Monday, June 20, 2011

Sunday & Monday

I’m back posting already-do you believe it?!  Actually, to motivate myself to post on here regularly, (at least for 1 week), and to share what life is like for me on a daily basis (since some of you have asked about that), I’m going to give a timeline and description of each day this week and try to include a picture or two representing the day.  Today will actually cover Sunday and Monday since I’m already a day behind (oops!).

So, Sunday

8:00am - woke up feeling overall not great, physically and emotionally-how’s that for a great start to the week!  I have been battling some stomach issues for the past month or so that are really getting old.  It’s probably time for a trip to the doctor to get tested for parasites and stuff, but I am avoiding that because going to the doctor here is just kind of scary to me. 

9:30am - Chris headed out to church alone since I wasn’t feeling well. We get together at our MAF friends’ house every other week for English church with several other MAF families and the guys take turns leading-it was Chris’s week to lead, so he couldn’t stay home to hang out with me.  While he was gone I started laundry, which I do every Sunday, spent some time reading my Bible, writing in my journal, and praying,

10:45am - Made granola-one of our common breakfast foods here in the land of substandard cereal.  I usually make granola every week with my sister-in-law Laura’s yummy recipe.  Unfortunately this week our usually reliable stove went haywire and instead of heating to 300 degrees, went up to 450 degrees, burning the granola, which might I add contained precious pecans that were sent to us from the U.S..  I was quite annoyed, but happy the oven overheating appeared to be a fluke-I was afraid it was broken again and then who knows how long it would have taken to get the parts over here to fix it. 

12:00pm - Chris & I ate pizza for lunch, on which I used some delicious bacon we bought while we were at our family conference in Balikpapan, and it was awesome!  We usually can’t get bacon or any traditional pork products here in Tarakan because of the largely Muslim culture, so bacon is a delicious treat! 

12:30-10:00pm - I did 4 loads of laundry.  I made dinner (Mexican soup and corn muffins) and Chris cleaned up.  We relaxed and read our books, and later watched a movie.  We try to make Sunday a rest day-or at least one day out of the weekend, so we can recharge for Monday.

Speaking of Monday

6:00am – We woke up this morning after a night of thunderstorms.  We ate breakfast and Chris got ready for the day.

7:00am – Chris headed to work-he’s flying out into the jungle villages today, so he won’t be home for lunch.  I got myself ready for the day, and did my “morning work” (making the bed, putting away clothes, putting away clean dishes from the night before). 

8:30am - Our house helper arrived.  I don’t remember if I’ve posted much about our house helper on here, so if I have, forgive me and skip over this explanation.  It’s pretty well expected in this culture that if you are a Westerner, or if you can afford it, you should have a house helper.  It’s a way to provide a job as there aren’t many jobs available here.  Your house helper can work as little or as much as you want.  Our helper comes in on Monday and Thursday mornings to help with going to the market, washing items from the market, cleaning, ironing and she started cooking today.  We just hired a new helper a couple weeks ago because our former helper was pregnant and was about ready to deliver her baby.  Our new helper is older and a mother of 9!  Most of her children are grown up now, and this is the first time she has worked outside of her home since the early 1990s.  She is friendly, a hard worker, patient with my stumbling language, and seems very happy and thankful to have a job, which is great.   

8:30-9:45am - While our helper worked I reviewed the long reading passage that my language tutor and I would be working through today.  With the translator on my phone I looked up unfamiliar words and wrote down any questions I had.  I also thought of several other questions that my tutor and I could discuss.  I’m at the point in language where I can have a very basic discussion as long as the native speaker doesn’t talk too fast.  I can read basic passages and recently I have been moving on to more difficult texts.

9:45-10:00am – Talked to my Dad and wished him a ‘Happy Father’s Day’ over Skype.  It’s still Sunday evening in Michigan, so I didn’t miss Father’s Day.  It was great to talk to him and see him on the video-although I missed giving him a hug!

10:00am-12:00pm – My language tutor arrived and we talked and studied together.  She is patient, friendly, and great to work with-a huge blessing to me!

12:00pm – Ate lunch our helper prepared, a dish called Bakso, which translates loosely to a meatball with vegetables.  I have always been a bit afraid of this dish as the Bakso (meatball) is a bit of a mystery meat, but it wasn’t too bad.  I was thankful to have food ready for lunch instead of having to make something myself because after language I am usually super-hungry (maybe burning calories with my brain-who knows).

12:00-3:00pm – Answered emails and made some calls-the MAF ladies here take turns coordinating and organizing things that come up-Bible study each week, welcome dinners, places for visitors from MAF headquarters and other visitors to stay and eat etc.-and I am taking over that role from July until the end of September, so the communication related to that has begun.  I did some reading-a really interesting book called “Half-Broke Horses” by Jeannette Walls, I recommend it-and started this blog post.

3:00-5:00pm – Went to women’s Bible study, which we have every other week.  We are discussing the book “Sacred Influence” by Gary Thomas, a good book for women about marriage.  It is a nice time of fellowship with the other women on the MAF team.

5:00pm – Chris picked me up from Bible study and I heard about his day of flying-a good, safe, uneventful day-the best kind.

5:00-6:00pm – Finished this blog post

6:00-10:00pm – (A projection) Warm up and eat dinner, clean up, read, sit on the porch and watch the nightly storm clouds roll in, get ready for tomorrow, go to bed.

Here are a couple of pictures…

This was actually from last week-I looked up from working on emails to see this guy walk into our front yard-he's a big one!!!  I snapped this picture quick before he ran away into the jungle.
This steer that was grazing in the field next to our driveway had his eye on me as I headed out to Bible study
 That’s the beginning of the week-I recognize this may be somewhat boring, but I want to give a picture of what life is like here on a daily basis, and that’s not always thrilling, it’s just routine everyday stuff.  The key is finding those moments that make it special to live here-I often find them in watching the clouds in the evening and the birds in the early morning, in the sunsets and the mountains in the distance and the learning to cook everything from scratch.  In those little things there is beauty.

Talk to you tomorrow.     

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