Friday, April 29, 2016

Climbs and classrooms

Panoramic view from the crest of Gunung Batu: stunning
We're slated to start language school next Monday. I'm excited rather than apprehensive, which I attribute to the prayers of friends and the interesting way language is taught there. Not having to speak right away is huge for me.

Thursday, April 28.16
Don't we look fine before the heat and climb get to us?
We start early in the morning, taking 2 gals with us up the mountains. 11 of us walk today. Everything is done by relationship and being together is a great way to get to know people. It's also healthy, nice to get out of the city.
That's the "Rock Mountain" behind us
We walk up to Gunung Batu (Rock Mountain), a hill that pokes up after a long uphill trek.
We can see miles of fields and villages from the tip-top of the hill
The whole walk is close to 5 miles (8 km?), so it's not far. But it's up and down for good exercise.
We perch on a gate made of long bamboo stalks
The dog carries his pack and behaves wonderfully. He's working. After his start as a "wild thing" on the trails, we are relieved.
W enjoys taking pictures
but these are from my phone camera
It's great to be on the way down.
A little Indonesian lady passes us, going up.
We eat together afterwards. This day's walk includes Indonesians, Australians, Americans, and Canadians.

The rains are washing out the roads, day after day. The thunder and lightening is fearsome. But on our walks, we have had glorious weather. God's provision.
Washing away, bit by bit
In the evening, a group of women gather at Wild Grass to say farewell to Bridgett. I met her on the walks and later, in church. Her husband is in the military and has been posted to Korea. They're off in the morning: she missed her last walk to supervise the movers.

"After they packed up, the movers are sleeping in the truck outside our house," she exclaims. "My husband says they'll take the truck to the port in Jakarta tomorrow." = the new normal.

We have breakfast with Pascal, Yunnie and the handsome Desmond. W and P meet every week but Y makes a special effort and is at Ethnic by 8am. Wow! I'm impressed.

We walk to Bumi where the national science research organization (LIPI) rents classroom space. We teach 3.5 hours (Teaching Methods) with these VIPS (very intelligent professors). Most are more comfortable in the lab than the classroom. We share ideas to keep students engaged in their fantastic information.

Whew. Whenever Indonesians meet, they share food. The days is no exception. A delicious lunch of cream chicken soup, gado-gado (peanut-dressed vegetables, fried tofu, and egg slices), and a "main course" (Help!) of stuffed chicken, fish, rice, and broccoli with bread crumbs. We taste a bit of everything - delicious - and are full.

The hour after lunch is known as the deadliest for drooping students, but the lecturers gamely participate. And of course, a mid-afternoon tea break with pastries means more food sampling.

W wraps up his session with a Q&A that goes overtime. And then, as the pelting rain begins to fall, DrW drives us home. Whew - we walked here and the ride is most welcome.

I get in touch with several children's organizations. An incoming group of volunteers is interested in working with children and youth.

W has prepared a roast in the sous vide (big enough to eat over a few days). The bag has burst in the water so the beef has boiled but since the water temperature is under 60oC, it's not too tough. We try it for a late supper. 

It's time to pack up the day with paperwork, prayers, and reading. And tea of course. 

Something has bitten W. He puts a few dabs of liniment on the bumps. The smell reminds me of my paternal grandma. I miss her: after all these years, her kindness and love of home remedies come back in the scent of pungent medicine.

God is good.

Read more:
*Know therefore that the Lord your God is God; he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commandments. Deuteronomy 7:9 NIV

*For I know that my Redeemer lives, and at the last he will stand upon the earth. Job 19:25 

*The Lord says, “I will not continually accuse, nor will I always be angry.” Isaiah 57:16

*For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost. Luke 19:10

*God saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works but according to his own purpose and grace. This grace was given to us in Christ Jesus. 2 Timothy 1:9

Moravian Prayer: Savior, your grace sustains and surprises us! You give us this gift freely, no strings attached. As a result, we feel your calling on our hearts—to follow where you lead—to serve. Thanks be to God! Amen.

C. S. Lewis in The Problem of PainOn kindness
Love is something more stern and splendid than mere kindness. For about a hundred years we have so concentrated on one of the virtues—“kindness” or mercy—that most of us do not feel anything except kindness to be really good or anything but cruelty to be really bad. 

Such lopsided ethical developments are not uncommon, and other ages too have had their pet virtues and curious insensibilities. And if one virtue must be cultivated at the expense of all the rest, none has a higher claim than mercy. . . . 

The real trouble is that “kindness” is a quality fatally easy to attribute to ourselves on quite inadequate grounds. Everyone feels benevolent if nothing happens to be annoying him at the moment. Thus a man easily comes to console himself for all his other vices by a conviction that “his heart’s in the right place” and “he wouldn’t hurt a fly,” though in fact he has never made the slightest sacrifice for a fellow creature. We think we are kind when we are only happy: it is not so easy, on the same grounds, to imagine oneself temperate, chaste, or humble.

You cannot be kind unless you have all the other virtues. If, being cowardly, conceited and slothful, you have never yet done a fellow creature great mischief, that is only because your neighbour’s welfare has not yet happened to conflict with your safety, self-approval, or ease. Every vice leads to cruelty.


  1. It's always a joy to tag along on your adventures through this wonderful blog, dear Rosemarie! Many times since we last met I have thought of our conversation and have prayed accordingly, especially as it relates to your learning of the language. I know with HIS help you can and will do it. Love and miss you--cheering you and W on!!

    1. Thank you - that means the world. Life is an adventure, for sure.