Sunday, February 5, 2017

Sweeter every time we return

When we walk in the front door of our Bandung home, my whole body relaxes. The dog has jumped all over us in glee. He's a big beast - he can hardly let us get in the gate because he's so happy to see us. I toss the ball a few times, give him a treat and some extended pats, and unlock the door to the house. What a gift to have a clean orderly home - (which is often full of people).

It is utterly quiet when we get home. The orange fish I scooped out of the neighbor's pond are still circling their bowl. We unpack until the suitcases are empty, putting everything away so we don't have to look at it in the morning. My stomach is disagreeing mildly with the "Korean noodle" dish eaten on the airplane. I'm not used to digestive upsets: I seem to have a cast-iron stomach ... very useful here.

Manila contrasts of rich and poor, like in every global city
Friday-Saturday, February 3-4, 2017
Our trip from the Philippines is relatively painless. We start off about 10 pm with a 4 or 5-hr van ride from the mountains of Baguio (elevation about a mile) to the Manilla airport. The first hour or two is one U-turn after another. The driver mitigates with stops and starts as we descend through gravel and gouges in the mountain road. W and I snooze through most of that, feeling the bumps through the seats. The driver drops us off in the wee hours and heads back uphill. The van will make a similar trip in a few hours with another lecturer and his wife.

In the airport, people sprawl on the floors, slump against the edges of the walls or hunch over their luggage. When the final boarding calls come, dozens of people run for their gates.

A lot of shops stay open though it's the middle of the night, especially for meals. In my walk around the upper floor, I spot a spa. What's that? An offer for 1 hour of leg massage (usually painful) and a foot bath? Hmmm. Sanitation. Pain. Perhaps relief from too much sitting, hiking, and standing?

Ok - for $8 I'm in. The water is cool so the gal hurries off to heat a kettle. She pours boiling water into the soapy soup as I lift my feet to one side. Ouch. Bit hot - but by the time my 15 minutes is up, it's back to warm-ish. And my travel trousers are resistant to being pulled up the knees (tight cuff) but we do our best. The masseuse provides relief from a week of classroom and hills. Relaxing muscles and unclogging veins is strategic before 2 flights.

Bandung carvings in wood
We have 5 hours in KL but relax with lunch and a few books. (How else would university profs relax?) Then we board the final flight. We feel like we're going home, too. How we love this city!

As we descend, we can sense the spiritual forces that surround the area. The lights below twinkle as we pray. So many people live around us - and each one of us is loved by God and under his watchful eye.

Read more:
*I will rejoice in the Lord; I will exult in the God of my salvation. Habakkuk 3:18 ESV
 *Happy are those whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the Lord their God. Psalm 146:5 ESV
 *The eunuch went on his way rejoicing. Acts 8:39 ESV
*Paul wrote: I know the one in whom I have put my trust, and I am sure that he is able to guard until that day what I have entrusted to him. 2 Timothy 1:12 ESV
Moravian Prayer: Holy Lord and God, thank you that you alone are trustworthy, and will guard us until that day. Let us be ever mindful of the magnitude of your love for us. Our joy is in you.
We rejoice in you dear Father. You loved us so much that you did not withhold your only Son, but gave him for our justification. Help us to love you with our whole hearts. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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