Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Sweet start

The sky is crashing above and the lights are flashing. There's a big storm rolling in from the mountains every afternoon. Usually, it hits before sundown but today at 6:30pm, the lightning and thunder are in full glory.

Tuesday, December 2, 2018
W's still a bit weak and under the weather after the stomach flu. Our helper carries the Christmas supplies up to storage. The house is back to normal - all the decor is put away, the vases washed, the furniture returned to its place. I enjoy the rhythm and changes that celebrations bring to the house.

One of the packing chores is getting the portable bathtub washed and put away. I shower before sitting in the bath 2 days in a row. W brought an RV filter back from his last trip. To keep bugs out, I cover the tub every evening. But on the third morning, the filtered water has turned green and there's a layer of scum on top of the water. EEeww. I drain the water and wipe down the tub before folding it away.

It feels funny to write "2018" on the date. It's that transition between what was and what will be that catches me off guard each year.

IESBandung has our first team meeting of the year, starting in the morning. The beautifully cooked lunch is thanks to Claudia, before we review the last year. We agree to a few goals and will work on specifics in the weeks to come. J and C's kids show us their rooms and some new artwork: their painting class has unleashed their creativity.

We start with a bowl of plain oatmeal and a kefir smoothie. A friend gave me a jar of kefir grains last year. More recently, she brought me a kembucha mother, which is thriving in its fourth sweet tea infusion. I pour some of the sweet and sour bubbled tea into the glasses. It settles the stomach.

For lunch, we're at Dr Wuri's house. She's invited us to celebrate her granddaughter, who is 20 days old. There's a neighborhood feast. Most of the neighborhood women have left but it's fun to meet her daughters and sisters and their families. The baby is adorable! She's a good eater and sleeper, too. (Seeing this little darling and her young mama - as we await our fourth cucu to arrive at any time - makes me homesick.)

Afterward, it's time for the monthly book group. We've read The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down. The research on the resistance to assimilation into American culture by the Hmong is excellent. The story compelling. This will become one of my textbooks for teaching intercultural studies, especially anthropology and compassion care. After the study, several women give me their copies - which we'll distribute to libraries across SE Asia.

We drink tea and eat sweets during an afternoon of discussion. This is an unusual group of women: each of us has studied or lived cross-culturally. Few of us live in our "home" culture now.

We will celebrate 3 birthdays this month. Someone's ordered desserts and I brought some cookies from our New Year's stock.

W meets Andrew, as usual on Wednesday night. At home, I curl up on a rocker at home to read, catch up on emails, and write. The business leadership course I'm finishing online has taken a good chunk of the available day. The course is stimulating and exhausting (from an Australian university.) A pause before going to bed feels like a good thing.

Read more:*Return, O my soul, to your rest, for the Lord has dealt bountifully with you. Psalm 116:7
*The Lord has sent me to provide for those who mourn in Zion—to give them a garland instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, the mantle of praise instead of a faint spirit. Isaiah 61:3
*Jesus said, “Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28
*My God will fully satisfy every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:19
Moravian Prayer: Sacred Friend, your presence is always with us. When we are lonely, you offer companionship. When our bodies and souls are weary, you offer refreshment. May we follow your example as we provide presence for one another. 
Healer, Redeemer, Binder of wounds, through your love all things are made new. We give thanks that in you we are made whole. In the name of the one who calls us beloved. Amen.

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