9 Weeks – Update

I should have known this would happen. It always happens this way. You look ahead to something in the future and think how far away it is and before you know it, you’re there. The weeks have flown by here. So much has happened and I’m grateful for it all, yes, even for the two weeks of being sick.

I’ll get to our Singapore trip in more detail (hopefully) after our Singapore trip 2.0. Yes, we’re going back this weekend. Just can’t stay still anymore 😉

I told you all about being sick and although it wasn’t fun and not something I’d like to repeat, I now understand on a personal level that you just get sick more often here. It really is a dirty city; pollution, garbage, different germs. Some people avoid it, and some get hit by it. I’m thankful for the way it made me depend on and appreciate this community. I’m thankful that it forced me to get acquainted with the medical system and dispel some of my fears of the unknown in that realm. But I’m ready to move on.

And so I did.

We got home from Singapore and I began my first section in an online course. I’m excited to start on some personal and professional growth. September seemed like such a long time off when we landed here in the middle of July, yet here we are, approaching the end of September. You’re all drinking your pumpkin spice lattes, adding layers to your clothing, watching the leaves turn colour (I’m sure my street is turning a bright yellow right now) and breathing in fresh crisp air. I’m still sweating it out, living with the AC on and trying to find time for a dip in the pool. (But I’m not complaining.)

It’s back to school season and I thought I’d join the crowd this year, taking advantage of a season of not working while everyone else is at school full time. I’m excited to do a little self-growth and have already enjoyed the challenge of finding time to fit all of my coursework into the week. I look forward to seeing what God has to teach me about myself and leadership in a Christian context.

Last weekend we made it outside of Jakarta into more of a rural area to visit a family at one of our sister schools in Sentul. They graciously invited us to join them for the day. Through a recommendation, we hired a driver who rented our vehicle and we traveled about 45 minutes to the South of Jakarta with the head from a third sister school in the city, and his wife to the more mountainous area just outside Jakarta. The kids exclaimed ‘grass!’ as we exited the city and began seeing more green spaces. After touring the beautiful campus that sits on top of a hill, we then made our way into the hills, up and up and around tight, steep, winding roads to get to a trail that would lead us to a beautiful water spot (it’s a waterfall, but since it’s been so dry this summer, there was no water actually falling.) I was not quite over my parasite and sitting in the back of the car was a disadvantage for me on these roads.

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The trail brought out my mother warning (worry?) system as there were steep drop-offs from the narrow trail, steep declines and many rickety shops built along the way. Then there was the slippery rocks and moving water in the river that we played in. I hope I managed to keep it in check enough for the kids to enjoy themselves. Let’s be honest, they were usually ahead so far they were out of sight and I had to battle my worries on my own. M and I love to hike and the kids enjoy parts of it, while usually complaining about hunger, tiredness, boredom, and thirst. This time, they were happily occupied by the presence of new friends. The water was beautiful and so refreshing. We found some spots that had very few people enjoying it with us.

(just hover over the photos to see their captions)

Being the only white tourists, M was singled out as a good person to practice English with by someone visiting from another part of Java. I love how friendly people are here! They may think we’re entertaining, but they interact with a smile and are always wanting to find out more about us, or take a photo with us.

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The paved portion of our trail. There are photo spots you can pay to use to take a nice photo.

The day was long and hot, but our buckets were filled so full by our time with these two families. The originally reluctant Jeremiah, just wanted to know when we could go back on another adventure with his new friends. Thank you again for your hospitality!

This past week, I also had the privilege of stepping in for an absent teacher in the senior school. I was a substitute teacher. Yikes! That is not something I ever thought I would say about myself. It has neither been a goal or desire of mine, even with many friends (and a husband) in the education world. But I love to help where and when I can and so I was a warm adult body for a couple of days. It was great to interact with the students and to feel a part of the school community from a different vantage point.

I also enjoyed joining M for lunch in his office and taking quick walks for coffee through the mall. I’m thrilled that I can now have these little moments with him throughout the day.

I believe the kids are becoming well adapted to their new life. Like I’ve said before, they have been blessed to have kids nearby to play with and have each made great friends at school. I have seen kindness and empathy in both of them and love to see them experience what I already know about them, that they are great kids.

Yet, missing Canada and the special people that filled our lives there has been an on-going struggle. Most nights, at least one of the kids reflects on someone they miss and the things they played with people. Although it hurts to see them in pain, it also confirms for me how amazing God is in the way he places people in our lives. It gives me confidence that they will feel the same way about the people here.

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