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! 

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