEV
Moravian Prayer: Lord, we know we cannot hide from you. You are everywhere and we are grateful for that. Continue to watch over us and make us true lights to those around us. Our prayer is to spread your light and presence everywhere. Amen.

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