Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Dinner time...Martabak!

  When we first moved here Craig went out with a friend and bought some Martabak. He told me about the fun experience and delicious food...and then he told me it was made of Duck egg.  Ok I know it isn't that odd...but they are GREEN eggs.
A few weeks ago a new store opened near us which along came a few new street food sellers. AND...yep you guessed it Martabak. I have been hesitant to try it but finally it was time!

 Here he is preparing the ingredients.  Green onions, spices, duck eggs, chicken meat, and who knows what else...
 mixing it all up
 now adding some oil to the surface to prepare the dough...oil is a word you hear a lot here...and you will understand why soon
 flattening out the dough...kind of like the consistency of a tortilla but really big
 doing the pizza toss to make it bigger...I got a video of this and it was really cool but seeing as it took 25 minutes to get all these pictures on here I am not even going to attempt a video :(  guess you will just have to come see for yourself...

 spreading the ingredients out on the dough which is now laid out on the hot wok with lots of oil on it
 then he began scooping the oil all over making sure that the entire thing was covered...nice and flavorful and very crunchy!  He took the once flat piece of dough and folded the edges in to make an envelope type shape
At this point I thought he was draining off some oil...but Craig pointed out that he was actually just making sure that the ends were nice and friend in oil too...ha ha
 cutting it up after it has all been cooked
here it is...ready to go home and only for about $1.50
I have to admit that I actually really liked it a lot.  The kids were a little hesitant to try it but that was ok because it left more for Craig and I! :)
ENAK SEKALI!!! (very delicious)
Now we go home to eat...(notice the mountain/volcano in the background?  I am so thankful for it ...been missing the beautiful ID mountains recently!)

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Another Unexpected Day

August 17 is the Independence Day of our new homeland.  Although it is DEFINITELY no 4th of July celebration (which we REALLY REALLY missed...the BBQ, parade, fireworks...) this was a day of new cultural experiences. 
We left our house a little after 8 to head into town.  We are so thankful that driving around is becoming more "normal" for us all. We enjoyed using the public transport for a time but we are very thankful to be able to go around more by ourselves these days. We were told that the festivities could start around 9...which ended up being 9:30 not too bad! :)
I definitely had my western/patriotic feeling for the day.  I wanted to dress in RED, WHITE and BLUE...ok just RED and WHITE. I expected crowds of people lined up ready to go.  Maybe we should have gotten here sooner so we could get a good spot.  As we approached there were very few people around.  Not a major crowd by any means. 
 We went to the city center where we watched different groups marching,singing, and different government officials read speeches.  Much of this went right over our heads ....and it was VERY HOT outside.  In fact when we first got there we noticed different medical teams spread around with stretchers.  This seemed a little odd to me but we soon figured out why.  They were prepared!  There were many groups of people standing in line formation out on this field in the direct sun light.  Many of the men were in full uniform and women were covered from head to toe as their religion requires them to be.  And it wasn't long into the morning that they started passing out.  I kind of wanted to say "dropping like flies" but that sounds bad.  But there were definitely quite a few who passed out.  The ceremony was very formal and structured (no big tractors or Hispanic dancing horses)  But it was a very cool experience!  H and his buddies really enjoyed the marching groups :)

 We were about to take off when a woman walked up and asked if we would like to go and meet/shake hands with the Mayor.  Uh...sure!  Our group (15-20 people) filed over to the tent where the Mayor and also head of parliament were seated with their wives.  We all kind of stood in a line and shook hands and took pictures.  S was a show stopper as always...thankfully no painful pinching this time ;) Just lots of, "WOW she is so beautiful!" After we took pictures they invited us to the Mayor's house for lunch. 
Lunch was cultural chicken soup with rice.  It was yummy!
Once lunch was over we were invited to come back for dinner and celebration that night.  We got details on when, where, how....and graciously accepted.

 with the head of Parliament
 meeting the Mayor and his wife

 What a cool opportunity!
more pictures and details on the night next time...
its been a long couple days...what a trooper!!!

Friday, August 16, 2013

Not 8-5

 out and about
 a little shopping in the market
they are like movie stars everywhere they go...

