It felt like my eyes were new! Like I had been looking through a dirty window and now it was gone. The edges of everything I saw were so crisp and defined, the colours so vivid, it was cloudy yet everything incredibly clear. I didn’t realize how poor my vision had become, yet, it wasn’t my vision that was the problem, it had been all the pollution masking the true appearance of what I looked at.
This is how it felt exiting the airport in Perth, but it’s also how my heart felt when we came back home to Jakarta.
Sometimes we need a little refreshing, a washing away of the things that cloud our vision.
The air in Perth was honestly one of my most favourite things about our time there. It was literally refreshing. Even with the hiccup of J’s broken arm, eventually we were able to get out and stretch our legs on the trails. We saw beautiful views of the city, new trees, lots of new birds and even a kangaroo up close in the wild. The rain didn’t stop us, but some days it sent us inside.
We visited the Scitech museum, Fremantle Prison, the Shipwreck museum, King’s Park (remember broken arm),
Caversham Wildlife Park,
Wineries, chocolate shops, coffee shops, and were satisfied by fresh bagels with cream cheese. The food wasn’t cheap, but I still went back for a second $6 bagel, because I could.
We bought our own groceries and ate lots of pork. M drove us everywhere (and we paid lots in parking fees.) We took our time getting up in the morning and played card games after dinner. We were together, with no distractions or expectations from others and it was low key but so grand.
There was a lot we looked forward to in getting away from Jakarta for a while. Breaks are good and rest is necessary. Exploring new places is a privilege we get to have.
Yet one thing started to nag me. In my excitement about the good things outside of Indonesia, I was becoming discontent about the good things inside of it.
Living in a foreign land sure does have its challenges and I think change is the biggest one. We humans are wired to have things our way and to resist change, big or small.
Moving here, although amazing, was exhausting for me. Every little thing was different, from the language, to the people, to the food I bought, to the side of the street the cars drive on, to my bed, to how I brush my teeth (don’t drink the water!) We survived it and we survived it well partly because we had a community supporting us both in Canada and here, but also because we were right where we were supposed to be.
I had a whole list of things to share with you about what I was happy to have a break from and a long list of things I was excited to see/have/do in Australia. But what I really want you to know is this:
I am grateful for the break this summer has given us, for reconnecting with some of our family and sharing our life here with them and for getting away and loving Australia with my family. Even though we’ve come back to the smog, I feel like my eyes are a little clearer, because we were able to hit pause, and reset our focus on what God has called us to.
We’re all looking forward to the year ahead. Full of new friends, and new adventures.
SIDENOTE: This city tested my love for it as soon as we got back. It took me 45 minutes to get a Grab (or any kind of taxi) to pick me up in order to take my kids to VBS that morning. It’s just the way things go sometimes. It’s Jakarta and I’m still learning how to love it.
**Next time I’ll share more of the nitty gritty of living and traveling in Indonesia from Jakarta, to Bandung, to Yogyakarta.**