Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Adieu, sweet daughter

Saturday, January 9.15 
Creative cakes in the window
Our first chore is a call to an immigration lawyer in Seattle. American border immigration officials have complete authority to take our Green Cards whenever we enter the country. Getting them back is a hassle.

We are in complete compliance with current law, according to the lawyer - but it would take money and time if someone refuses us at immigration. We want to spend the least amount of time away from our work, especially if we can expedite the process with citizenship.

We'll have to spend 3 months in the USA before we apply for citizenship. We can fly back here after that while the application is processed. We are almost due for a normal biannual sabbatical of several months.
Lunch, with a jolly Chinese-Indo family - kids being fed by Mom behind us.
W and I consider whether we should stagger our returns so we don't miss so much time here. But the next evening, I run into a cockroach - or rather it rushes towards me, so I holler for W to come kill it, and think about everything that could go wrong in an aging house. I'm not sure if I want to stay alone. Prayers for wisdom appreciated!

After the call (mostly good news), we have to run errands. The helper strips beds, irons, and makes herself lunch while we're gone. Today, we have to get to immigration to extend our Indonesian visa. Above the car, a net in the parking lot catches leaves and fruit that would fall on people below.

We speak together downtown in an Indonesian church. The welcome is warm, the people friendly and the interpreter adds and subtracts according to what he knows about the group - that's a part of the exchange that we take for granted.
Our friend Josie comes to cheer us on and pray for us. Encouraging!

Tree complete with Disney-wrapped gifts
under the tree

Kirsten is saying her good-byes all week, exchanging greetings, WhatsApp numbers, and little gifts. She begins to pack, sorting what she can take and has to leave behind on her return to the States.

Dog walk. Every morning, we take the dog out. It's good for our health - but it feels so early after late nights and events! Usually we walk between 6 and 7:30am. Sunlight begins to brighten our room about 5:30 so we're awake, just not always happy to dress and get outside.)
The prettiest part of our neighborhood
The women and children are on the street. The gals chat and feed the babies and toddlers in their charge, smiling and calling Selamat pagi (good morning) as we pass.
Kids almost as big as their nannies. Breakfast is served ... as long as it takes, spoonful by spoonful.
After morning Bible study, participants pray over K. DrW drops in to say goodbye as well. I forget to take pictures. 

K finishes packing as W and I toss PJs and overnight take-alongs into tote bags. K's room looks abandoned. I've got a long chore list for the helper, who then texts that she's not coming today (tends to happen on Mondays, as K notes.)

The driver comes about noon and we head out in crashing thunder and lightening followed by a gushing downpour. The water in low areas is 12-15" deep within a few minutes. The main street down the hill becomes a river. Motorcycles pull over as their drivers can put on rain gear. The cyclists lift their feet up out of the water where the going is deep and swift. Cars slog through. A few, parked at the side, slip and slide into the gutters with the force of the water.
We stop at Porto for lunch before leaving Bandung: Kirsten's at her favorite food places for the last time. Between us, we have 4 kinds of potatoes on our plates. Mashed, fries, wedges, and potato soup. I'm not a big potato fan but these are tasty.

We never know how long it takes to get to Jakarta. Our friends share their guest room in Jakarta with us. They're away on a visa run to Singapore. In the evening, we head across the street for a little supper/snack at a coffee shop before bed.
Snacks at the CircleK mart may be packaged familiarly,
but they include shrimp chips, seaweed, coffee-flavored popcorn, and cassava chips.
We eat leftovers for breakfast but eat at a local mall for lunch: Kirsten is hungry for Chinese food before she leaves tonight. We decide on Japanese instead. You know how that goes.

Whew, this mall is not like home. The upscale shops looked just like "back in Seattle" when we first arrived in Indonesia. Now the difference between well-maintained Western-style shopping in Jakarta and what we have in Bandung is starkly obvious. (Maintenance is not a high value near us. W notes the new paving in the neighborhood is already lifting and pitted with potholes.)

K needs to rest so we skip the mall and head back for the flat. We call the driver, who doesn't see us standing near the exit. He makes a complicated U-turn to find us but nothing is easy in Jakarta traffic: a simple U-turn involves leaving the lot, battling traffic around the block and coming back in.
We're in the X of the intersection, with traffic criss-cross-ing in every direction beside us
After a nap at the flat, we head for the airport. Traffic is good so we hang out in a coffee shop before hugging and kissing Kirsten goodbye at the security gate. The guard lifts her suitcases onto the X-ray conveyer belt.

Then she waves goodbye and is gone. Her trip is about 40 hours, so we'd appreciate prayers for safe and healthy travel. She'll need a good place to live and a roommate when she arrives.

W sleeps on the 4.5-hour trip home, while I read, pray, and think. Another season finished. My mother-heart doesn't know what to feel. Numb, mostly. I peek into the empty room. IbuA has stripped the bed, washed the floor, and folded the things on the floor. Thanks be to God. I sink into bed near midnight, exhausted.

After the dog walk, the landlord calls that he's on his way. More inspections and pictures needed for his loan to develop the property next door. A lovely surprise by the gate: an orchid is blooming, just like last year when we moved here.

I need better internet to grade projects, so I walk down the hill to Ethnic Resto. I couldn't ask for a prettier place to grade papers!

Beside my table, a worker fits a plywood sheet to the door.

Their Vietnamese spring rolls are fried in so much oil - when I put a napkin under the rolls to drain fat, they're immediately saturated. And they're still greasy. But the tea is hot and bitter. Perfect.

The plagiarism checker notes aberrations to the assignments. Students struggle with knowing how to do their own work and quote others.

Read more: (ESV unless noted)
*One who rules over people justly, ruling in the fear of God, is like the light of morning, like the sun rising on a cloudless morning. 2 Samuel 23:3–4

*God says, “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine.” Isaiah 43:1 

*I will remove the heart of stone from their flesh and give them a heart of flesh, so that they may follow my statutes and keep my ordinances and obey them. Ezekiel 11:19-20

*Keep watch over yourselves and over all the flock, of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Acts 20:28

*If anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new! 2 Corinthians 5:17

*So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. Galatians 3:26-28  NIV

Moravian Prayer: You, O Lord, revel in a repentant heart. Teach us the value of humility before your throne and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. May we be dressed in the white robes of your salvation.
Gentle Shepherd, you grant us your authority of love. In every way that we find ourselves in authority over others, let us take your example and lead in gentleness and love. Amen.

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