Learning culture and language is definitely not an 8-5 job.  Although we are encourage/required to spend 40 hours (for Craig) and 20-30 hours (for me) a week studying...those hours definitely do not fall within your typical work hours.  We often find that Saturday and Sunday can become our busiest Culture Experience days, while the weeks days are often full of our sessions with our language helpers and studying or filing.
Today is a perfect example of that...here were are Friday night (TGIF) the time where you are ready to put your comfy pants on, order a pizza, turn on the TV and just chill after a long week.  But tonight we get the opportunity to experience something new.  Something that happens only once a year.  Tonight our neighborhood begins the Independence Day celebrations.  Our meeting began at 7:30 (about) the women in the garage on chairs and the men in the driveway on chairs.  Our usual monthly meeting things took place...which is often exchange of small amounts of money (.$50-$5) for various things within the community.  Maybe the money is for neighborhood get togethers or to pay the garbage man...then we are given a small talk from the government.  Usually along the lines of cancer related topics or obesity or something like that...then we wait more.  At about 8:30 the ceremony began.  Oh I forgot to mention that people usually dress in their traditional batik clothing for this but tonight they seemed EXTRA dressed up.  I do have to be honest and say that I showed up in my batik shirt and capris and quickly found an excuse to go home and put on a long skirt.  It is now almost 10 pm and I came home early for the festivities to put our WORN OUT children to bed.  I think they were asleep within like 2 minutes...poor kiddos!  My friend told me that it is common for this meeting to go very late into the night...perhaps even mid night to bring in the celebration.  As I sit here I hear the fireworks being shot into the air..again!  We just had about a two day break from the Idul Fitri fire works and now we have new ones :) Needless to say Craig will have plenty of "hours" of language and experience by the end of tonight.
And that leaves us at Friday night...what about a relaxing Saturday.  Maybe time to mow the lawn and take a nap...HA!  Tomorrow morning we start at 8 am taking the public transport to the city center.  Tomorrow will be a parade for the Independence Day.  We are told it could start between 9-10 ha ha!  And also that tons of people will be there.  Pray that H Boy does ok.  Sometimes large crowds are NOT his favorite.
We are so thankful for all of these new opportunities.  Just tonight as I sat beside a good friend "who called herself Stella's Indo Grandma" she told me so much about this new culture.  Such a learning experience!  I am so thankful!  Yes it is not a 8-5 job...and some days it is just down right dirty, tiring, and I feel lost...but I am so thankful for each experience that we have.  I am so encouraged by how much we are learning and growing...We are so blessed to be able to here and be part of what God is doing.  And we are soo very thankful for everyone who supports us in the prayer and financial!  We are CONTINUALLY amazed at God's work!  Keep us in your prayers  that we can stay focused and keep learning!!
 walking through town (a few months ago when my parents were visiting)
this is just a small group of my neighbor ladies that I meet with every month (not sure why I look so unhappy..oh well)

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

I am blessed...

