Thursday, February 5, 2015

Licensed to Drive..AP Style

So, at this stage in our language learning we are progressing from speaking at sentence level into paragraph level.  This is not as easy as it may sound…it sure takes A LOT more words to be at this level of speaking ability.  Currently the way we are improving on this is to learn about different processes…and this week we learned the process of “getting” a new drivers license. 
Basically the way we will use this experience as a language learning tool is that we will take the pictures we took during this process and sit down with a local friend and have them describe the process to us in their words.  We will record how they describe the process and listen to it over and over again.  Eventually we will then re-explain the same process to our local friend and they will evaluate our ability to explain the process.  The best part about this all is that we are learning to actually speak like they do and this it will help us communicate the Truth more clearly!
So….here is the story.  When we first moved to AP we simply went into the police station, signed a few forms (that were already filled out for us), smiled for the camera, did a fingerprint and were handed our license.  Well, we thought getting another license would be a similar experience, but it was not. 
We arrived at the police station and joined the “line” of people waiting to get their license.  The reason I put “line” in quotations is because it is not really in any way a line but rather two separate areas with people all over who somehow just know who is next and when their turn is…they must be way more observant than I am.  We filled out the forms with the help of our local friend…ok I should be honest and say he filled out mine and Craig filled out his own.  After waiting in the “line” which meant sitting on a random bench in a thankfully somewhat AC room with a fidgety 4 year old and a crabby was finally our turn.  I finally got Roman to sleep just in time to find out that this was the part where they were going to take my picture.  So, now what?!?  I carefully unsnapped the back of the baby carrier and lowered Roman low enough that he was out of the picture and smiled.  As soon as the picture was complete I snapped him back in…and he woke up L  We signed the papers, did the fingerprints and were all ready to receive our license.  JUST KIDDING!
 Instead we followed our friend to another area of the station.  As we walked into the room I got a very uneasy feeling in my stomach…because there were desks and computers.  WHAT?!?  We were going to have to take a test?  Another signature and another fingerprint logged us onto our testing computer.  We sat down, put on the head phones and pressed “mulai” (start).  Yes, the now awake baby is still strapped to me at this point and this room does not have AC…aprox 90 and humid.  I sit listening to this language through the headphones which is still somewhat foreign to me (especially since we have been out of it for 7 months).  I watch scenarios on the screen  and have to select true or false.  There are 30 questions to be answered in 15 minutes.  The first 2 take awhile to figure out what exactly is going on…So, the police officer comes up behind me.  As I listen to the questions I must be taking too long…because I hear behind me “salah”…”salah”.  What?  Oh…she is giving me the answers!  And this continued for the last 15 questions or so.  Poor Craig didn’t have the “help” that I did.  But thankfully we both passed.  FEWSH!  That was over…JUST KIDDING! 
That was for the car test but we are also wanting our motorcycle license…now we have to do the motorcycle test.  WHAT?  Another one…same routine all over again.  So, I sit down to take the next test.  Roman was not OK with another test.  I got one question into the test…which I answered wrong (accidentally).  I knew the right answer but the now freaking out baby just stressed me out and I hit the wrong button.  I stood up and said I’m sorry I can’t do this right now I’ll have to do it when my husband is done with his.  She said I had to do it then or I would fail.   What can I do?  My baby is now screaming in the testing room…which other people are also testing…or looking over Craig’s shoulder as he takes his test.  So, the helpful police woman sits down in my seat and finishes my test for me…yes 29 out of 30 questions.  Would you believe it…I got a 93%...the only one I missed was the one I answered.  HA HA!  Craig also passed again.  Signed a few more forms…then back to the original room…thankfully we didn’t have to wait in the “line” again.  Paid about $40 for Craig’s 2 licenses and my 2 licenses…yes we have to have to separate cards. 

The whole time I reminding myself…This is not wrong, just different (very very different)!

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Visit to the Pijat for memijat....

 So, just over a week ago Craig was playing soccer and sprained his ankle pretty good.  Although it hasn't been super painful it is still very swollen and bruised.  As were showed it to our local friends they all had the same  need traditional massage!  So....we did it!
 As we walked into the man's house...we were a bit surprised to see him just sitting there on his couch "working" on another patient.  We sat down for Craig to wait his turn.  The longer we sat there, watching and listening....the more Craig was ready to go home.
 About this point...Craig stood up and said "Ok saya mau pulang!"  meaning...I am just going to go home now!
 But then he braved it out...making his way over to the couch, he was a bit hesitant.  With good reason!
 The man started off slow and gentle..mostly communicating in the local dialect which we do not speak or understand.
 Yes, the other patients stayed around to watch this white guy get worked on...I think at this point he was trying to convince Craig to stay and let the man do his work.  He kept saying it will only a hurt a bit and then tonight or tomorrow you will be much better.
 As the man began to push a little harder...Craig was initially laughing and jerky his leg away quite quickly
 I think the man probably started holding on tighter and pushing a little bit harder...he definitely seemed to know just right where to apply the pressure

 Yep, that one hurts!.....notice the man sitting next to him smoking and smiling...

