Monday, January 28, 2008

The many talents of Uncle Eric

now that eric is gone, again, we are missing his great "uncleness" that which he holds to our children. they would say, "eric, can you swing me?" and he would. they say "eric, can you paint my nails?" and he would. they say "eric, can i have some?" and he wouldn't understand and need assistance for translation. they say "eric, can you read me a story?" and he would. they say, "eric, make up a story and act it out with different voices and actions and stuff." and he would. they say, "eric, play with me even though you just woke up and it's only 6 am!" and he would. they say, "eric, come on! let's do something!" and he would. what a great uncle! thanks for coming and brightening the days.


when someone dies here in your MUST go and pay respects. this means dressing up in long sleeves and nice pants and shoes and going and sitting at the home of the family for about 10-15 minutes. you take an envelope with a little money in it and drop it in the rice at the doorway. we have had 2 deaths here since we arrived. it doesn't matter that we do not know the people, it matters that we show that we care someone is mourning... because we are apart of this community. on wednesday Pak Den died here. he was an elderly man and lived just around the corner with many of his relatives in the same house. we got home from language school and went to give our respects. we turned the corner and there was no turning back! we happened to walk right into the beginning of the funeral. everyone was facing us! we did not know. so we were a little more than uncomfortable walking into the situation as they scrambled for chairs for us to come sit in front and be apart of this. as we shook hands and said our "maafs" i couldn't help but notice the daughter of the man who had died. she was the only one who showed emotion the whole time. she was having a hard time with this and is probably about my age. i felt so much for her as i can still feel the loss of my own dad. the funeral went on and on and it was interesting to sit and experience a "cousin" service like this. a man gave a long prayer, another man gave a sermon or testimony, another man read some verses and another man said a few words of which i don't know...but we waited until the end when they carry the body off to leave. everyone stood up. some girls started to lay flowers on the street and everyone followed the flowers to the burial sight. i would say there were over 200 people. so many little things are similar and so many things are completely different about this culture.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Greetings from indonesia!

yes...we are still here! because it is rainy season, we can not get on the computer as much. whenever it rains, we do not have internet. but we have also been pretty busy with life : school (we passed unit two and are now in unit 3! only 3 more units to go! and then the REAL learning begins!) and now greg has just started teaching class a day! yeah! and gavin was also on vacation from school so we took our trip to Singapore for our visa and then we returned to take a trip to Pacitan and stayed at a bungalow on the beach with fellows OCers and spent a total of $70 for 4 days...including stay and food! sweet! from there we picked eric up at the airport and have had him staying with us for a week now! we will have to update all the things we have been doing with him. it's so nice to share our life with someone from "home" and we have been tourists right along with him so that makes for fun times! he will be here one more week and then we are sending him off to Lombok...a little island off of Bali...good times for him! we have a lot to catch up on...but it's won't be all today as i see tropical rain clouds already coming in...

our jungle across the street

yeah...look might see the gynormous snake that went in there from OUR yard. the other night we were all getting out of a van and they were driving away and with their break lights we witnessed a python (most likely) crawling from our yard to the jungle across the street. the thing was 4-5 ft long and was as thick as your joke...i jumped over hazel (i didn't know she was there) and we were both screaming. for the next half hour all she could say was "that BIG snake!" "that BIG snake!" and had to be held by protective uncle Eric. yidda...this has not set well with me...i really don't want to run into any snakes...let alone one that big again!

It's been too long!

Christmas day is now over. Selamat Tahun Baru! Happy New Year! it's been over a month since i last posted so i thought i better at least get these Christmas shots out! (as many of you are asking for them!) it's crazy that we have been here 3 months already! time is flying...that is for sure...and with 3 months under our belts...i can see progress and good things coming from where we have been. they might have been the hardest 3 months i have ever been in...but now we have more faith...more appreciation...more knowledge...more understanding. each day has something more to learn and so we can go with that...keep learning and don't give up! i have been reminded that Jesus gave us our gifts...He gets to use them however He sees fit...He gave us some great gifts...some including our can see gavin and paul here love to goof around. they are truly brothers! i'm so grateful for our i am sharing some of their times during Christmas vacation. they bring the joy...the biggest gift of all this year!

5 ***** stars for the Singapore Zoo

we enjoyed a fabulous day at the zoo! the animals were cooperative and the kids loved it. i would highly recommend this zoo to anyone traveling in the area.

Dec. 27, 2007

the day after christmas we went to Singapore. we stayed with friends for 4 days and this was the highlight of the trip for martha! IKEA is my FAVORITE store! because our visa ran out... we had to leave the country and apply for a new one to come back in. The visa processing was successful and while we waited for it to be done...we went to IKEA! Singapore was much like America and such a short distance away from us. so clean and modern and everyone spoke English. Big cars. Great food! and our friends that we stayed with were soooooo encouraging to be with. when it was all over the boys were very excited to get back on the plane to go home. we were excited that they were so excited. but come to find out...they thought "home" meant we were going back to california. we had some tears, but as they arrived here in Salatiga...all the goodness came back them...their pets, their friends, their beds. but i guess we are still in transition. you can see me in waving at the door!

Christmas Eve

we were invited over to a friends house for mexican food on Christmas Eve. the kids (all 5) had a great time putting on plays for us. paul was always the king and hazel was always the princess since she was the only girl. gavin always needed a sword. there were 5 chapters. all were the same story. but's a beginning!

is it really that hot here?

we tried to pretend we were cold...and needed to wear all the gear for snow. funny thing is, the boys were given these hats as a present. people actually wear them when it gets cold. like 60 degrees!

hazel with her candle

Christmas has to have candles and singing and Hazel really enjoyed that part. did she know all words? of course!