The book of Titus Chapter 2 in the Bible talks about the role of older women.  It talks about how they are to not only instruct younger women but also be an example to them.  Well, I am blessed to say that I have many women like this in my life.  Particularly two that I am very close to...my older sisters!  From birth I have had two older sisters to look up to and learn from (sometimes good and sometimes bad).  When I got to the age where I wanted to know more about my personal Savior it was my sisters who sat me down and explained the details to me.  Many nights we have stayed up talking about who knows what...but I was always listening and always learning.  Early on in my life God began giving me a burden for overseas missions.  Little did I know that God gave me that passion early on...so that when the day came to board the plane to fly so far overseas I would be 100% confident that this was God's will. 
Our last few hours in the US were spent in LA with my sisters.  It was amazing to have 23 hours with them right before we left which I never expected.  It was God's special blessing to me.  If you know my sisters than you know exactly what I am talking about.  I know that I am definitely not the only person that they have mentored, loved, and taught. If you don't know my sisters well then...you should! ;)  They are amazing Godly women.  They desire to love and respect their husbands through the ups and downs.  They love their 4 children, yes they both have 4 (can't say I've wanted to be like them in that way).  They love the Lord and desire to live to glorify Him daily.  They are sound advice givers.  They are honest. They are forgiving.  They are amazing women. Sometimes they mess up but they learn and grow from it.  They are real women.  Part of me wants to write this about them separately but the truth is that I feel the same way about them both...and I'm not just saying that. 
When the day came...about 5 years ago that I was challenged with the question..."are you willing to do the hard thing for God?  are you willing to give up _________?" And we were to fill in the blank...I immediately knew my blank was FAMILY.  Five years ago God began preparing my heart to say good bye to my family that I am so close to and love dearly...he was preparing me to say good bye to my sisters.  Yes, we have computers, instagram, facebook, email, and even facetime...and I am SOOO thankful for that.  But there are days that I just wish they were awake when I am.  Or days that they could just experience where I am and what I am doing.  There are days I wish we could sit down and talk about homeschool curriculum and ideas.  Or days I wish I could hold the new born baby just for a few hours to give her a break....
I don't say this as a sob story or...look at me and the sacrifice I have made.  But rather to say....I AM BLESSED!  I am so blessed to have sisters that I look up to so much and love so dearly that I miss them this much! I love you my sisters and I am so thankful for you both!!  Happy Birthday and I wish so much that I could be there to celebrate with you!  Continue to seek the Lord and live for Him because your little sister is watching and learning...and if you don't let me play with you then I am going to tell Mom ;)

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Pinching Episode...

When we first arrived here we joked that one word/action we would easily learn is "pinch".  The reason being that this is a common thing for people to do, especially to our fair skinned children.  You know what I mean, that typical Grandma "oh you are so cute" type pinch.  Where they get a little skin but really no harm done.  Of course our two year old is not typically fond of these type things at all (a little too close for comfort) but overall a fine thing.  Not tonight...
As we stood waiting for Dad to pull the motorbike out of the tightly packed little lot (which usually requires moving a few bikes here and there to get yours out) the kids and I stood just outside the entrance to one of our favorite restaurants.  As we stood there in the dark a little girl about 6-8 years old walked up to us and very sweetly said Hi to the kids.  She walked over to S and stood really close.  I kind of though she might pinch her cheek but honestly didn't think anything of it because it happens all the time.  Also I figured S would react if she did something to her.  The little girl quickly walked from S to H and stood close to him.  He however was NOT happy with her.  He yelled no at her and pushed her away and immediately burst into tears.  At this she ran to the other side of the road.  I then realized that S was standing there with tears streaming down her face and she was holding her arm.  The little girl had pinched them both....and this was no granny pinch.  I couldn't even look at the little girl I was so confused, angry, and hurting for my kids.  Daddy was done by this point and ran over to find out what was going on. Typically he would say something or talk to the parents or something...but right now it was clear that wasn't going to do anything.  Not only was there a language barrier there was a major cultural barrier that had been crossed.  Fighting the urge to go across the road he stood there are glared at her.  To which she responded in her language "don't worry about it...its ok".  All that was within me was saying NO ITS NOT OK.  My kids have welts on their body because you just walked up and pinched them and you don't see anything wrong with it.  But there was a little something in the back of my mind saying, "She doesn't know anything different.  This is what she has been taught.  This is normal to her."
We drove the short ride home both kids still in tears.  We sat them on our laps and hugged them close.  They both definitely have little welts and even bruises :(  Holding them close it was a good opportunity to remind them that mommy and daddy can't always protect them.  Even if we are standing right there we can't always see what is going on or feel how hard someone is hurting you.  We talked about how they have to take responsibility to look someone in the eyes and tell them NO!  If you don't like how someone is touching you or treating you then you have to let them know and make sure they know you are serious.  We even talked about the words they would use in this new language.  For the last hour or so we have been practicing with them...but it is so hard for them to role play how it would really be.
I can honestly say that I am thankful for this overall experience and the reminder it is to help our kids know how to protect themselves.  Although it breaks my heart that this little girl would hurt my kids for no reason...just because she thought she could get away with it.  I know it was a good way to talk about these important things with our kids.  They are young but they can learn to say no to people when they are not comfortable with what they are doing or saying.  We love our kids and want to protect them...and sometimes that means giving the to right tools so they can protect themselves.  Praying that next time this will have different results with less tears and no welts!