Winding Down

Just a few more days here in Indonesia and then I’m heading home.  Jason and I will be taking the train back to Jakarta tomorrow afternoon after he finishes his language class.  We’ll stay overnight at the team apartment there so that I can be rested before we head off to the airport Tuesday evening where I’ll be catching the “red-eye special” to Hong Kong.  From there, I’ll catch another plane which will fly non-stop to JFK Airport where, Lord willing, the Commander will be waiting for me.
This morning Jason, Mika and I headed off to the Bandung International Church for their worship service.  Laura wasn’t feeling well enough to go so we left her at home resting.  She’s been hit hard by morning sickness so anything we can do to help her feel better, we are happy to try to do.  
We headed back after the service in time for Jason, Laura, and Mika to attend the first birthday party of a little neighbor girl.  This type of party is called something else in Indonesia.  It’s called “syukuran .”   It started at 11:00 a.m. and sure enough, suddenly we heard lots of children singing.  Jason wasn’t too sure if he should go since it looked like it was only mothers and their children but he headed off with the family and I guess it was OK, because he stayed until they all came back.  
It certainly didn’t take long for them to return.  Laura said that the guests presented the birthday girl with presents.  Then the mother of the girl brought out little presents for all the guests which included a balloon, a box of KFC chicken, a bag of potato chips, and some candy for each child.   There was a cake but it was just brought out to be shown and not cut and served.  The whole thing lasted about 20 minutes to a half hour and then it was over.  I’ll bet there are a lot of mothers in the West who would like to be able to get birthday parties over with that fast instead of them being half day ordeals.  
I started packing in the afternoon and have most of my things ready to go.  The challenge is that I can’t have the front section of my big suitcase fully packed until we are in Jakarta because it has to fit in the overhead of the train. That means I’ll have to take a large plastic bag along with some of my things in it in addition to my two suitcases and my carry-on for our journey tomorrow.  Thank goodness that I’ll have Jason to help carry all of this.  I’m doubly glad about that because we are going to have to lug it all up from the kampung to the main road and then stuff it into an angkot, since taxis are VERY hard to catch up in our area.  Sometimes you can have up to 20+ people crammed into these little old mini-vans so this should be quite the adventure but Jason says we’ll at least get to the train station quicker this way.
We all had lots of fun playing with Mika the rest of the day.  She continues to change so quickly.  I had started a little game with her to try to encourage her to eat where I’d pretend to feed one of her toys and then offer some food to her.  Now she has started “feeding” her toys on her own, making the little munching sounds that I was making.  It’s pretty cute.  She was also taking a few more steps on her own today back and forth between Mama and Papa.  She gets this mischievous little smirk quite often these days, tries out new sounds and words, and has definitely gotten used to having me around.  I sure will miss that little cutie.  I find myself making up little games to play with her that I remember my own mother  playing with my children.  Today we took an empty pizza box that Mika was quite enthralled with and when she kept crawling into it, I turned it into a choo-choo train and gave her rides around the room in it.  She thought that was a lot of fun.  Her little play cellphone has one ring that sounds like an Asian “dance party.”  When she pushes that button, I start dancing around, much to her delight.  Jason said to me today, “Mom, this is a talent of yours that I’ve never seen before” (and added under his breath) “and I could probably have lived happily having NOT seen it.”  Laura threw a plastic frog at him.  Hmmph!  And to think that this is the son whose own grandmother taught him to pick up his cereal bowl and blow bubbles in the milk.  Who does he think I learned all MY tricks from?  
So as I sit here tonight watching Jason spraying ants who are crawling in a steady stream from the window to the door and keep an eye on the cicak (lizard) crawling on the wall, I can’t believe that I’ve survived  5 weeks in Indonesia.  I’m the girl who has always liked her creature comforts.  I thought I’d be on the next plane if a bug flew past me at night.  But I’ve survived multiple mosquito bites, ants all over the place (including two in my water today), a huge cockroach that I had to get Laura to come kill, flying bugs that I haven’t identified, lizards crawling around on my bedroom walls and floors, and assorted bug body parts that I’ll find here and there.  I’m not keen about any of them but my love for my family here has apparently been stronger than my fears.  Go figure!  I’ll sure miss my little family but this time around, I know that they’ll be heading Stateside in a few months to await the birth of their second child.  That makes it much easier to have to say “goodbye.”   

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about my adventures.  One thing that I’ve learned from all this (and I hope you can also take encouragement from) is that you can do more than you think you can do, no matter what your age or your past life experiences.  And as I’m mentioned before and still firmly believe, when you go through something on your own, things can often seem quite daunting but when you have someone along for the journey, those same experiences become an adventure.  I know that Jason and Laura have really been instrumental in making this trip one that I’ll be laughing about and savoring the memories of for years to come.

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Hot Flashed Funk

  • Great post.

    It is exciting to find that you CAN step outside of your comfort zone, isn’t it?

    You’re a great Gramma!

  • Dee,
    I absolutely love reading your blogs–yes you are a writer! I pray that your return is safe and all your stuff fits in whatever area it is needing to go!

  • I’ve so enjoyed reading about your adventure! Thank you for sharing it with us. Safe trip home.

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