Friday, May 13, 2016

Team Canada 2

A great group of guys!
Wednesday, May 11.16
The group is on a roll. Today, they create "life books" with the kids in their morning and afternoon sessions. Jess thought of assembling pages that contain the children's interests, goals, and autographs from their peers. The children write touching messages to the volunteers as well.

At lunch, they visit a university campus, talking to students who want to practice their English. They pass out our number: sounds like movie night is full (of students invited on Monday) so we'll invite this crowd next time.

After two more hours at the orphanage, they head to an English center to hang out with street kids. They listen to a lot of stories and come home full of gratitude for their own upbringing.

While they're gone, I'm cooking and baking. I start early and am done after lunch. In my head, the number of people coming over is 50. (I usually hear an approximate # of attendees. This weird and practical gift from God arrived when I planned alumni events years ago and continues to now.) 50 seems high. But that means I'd better get cooking!

Ibu Emi comes at 8, a helper on loan from a neighbor. I've forgotten - DrW and I arranged this 2 weeks ago but with all the coming and going, it completely slid out of my head. I am thinking about the flow of the day and that I'll have to wash dishes between food prep.

Then Emi rings the bell. Thank God! She washes pots and pans, irons the guests' laundry, and mops the floors. Before she leaves after 3, she rinses rice to fill two rice cookers. She's happy to take some food home.

  • First, I bake a few loaves of "1-2-3 Bread." Recipe: 1 tsp. yeast / 2 tsp. salt / 3 c. flour, stirred with 1.5 c. water. Let the sticky dough rise for a few hours in an oiled cast iron pan. Bake with a cover on it for 1/2 hour @425oF / 210C. Then remove the cover and bake an additional 10-20 minutes = until it sounds hollow when thumped with a wooden spoon. It should slip out of the pan easily. Cool it, then cut it.
  • W makes chicken wings. He's experimenting with a sous vide (water heat) gadget. I'm happy he's cooking. He grills them to brown the skins. They are a hit. 
  • I cook sausages in tomato sauce, bake 2 French toast casseroles, roll and fry little hamburgers with mushroom gravy, steam mixed vegetables, and stir up mushroom gravy and white sauce. Since the oven is hot, I bake dozens of profiterole cookies (puff pastry and sugar).
By early afternoon, most of the food is arranged and ready. I take a nap and catch up on academics before Team Canada returns.

Our movie night guests arrive at 6:30-7:30. We eat, laugh, and enjoy their company. Many of them bring treats to share: chicken saté, doughnuts, murtabak, and more.
Then it's time for the movie. Tonight it's The Truman Show.

Half-time means dessert. We have plates of cookies--most from a baking binge last week. Trudy and Lorraine help clean up the kitchen during the second half. WOW - what a treat to have such hard workers (who know how to run a home!)

After the movie ends, we all exhale and release the tension. W asks our 60 guests (50 + us), "Is it better to be happy or know the truth?" That sparks a spirited discussion. The last guest leaves at midnight. And we're in bed by 1am.

I drag myself to the computer at 3am-4am for a women's caucus meeting. Most women are in the USA. Some international attendees have a more reasonable time zone, but I'm the only board member on this side of the planet, so I get the ugly hour. It doesn't take me long to fall asleep when we're done.
Up and down the hills we go
We're up before 6. Everyone eats breakfast so we can do an easy walk around the valley. W leads 15 of us up Ciumbuleuit hill. The daily rain has made the trail slippery: the mud coats our shoes. We try not to slide on the moss that covers the stairs up and down through the villages.

We can't cross the river at the hydro dam because the rains have washed it out. Locals have dragged tree trunks across the gap over the river. We go further up the valley to the streets of Dago,

and then back down and across another bridge to our side of the river. ("We hope we are as fit when we're as old as you," says one young person. Haha -- and we wish we had your strength!)

Gypsy is a happy dog: he has a few young adults vying over his leash. It's short and sweet today: 2 hours, 4 miles. Joanna is not 100% but she's game and has come on the walk as well.

It's hot so we're sweaty as well as dirty when we arrive at Miss Bee's for lunch. They are happy to see us and provide great food and service.

Our guests go to Angklung Ujo downtown while W and I work at home. They make another trip to the English center and come home tired. But happy. We've rarely met such a diligent and creative team.

Our driver drops Team Canada at the orphanage in the morning, and drives to the top of the next hill to fetch our friends David and Paula from Jakarta. They bring McGregors to meet us. Alex M is a pro at placing service teams and interns around the world. We've been praying about effective ways to connect volunteers with opportunities in Indonesia - and here they are to advise us. So grateful!

