Sunday, October 23, 2016

Mouse squeaks and avocado juice

Beautiful Ibu A (helper) shows off
her Korean bracelet from Kristen
Taking a break from memorizing new words. My brain is buzzing. Here's the week in pictures.

The helpers are busy this week: we have people coming and going - they clean, iron, and cook a few meals. I can only say "thank you" for their help.

Monday, October 17, 2016
W hears from US immigration that there's a background check holding up his process. He'll fly home next week and go back in a month or two for his interview (we hope).

On our side of the ocean, the table is set. Tea and snacks are ready when 10 guests begin to arrive at 6. By 6:40 most everyone has come and the room is full of chit-chat and introductions. Two main connectors are at the table: Dr H and Friska. Brandy gets a chance to introduce herself and her project to them and their networks.

Then the conversation gets serious. I sit on the steps and take notes - someone's injured foot needs my chair. Not to worry: God knows I'm better off hearing from a distance the news being shared. Our city has a big red-light district and Brandy works among such marginalized populations around the world. The facts and blunt observations will shape what she will try to accomplish here.

We enjoy lunch at Cafe Oz with Josie - finally. How I've missed her face. I want Brandy to meet her for when she returns. Josie befriends those coming into the city and connects newcomers to locals.

Brandy does some shopping. It's nice for me to hang out with a girlfriend. She'd be my sister if we had any more things in common.

We home by early evening. We consider ordering food in (a motorcycle will bring almost anything) but it's faster and about the same price if I cook. We chat until late around the dinner table.

It's time to wrap up my grading. The last assignment was due Monday but I haven't gotten to it yet. (Lucky for students who submitted their final project a bit late.) I spend most of the morning and afternoon marking papers, making comments to students, and submitting grades.

In the evening, I'm part of an online cohort with a special guest. Her comments on leadership and the five-fold ministries of the church keep my mind twirling. I do further study on several issues she's raised. It's really late when I turn off my computer. I get two completely different results, taking the same test from two vantage points. Oh well. I'll take it again once I've processed the information from tonight's seminar.
There's no walk today - everyone is tied up or gone. I grade someone's late doctoral work and send that final grade off as well. Ibu H comes along to the study at the Bamboo Shack. A newcomer joins in, and what a blessing to have Brandy along.

It's Brandy's final day. She rests, packs, and nurses an upset stomach. That's always a hazard in a new Asian country - our digestive tracts rumble and complain at the unfamiliar foods. Before she leaves, Friska comes over to say goodbye. The taxi takes them both away - and the house is still again. I throw the bedding in the washing machine then spread it on the drying racks on the roof. When I lock up the house, I sleep like the dead.

Meanwhile, Brandy takes the night shuttle to the Jakarta airport. She hops 3 flights with long layovers to the USA. She won't get home until Saturday morning, our time.

I relish the quiet but can't sleep in. I have language school 9-10 and buy an avocado juice from a little shop on the way home. Really, it's delicious with a few squirts of chocolate syrup down the sides.

In the afternoon, I head into the city to meet the movers for our friend Sumathi. This is the third company giving an estimate - it's just too dear ($0000s) to move things without comparing how it can be done. Hopefully this moving company is more affordable. 

We are in traffic, going home up the hill. Jakarta is coming and Bandung is fleeing to their homes by 3pm. The bedding has been ironed (thank you, Ibu S, even if you did leave early...) and some has been put back on the beds. The floors are washed. And the mousetraps set on the top of the kitchen cabinets.

The light wakes me every morning at 5:30, no matter how late I go to sleep. Some nights I read until midnight or later, but I can't sleep in. So I'm a bit groggy when I unlock the door for Ibu A. She makes a good nasi goreng for lunch - 

Joshua arrives from Singapore and settles into the upstairs apartment about 1:30pm. He enjoys IbuA's cooking - and can fluently tell her so. She beams. I'm tied up all afternoon and evening with a newsletter, while our guest arranges appointments for the coming week.

Something is squeaking on the top of the kitchen cabinet. A mouse's tail twitches over the side. Oh ugh. I can't deal with it. Hopefully it's dead when I get home from church. (Nope - but I still can't touch the trap.)

It's raining. We know rainy season is upon us when we have rain in the morning already. I pull a raincoat over myself and my handbag. (I dislike umbrellas). The walk to church is refreshing - if damp. My hair curls and frizzes under the hood of the raincoat.

The current sermon series at BIC covers "unmentionable" topics that the church seems to avoid: sex, prejudice, money, and the like. Today, Pastor Terry does an excellent job examining the purposes, blessings, abuses of sex, and God's ability to redeem us when we are broken. 

Shaun and I join Terry at the end to field questions from the congregation. It's an interesting mix: a young father, a mature pastor, and me - but our calm responses seem to soothe any jitters and nervousness at asking hard questions about homosexuality, pornography, sex education, marriage relations, and other issues. (Not much embarrasses or surprises me anymore, which helps when standing in front of people.)

After prayer, a good group heads upstairs to study Proverbs 18. Joshua joins us and contributes interesting comments as well. It's fascinating to see how various cultures read and understand the wise sayings of long ago. We talk about how to apply God's wisdom in business, family life, and other relationships.

Then some of us eat lunch together at Bumi. Pieter (from Holland) is in town for a week. We haven't met before except through social media connections from the church in Jakarta. Around the table, he makes new friends and finds a tour guide for the week.

It's mid-afternoon when we get home. I hole up in my study with language lists and watch a few episodes of a favorite show. Night falls. The dog patrols the porch. Another week has begun. There's a study and more language school in the morning ...

Read more:
*O that you would tear open the heavens and come down! Isaiah 64:1
*They will see “the Son of Man coming in clouds” with great power and glory. Mark 13:26
*Jesus says, “All who exalt themselves will be humbled, but all who humble themselves will be exalted.” Luke 18:14
Moravian Prayer: Holy of Holies are you, Lord. Though you are the Lord of all creation, you humbly assumed the lowliest of duties for our sake. We give you thanks for the ways you meet us each day; until we shall meet face-to-face. Amen.

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