Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Chop chop

Indonesian Independence Day (Aug. 17) is Thursday, August 17. All kinds of traditional games will accompany picnics, parties, and the parades celebrating 72 years of Indonesian independence. It's a big deal - we have the white and red flag flying at our gate, as do our neighbors.
A beautiful bride and her groom pass us in a restaurant hallway
Our neighbor Dr. Wuri is headed for Jakarta this week. Along with the many honors she has earned, she's been chosen as one of 72 "outstanding citizens" for Indonesian Day. She'll attend receptions and meet with the Indonesian President. Throughout the coming year, she and the others honorees will be Pres. Jokowi's ambassadors of science, art, literature, etc. throughout the country. We're so proud of her.

The first chop comes before Sunday morning church. I take the scissors to my hair. I can feel the shape clearly in my mind, so this cut is actually pretty good. It won't need reshaping.

Tuesday, August 15, 2007
It's our first team meeting in a month. What a thrill to sit around the table and talk about what has been happening, where we're going in the next months, and pray over our plans. Dr. Hanna joins us for the first time: she's a treasure with a loving heart and willing hands. She's also the Rotary Club President this year, a distinguished honor.

In the afternoon, Pak Entang takes me to a wholesale food place on the east side of the city. I snag a new oven to replace a 40-year-old model our kitchen that doesn't heat past 375o and leaks hot air from a non-shutting door. A women's group (NWMN) has sent funds for the new oven. Thanks to them and thanks be to God!

I add some food into the cart for next week's movie night. The nice lady at the register rings the food up, asks for my card, and then starts talking in Indonesian. I think she's saying that the oven can be paid for by my credit card, but I need a different (local bank card) to pay for the food that is already in shopping bags. What to do?

"Could you make an exception for me, this once? I have no cash or other card with me."

"No, it wouldn't work, sorry." It takes an hour to sort out the details. The frozen food is thawing but oh well ... First, we need a bar code for the oven. Then the manager calls his manager who talks to someone else. Will it be possible to put food on my credit card, just this once?

"No. We cannot manually enter the number to put the rice and other food on that card."

Pardon? They just swiped my card for the oven.
Ready for food prep! Gas canisters sit behind.
But when the ibu (woman) runs my card for the oven purchase, she and another checker whisper together. They have me sign the oven purchase. Then they move the food items from our first shopping bags into a new shopping cart.

One by one, they ring up the food items again. They manually enter my Visa number, using the first receipt. Then they walk to the printer where the second receipt cheerfully ticks out of the slot, and ask me to sign it. Somehow it's been done. Paid. The impossible has happened.

Everyone cheerfully wishes me a good day and a happy holiday as I push the food-filled cart to the exit. The man from the appliance department helps us take out the oven and lifts it into the back of the car. And Pak Entang and I drive towards home = another adventure in paradise.
In the street, a typical garbage dump waiting for pickup
Meanwhile, back at the house, W has met with the landlord. Pak H gives us permission to prune trees and replant if we want to. (Good! I've been eyeing a spindly guava tree and a diseased mango tree is pushing against the garage.) We put away the purchases and get to work again.

First thing, we take the dog for a walk.
Barely wide enough for one car: no passing
Then I take a Sharpee marker from my office and draw rings around branches of the guava tree when I want them cut. About 7am, W brings down his Japanese pruning saw and hands it off: the gardener climbs up up up into the tallest branches and begins to chop away at one side of the tree.

He throws the branches down,  crawling lower as he cuts one after another. The last big chunk hits the ground with a solid thud. It looks like we'll have to wait until next week to cut the other side. Things just take a while when they're done by hand.
See that blue shirt up in the tree? Glad it's not me.
We reserve three 6'-8' branches that we'll prop somewhere and hang orchids from. The rest are cut into short pieces, piled for drying, and will be used for a cooking fire in a month or two. Guava wood produces a sweetish smoke.

I spray one of the cut guava trunks with ant killer ... and out pour hundreds of ants. Some run with the nest's white egg casings, but they twitch and drop in a very satisfying way just like the others. There are thousands of ants in the guava tree. Maybe even tens of thousands. I won't miss the few hundred that are no longer in the stump.

Ah, since I cut my hair on Sunday, I might as well finish the job. I have an hour before I have to leave for a study group. I color my hair, shower, and am out the door on time.

It takes 45 minutes to get to the study, normally a 20-minute ride. Traffic is backed up at the university, so we creep along. But the women who meet are wonderful: this week, we challenge each other to a 45-minute "listening session," where we will sit in God's presence without speaking, listening only to what he tells us. we will write what we hear and share it with each other.

My next meeting is postponed so I run a few errands. I pop into an art shop. Um, they want $33 for a liter of gesso (white underpainting for an art canvas)? Nope. A quick stop in a student art shop nearby nets a half-liter of gesso for $3.70. That's closer to my price range, especially when sharing supplies with students.
The blue line marks a typical drive = up and around, following the terrain
And just like that, it's past lunch time. Pak E drives up the hills and around the bends, getting us home by 1pm. Today there's fried rice with chicken shreds in it. I cut and toss a quick salad.

After we eat, W moves the old oven in the back area. (This will ease meal prep, especially when we have big events.) And then he's off to lead an evening study in town.

Read more:
*God says, “In distress you called, and I rescued you.” Psalm 81:7 ESV

*Let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream. Amos 5:24 ESV

*But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. Matthew 6:6 NIV

*A leper came to Jesus begging him, and kneeling he said to him, “If you choose, you can make me clean.” Moved with pity, Jesus stretched out his hand and touched him, and said to him, “I do choose. Be made clean!” Immediately the leprosy left him, and he was made clean. Mark 1:40-42 ESV

*Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out! "Who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has been his counselor?"

"Who has ever given to God, that God should repay them?" For from him and through him and for him are all things. To him be the glory forever! Amen. Romans 11:33-36 NIV
*Paul wrote: He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness. 2 Corinthians 9:10 ESV
Moravian Prayer: Source of salvation, give us eyes that look for justice, ears that listen for peace, and voices of righteousness proclaiming Christ’s love. God, in your mercy you hear us. Calm our anxious hearts. From your hand we receive peace. Amen.

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