I have been terribly lax in blogging lately, and I have no real excuses to give, so I’ll just jump right in to what’s been going on in our lives lately.
I’m having a hard time thinking of much interesting to tell. Maybe that’s why I haven’t tuned in to Blogger in a bit, I just don’t have much new to say.
I mean, there is plenty of the same old thing-it’s hot and sweaty, a number of cats have decided to make our ceiling one of their new hang out spots, and I mistakenly fried a gecko in the toaster a few weeks ago; but at this point those things have become normal life here.
Our microwave also has the faint smell of dead animal that I haven’t been able to find the source of-but again, this is just par for the course.
The truth is life here in Tarakan, especially for me at this point, is somewhat monotonous-get up, breakfast, dishes, language tutoring, lunch, dishes, laundry, shopping, dinner, more dishes…and the stuff I’m supposed to do, but don’t always rise to the occasion for, like studying language, or writing on this little blog. Being a person that tends toward anxiety, I appreciate a routine life-last year on the road without a permanent place to live was difficult for me, so having a place of our own and a schedule is good. It does get hard sometimes though, especially because life on this island is so…small. Chris and I can’t jump in the car and drive out of town for the weekend to get a change of scenery, and even though I am making some slow gains with language, I still feel timid to venture too far out on my own. It’s a struggle to “grow where I’m planted” right now and not put life on hold until I’m back to my familiar. I don’t want to miss all that God has for me here in Indonesia-both to do for Him and others and to experience for my own growth and depth-because I’m waiting for life to begin again in America. Life is now and I need to live it just where I am, sweat, dead animals, stumbling over simple sentences and all!
So, I’ve been painting. And putting stuff up on the walls.
This may seem like a huge jump from the last quite vulnerable paragraph, but it is oh so connected, because I love me a good decorating project-especially since I’ve been here…maybe it’s one of the effects of not working a regular job, but now I love starting and finishing something tangible and thinking “I did that-I accomplished something!”, even if that something doesn’t really impact anyone but me.
So here’s our orange wall in the kitchen:
Orange is a bold move I know, but I just can’t resist those bright colors and every time I look at it I just feel happy!
Here are a couple other decorating conquests in the kitchen created from materials I found here. Both projects required to me to go to “scary” stores (those are stores where the workers follow me around and ask lots of questions that I usually don’t understand well, and then I, horror of horrors, have to ask the workers for things in Indonesian, something I don’t even like to do in the U.S. using my native language) by myself, which I felt very proud of myself for doing.
|A fabric-covered bulletin board to tack up recipes and such|
|Assorted fabrics in embroidery hoops with little bird enhancements!|
My long-time dream of an over-the-couch plate wall was finally realized, along with the paint color on that wall, a springy green...
|Note more bird enhancements-I'm into birds right now|
We also finished off Chris’s “man cave” with calming beige walls and some nifty pictures printed on blocks of wood-a very cool alternative to the traditional pictures in frames that don’t work well here because the high humidity causes the photos to adhere to the glass in the frames, ruining the pictures. The marquees, a nod to my hometown, were taken by my brother, and the other 3 pictures are meaningful to Chris-his old truck, an MAF plane and a ride in a dune buggy we took last summer.
So there you have it-I’ve been trying to keep busy, which is both fun and good for me! We also have furniture for our guest room on order from the furniture-maker, and a desk, which will be great since all our office-type stuff has been residing in random piles on the guest room floor for the last 8 months. It will be so nice to have an actual filing system, thus avoiding conversations such as:
“Hey Sarah, where was that really important paper we got from the bank last week?”
“Uh-maybe in the basket under that pile of Easter stickers or try looking under my rain suit somewhere in between my language school books and those pieces of fluorescent paper I use to make the market lists.”
These exchanges always end in frustration and rummaging through things, thus further displacing items that we will need to search for in the near future. Yes, having a desk will be wonderful!
And yes, I do more than just decorate the house, which I’m sure seems uber-frivolous. Please understand it’s just one of the ways I cope with the loneliness and by-myself-ness I’m still plugging away at the language daily and pitching in as I feel able to with the planning of MAF events. In August some of the other MAF ladies and I hope to be flown into one of the jungle villages for the day to provide classes on abstinence, childbirth, and mothering to the young ladies/young moms there. If you think about it, we would appreciate your prayers for our interaction with the ladies in the village of Mahak Baru, where we hope to go. Teenage pregnancy has become a huge problem in all the villages, and since one of the wives of one of the Indonesian MAF staff members works as a nurse in Mahak Baru, we have a connection to go there first and offer classes for the young ladies there. We are praying for wisdom on how to communicate on these sensitive topics and for the hearts and minds of the young ladies to be open.
For all my talk of monotony we actually have quite a bit on of action on the horizon as an MAF team. Our current program manager and his family are headed back to America for furlough in a month and then they are relocating to an MAF program in Papua so they are able to have schooling for their junior high school-aged son. It is sad to see them go-actually; I’m trying not to think about it because life here will be so different without them! We are busy having lots of “lasts” with them, last movie night, last dinner get-together,etc., and there will be a big “Good-bye” party for them in a few weeks. On a happier note, our new program manager and his family arrived last Friday and it will be fun to get to know them more as they settle in. Another family also just came back from furlough on Tuesday, and at the end of the summer 2 couples-the wives are teachers and their husbands are airplane mechanics-will be arriving to help with the school and in the MAF hangar. So, lots of changes are coming-we are all gearing up for them!
Chris is doing well, flying several days a week and in the hangar the other days. He was hoping to take a dirt biking trip with some of his Indonesian friends this weekend, but it fell through because there wasn’t enough gas along the route they were planning to take, so that was a bummer. No big news to report with Chris, he is happy here, really, he is the most adaptable person I have ever met, and the most content, it’s amazing. It’s a good thing one of us has such a disposition!
Well, this blog post is officially torturously long, so I’ll end for now. Hope you are all enjoying summer now that it has finally arrived! Thanks for enduring through this way-too-lengthy diatribe. More later, but not so much at once next time!