Thursday, June 23, 2022

Celebrations and goodbyes

Saturday, June 18, 2022

Sidra is going home to Pakistan. She and her family drop by the porch for a goodbye. Her husband is on a military visa, along with officers from around the world. She and the children will head back tomorrow. This is the nature of overseas friendships: people come into your life, enrich it, and go home again. The networks span the world.

Sidra has been a lovely addition to our walking group, as were her kids. They'll be missed. Her husband leaves us a pewter medallion:.

"Don't forget me," Sidra says. I won't. We put the token on the memory shelves in the nook.

The kids love the dogs and had fun walking them last week.
When they leave, Gypsy is not impressed by the thunder rumbling in the distance. He finds a corner and refuses to look at us.
Kristi heads out with some international students to teach English to neighborhood youngsters. The kids learn animal names and make paper bag puppets.
Sunday, Fathers Day
Today, W's live-streaming the BIC Gathering for the first time. Ron and Faith are back for a few weeks to say goodbye and wrap up their friendships. They lived here 9 years but when the pandemic started, they were given 48 hours to leave the country. Faith has been sick most of the time back, so Ron's said their goodbyes on her behalf. We pray over them as a couple and wish them godspeed and safe travels home. They'll be missed.

This morning, Ron speaks one more time to BIC about God as Father. It's a wonderful expression of God's goodness toward the children of humanity. And his invitation is warm and inviting. Hear it here. He reminds me what a good father I had, too, though my dad's in heaven celebrating in a different way.
While the BIC kids hang out with Kristi, the teens join Sam in the BIC office. But first, every kid gives his/her dad a fun present: a multi-tool. I think I might need one of those as well!
It's my youngest brother's birthday in Germany. We call briefly and agree to disagree on politics. Our Dad drummed into us that family is family. Nothing trumps the love and care we have for each other. "Happy Birthday, Will!"

We celebrate Tota and Tetty's anniversary over lunch at Ethnic - good food but delightful company. 

When we get home, W uploads the morning livestream online to a second venue. We stroll back to the office to pick up my computer and the bag we left there. The court is full of neighborhood kids playing soccer. How great to see a training center fully utilized by the community.

To be able to walk anytime to work is an amazing blessing. Parking spots have been created along both sides of the roads. The informal parking attendants wave cars through one-way: it's too narrow to squeeze two cars between the roughly-parked vehicles. Traffic has picked up; Jakarta is back to Bandung on the weekends and most people no longer work from home during the week. We didn't miss the traffic surges during the pandemic. 

Language school from home saves us two hours of commuting and prep. So Mondays at home are a blessing. This is Kristi's last week of IEP language learning for now. I'll take a break to catch up on the words that are slipping - and then resume. We've learned enough to understand the banner along the road ...
It curses those who throw garbage at this spot. The base of the tree became a dumping ground for neighbors until that was erected.

Beside the house, the white aliums are blooming again. They have no fragrance but their glow at night is lovely.
We walk out to a cool and sunny day. Bandung is about 6o south of the equator so this week, we have the shortest days of the year. Winter in Australia brings cooler temperatures (high 60s nights, low 80s days), with sun from 6-6 each day.
We buy chicken breasts and freeze them in the fridge freezer - there's not much else in there yet. So glad to have it up and running.
PakG finds for us us street snacks sold by vendors who walk between cars. The flat treat is a casava-rice blend that is crispy, light, and addictive. He bargains to $1.50 for all 4 in the bag.
Another favorite mentioned by language teachers is this favor of ice cream, which has boiled mung beans. It's actually pretty good for 35c. We buy some extras to share.
W and I make a trip downtown for supplies. This entry fascinates me: there are 8 steps up to the 2-storey elevator into the hardware store. On the other side of the stairway, you step down 8 steps to the Informa store.

