Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Catch up 1

It's dry season: trees are bursting into bloom, and the temperatures drop to 68o (20oC) at night. Brrrr. I'll catch up in 2 posts or this will be too long.

5 little mice lay in the glue trap atop the kitchen cabinet last night. W smelled them (so they must have been trapped the previous night) and got back into street clothes to take them outside to the garbage. We'd caught 7 before a trip in July. While we were away, the helper said there were more: she threw out chewed-up bags of ketchup (sweet soy sauce here), beans, and spices. We've left a kitchen light burning at night since we were back and haven't seen any in a while ... until this.

Hopefully the rodents who lived in our ceiling are eradicated. It's impossible to keep out "shared" animals when the side or back wall of one house is the wall of their neighbor's house. Cats, rats, and more come over as they please. We provide a hostile environment to discourage them from staying.

On a more cheerful note, our dear neighbor (right in the photo) was chosen as an Indonesian Good Will Ambassador for the next year. She'll travel the country to present "clean science," along with 72 other specialists. We are always amazed by her - and proud of the recognition she is getting for her good work.

Indonesian Independence (Freedom) Day, August 17
Last week, the country celebrated Freedom Day (from Dutch occupation). Everyone puts white and red flags up; there are neighborhood parties and national memorials.
Neighbors sitting in the gazebo, finger food
and some sit in chairs
The menu, cooked by our neighbors
Neighborly chit-chat

And 2 are not like the others... 

How it's done
We have a flag on our gate for the month, too.

I'm invited as a native English speaker to the English Studio Center down the hill. The students ask questions about life in North America and practice their English. We eat a late lunch of noodles and fruit, prepared by the owner. Yuuuum.
We met the two leaders of the Center at our movie nights. That seems to be the main connection point for us, as well as for the young people who stream in and out each month. They meet a lot of people here.

Our motto: "The first time, you're a guest; the second time, a friend; the third time, you're family." Make yourself at home. And they do. And they bring friends and family along.

We host another movie night. First, we disassemble and reconfigure the main room ... it will spill over with young professionals and students later in the day.

Young people seem to enjoy eating, hanging out, and watching movies with us. We love their company! So many of them are here for the last time: they've graduated and are moving to their new cities and jobs. With many hugs and promises for prayers, we send them off.
A few of our 60+ movie friends this month: from Indonesia, Iran, Europe, Palestine, N America, Australia, and beyond
The custom here is to leave dishes where they are finished (or half-finished). Europeans and Canadians/ Americans seek out the trash cans for used paper plates, but most locals will pile their dishes on the floor or tables or sofas. It's also taking a while to teach the helper to collect them so things don't spill while we stretch out to watch the movie.
These two cook rice and a few Indonesian dishes, and clean up - a godsend in a home with no dishwasher!
Some neighbors own successful restaurants downtown, and they have collaborated on a new place nearby. They must be very well-connected: dozens of 4X6' flower boards line the parking area for their soft launch. As usual, there's not enough parking and cars block the streets all around.

There's a huge pumpkin in the garden. Ibu A makes a pumpkin pie.
pumpkin pie!
And when I ask her if she knows how to make apple pie, she comes up with this food art.

WOW! I had no idea - and she's been here 3 years. I shuffled hours for the helpers this week, which was stressful. We don't want to offend anyone, so it's a long process of finding out how to adjust the hiring properly. Indonesia has many religious and national holidays; the locals are often sick, too (stomach bugs and flus sweep through neighborhoods). With numerous guests and events at the house, we need more than occasional part timers.

The more vigorous cleaner agrees to come 5 days a week and the cook will come 2 days, plus helping out for special events. This house, with its open screens and hand-built doors and windows, has to be swept and mopped a few times a week. (I do most of the cooking, but I'd be washing dishes and cleaning all day without their cheerful support.)

It's a nominal boost. Sure enough, it's not what it seems to be. The one gal waves a cheerful goodbye on Wednesday, with "See you Tuesday! But I can't be here next Wednesday either." She has a family wedding, a national holiday (the Feast of Ishmael) and a volunteer stint in the neighborhood coming up. The other will be here today (Thursday) and also not back until Tuesday, too.

Part 2 coming later today: we're off to the first meeting of the day. Be well - have a good one!

No comments:

Post a Comment