Friday, September 8, 2017

It's hot in them there hills!

And just like that, it feels like autumn. 

Well, not really. We found some little pumpkins at the market a few weeks ago.
This morning, I pull out the Dollar Store silk flowers (stuffed into a suitcase on our last trip from the US). I put pops of color in 80c IKEA vases. You have to invent your own seasons in the tropics, where the temperature every day is alike.

Thursday, September 7, 2017
We go for a brutally hot walk down through the valleys this morning. No one has told our area that it should be cooling down. With every step of the steep descent, I know we have to come back up: this is a loop walk. 

It's absolutely gorgeous, even if it is hard work. And the company is great. Each week, we have a different group of expats and locals. Today, there are 18 of us.

There are three final steep uphills before we're done. Our guide has forgotten about the last and hardest one. "She must have been blocking it out!" gasps one of the women who is walking beside me. Well, no wonder!
We stop at Dago Dairy, where the enormous "happy cows" have a view of the valleys to rival the best hotel. Fat chickens peck in the grass and congregate around a shaded area with feeders.

There are wildflowers on the slopes and at the roadside.

Several participants have to call for the drivers on the last long hill: the rest of us sweat it out under hats and sunglasses. Most of us wear long sleeves and trousers to ward off the hot sun (31oC/88oF) and the foliage.

I used to marvel that people wore jackets, long trousers, and winter caps, but now it feels quite cold at night if it drops below 21oC (70oF). "Quite cold" hardly describes this walk, though. It is a fiery climb back to the picnic area.

We're stuck on black pavement, dodging motorcycles and cars for the last mile. One group breaks the cardinal rule of our hikes and heads up the hill, too impatient to wait for those having a hard time in the heat.

Everyone has pitched in for a very stout potluck picnic: casseroles, KFC, fruit, salads, and healthy drinks. Of course, these are followed by cakes and desserts, including crepes made by a French participant.

She also has hauled her hefty (21Kg) son up the hills in a backpack. Yikes. Last week, he lagged behind but today he fairly skips down the hills and climbs without hesitation into the carrier for the uphill parts.

Meanwhile at home, the helper has made "bread," a flat-as-a-pancake lump: apparently the yeast is dead, killed by the heat and humidity. "Want it for your chickens?" I ask her. Sure. We've gotten home in time for a shower before heading to the study on the next hill.

I can hardly focus at the study and have a massive headache by evening; perhaps I have mild heatstroke. Hydrate and rest. That's my prescription. And an early bedtime after finishing some grading.

We're sending the car into the body shop for repairs of several dents and dings. Travel here is a hazard. If you don't bump someone, they'll bump you or scratch your car, trying to get by.

My headache persists through the morning so I stay home.

DrH sends a text that she is rehanging some of her beautiful textiles: they have been placed too high on a 7 meter wall. "Will you come over to help once the scaffolding is up?" (Gladly. Decor is relaxing as the headache begins to fade.)
Before. (Scale: the cabinet is 7' tall and wide.)
I walk up the lane to her house, waving a cheerful hello and "how are you?" to the neighbor lady. DrH tells me the husband had a stroke yesterday and is in hospital. He's in critical condition and a coma. No wonder she stared at me without replying. I feel sad. (He was our first landlord in Bandung.)
In process. They climb up as quickly and securely as monkeys!
The young men clamber up the steel scaffolding and reset the nail holes. The concrete drill is loud! They spackle the old holes immediately, then move to another hanging. We watch from a table in the inner courtyard, where fish swim lazy lengths in the pool behind us. DrH serves a luscious mango and a smoothie of banana and "Dutch eggplant" - it tastes of papaya, guava, and all things sunny.

With the hangings done, the wall is greatly improved. (Proportions matter.) Now to put all the collections back into the cabinet ...

W and I eat lunch before I write a peer review of an article for an African academic journal. The rain sprinkles the garden in the afternoon and then it's sunny again.

The weekend is coming. Several participants for tomorrow's cooking class are out of town or ill. We postpone the class due to a lack of critical mass. We'll do it another Saturday.

Read more:
*The man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God. Genesis 3:8

*God is wise in heart, and mighty in strength—who has resisted him, and succeeded? Job 9:4

*The Lord is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love. The Lord is good to all; he has compassion on all he has made. All your works praise you, Lord; your faithful people extol you. They tell of the glory of your kingdom and speak of your might, so that all people may know of your mighty acts and the glorious splendor of your kingdom.

Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and your dominion endures through all generations. The Lord is trustworthy in all he promises and faithful in all he does. Psalm 145:8-13

Jesus said, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.” Matthew 5:8
Remember, therefore, what you have received and heard; hold it fast, and repent. Revelation 3:3
Moravian Prayer: Lord, give us grace when we see foolishness in people, not to judge others who act differently from ourselves. Our world is large and vast and needs strong leaders. Be with those who are called to be leaders, give them courage and patience and wisdom. Amen.

No comments:

Post a Comment