So, to get to the long elevator for the ACE Hardware, you must take the stairs. To get to the Informa store on the same level as the road, you take 2 sets of stairs, one up then one down. There's a strip of a tiled landing between the staircases. Did they have flooding and need to build a dike? Did the architect change his mind partway? Very strange to us.
W and I have a late lunch at a Vietnamese restaurant. Labor is cheap here: someone might earn $4-8/day at a job serving customers. So there are many employees. We count 7 - and still have to call someone over to take our order or bring the bill. They're chatting, not looking at the customers. They make a cursory pass every 5-10 minutes. That's common, not unusual. Customer service is not a priority.
We walk! My first walk in weeks. We're all clean when we start.
The trail is muddy. Slippery. Refreshing.
At lunch after, Sidra's husband (still on work break), zooms us in to her. We miss her already and it's good to see her smile.

In the late afternoon, W and I walk up to #NaraPark to meet Kaleb, who's transitioning to another island and other work. 
He's written a poem about his time in Bandung. How grateful we are for such young people!
The setting is beautiful. Dinner is delicious. And the company is warm. The lights are on all along the street, including at the gelato restaurant. We're not tempted. We're full!
This week, someone rehomes their new Tulip table for $35. We put it in place and confirm that it's great as a breakfast table on the porch. "Wow, when we move, it will be a great garage sale," W says. True. But in the meantime, how useful.
After our morning walk, I head for the porch at work. It's time to make videos for the next months. After that, I take calls and study language. It's our last day and our assignment is to write about what we did yesterday - in Indonesian. Oh boy.
Earlier this week, PakG cleaned the moss at the back of the office paludarium. The moss filters the water the pump sends through the waterfall. Works great except that the back wall turns dirt-brown within a few weeks. One beta swims lazily between the rocks and plants.
I'm ready for a lazy day myself. (Wishing and dreaming)Cele

Read more:
*For dominion belongs to the Lord, and he rules over the nations. Psalm 22:28

*Some give freely, yet grow all the richer; others withhold what is due, and only suffer want. Proverbs 11:24

*Paul said, “In all this I have given you an example that by such work we must support the weak, remembering the words of the Lord Jesus, for he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’” Acts 20:35

Moravian Prayer: Lord, you gave your all for humanity; teach us to give sacrificially, so that the message of hope and reconciliation can reach all peoples. Amen.

Saturday, June 18, 2022

Dots and dabs: 9.5 weeks later, the fridge is working again

Tuesday, June 14, 2022

IbuS finds some daylilies in the garden. Every day a new flower opens.

The Vs bring their kids to team meeting on the porch. Mini-poodle Bailey's in his glories, having found a boy to pet and brush him. He likes to sit on the bench where we slip shoes on and off. An old rug lets him jump up without tearing the leather as he looks out the gate to see who's coming.
The aquarium on my desk is thriving.
Someone sells us a clean rug for $7.
It replaces the little IKEA shag squares that have been there for years. We don't discard the squares; they move to another area. People love digging their toes into the green pile.
1' leaves keep opening in the planter beside the door. I love their stripes.
A few swipes of a ruler over paint ...
It starts to take shape.
A few dots of paint and anything can happen. I learn something new from each painting.
Colors have to be lighter than the eye sees: otherwise colors and textures disappear in indoor lighting.
I try a balance exercise W finds online. It settles my vertigo somewhat, but I'm going to the neurologist for his peace of mind. Our morning walks make me slightly tippy. Both W and I had angry stomaches yesterday and today so we're not walking as quickly as usual. I skip breakfast in case the doc asks for blood tests.

We spend midday between the hospital and a great hole-in-the-wall restaurant. You wouldn't know Toko You was there unless you know where to look: the short, narrow driveway gives no indication of the historic wooden structure inside.
The rawon (noodles and candlenut beef broth) is as delicious as the first time we were here. I can only eat part of it so take the rest home for when my stomach is feeling better.
By the time we get home, it's almost 3:30. The bill for top doc's visit at Bandung's best hospital, medicine (against vertigo symptoms), and an ultrasound to check a bump behind my ear? Under $60. (If they took insurance, it would have been cheaper.)

