Sunday, January 11, 2015

Walks and plans

One reason sidewalks are in poor condition:
motorcyclists use them to get around traffic jams
The new week is starting. We have a big lunch planned Tuesday and American friends will be coming that evening. Tonight, the sun's going down on as the evening prayers ring across the neighborhood. The air is cool at 72o: it will get down to 66o tonight. Brrr.

Wednesday, January 7
The morning session in Jakarta is the final one of the conference. What a great group of coworkers! Four of us "new-to-Indonesia" gals set up a trial accountability group. We'll log in online every few weeks to check that we're on track and pray for each other. We make only a short-term commitment: after 2-3 sessions, we'll evaluate. If it's helpful, we'll keep going.

W and I drive home to Bandung after a quick lunch. It takes only 3 hours for the 80 miles because traffic is quite light. It's wonderful to see the house again. I spray the ant invasion into a twitching death and sleep like a log.

At least, I sleep until almost midnight, when my alarm wakes me for a conference call from Seattle about coaching. Our master coach offers encouragement and reminds us how important a coach can be to people entering a new profession. After we hang up, I can't get back to sleep until 4:30am. 

A grasshopper takes a break on our palm tree
Ibu A comes at 8. I have a headache and am tired, but one of the things we heard at the conference was appropriately relating to helpers. So I get up and give her instructions and money to buy food at the market. (W and I usually do the shopping). When she returns, she notes the purchases in a new notebook, set aside for the purpose. She is a marvelous cook: lunch is chicken, baked potato, bok choy, and - of course, rice.

A friend picks us up in the evening. We're going to the hospital to pray for Ibu V, who has cancer. She's been treated in China and is home again in Bandung. Her daughter and our friend have known each other since they studied in Holland years ago.

Pasar: baskets overhead
Such visits bring back many memories of how friends surrounded us when our daughter K was ill. We appreciated every visit, prayer, and note. Now we can do the same for others.

Afterwards, we go to a gathering of hawker stalls. The server brings a menu for all the shops. I had leftover soup at home just before we left so the surroundings interest me more than the food. Dozens of baskets hang overhead. ("Don't they get dusty? And who lives up there?" Be quiet, my inner German housewife!)

A typical poinsettia tree in the neighborhood
We stay home. I bake 3 loaves of homemade bread. One is for Ibu A's family: the other two are for us - one is supper and the other? How about tomorrow?

Let's hope the instructions to Ibu A are clear. 30 women (potentially) are coming for brunch Tuesday. I've asked Ibu A to go to the market on her husband's ojek (motorcycle) and bring the groceries back. She'll cook yellow rice (a tradition for special occasions), chicken, veges, and cut fruit. We have to start an hour earlier than usual to get everything ready. No cleaning until the ladies leave. Did she get that? 

We'll see. As usual, before an occasion, my head is whirling with details so my body is lazing around. Focus is worse when I'm going across culture and between Google Translate, Bahasa Indonesia, and English.

We miss baby Kamille, who is in Seattle with her parents. They're celebrating her first birthday far from her Indonesia family.

On our Sunday walk, the one-lane road is peaceful...
until it fills up with passing cars and motorcycles...
from this new housing neighborhood. Urban planning, anyone?
The homemade bread makes a good breakfast. We attend church nearby and meet the nicest mom and daughter in the parking lot. They've lived in Vancouver and the daughter recently completed community college in LA. She's home for a semester, waiting for her business program to start in fall. "If that falls through, we know a great business program in Seattle at Northwest University," we say.

The cutest youngster sits next to us on the bus
We change clothing quickly and walk a few miles down the hills and back up. We have a few things to pick up for the lunch we are making Tuesday. And our cable has been blocked for half a month. W finally finds someone in the mall shop who promises to connect it. (Later in the evening we discover that it's connected but we have the wrong subscription. We're not interested in a lot of cooking channels and Bollywood dramas, ok? W will try again. Fourth time lucky? And I don't suppose there's a refund or extension for 3 weeks without service, is there?)

We take an angkot minivan to the hospital to see Ibu V again. She's thinner, having trouble eating. But it's lovely to share scriptures and prayer. Her daughter faithfully is caring for her.

It's a single angkot ride back. W heads down for groceries for tomorrow's baking. He picks up supper at the warung on the next block (noodles for me; rice for him) and we eat about 7pm. 

Temperatures are dropping. So is lizard poop. Right on W's white duvet cover. ugh. He sponges it clean and sighs, "Laundry tomorrow. For sure." Yup.

Read more:
*Ascribe to the Lord the glory of his name; worship the Lord in holy splendor. Psalm 29:2 ESV

*Help, O Lord, for there is no longer anyone who is godly; the faithful have disappeared from humankind. Psalm 12:1 ESV

*Jesus asked the twelve, “Do you also wish to go away?” Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom can we go? You have the words of eternal life.” John 6:67–68 ESV

Moravian Prayer: Master and Friend, we promise never to turn our backs on you. We believe you are everything we need. Keep us loyal to you in everything we do. Amen.

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