The house is still quiet at 6:30am. When I check the news, there's almost nothing about the earthquake and tsunami that happened yesterday in northern Indonesia. Western media seems obsessed with politics.
But we have friends on the island that was hit by movement and water. We are waiting for updates as we watch a video of the incoming wave.
We are relieved when our friends make it back to their hotel - only to find that it was destroyed by the tsunami. Now what? They're trying to return to Java as soon as possible. (At least it's warm weather if they have to sleep outside. This would be unbearable in winter conditions.)
Our kids send pictures of the grandkids playing outside - it's sunny in Seattle, too, which makes everyone happy in the fall. The world is full of contrasts. We are delighted to see their faces.
The weather here is hot most mornings. Sometimes the cooler winds from the mountains bring afternoon storms - but we're not in rainy season yet. The grass is dry and we need to water the plants. Except that we're still on rations and there's often only an hour of water per day. If we're away from home, we miss the water window and the garden soil cracks under the blazing sun.
The week's been full of meetings - the best kinds, where we meet with people and share life on life. It's felt like a wave of opportunity and obligation. For someone like me, who has trouble keeping various agendas afloat and faces straight, it's a challenge for sure. I like people. (That cheers me up when I wish I could remember their names ... )
It's movie night! The mid-morning meeting disrupts the usual focused prep. W volunteers to fry sausages, saving me an hour of work. Thanks, hon!
More people come than were on the list - at least 80. Good thing they don't mind cramming together, whether in the kitchen or around the tables!
Dr H says, "There are still more to come ... " when I ask how many are behind her. I whisper to pray for "loaves and fishes," referencing when Jesus multiplied food for a crowd. (Great story - read it here.) Somehow, there is enough food for everyone here, too. God be thanked.
Birthdays for September include our dear IbuA, who joins Ibu S in serving and cleanup on movie nights.
The Tanzanians recognize it right away: "Wow, that's old! but we still make a similar style."
In my heart, I wish Kirsten had been here to meet her international brothers and sisters. She's already in Korea with friends, having left us on Sunday after her short and wonderful visit.
We get to walk up from home into the hills above us. It's hot today, in the 90s (30+C). Across the hill, someone is dumped hundreds of truckloads of fill on a hillside. Oh dear - what will happen when rainy season arrives? Landslide below?
There are poor neighborhoods
and upscale, funky houses with recycled boards and stone/wire mesh siding (below)
Typical for more expensive neighborhoods, there's a satpam (security guard) and gate. No, that's not a catapult in the photo below. It's a gate with a heavy weight on one end and a rope on the other to keep it from flying open. When cars want to enter, the satpam releases the rope from a hook and lets the weights swing the gate upward, far enough for the vehicle to come through. Then he pulls on the rope, the gate comes back down, and he hooks the rope to the post beside his little security hut again.
The lane below is deemed "too dangerous" night or day for a person to walk through alone, Christine tells us. (An Indonesian neighbor stopped her with strong cautions when she wanted to walk to a friend's house a while ago.) On the right is a forest, on the left a few houses. The long narrow stretch is hides travelers from sight so there are frequent robberies and assaults.
We're safe together - the sun shines on the rock walls. Beautiful and refreshingly cool.
My tracker says it's been about 5 miles between hiking, lunch, and walking home to our own gate.
W puts the one big kitchen cabinet on casters. My back aches when I bend for hours of cooking or baking, especially on movie night. The counters are built at 28" from the ground (people here are shorter). With the wheels, we're at standard kitchen height (33-34") at least on one preparation surface. The 2 floor tiles and piece of teak we set on the peeling formica countertop have lasted three years so far. The tiles are great for cooling baked goods quickly; the teak acts as a cutting board in the middle.
When I upload photos from my phone, the one below also pops up - of our little Seattle apartment. Makes me homesick for family. (We had lots of company that night so we opted for a buffet and hauled the chairs to the LR = shades of things to come...)
I'm preaching tomorrow, so need a final read-through. Meanwhile, W runs errands in town with our new driver, Pak Gum. I'm staying in: who knows what kind of traffic they'll run into on the way back.
The old driver, who quit last Tuesday, said, "That's it for me" after we got home from the airport with Kirsten. He parked the car and then drove away on his motorcycle. That was that. It's very typical to have no warning when someone decides to leave. W gave him a month's severance pay anyway.
This week, it's a joy to have a cheerful and willing hand. G sweeps the drive of endlessly-falling leaves (imagine autumn all year long). He waters the garden when there's water and walks the dogs. He's smiling whenever we see him, just like our friends said he would - they appreciated his attitude of helpfulness and recommended him highly when they repatriated to Canada.
Shouts from a football game echo against the hills. The cheerleaders are drumming, the fans are screaming - must be at the university field across the valley.
*Blessed be God, because he has not rejected my prayer or removed his steadfast love from me. Psalm 66:20
*A wise son heeds his father’s instruction, but a mocker does not respond to rebukes.
*From the fruit of their lips people enjoy good things, but the unfaithful have an appetite for violence. Those who guard their lips preserve their lives, but those who speak rashly will come to ruin. Proverbs 13:1-3 NIV
*Your Father knows what you need before you ask him. Matthew 6:8
Moravian Prayer: All-knowing Lord—who has numbered the stars in the sky—you know our hearts and thoughts even before we know them ourselves. Your gracious love fills all our needs. What comfort and peace it gives our souls. With praise and thanksgiving. Amen.