John comes by to check on the progress of his dissertation, as he does monthly. He's making progress and has lots of work coming up. W calls me when it's time to leave for his birthday supper.

DrH is treating him and Dr Ingrid to a meal at Queen, the premier Chinese restaurant in Bandung. "For special birthdays only," she says. It's expensive and delicious, also a traditional place to eat. The food is uniformly good - and the company is wonderful.
The doc advises against walking the narrow rocky paths planned for today as I'm still too tippy. So W walks around the block with me before leaving with the others for the mountains and sawah (rice fields). We discover this chicks sheltering under the hen's feathers (Psalm 91:4). Reminds me of our safety when God protects us. Plus it's cute.
A quiet day of writing, meetings, and language school. W's hard at work. He pulls some peeling paint off an ugly wall at the end of the terrance and puts up the powder-coated screen found in the back of a wood shop years ago. It's been in the house but I bought it for outside. The day has come

W hangs it. I scrounge the garden for a palm recently potted, a wooden statue getting lost in the greenery, and a packing crate that arrived yesterday. Most people won't notice the subtle focal point at the side of the house. Which is what makes it a pleasure of discovery for those who do.
Maybe we should throw a party. We have evening plans but the fridge guy comes 9 1/2 weeks after our LG refrigerator stopped working. Jorge and Caron loaned us a fridge last week ... it was hard to have a little fan running across ice in jerry cans for minimal cooling since April 19.

Apparently the missing repair part has been on backorder from China. It would be easier to endure if the shop explained the delay rather than cancelling appointment after appointment. Thanks to our friend with connections who makes this repair happen! 

We pay $80 for the repair: the fix is not a warranty item. I'm just happy to have a fridge in the kitchen rather than a back bedroom. We'll sent the clean well-working fridge back to J's house next week. We're praying over that place, where tiles inexplicably popped out of the floor and other strange things have happened. It's planned as a women's shelter.
I overcook rice (8 cups of chicken broth and water with 1 c rice) for a few hours to make bubur ayam. Sometimes we eat this rice pudding when our stomaches are unsettled. Other times, it just tastes soothing on its own. I enjoy it for breakfast and lunch.
I have headspace for decluttering while W meets several people downtown and Kristi teaches kids English on the next hill. (Yup - she's pretty amazing, a force of nature.)
I empty shelves under the stairs and send paper plates for movie night up to storage. Over the years, the helpers have stashed glass, plastic, and paper containers in the "dirty kitchen" bin that used to hold the old water pump. This past week, I asked the women to empty it onto a tarp on a spare bed.
W and I look over the ancient Tupperware that are used for movie night desserts and cookies. There are sealers (the Canadian name for canning jars) and other containers, too. Kristi grabs some plastic boxes for kids' supplies. What we won't use goes to helpers and the recycling man who comes around the neighborhood with his cart.

I pause to snap a picture of the back of the flower beds along the porch. Oh this country! It bursts with beauty everywhere we pause to see it.

Read more:

*Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself,  The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.” The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him; it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord. Lamentations 3:21-26

*O Lord my God, you are very great. You are clothed with honor and majesty, wrapped in light as with a garment. Psalm 104:1-2

*You may proclaim the mighty acts of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. 1 Peter 2:9

Moravian Prayer: God, through your precious Son, you have called us out of darkness into your marvelous light. Inspire us to shine our light in the darkest places, so that others may find their way to you. May you be glorified in and through us. Amen.

Sunday, June 12, 2022

Latitudes and curiosities as W turns 65

Friday, June 10, 2022

I read that most Americans have no idea of latitudes: apparently Rome and NY are similar lattitudes. I have to check that out since I know little American geography myself. 

Yes indeed! It's true. I did not know that. Did you?

For my morning class, I study in the LR nook. The printed linen tablecloth is a relic from my mom's house. I like its cheery pattern.

I push the nook sliders all the way open to enjoy the fresh mountain air flowing through the house.

