Saturday, December 5, 2015

One by one: fishes, dim sum, study, teaching ... and more

School lunch: spicy fish and white rice. Yum.
There's a 15" snake under the exercise ball. Dead, luckily. When I move the ball, it lies there. W sweeps it out the door. I don't take a picture.

There are openings around every window and door. The air blows through. The ants march in and out. Mice squeeze through. And the dust and dirt comes inside. There is nothing air-tight here (except maybe a Tupperware container).

I pull out the white enamel drip tray from the bottom of the old oven and find burned-on grime and mouse poop. Ugh. After Ibu A shakes off the droppings over the garden, we try soda and vinegar / soda and boiling water / and finally, a precious SOS scrub pad from a little box mailed to us last year by a supporting organization. SOS does the trick. The others are fails.

Sunday lunch
It's all in a week's adventure. This week we start with church, lunch, and an afternoon visit with the Polish consul and a neighbor. I'm in a baking mood so try out three new kinds of cookies on them. All are affirmed as "do it again!" We send goodie bags home.

The week includes 35 hours of teaching and about the same number of hours for class revisions. It's a new course for me. W is teaching something he's taught often. He's energized by the classroom and transfer of information - extrovert. I'm encouraged by the student interest and energized by resting - introvert.

We eat lunch most days with students in the cafeteria. The food is excellent. (Above, fish)

A week or two before my class starts, I am notified that it will be translated into Indonesian. (W's is in English.) That means my class cannot go into great depth due to language restrictions - and they can't read English so they can't do the assignments as planned. So I have to have a LOT more material available and other assignments to develop. And they read condensed versions of the text that someone translates. We lose self-assessments at the ends of chapters (on their temperament, personality, and leadership styles). The translator tells them - line by line - the approximate meanings of a general assessment test and that will have to do.

In the first session, I ask if the translator can simul-speak: if I speak slowly, can he constantly turn over the ideas into Indonesian? (I'd happily block his Indonesian with my English. Every mom of 4 kids, like me, learns to filter all kinds of simultaneous info!)

The translator says he has a preferred method: "You speak quicker and say what you want to say. Afterwards I will summarize the whole idea."

Sometimes his explanations are a sentence to a paragraph I say. Sometimes, if I pause, he waves to keep going so the contrast of ideas is lost. Occasionally I give a short general idea and hear a long explanation: there's a lot more going on than I said (from my limited grasp of the language). I ask him about it a few times.

Students bring snacks to sample each day
By mid-week we have established a rhythm: he does whatever he can to communicate the gist of the lesson into another language and culture. The transfer is well-intentioned. He's tired at the end of the day.

So am I, but I have to evaluate the material each evening and rework the materials (or get more!) for the next day.

Claudia and the kids have to leave early in the morning. She makes us some goodies (cheese buns from Brazil) and shows me how to boil plantains. The kids give us big hugs and smiles.

W and I are dropped at a corner less than a mile from the seminary while the driver continues on to the airport nearby. We miss them right away - they were good guests and lovely people.

beautiful Christmas flowers: 6' tall
We meet friends for dim sum at lunch (hurrah! there is a Chinese place across the street from the seminary). We celebrating the end of the week and good classes.

This month our friend and neighbor, who orders rice for an orphanage, contacts us in time to add to her order for our own gifts. Since rice prices have risen steeply in the past year, we help a few families as well.

K and I start the day early at brunch nearby with Jane. She's a new friend met at another event 2 weeks ago. This is a social culture - everything hinges on relationships.

When we come home, I stretch out on a sofa and fall fast asleep for 2 hours. Then it's time for lunch, work, and relaxation - a good day indeed.

From 10-12 p.m., I hop online for a conference with leaders from Seattle, California, and Texas. I'm always wide awake after such sessions, so it's past 1:30 a.m. when I finish writing. (W has a look at the blog in the morning and hits send.)

The dogs are barking outside. The neighbor's animal keeps up a racket into the early hours of the morning and other dogs join in.

Read more:
Cast your burden on the Lord, and He shall sustain you. He shall never permit the righteous to be moved. Psalm 55:22 NKJV

*I pray with all my heart; answer me, Lord! I will obey your decrees. I cry out to you; rescue me, that I may obey your laws. I rise early, before the sun is up; I cry out for help and put my hope in your words. Psalm 119:145-147 NLT

*But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God's special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. 1 Peter 2: 9-10 NIV

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