Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Rice paddies and fish stairwells

The house is quiet. Time to do some writing.

In early March, our daughter Kirsten flies to Malaysia for a visa run. She gets to spend some time with Tabi, our friend.

Thursday, March 5, 2020
I get to an outlet center for a few gifts to take to the States. What an interesting sculpture in the courtyard, a historical bike and lady.
 When we get home to our room, I look above our bed at the picture of my folks and another of my uncles and aunties. It makes me feel at home in a country where almost no one has hair and skin like mine.
 I've put the scripture plaques together on the wall in our room. Some are from my grandma. Some from my parents. And I got one from Sunday School in 1965. Nice to see them all together.

W and I take the train to Jakarta to meet the area director of a non-profit. We have a nice supper with some friends. We stay at a hotel overnight, not the swanky one in the mall, but a half-price one (still nice) nearer the train station. And then it's home in the morning.

The stairs have been papered in the station. Gorgeous all the way up.

 The hotel flowers are bouquets tied inside palm fronds.
 And the artwork behind the reception desk takes me by surprise.
 On the way there and back, we see a lot of rice paddies and towns.

 People wait on their motorcycles for the train to pass. Yes, they duck under the barrier to be the first across.
I find a new favorite ginger drink on the train - it has peanuts in it (right).
There are bamboo trellises for grapes along the tracks.
 And long long fields between mountains shelter the rice paddies. I find it a stunning landscape. Sometimes I can hardly believe I'm here.

 There are kids coming and going on the dirt roads, with school backpacks on.

The train trestles are amazing as they span the valleys. We glide over.
 Some platforms are right next to the train. People know not to get too close as trains speed by.
At some stations, when you step out, they have to wrestle the steps to the platform into place.
In Bandung, we walk off our train, go along the platform, step through the train on the next platform over, and then take our luggage out the other side and down to ground level and across several tracks before we get to the station.

 Sunday, March 8
Backstage of the hall, the termites are doing a number on the beams above. There's always frass falling on the floor.
We have guests over in the afternoon. I take out my mom's Canada teacups so we can enjoy tea after the excellent chicken, barbecued by Ish.
 The flowers from the hall look wonderful in the new vase. The repurposed aquarium bowl looks less fishy with streaks of acrylic paint dripped inside, doesn't it? Lots of people remark on it.
 I offer the helper a day's wages to come do dishes but she says, "Don't worry. I'll do them tomorrow." And she does. 
 I love to sit outside and study. Next weekend I'm speaking without W, which is always more work.

Read more:
*You shall not hate in your heart anyone of your kin; you shall reprove your neighbor, or you will incur guilt yourself. Leviticus 19:17
*All his works are truth, and his ways are justice; and he is able to bring low those who walk in pride. Daniel 4:37
*Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be children of your Father in heaven. Matthew 5:44-45
*Jesus said, “Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” Matthew 11:29
*For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life. John 3:16
Moravian Prayer: God of justice, your love and peace overcomes hatred and violence. As your children made in your image, soften our hearts so that we may be kind and gentle with each other. 
Gracious God, you remind us that we are loved, and we are forever grateful. You also remind us that your love is not just for one, but for all. Send us to share your love today. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.

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