In late afternoon, W and I walk to a student foodcourt for rice and chicken. It's delicious. Can you imagine finding such "politically incorrect" marketing anywhere other than near a university?

Our assistant cracks open her knee on the uneven pavement of a nearby street. One of the ongoing adjustments to Bandung is that you have to look where you're stepping at all times. Height, pitch, potholes, missing chunks ... the variety on sidewalks or roads is a normal part of putting one feet before the other.

Hati-hati! (watch out). I've fallen before, scrapingwrist and knees on potholes, missing curbs, etc. The last time, it took months to heal completely.

My hair feels like it's sagging. Chop chop, I make 6 or 7 cuts, holding the hair away from my head during a shower. Later when I dry off, I check the mirror. Yeah, it's pretty straight at the bottom and angled up at the back. = A quick fix back to length.


Doesn't feel like a weekend except that there are no helpers at the house. I raid the garden greens for BIC flowers tomorrow. Papaya, bamboo, plus other leaves ... what abundance. I'll pull the flowers in place tomorrow in the hall.

It's a tall wild arrangement, which suits a commercial space. The vase is 30." How will we get it there?

A few discarded bamboo shoots renew the 2-week-old rose bouquet in the entry. When I moved the Nepalese cloth under last week's flowers, hundreds of tiny ants poured out from under it. I dunked the cloth and beasties in the sink but it has taken all week to dry. Apparently the lace edging was glued around a scrap of woven fabric. Maybe the ants were feasting on the glue? I pat the lace back down and it reseals in place as it dries.
W puts our bed up on risers. Getting up in the morning is easy, that's for sure. Put your feet on the floor and you're standing. Seasonal storage bags go underneath. The grey bench goes from almost-level with the bed to short. The ancient white quilt won't be dragging on the floor anymore so the Roomba can run around the bedroom unhindered.
We move the laser-cut metal screen from the DR to outside. I have other plans for it. It's nice to prop art on the ledge again.
On the porch table, the water and garden clippings in the pot are changed every few days. There's so much foliage to choose from.
After some morning meetings downtown, W waits at the airport for Kristi to fly back to Bandung. He buys me beautiful woven cloth from Papua. Kristi gets a few pieces of her own.
We get word that the  22-yr-old son of the West Java governor has been found near a dam in Switzerland. He was swept away while swimming in a river 2 weeks ago. His dad flies back to Europe to retrieve the body. Eril will be buried in Bandung on Monday, though Islamic death rituals have already been completed.

Pray for the family. What a loss. Below: Pak R. Kamil posed with our friends and us a few years ago. We've prayed for him ever since.


It's an early morning. Alice has arranged for 2 helpers to set up since she's off her feet. Ouch.

The garden "wild things" look ok as BIC flowers.

After a few handfuls of raw treats, it's time for the Gathering. How we love these people! and this Family.
I chat quickly with my mom, who is enjoying supper with my brother Norm in Canada.
Texts and WA have been flying back and forth all week: Shibli and his friends plan to celebrate W's 65th birthday today. They've involved kids, youth, and more. W has no idea. I tell the planners:. "I'm going to enjoy it. If something might be iffy, you can always run it past me."
So they do it all and it's a delight - a good memory of becoming a senior for W.
We cheer for the skit about his "brother from a different mother" (someone dressed with a white wig and beard.) We flinch at the bangs from a shower of poppers.
Pak Tota and the community prays over him.
And afterward, we eat the 2 birthday cakes while the kids play on the playground.
Happy 65th birthday, Waldemar!
We eat with Agung, Hanny, and Kai to celebrate their 12th anniversary. The food is good.
The company is wonderful.
We unpack things at home and relax.

Read more:

*A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. Proverbs 15:1

*Do not let the sun go down on your anger, and do not make room for the devil. Ephesians 4:26-27

Moravian Prayer: Lord, let our words be seasoned with grace, so that whenever and whatever words we speak will heal and not hurt. Amen.