Sunday, May 31, 2015

Mosquito nets and paper lampshades

Home sweet home
We're back in Bandung after a week away. We love coming home.

Saturday, May 30
This time, we bring David and Paula S with us. They're having an initial look-see around Bandung during a break from the pace of life in Jakarta. They'll live upstairs when they attend language school in August.

We eat at Jubilare after plowing our way through traffic on the toll road and in Bandung. Most license plates have a "B" on them like ours = Jakartans visiting Bandung. We've considered changing to a "D" plate because of the inconvenience to locals during the invasion of their city. However, no one complains about the influx of money as tourists shop the factory outlets, eat in restaurants, and enjoy walking trails to the volcanos or swimming in the hot springs in the nearby hills.

Getting ahead, Bandung style. Note the motorcycle on the sidewalk
Our friends have been in Indonesia for 3 weeks. They remark on things that we no longer find unusual:
  • the family of 4 or 5 riding a motorcycle
  • the pedestrians waving a hand to cross between moving cars, motorcycles, and carts
  • the green "houseplants" growing at the side of the streets as shrubs and trees
  • the muggy weather
  • the calls to prayer five times a day
  • the clusters of little shops
  • the uneven paving
  • the people making a living at the roadsides, singing, cooking, hawking goods
  • the good food
  • the beautiful big porch with a green yard
  • the breeze that stirs the wood chimes
  • the dark cabinetry
  • the marble or porcelain tile floors in most buildings
After we arrive at the house, I scramble through the boxes of bedding to find the right size. Our other guests are touring SE Asia for the next 3 weeks and have stripped the big bed. I walk down the main stairs, through living room and kitchen, and up the narrow green circular stairway to the laundry area. (Yup, we have to punch that door through the upstairs to the laundry area soon. No guest wants to schlepp their dirty clothing a mile down and back up the stairwells when a doorway would provide a direct passage! And yes, we got permission from the landlord.)

But where is the dirty bedding? Not there! The laundry floor is bare. Back down I go, where I get distracted by other chores. We make up the bed with new sheets, ironed by Ibu A in the past weeks.

Oh finally! I find the old stuff later in the evening, left in a hamper in the bedroom corner. Logical, if unexpected. By this time, W's got some travel clothes swishing around in the washer. This will wait until tomorrow.

I prep a batch of bread for the morning and make no-bake peanut-butter and chocolate squares with the goodies from Seattle. (Recipe below) I find some mini-Magnum chocolate ice-cream bars in the freezer, a nice dessert after a warm day and stressful journey.

We reconnect with seven or eight people we'll meet in the coming week. WhatsApp is the best medium for quick messages; we shoot a text and get a quick reply. No matter what chores beckon, people are the most important to us!

During the "winter" (slightly below the equator), it gets light about 5:30am and dark about 5:45pm. We sit, talk, and then toddle off to bed about 8:30. It's been a long, draining, and wonderful week.

An ancient faucet blows out in a bathroom. Water gushes across the room onto the tiles. W turns off the water in the house until he finds the shut-off valve for that section.

Sunday lunch with friends
Several indoor faucets are garden-style and cold-water-only, with a stub of rubber hose tugged over the nozzle to direct the flow downward. The kitchen sinks and a few other water outlets were capped when we moved in but W has reinstalled faucets. We had no showers either, just sink-style faucets with a mandi bucket (a short-handled plastic pail) nearby.

Over the past weeks, W has tracked down plumbing supplies that work for the "custom" spacing. An upcoming project is to find out why the hot water flow from the point-of-use heaters is uneven and unpredictable. We sigh with relief on mornings when water comes out of the shower better than lukewarm.

We walk to church at 9 after a simple breakfast on the porch: tea / coffee with warm bread, jam, and cheese. The weather is  lovely: 77oF (25oC). We sit in the church service under whirring fans, the canvas canopies over the open wall shielding us from the sun, and the wooden shutter doors pushed aside to let in air and light. What a pleasure to introduce our guests to the pastor afterwards.

Our $4 find in "As Is":
a fancy-schmanzy cloud shade
I'm still coughing and weary, definitely not up to walking and taking the angkots today. The other three head off explore and get supplies while I intend to rest (after washing dishes and putting away the items we ditched in the living room last night.)

It's too nice to stay inside the whole afternoon. I hang a mosquito net over the chairs on the porch and drape it so it touches the ground. I tuck blankets around one of our Korean mattress pads to pad a hard chaise. And then it's back inside.

Picking up a small pile of IKEA paper shades, I start to take them to storage. I open one to see if it's in good condition -- and end up hanging all 12 over the bare bulbs that are normal here. The family who moved into our first house decided to buy the half-dozen plus we'd hung there so we left them behind. We found replacements at the Jakarta IKEA this week. At $4-6 each, the white orbs are a best value and neutral decor. We knock off a few more dollars by starting in the "As Is" section. Worn, not torn works for us. We'll need 3 more shades to finish the job; maybe on the next trip.

Upstairs, the house is almost outfitted. Of course, there's more work to do since we've been here only a few weeks. The rooms need ceiling fans (cheaper than air-con), chairs, and other furniture. But we've put cleaning supplies under the sink, dishes in the repurposed "kitchen" dressers, and some staple foods in the pantry.

We are SO grateful for the churches and friends who generously contributed toward furnishing the space. We have guests and NGO friends scheduled through November and beyond. People come and go -- in this hospitable culture, we are happy when people drop by or stay for meals.

No-bake Choco-Peanut Oatmeal Bars:
1. Melt 1 c. butter and 1/2 c. brown sugar.
2. Take from heat and stir in 1 tsp. vanilla and 3 c. oatmeal.
3. Press half the mixture into a greased 9"X9" pan.

4. Melt together 1/2 c. peanut butter and 1 c. chocolate chips (or an equivalent chocolate bar.)
5. Pour and smooth the chocolate over the oatmeal in the pan.

6. Tap the rest of the oatmeal mixture on top. Refrigerate for at least an hour - and enjoy!

Read more:
*Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory. Isaiah 6:3 ESV

*I will bring health and healing to it; I will heal my people and will let them enjoy abundant peace and security. Jeremiah 33:6 NIV

*The Lord is my strength. Habakkuk 3:19 ESV

*Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and curing every disease and every sickness among the people. Matthew 4:23 ESV

*So we do not lose heart. Even though our outer nature is wasting away, our inner nature is being renewed day by day. 2 Corinthians 4:16 ESV

Moravian Prayer: Gracious heavenly Father, we are yours alone. You have created each one of us and brought us together in love. Hold us up with your strong hands when our own strength fades. Lead us out into the world to proclaim your goodness to all.

Make us your servants to minister to the sick and helpless. Help us to aid in healing, transforming souls, reconciling, and empowering lives. You are faithful and your love endures forever. Jesus Christ is alive and through his Holy Spirit we can serve you until you return! Amen.

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