 Telling another story about when he used to play soccer, I think he was just trying to distract Craig.
 Just a few mores spots and you should be all better.  I didn't get a picture of it but after this the man asked Craig to run around the room a few times because he should be all better.  The man just sat their and laughed and did the others watching.
Finished off by applying some icy hot type he was finishing up with Craig a large group of people showed up.  They had come 2 hours to see this well know "Dr"!  Overall, we chalk it up to a great learning experience that will NEVER happen again.

Monday, January 27, 2014

learning to make traditional food...

In the last week I have been "experiencing"a lot.  This has given me a chance to compile pictures of different things which we will later go back through with our language helper.  Today I learned to make opar ayam.  This is a traditional way of cooking chicken with natural herbs and coconut milk. 

 grinding the fresh herbs by hand
 everything is fried here....
 even the seasons get fried
 adding fresh jeruk "orange" leaves and bay leaves

And there ya have it...Hudson wasn't super keen on it. He would rather just eat rice and ketchup :(  But still asked for second helpings!!

Monday, January 6, 2014

The Bus Trip

Last week my friend and I planned a trip to the "BIG" city.  We have been to the city many times before BUT....never by bus!  We had heard from many people that it was very easy and cheap and that we would be fine.  I decided to take Stella with me (my adventure side kick!)

We left our house about 9:30 am and walked to the "bus stop" just down the ride.  This was for the local bus/van service that runs within our city.  This cost us around $.25 to go to the other side of town. Then we crossed over the main road (I only mention this because it is CRAZY!)  We waited on the other side of the road for our bus (big Coach Bus size) that would take us to the city.  We waited about 3 minutes with many sketchy busses trying to get us to get on :(  ...So, our bus came the door opened my friend got on first and then I with Stella in my arms stepped on...and the bus was OFF!  I grabbed at anything I could find and pulled myself the rest of the way up the stairs and through the isle as we looked for seats together.  As we found our seats I quickly whipped out some dramamine for my motion sick prone child as I knew she was going to need it on this trip!  I am happy to say that overall the trip there was good and "safe" and only the kid in front of us puked (NOT Stella!!!)  Oh I almost forgot to mention that this 1 1/2 our ride was just over $1!  We arrived at our stop and got off and got into a taxi to take us to the shopping center (about $1.50 for a 20 minute ride)  Stella slept the end of the bus ride and the whole taxi ride...what  a trooper!

 We spent our day together just relaxing and having fun...but then around 3 we realized we should begin our journey home before it got too dark (usually around 5:30ish)

We asked a few people and they all recommended that we take the taxi to the bus terminal and catch our bus from there.  They said it would be where the majority of the busses would be and so it would be "easy" to get a bus there.  HA!
We waited aprox 2 hours at the bus terminal.  And let me tell was not for a lack of buses but rather for a MASS of people.  Every bus that would pull up people would come out of NO WHERE and crowd in..pushing and pulling and prying...NO THANK YOU!
(This is not my picture...and it may be a bit exaggerated but it was what it felt like!!!)
 A few times we began to enter the mob but it was just TOO crazy!  Finally after almost 2 hours of waiting in the noisy, smoggy, hot and humid bus terminal I said OK the next bus we are getting on it.  We positioned ourselves where we hoped the door would open and stood our ground.  The bus pulled up....the people crowded in and we stood our ground inching, pushing and pulling with legs and arms wrapped around me I picked up Stella and put my purse in front of me and kept inching forward!  PUSH PUSH PUSH..yes I was pushing now too!  Finally on the first step of the bus...we made it!  Found two open seats and plopped down...I could not stop shaking.  I don't think I was so scared as much as it was the adrenaline!  Needless to say...we did not make it home before dark!  But we DID make it home and we were safe!!!  And it was DEFINITELY a cultural experience!

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Moving another step forward...