We sip tea, eat bread fresh out of the oven, cookies, and a fruit salad in the morning air. We chat on the porch until after noon. I'm so engrossed that I forget to take pictures during the breaks in information.

The team is connecting with university students again at lunch, but W and I hop in the car to join them in the afternoon. The team also introduces two new local volunteers, met on our walk yesterday.

"We can come every week," the two women tell administrators. Great! How nice to connect them to this worthy (and fun) place to read, sing, and spend time with the kids.

Three gals favor us with a Sunda dance they learned at dance academy. It is graceful and beautiful.

Lorraine shares her story of becoming a commercial airline pilot. The kids are attentive. She persevered when everyone told her she should quit. She has attained "captain," in charge of flights on Airbus 319, 320, and 321. Two translators consult each other to communicate her words.

"I took every job I could," she says. "When the doors seem closed, you have to be persistent." She works in a male-dominated industry (3% of pilot captains are women.)

Lorraine encourages the kids to "follow your dream, even if you don't have money or think you can't make it."

We hand out candies and take our leave, a long process . Of course, we pose for pictures with the children. "Please come back," the kids say to Garry-Trudy-Kaylee-Jess and Ron-Lorraine-Aaron-Joanna.
Truly a caring staff - a farewell picture
The 4 young adults head home with the driver to freshen up. We and the parents walk the narrow village paths down and up the valley toward Setiabudi Grocer. The team picks up food and hand-carved wooden spoons (gifts for friends back home).

Kaylee and Joanna make a wonderful salad. W whisks the pre-mixed gado-gado salad dressing (peanut sauce). Upstairs, Jess prepares garlic bread. I stir gravies, vegetables, chicken breasts, sausage, German broth cubes, rice, and more into a hearty and flavorful soup. Oh my, we have lots of it! We only make it through 2 of the 3 full pots.

Over the meal, we review today and think ahead to tomorrow, our last day with the Canadian dream team. Their final assignment will be to write up the opportunities they've had for others who will follow.

Yup, we're canceling that early trip to the market in the morning. All are in agreement! We're tired.

Aaron has supper with a guy from Wednesday's movie night. About 7, several young people show up to hang out with Aaron on the porch. Love it.

Meanwhile, the dads wash up and tidy the kitchen. Impressed? (So am I!) Then they talk tech (yawn) and faith (cool!)

I have to write a backlog of books reviews and blog. The other women go downtown. They walk the streets with a charity group that cares for women and children.

"We're solving the world's problems," W says when I ask what the guys are talking about on the porch. We are so grateful for thoughtful friends. But it may take more than a discussion in the sweet night air to set everything right.

Read more:
*Sing to the Lord, all the earth; proclaim his salvation day after day. Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous deeds among all peoples. For great is the Lord and most worthy of praise; he is to be feared above all gods. For all the gods of the nations are idols, but the Lord made the heavens.

Splendor and majesty are before him; strength and joy are in his dwelling place. Ascribe to the Lord, all you families of nations, ascribe to the Lord glory and strength. Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name; bring an offering and come before him. Worship the Lord in the splendor of his holiness. 1 Chronicles 16: 23-29 NIV

*I know that my redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand on the earth. And after my skin has been destroyed, yet in my flesh I will see God; I myself will see him with my own eyes-I, and not another. How my heart yearns within me! Job 19: 25-27 NIV

*But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation. I will sing the Lord's praise, for he has been good to me. Psalm 13: 5-6 NIV

*There is forgiveness with you, so that you may be revered. Psalm 130:4 ESV

*If we walk in the light as he himself is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. 1 John 1:7 ESV

Moravian Prayer: Thank you, O Father, for being our vision and leading us in the paths of righteousness. Help us to open our spiritual eyes to experience your greatness and your divine presence. These things we ask in Jesus’ name. Amen.

C. S. Lewis in Experiment in Criticism. On grief:
Real sorrow ends neither with a bang nor a whimper. Sometimes, after a spiritual journey like Dante’s, down to the centre and then, terrace by terrace, up the mountain of accepted pain, it may rise into peace—but a peace hardly less severe than itself. Sometimes it remains for life, a puddle in the mind which grows always wider, shallower, and more unwholesome. Sometimes it just peters out, as other moods do. One of these alternatives has grandeur, but not tragic grandeur.

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