Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Ramblings: things I think about at night

Wednesday, August 17.16
It's the middle of the night.

Well, it's not the middle any more. It was, when I woke up 3 hours ago. I think to myself, lying wide awake in a comfy bed, that it's not so bad. Sure, I'd rather be asleep.

But I've heard the clang clang of the security guys tapping a metal rod on the gate as they stroll through the neighborhood. They warn off potential burglars and intruders so our friends can rest peacefully in their homes. The cacophony of rain has stopped drumming against the roof and the runoff that's lifting the paving off our street is gone. All is quiet.

I'm smiling, remembering a visit with DrW before lunch yesterday. I dropped by with the sign for Little Free Library #2138. I've had the sign for about 9 years, intending to set up a neighborhood library in Seattle. But the doctorate intervened and I packed the sign away. It was one of the miscellaneous hopes I packed in the luggage of our move here. DrW is building it for our neighborhood exchange. (Read about Little Free Libraries here.)

We talk about being co-stewards of the library as we sip warm orange juice and water, taste a few cookies baked by her gardener's daughter, and joke together. I love this lady so much!

Hillsides of villages
And outside, the 4am morning murmerings begin in the turrets of a dozen mosques. Sometimes one vioce will start on a distant hillside but gradually the chants will pick up in volume and intensity and the shouts, calls, and melodies tangle and blend over the neighborhoods. Some of the routines are taped. I wonder if they are on a timer or someone flips a switch to turn on the recording. It's the morning ritual - but we expect high decibels during this day of festivities, traditional games, and community gatherings.

Today is the Indonesian equivalent of Canada Day or the 4th of July. Our helper has the day off. W and I have long to-do lists to crunch through. We hoped to call his mom today. She had knee surgery last week. But she's delayed in hospital and we don't have a way to connect until she's home. Prayers have to suffice.

Dreaming of a basil-seed ice tea
My stomach is growling in protest of dinner: ground chicken and hot chili oil on spaghetti. It didn't taste great and I ate about a third, so the grumbling is not unexpected. We walked to a nearby café last night - weary after a day of paperwork. I needed to stretch my legs and wasn't hungry. Should have had tea and been content, I suppose.

What paperwork? I'm editing an interesting book. I printed out 2 pages per paper, perched reading glass on my nose, and hunched over my desk for a few hours. The copy blackens with the chicken-scratchings of edits. Move a text block here. Say it clearer. What transitions make it flow? A good idea deserves my undivided focus.

I'm also finishing an application to teach online. The school sent 17 items in the hiring packet. Included are PPTs to make sure I don't accidentally call a fellow or student "old" (no throwing "over the hill" retirement parties! which may offend the retiree or a bystander). The aim is to help faculty avoid potential pitfalls with sensitivity training.

A few days ago, I signed off on the training PPTS, after a few hours of clicking through the presentations. I downloaded and copied the certificates of completion. Today I call the bank for a routing number for payroll, and fill out page after page to be scanned by my faithful office manager (Waldemar - bless his soul. I think I can still say that.)

Though I'm a rehire, HR needs to start over. Updated laws mean more work all around. (Americans who've made a sport of suing others have sure complicated things for everyone else.)

Tuesday, we drove across the valley to the next hill to find a notary for two pages of signatures. She needs to confirm that I'm me. The office assistants made a copy of my passport, took the forms, and told us the notary was leaving for National Day (today) - so we should come back Thursday (tomorrow.) Will do, in an already packed day.

Yesterday I got a text - which I didn't see for hours:

"Good morning, Mrs. Rosemarie. I am Mary, notary assistant whom you met yesterday. May I ask you something? The document that you gave me and should be filled by the notary, is it should be typed or handwritten? Thank you."

"Handwritten in block letters is fine."

Hours later I see another text. "Is it ok if I type them on typewriter? Or you still prefer typewritten?"

"Yes. Typing is fine."

I do another two hours of editing before dinner. And I have four chapters to read from a doctoral student I'm advising. That will have to wait until tomorrow.

By 7pm, W and I were ready to stretch our legs. We walked through the dark lanes. (Sunset was 6pm, as usual.) In parts of the street, neighbors have forgotten to turn on their lights. There is no city lighting: every house on the street is expected to flip the switch to light their portion of the road. When they forget, our phone flashlights come in handy: we avoid potholes and washouts in the paving. (W put our street lamp on a sensor and labeled the light switch, "DO NOT TURN OFF.")

Afterward, I catch up with a friend online via Google Hangout. An hour of conversation, and I've processed something i needed to think through from last week's conference. Thanks, Kim!

W and I wrap up the day with an episode of a Korean drama. But it's not relaxing: in #17 of 20, the action is gearing up. (We must wait until next week to see what happens next. haha) We watch little TV except for background language. So an occasional story is fun. This drama centers on a hospital. There are politics and power plays, choices of revenge or forgiveness, and death and life rituals set in Korean culture. Doctors is #1 most-watched in Korea, so others must find it as interesting as we do.

Guest-ready bedroom
Above our heads, our last guests are beginning to stir. They leave this morning, on their way home to the Netherlands. We keep forgetting to take pictures but I hope to remember today. We've enjoyed their company: Mariska gifted us with Gypsy when she moved away last year; the dog has enjoyed having her around almost as much as we have. She and Bart are the last of three sets of friends staying here the past few weeks.

Something has just crawled on my arm, trying to get into the sleeve of my PJs. I flip it back onto the floor. Maybe a big ant? A little roach? I don't care to know. I hope the bug doesn't make another attempt.

The half-light of dawn creeps past the drawn drapes.

Read more:
*I love the Lord, for he heard my voice; he heard my cry for mercy. Because he turned his ear to me, I will call on him as long as I live. Psalm 116:1-2  NIV

*The eyes of the Lord are in every place, keeping watch on the evil and the good. Proverbs 14:3 ESV

*Then I myself will gather the remnant of my flock out of all the lands where I have driven them, and I will bring them back to their fold, and they shall be fruitful and multiply. Jeremiah 23:3 ESV

*The kingdom of heaven is like a net that was thrown into the sea and caught fish of every kind. Matthew 13:;47 ESV

*Jesus said, “I have other sheep that do not belong to this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd.” John 10:16 ESV

Moravian Prayer: Loving Father, you are so good to us. You comfort us during times of loss, pain, and sickness. You freely give your grace even though we are so undeserving. Lord, help us to accept your love, and to share it with those in our lives. 

All-seeing Lord, you know all of our transgressions, and yet you still love us. God, forgive us our sins and draw us closer to you and give us strength. Guide us as we strive to love our neighbors, and do not let us yield to our weaknesses. Amen.

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