Monday, November 9, 2015

Mosaic of a Monday

Batik and scarves, ready for a wedding
 How did it get to be Monday? (And a Monday that's almost over in Indonesia ... )

The Friday helper stayed home after a family funeral the day before. But I washed 8 loads of laundry: (bedding, towels, and clothing) and hung them to dry on the covered rooftop. That roof is leaking: the corrugated fiberglass panels need repair or replacement. Besides holes, there are small gaps where duct tape has been put over previous breaks. The puddles on the deck floor are 2-3" deep in places. I step carefully around or through them in my house flip-flops.

The Saturday morning helper comes early. Her eyes get big when she sees the job for the day = ironing. I tell her to put the folded sheets on the bed when she's done. The other helper can make the beds on Monday. There's no way to have guests and keep house while working here. I am so grateful for household helpers who do basic chores and cook occasionally.

The yard man shows up to clear the weeds that have sprung up in the garden. His occasional workdays ensure that we don't drown in the foliage that springs from every branch. With simple hedge clippers and a machete, he hacks through the overgrowth.

Just after 10, Kirsten and I join Dr W and Ibu S at a Sundanese wedding. The bride is modern and has designed the festivities, decorations, and clothing herself. It's beautiful, held in a garden and hotel that belongs to the sister of the lady who lived in our house. It's a sentimental day for Dr W, whose daughter married at the same place seven years ago.

The bride's family, ready to appear
Family processional
The bride appears with her little attendants
The bride enters as her brother, an amazing saxophone player (he's won a national music prize), plays a Western jazz tune. In the receiving line, she asks if she can come to our house sometime to speak English.

"Yes please!" we say.
Guests enjoy the visiting and beautiful surroundings
A young female physician talks to Kirsten and asks the same thing: would we mind if she comes over to practice English? We say, "Yes of course! Please come." Hopefully the women will contact us through Dr.W.
We pose with the dance troop
who perform a traditional "plate dance".
Mother and daughter outfits
The food is amazing. Saté, barbecued goat, chicken, rice, bakso (soup), coconut ice cream, thai siew mai, juices, and other goodies. Soon it's all disappeared into the stomachs of hungry guests.
Starting young: turning the barbecue spit with the goat carcass
When we get to our neighborhood, Dr W's driver drops us at the door of the arisan meeting. The other women are leaving as we arrive.

Our hostess is Finnish; her husband is Indonesian and they work and minister here. They live right behind us. We agree on a visit before we head home. She wants to send food along but she's out of plastic containers; we send our helper back through the rain to get the Finnish-style mashed potatoes and meatballs. Yum.
The tail end of the arisan meeting
K is in an arthritis flare, exhausted after our guests and not sleeping well. There's a change in the wind, which affects her joints. She heads for a nap when we get home.

Rainy season starts today, lightening flaring across the hill, thunder crashing on the day after our family leaves for Switzerland and Germany. The temperature cools down (to 70oF/22oC) and we shiver in our long sleeves or sweaters.

I think I might nap - and fall dead asleep for 4 hours.

It rains most of the day. The grass has turned from brown to green overnight.

After morning service, we take Sharen with us to lunch. She's good fun - and a good sport as we have to shift to another table to stay out of the rain.

I get faster at plugging my ears with each really loud clap of thunder. Lightening strikes 1-5 seconds before thunder so it's close (3 seconds = 1km / 5 seconds = 1 mile).

At the next table, a woman is presenting essential oils to a small group. The drumming of the rain on the roof means she has to speak loudly.

We were supposed to start a trial week with a dog whose job it will be to watch the property. But his host family is celebrating a birthday so he'll come in a few days.

In preparation, we buy a bag of dog food and contact a neighbor family with 4 kids: "Would your children like to walk the dog?" They left their dog behind in the USA when they came to Indonesia, just like we did.

After I write a checklist and go over it with the helper, she gets to work. Dishes. Floors. Bathrooms. Laundry. Put the linens on the beds.

A friend comes to the Bible study, held on our porch this week. (Our regular host at the restaurant is traveling.) We're reading Mark 7-8, how Jesus creatively obeys the Father and provides healing and restoration for those around him. There's no cookie-cutter formula for what he does.

Our guest walks me up to a nearby guesthouse where she swims every day. She signs me up for a month (@$12). There's also a little fitness room in case I want to lift weight. Do I? For today, 20 laps (40 lengths) of the pool have to do.

I'm working on a syllabus for a Spiritual Formation class I'll teach at a local seminary later this month. That takes the whole afternoon: my "work until 3 and take a break" never happens because I get caught up in the work.

Kirsten and I watch one episode of a show but we're both too tired for a second. She heads off to bed and I upload some new books that are about to be published. (I get them from the publishers to review them.) By midnight, I'm ready to sleep.

Read more:
*The alien who resides with you shall be to you as the citizen among you. Leviticus 19:34 ESV

*The Lord will keep you from all evil; he will keep your life. Psalm 121:7 ESV

*The Lord lifts up those who are bowed down; the Lord loves the righteous. Psalm 146:8 ESV

*“Come now, let us reason together, says the LORD: though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool. Isaiah 1:18 ESV

*Even the hairs of your head are all counted. So do not be afraid. Matthew 10:30-31 ESV
Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me. Matthew 25:40 NIV
Moravian Prayer: Welcome all creation, O God, into your ways of love and compassion. Remind us that we have all been strangers made friends through Jesus Christ. Help us embrace one another as you embrace us all.
Redeeming God, you are always bringing light into our darkness and hope into our hearts. May we live with gratitude and faithfulness in your way and truth. Amen.

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