It’s been a pretty uneventful week, praise the Lord! I will take uneventful any day over the kind of events we have been experiencing. The toilet has been officially rat free for over a week, and I pray with fervor that it remains that way for all time!
Chris is flying today (Thursday) and tomorrow (Friday), and, since my regular language tutoring doesn’t start up until next week I have been trying to study Indonesian on my own. Trying is the key word since I am actually quite bad at creating a schedule of studying and actually sticking to it. Part of it is I seem to be so exhausted much of the time. I don’t know if it’s the heat or what, but I think about my life when I was working in the States and I am amazed that I worked full time, kept up my apartment, cooked meals, spent time with friends, grocery shopped, and had plenty of energy for the most part. Now making lunch and cleaning up after seems to be all I can handle before laying down for a rest. And no I am NOT pregnant, for all of you that are thinking that, as I know some of you are!
I have managed to make a couple of fun things that turned out pretty good, including these middle eastern-style pitas, (think La Shish before it was shut down-yes I did eat there and judge me if you need to, their bread and salsa dip was too good to resist!), which were easy to make and delicious, especially right out of the oven.
Here’s a link to the recipe, if you are so inclined: http://mideastfood.about.com/od/breadsrice/r/pitabreadrecipe.htm.
I served them with Greek-seasoned chicken, marinated tomatoes, red onions and olives and a yogurt-cucumber-dill sauce and they were yummy, yummy!
I also made this apple puffed pancake for breakfast, which Chris and I thoroughly enjoyed. It was from a recipe given to me by another of the MAF ladies.
Lastly, I finally busted out the ice cream maker attachment for our Kitchenaid mixer. I can’t really make regular ice cream because that requires heavy whipping cream, which is not available here, but I can make sorbet because it is just sugar, water and fresh fruit. Here’s the mango sorbet I whipped up yesterday.
It was pretty good; although it lacked the tartness that would have made it more interesting-I would add less sugar next time.
So those are some of my latest cooking ventures-making fun food is one of the ways I keep myself occupied and happy here! I think Chris enjoys it too!
I was also able to be involved in two other neat events this week. On Wednesday a wife of one of the Indonesian men that works in the MAF hanger hosted a get-together at her house for all the wives of MAF workers, both Indonesian and western. We sang Indonesian songs together, read the Bible in Indonesian and had a delicious meal. It was neat to see her home and spend time with the ladies, although I didn’t understand much of what was being said!
Today I went with my friend to a clinic that is held monthly in a nearby neighborhood. Indonesian women volunteer to give babies and children from the neighborhood basic check-ups including height, weight, and, if they are babies, head size! Pregnant woman can get their bellies measured to make sure their pregnancy is progressing well (I’m not sure how accurate that method is, but the way it is done seems very official). Water and rice porridge is also provided to whoever wants it. Rice porridge is the staple food given when you are sick here. People from the hospital also come to the clinic and give immunizations as needed. The clinic took place in a small concrete building about the size of a shed, with no doors and windows open to the outside (no glass or screens in them). There was a curtain around a bed where the vaccinations were given and the pregnant women were examined. My friend told me that before they had this building the clinic met on the porch of someone’s home! The clinic had plenty of official volunteers, so my friend and I listened to the discussion among the ladies and talked when we got the chance. Well, my friend talked, I mostly listened and tried to soak up as much language as I could. A group of university students came while we were there and gave a presentation about Typhoid, what is it, how it is contracted, how to avoid getting it, and what to do if you get it. They took questions following the presentation, and one of the neighborhood ladies asked if cutting up worms, putting them in instant coffee, and having the sick person drink it was a good way to cure typhoid, because her relative had typhoid and this was apparently the miracle cure for her! The students seemed at a loss as to how to answer, especially since the woman already seemed convinced that worms were the way to go-all I can say is Y-U-C-K! Being at the clinic was an interesting experience and a great way to get exposed to everyday language. My tutors teach language from books that are used in a language school, so I learn very formal language-it’s great to hear how people say the words in everyday speech. Just like we shorten words and phrases (“gonna” for “going to”, “how’re ya” for “how are you”, etc) Indonesians do the same with their language.
So, that’s our week! Not too much to report other than these everyday life kinds of things. I am planning to do a walking tour of the area around our house and neighborhood soon, as requested by my cousin Jill-thanks Jill!-so stay tuned! Hope you are doing well and surviving icy January (if you are in the north that is). Bye for now!