Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Happy American Thanksgiving

An old bear from when our kids were small.
I stabbed all the fall florals into the waiting
Christmas tree after our Thanksgiving dinner;
I'll decorate the tree next week.
I'm thankful for many things today, especially family, friends, and meaningful work.

I'm making notes for the presenter at tonight's Thanksgiving feast (held at a friend's restaurant, the Bamboo Shack). Apparently, the USA is the biggest party nation and makes the most of celebrations. But other countries also celebrate Thanksgiving on different dates. We already celebrated our October harvest tradition, Canadian Thanksgiving - and last week we gathered the IES Bandung team and a few friends around the table for an early American Thanksgiving.

It's complicated, this crossing cultures and holding two passports. I say, celebrate everything. And cook a lot.

We're helping with the Thanksgiving meal by bringing 8 loaves of fresh bread. To make 2 small loaves, baked in little round !well-buttered! Pyrex dishes:
4 c flour
2 c water
2 tsp yeast
2 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar (optional)
Stir and let it rise. Then bake @425o for a half hour. It's done when it sounds hollow.
Cooling on the breadboard
Ibu A also makes 6 pumpkin pies for the dinner from 4 little sugar pumpkins a friend found in Lembang, the garden city in the hills above town. Oh the house smells good.
A dark tablescape at home
Monday and Tuesday
We have a few meetings in a row on Monday. Several people are away, a fact of life in Bandung where many people travel for business. And just like in Canada, when the weather changes, people get sick. Here it's a shift from Season 1 to Season 2: from dry and hot to wind and rain.

On Tuesday, I have to go to town. Locals say there is a "party street" where all kinds of decor is available. With several holiday events ahead, I find myself walking up and down a long stretch of they-weren'-kidding! toys, party supplies, and food stalls. It's a bit overwhelming for a first-timer.
The shop owner makes an employee pose
It's been months since I've had a girls' day out. Three of us gals go to town, starting with a visit to a little guy in the hospital. He has dengue fever but is recovering with the help of all the toys his visitors are showering on him.

We're checking out a new mall and Sandy exclaims that it feels familiar. The two of us are Canadian and it seems more like a Canadian than an American mall - spare and clean. Most local purchases are made in owner-driven shops but we have a few other malls in this city of millions.
I find these furry red 6" globes in the yard
One of the gals has lots of allergies, so she has a hard time finding something to eat. We wander around several floors and finally find a place in the food court. I find a mango juice vendor and then grab a bowl of spicy ramen nearby. (Next time, I'm eager to taste the dim sum at the Chinese restaurant! Oooh, touring past great restaurants when you're hungry is such a bad idea.)

After the mall, we stop briefly at an appliance discounter. Our guest would like to put a small microwave upstairs for her use and future guests, but the price is out of her reach. We walk back to the car for the short drive to the touristy art street. Doesn't every city have at least one of these?

We're not looking for art though. Tucked between the art stores, there's a porcelain factory outlet with dishes by Sango, Lenox, and others. Our guest snags a Spanish bowl ("thanks to God" or something similar). I find 3 fancy plates for serving holiday cookies or cakes: $6 for all 3. I resist the other tempting offers ...

In the evening, our guest is hard at work, hosting an informational event. I stay outside on the porch, watching the gate for over an hour after starting time. Traffic can be awful and four attendees are snarled in it. The group seems to have a good time and our guest is pleased at their engagement with her material.

Holiday or not, today is catch-up day. I sort files, send notices, address a few cards, blog, and take time to say thanks to God for the abundance of his love and goodness.

Read more:
*O save your people, and bless your heritage; be their shepherd, and carry them forever. Psalm 28:9
*Jesus says, “I have other sheep that do not belong to this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd.” John 10:16
*I always thank my God for you because of his grace given you in Christ Jesus. For in him you have been enriched in every way—with all kinds of speech and with all knowledge—God thus confirming our testimony about Christ among you. Therefore you do not lack any spiritual gift as you eagerly wait for our Lord Jesus Christ to be revealed. He will also keep you firm to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is faithful, who has called you into fellowship with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. 1 Corinthians 1: 4-9 NIV
*Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Colossians 3:15 NIV
Moravian Prayer: Good Shepherd, so often as a church we look to those outside our own community as “other.” May we let go of our pride and work together with all people so we will be one flock under your leadership. Amen.

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