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 days....today 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 old...so 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!