Saturday, November 30, 2013

Saturday - Thanksgiving!

Celebrating Thanksgiving in Indonesia! Yes it is Possible!

 Nick & I met Wati at a fellowship evening a few weeks ago!  She invited us right away to her home for Thanksgiving - she knew we were new in town!  Oh that was so very very kind!  We met Michael her husband & her daughter Daniela - he is a teacher at the the Mountain View Christian High School here in town~  Oh we were blessed today!!!!!!
 So many people came who we have met in recent weeks and new faces too...sweet! - the table was laid out with scrumptious International food!  Hearing stories how we all got to Salatiga and sharing with one another was wonderful!
 I am taking a picture of the table to show you all back home that we had the REAL thing!  - yes good ole' Turkey - and stuffing and cranberries - we all were blessed bountifully!

 First our host Mike - asked around the room what we might be thankful for?

                    It was great to hear each expression of thanks from the tiny ones & adults!
 Yes - we all agree that we have much to be thankful for - especially for our Lord & Savior!

                                  ...And then it was time to dish up! COME AND GET IT!

 And here are my two new daughters....Jessica and her sister Joy! Both are in the university learning to become teachers!  Jessica & Aan and Jefry and Albert WARMLY welcomed us at the International church on our very first visit in Salatiga!  Oh they got us plugged into everything...and they took us out for a nice lunch that very first Sunday! 
                                       Nick & I adore our sweet Jessica and her little sis Joy! 

Paul & Luba Kucher...lookie here...this is "Irena" and she is from Russia ~ I should of asked Irena from what part - but I was so pleased to meet her Paul & Luba!  Irena worked on the Carnival Cruise line and met her Indonesian husband on the cruise ship she was working on - and now is living in Salatiga!  Andy will be home in March she said.  I took this picture especially for you Paul & Luba! - From a Russian girl - with love to you! Irena spoke English very well and is now learning behasa Indonesia. 

Nick & I were so thankful to be invited and to be a part of this gathering!  Wow what a wonderful Anniversary gift!  We were ever so pleased and thankful for a very special day today!   

                   Thank YOU Mike and Wati for your graciousness to host this gathering - 

                we all felt blessed to be a part of it!!!! 

               I will never forget this very special Thanksgiving Day!

A Drive Through the Countryside -

Nick & I took a drive again through the countryside - an outing is such a treat!  Especially on that motorbike!  Love it!  Feeling the wind blow in your face...having close contact with the environment
- and of course sitting close to my hubby! Yes we are celebrating our 17 yrs of marriage this weekend and gosh - what a blessing is that - to share it together here in Nick's birth country and my Poppa's birth country!  So very very special!

So Friday morning - we got up with the "plan" to head out of "Dodge" as the saying goes...ha! Well a bit far away... Dodge... that is!  No - cute little Salatiga!

We headed again towards Ambarawa because we love that windy road - it is cute going through the little towns and doing a little climbing into the hillside too!  We both so' enjoy seeing the countryside with all the palm trees, banana trees, rice fields, people & children smiling and waving and nodding as we "blanda's" drive through on our scooter - and seeing all that beauty, so very lush and seeing so' many shades of green! JUST GORGEOUS! The Sun was not a real bright - a little more overcast but very pleasant out around 70-75 I would say.

We had hoped to go towards Bandungan - this little town northwest of Ambarawa - but actually we turned off too soon on this intersection which we found out later was the highway to Bandung from Semarang!

It was a two lane road (yes highway) and there are trucks, buses, cars and motorcycles going back and forth!  A much busier street!  But we just went with "the flow" and kept going - thinking we were heading towards Bandungan.

We didn't see any signs - which didn't help - but after a while (your bippy starts to tell you - it is time to get off of it!) So we stopped at a restaurant
called Banaran Coffee and Tea ~  A nice place to stop - have some coffee and possibly a bite to eat?
Yes a coffee break - nice!

I take pictures of these plates BECAUSE I have this sweet uncle in McMinnville who use to live in Indonesia and he just LOVES Indonesian food......and I am teasing him a bit!
Here we have Mie Goreng (bami goreng) with a BIG scoop of sambal (Ellen's favorite!) chili paste NICE AND HOT!!!!
Served on a banana leaf - chicken Longtong {rice (kind of a sweet rice )wrapped in a banana leaf and then cooked} Tofu & Tempeh.  Oom Paul Like???????

We had ordered lunch and a couple walked into the restaurant with a young lady and her baby.  They sat down at the table next to us.  And he started up a conversation with us asking where we were from?  They were American who have lived here already 37 years! Oh my goodness - !  They had lived in Eugene Oregon - also lived in Salatiga for many years but now in Semarang!  Gosh - such a blessing to meet them!  They were heading to Bandung to a wedding that the young lady family was having!  So guess what????? You got it!  

