Thursday, October 7, 2010

Moving and Shaking

I'm writing to you direct from the couch in our house-yay!!!  We were able to move in last night because the house was mostly finished on the inside.  It is so nice to be in our own place.  For the first time in a LONG time we actually have a place that is ours.  We were up until about midnight unpacking and cleaning.  I think I spent about 20 minutes cleaning the toilet alone...but then I am rather obsessive about having a clean bathroom.  You can't get clean in a dirty bathroom; that's one of my life mores (probably not the right term, but I just love to use words that don't get used nearly enough like mores).

We are using dishes, silverware, pots, pans and towels that our MAF team members are graciously allowing us to borrow until our crate arrives, which could be weeks or months-it's hard to know really.  It's funny how many things you need to make a home, especially where the kitchen is concerned.  I was planning on making a tuna pasta salad for lunch.  I'm not usually a huge fan of canned tuna, but it is currently the only meat that I have in the house because we have to get most every other meat at the pasar, which is the outdoor market, and I am a bit intimidated by that just now because I can't quite speak Indonesian.  Also it smells really bad.  When Chris and I went there last week just to look around he nearly threw up.  Okay, so I was trying to make tuna pasta salad for lunch, but realized when I attempted to begin that I couldn't get too far because I didn't have a can opener.  I downshifted to an old elementary school favorite, good ol' PB & J with sour cream and onion Pringles (yes, they sell Pringles here, it's very exciting) and big red grapes.  The grapes are yummy, but getting them to the table was part of my morning dilemma.

Let me start by saying that I'm really paranoid about getting sick, as many of you know vomit is one thing in life that I cannot tolerate, just typing the word makes me feel ill.  Whenever we go to a restaurant here that seems a little less polished (when they are washing dishes in a bucket of dirty-looking water sitting on the ground next to the stinky gutter, I consider that less polished) I continually ask Chris "Is this going to make me sick?"  "Are you sure I will feel all right after eating here?" "Are you REALLY sure?"

It really drives him crazy.  He doesn't say so, but I can tell.  I don't blame him, but still I persist.

At our house we can't drink the water that comes out of the tap, so washing things like vegetables and fruits and dishes is quite the process.  Sometimes I ponder when I am washing fruits or veggies if I should just leave them as is and take my chances.  I mean, if the water is so bad is washing things actually making them more dirty and dangerous than they were in the first place?  I wonder this about my hands too-if I wash my hands in parasite-infested water before sticking my finger in my eye to take out my contacts am I actually making my hands more dirty by washing them?  I don't know.  I;m babbling again-sorry.  Anyway, so I had to wash the grapes and some other vegetables I bought.  First I filled a pot with tap water, then add this purple powder-I'm not sure what it is, but it says anticeptik on the side, and people say it cleans stuff well, that is enough for me!  You bathe the vegetables and fruits in the purple bath and then rinse them in drinkable water-ours comes from a water cooler like you would see in an office.  Today was my first experience with this process and I forgot the last step, which is fine if you let the eatables air dry.  I was trying to let them air dry, but after almost an hour they were still wet, which I thought was weird.  Upon further inspection I realized that since they had been in the refrigerator before I washed them they were still cold from the inside and therefore covered with condensation.  Now I didn't know what to do, did the bad water dry off of them and then the condensation formed, or was the nasty water hidden in the condensation?  Did I need to start the process over?  This is life here, wondering about the most minute details of the most mundane task that you would complete in 3 minutes in the the way, this whole process spanned about 2 hours.  A friend dropped by and I asked her what to do, she said if I rinsed them in clean water that they should be fine.  So I did.  We ate the grapes for lunch as aforementioned, and so far I'm feeling okay-hopefully Chris is too.  I don't think other people worry about this stuff as much as I do.  Maybe I will feel more comfortable after I have experiences with food preparation that do not result in sickness-like today.


So that's a little glimpse into our kitchen today.  Here is a picture of how it looks right now.

We are borrowing a little propane stove while we are waiting for our crates to arrive, you can see it on the far right of the counter.  All the dishes are drying on the counter-everything has to air dry because of the yucky water.  

In other news, this friend was sitting on the window grate in our living room a couple days ago-he's a pretty big guy!

Lastly, we were eating dinner with friends who have a gorgeous view of the water and I had to stop and capture this sunset.  The picture of course does not do it justice.  The sunsets are one of the perks of living in Tarakan.

So long for now-back to getting the house in order.  Sorry, you don't get pictures until it looks a little better!  Right now there is stuff all over.  If the curtains come tomorrow I will definitely send pictures though, after all the wonderful support and sympathy I received from you about my curtain meltdown you deserve to see the finished product.

Unless they turned out awful, in which case I won't be posting, I'll be having another meltdown.

Let's hope for the best!


  1. Ohhhh my goodness I'm laughing soo hard right now that i'm crying ;-) hehehehe! I'm dying over the grapes for real...what do you do? You know I'd be over thinking it to so don't worry! Oh mercy me! I'm soo glad you're in your own place and it's so cute! yeah! can't wait to see more pics! oxox love ya

  2. Sarah, Sarah, Sarah. You know God will take care of you, so don't worry so much about feeling sick. You're going to make yourself sick thinking about it all the time. Do what you can, let Jesus take care of the rest. Like I've said, I enjoy reading your posts, and I'm looking forward to the time when I get to write y'all a letter. Love ya!