Monday, April 11, 2016

Maybe curry soup

Flowers from the garden
Sunday, April 10.16
The church service feels like coming home to a warm welcome. Afterwards, I poke my head in the door to see if the women’s meeting is something for me. Nope. (Thankfully.) There’s a presentation on keeping young children safe and the young moms are visiting together. I duck back out, happy that our kids are grown. It’s so much work raising young children in a foreign country. Mind you, we had “young-mom energy” once, too.

We need to pick up our entry cards for the neighborhood gathering spot, Bumi. We can’t believe how beautiful this area is. As a bonus, there’s a fair-sized neighborhood pool. I’ll have to swim early in the mornings: at noon it’s full of hotel guests and splashing kids.
Overlooking a children's play area and waterslide at lunch
Our  Bumi lunch is big and tastes more like American home cooking than Indonesian. W’s dish and my chicken, plus drinks, is about $10. We’ll be back because I can hardly cook a meal for that. Chicken and other meats are more expensive in grocery stores, but we trust the quality more than if we buy in the local market. (W has a weaker stomach than I do so we must eat “selectively local” for health reasons.)
W's homemade cheese
Supper is home-baked bread, home-grown salad, and W's homemade cheese (W's recipe: 1 liter milk and a slice of lemon. Salt and seasonings optional.)

We’re up early, still jet-lagged. The scriptures speak directly to me this morning and my heart worships. Tears run down my cheeks. How kind of God to give us personal attention and his overwhelming love.

We take the dog for a walk and meet a few neighbors. Then it’s back to work.
A 7" spider hovers overhead;
the river rushes beside during rainy season
In the afternoon, we look at an old digital Yamaha piano that expats are selling as they return to the USA. We also have to go to a few shops before we find a pitchfork for our vegetable garden.

A gardener usually comes weekly to keep the weeds and rampant growth of rainy season in check. He put goat manure on top of the soil some months ago, but the rain lifts it into the gutter. Once in a while I still see round goat poop but most has washed off. We'll dig another bag and the abundance of composted leaves into the soil and hope for a better harvest next time around.

Local 'organic' methods are variable since no agency registers compliance. Purchased vegetables are carefully washed. First we scrub them in tap water. Then they are rinsed again in drinking water. W filters tap water into 5 gallon bottles (air minum), which are tipped upside down on stands for pouring into pots and glasses.

We’re barely out of our gate when Gypsy spots a neighbor dog with an erect tail. The dog confidently walks toward us, stiff-legged. Bad idea. Gypsy growls and lunges forward. His leash snaps. As the clip breaks cleanly, our dog is off and running. When the smaller dog sees he’s in trouble, he loses the attitude and takes off, squeezing between the wires in his gate. Oh Gypsy, that other boy was itching for a fight. On Gypsy's end, neutering hasn’t cured everything.

We loop the leash through the dog collar and take a long morning walk around the base of the hill. These are low mountains, actually. (In Tennessee, they’d be proud of them.) My shoes slip on the slick moss that coats stairs and pavements. And we slither around on muddy trails. It’s a mini-hash, all our own. It takes us an hour to climb down and up the steep hill on a not-too-impressive 2-mile hike.
Pause to inspect a local construction project along the trail
I unclip Gypsy’s leash when we’re on the trail. He doesn’t go far: he’s wearing a dog-pack with full water bottles. People point to him as we walk through the narrow cement alleys of the village; apparently most have never seen a working dog. We make it back without mishap.

DrW comes by to give us direction for a 3-hour session with the scientist-teachers in her group. They're researchers, accustomed to the lab rather than the classroom, and most would like information on teaching. Their classes include young adults from all over Indonesia.

The helper has the flu. We send her home after she makes lunch. She doesn't understand what I want her to cook so DrW helps translate. I've asked IbuA to use the chicken broth I made yesterday for a soup base. 

"Here are the vegetables and meat," I show her. She chooses a curry cube for seasoning. Fine with me.
Looking outside from the dining table
Ibu A comes to the porch where DrW is meeting us. Between sniffles, she asks DrW a question in Bahasa Indonesia and both women look puzzled. "We can have curry or soup. Not both," they explain.

Is it complicated? "Cook the meat with the curry. Then add it to the broth with the vegetables." Can it be done? Maybe not. Lunch is rice and a thick curry, using half the broth as a base. It's strange which parts of our "normal" don't translate well. Some small things cannot be done here unless we do them ourselves.
Running errands is no small matter:
a driver squeezes through the tight lanes.
Read more:
*Not one word has failed of all his good promise, which he spoke through his servant Moses. 1 Kings 8:56 ESV

*The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do this. 1 Thessalonians 5:24

*Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing! Revelation 5:12 ESV
Moravian Prayer: Brother Jesus, we forget that you’ve known everything we feel. We forget that you walk, hurt, and rejoice by our sides, faithful no matter what. Help us to acknowledge your presence alongside us as we go through this day. Amen.

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