As we move into the new year....we also transition to another level of our language learning process.  We have completed our time at the Language School and now we will go back to our original method.  This method will be culture derived based on our daily experiences and interactions with friends, neighbors, etc.  Here is an example:

Today I learned how to make "sate" very similar to what we would call a shish kabob (what a weird name).  A friend took me step by step through the process...although I have to admit I missed out on the going to the market and buying the chicken part.  I am just not quite brave enough for that yet :/

 The point is that in our 8 months of living here we have eaten this meal many times.  It is something the people eat on a regular basis and also something that they tend of have a big events.  So we know it is culturally fitting.
Later we will go step by step through this process with our language helper and learn phrases like "the woman is cutting the chicken"

 "the woman is peeling the onion"
 This is another part of the culture that we want to look into.  Someone's job is to make these bamboo sticks...quite the process!  There are all different sizes for different purposes.  My friend told me that the thinner sticks are usually for chicken but she likes the thicker ones because they don't burn as easy easily

 smashing up all the spices by hand

 now time to cook the chicken...
 the meat is cooked one time and then remarinated and then cooked again

 quite the process!
 and then we get to enjoy with rice and a peanut sauce...I also learned to make the peanut sauce but Ill save that for another time!
Craig enjoyed it!  This is one of our kids favorite meals!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Another month come and gone...

It is crazy to think that we are approaching 8 months in country!  WOW!  How did this happen?  We are almost getting to the point that we are not completely "new" at everything any more.  Well, at least I feel that way some was not really one of those days...but more on that another time!
Yesterday I went to another of our monthly women meetings.  Being in this country you quickly realize that everything revolves around "menjalin hubungan" or building relationships.  It is actually quite cool. Our communities are divided into groups and they have monthly meetings.  The men all get together one evening a month and the women one afternoon a month.  We meet in our neighbors houses and it is an good opportunity to catch up and share information.  An awesome opportunity for me to observe culture and show that I want to be a part of the community.  I love that each month I can understand more and follow along more.  This month I was actually able to read and understand most of the little hand out that they gave us!  WAHOO!!! 
 A large part of building the relationships is sharing what you have with those in need.  In these monthly meetings the women participate by each contributing a certain amount of money.  Then all the names go into the "bottle" and one person is chosen to receive the money.  They have a system so that everyone has a chance of winning the money.  I have yet to participate in this way... but it is cool how they are always looks out for those in need.  The women walk into the meeting and suddenly start handing out the designated amount of money to whoever it is supposed to go to.  Usually it is no more than $2 or $3 each.
 Each family also contributes to the "social" fund each month $.50.  This money goes toward buying food and other things within the needs of our neighborhood.  This month it will go towards a Christmas/New Years party that we will have soon.
 I always feel weird taking pictures that is why these are not super good.  I don't want to draw a lot of attention...but the ladies all sit around on the floor.  The women just inside the door is about 60 years old (Very kind).  She was just arriving and wanted to go to the other side of the room.  To be culturally appropriate she scooted on her knees all the way through the room...she would not stand and walk through the room.  I could tell it was not comfortable for her to go on her knees...but that was what she was to do culturally.
Also it is very rare to see women sitting with their feet out in front of them...and believe me after over a hour of sitting cross legged I wanted to!  There are to major contrasts in this picture.  There is a women sitting with her feet out....but what you don't see is that she is probably over 70 years she gets to.  Also the women sitting across for her also has her feet out but as you can see she put a small cloth over top of them as to not show the bottom of her feet...always learning and observing!  I am so thankful for these meetings and all I learn from them! 

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

My sweet girl...

Today as we walked through town I couldn't help my smile.  Just a step or two behind I watched my priceless treasure confidently walk the busy streets.  As she walked just about every head turned and watched, she is a pretty rare sight.  Her pure white skin and bright blue eyes!!! Often people would stop what they were doing and watch her or maybe even reach out to touch her.  Thankful no rough pinching!  We stopped in a book store to look for some colored paper for a Christmas craft we are going to do together.  There was a group of 8-10 middle school aged girls also shopping in the store.  They crowded around her, touching her nose, rubbing her cheek and asking a million questions... What is her name?  How old is she?  Does she know Indonesian?  Where is she from? Where do you live?....kind of fun for me to actually know what they were saying and be able to answer :)  And all the time she stood there...just smiling and allowing them to "giggle" about her. 
We went from shop to shop with the same reaction everywhere we went.  I kept waiting for her to get sick of it or get annoyed by it...but she didn't.  She kept her head held hi and was not only polite but was very kind and gracious.  All the while, asking me "how do you say this?" or "how do you say that?"
I am SO SO SO thankful for this beautiful girl and her beautiful heart for others.  Now, of course I am not claiming she is perfect.  But I am so thankful that already God is giving her a heart and love for others!