We figured out we were on the road to Bandung NOT Bandungan like we thought!!!!  

Oh well - another time!  We were BLESSED to meet these dear people!!! John & Marilyn were so kind and John shared with us he has now an Indonesian nationality and passport....would you believe it????
Talk about commitment!!!!  Beefie and her little daughter were excited to see her sister getting married and Beefie husband too would be flying in from one of the islands.  
John invited us to visit in Sermarang and we exchanged cards! They knew many of the new friends we now know in Salatiga! Wow talk about divine appointments!  
GOD is so good...he spoils us continually!!

So we walk out of the restaurant and this young man is on his Ipad and we see 
the name Christ on his T-shirt!  Wow! and on his back - this scripture!  
Pretty cool huh?!!!!!

We walked out to the scooter and our new friends to their car and off we went our own directions!

 Oh we were glad the weather wasn't doing its afternoon "change" ...........................yet!!!!!
 Remember that Jack fruit I had a picture of a few days back?  Yes the Nangka fruit? Well this fruits are KING SIZE!!!

They were lined up along the street - and now I finally see what delicious fruit it is...those that are up in the trees wrapped up with bags - so when they ripen - they don't crash down to the street and break!
Remember the man in the tree when we strolled our neighborhood and he was wrapping the rice bags around something to a branch?  Well there you have it!  Nangka - Jack Fruit!

I am always learning new it!  
We enjoyed our longer ride home - saw some dark clouds looming over the mountains in the distance - but so far so good!
We made it home - enjoying every moment of it - and took several video clips of the surrounding - including the immediate neighborhood into our kampung - so Nick will put that into 
youTube this evening so we can share that with you too!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Dollhouse ~

 The day started - with a DOLLHOUSE on Nick's mind!

So into the garage Nick went...cutting the pieces he had drawn on the plywood a few days ago. 

As the morning progressed...I kept peeking to see what was happening with all that noise coming from the garage...

                                    "How are you coming along Nico?" 

It is starting to LOOK like a dollhouse!

4:00 pm.......

 .........The finished product! 

The End Result! 

Now to find out if our friend Linda would like 
it painted yes? no?

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Got Spoiled!

"Nasi Tumpeng"

Yes I got spoiled on Monday! Tia, Anna and Yanti and her little girl Cecilia (goes by Lia) came over for the English lesson with her hands full on the motorbike!  Oh a mountain of goodies!
Look closely - 
The yellow rice is rice mixed with tumeric - very tasty and healthy too - freshly grounded of course!
Then there is chicken and to the left is shredded beef very finely shredded with it seems with  coconut and spices in it as well!  Then we have to the left of the chicken peanuts with a little crunchy something in it also with sambal (chili paste) and next to the peanuts there is strips of friend egg!  Do you see the tomatoe in the back and how pretty Tia made that?  And then on top of the mountain chili peppers cut in stripes so that it looks like flames - of course a eruption! 

Hey and did you see the "17" you probably wonder what that is about???
Tia thinks I turned 17 ---of course she's right! 
....and that is how I feel---of course!
Ha! Thank you Tia for your hard work and effort and thank you dear friends for making it so' special with your presence!!!!  

And to think that Tia was sitting on the back of Yanti with that plate in her hand (very heavy!) and little Lia too, on the motorbike!  Such a sweet effort ...YES! I was spoiled!

 Yanti and her husband have two daughters, Shirley and Cecilia - Little "Lia" looked at' tall and different..with those beautiful dark brown eyes...wondering I am sure about what to think about those very different kind of people! and so tall...ha! 
                                              It took her a little while to get use to us!
 So here we are Yanti & Lia, then Anna who works out of her home for a factory - and Tia who is also from the beautiful hotel we stayed at!  Tia and her husband have a little "Veda" who is 3 yrs old.  Veda and her grandmother went to visit family in Jakarta..and was planning to stay another 2 week BUT she misses her Momma!  So today Veda is coming back and I know both parents are very very happy to get their little girl home again!  

A cozy group we are!  Nick & I enjoyed out time together talking with one another and going back in forth in English and Indonesian is very helpful indeed!  We appreciate our gracious friends and so enjoy our special time together weekly!

 Nick was asked to make a doll house - so he is measuring & drawing the pieces on the plywood and .....
always doing such a good job - God has gifted him with such creativity!  He is able to get all the pieces he needs on this one board!  
He has had the experience making them for his 2 daughters Stephanie and Charlotta, years ago!  Go Nick!

It is fun to see the steps - our neighbor Pak Jono came to hear what all the 'noise' was about - Nick did it with an electric saw he purchased!  

I will keep you in the loop of the progression!

Here is a caterpillar...again a very different he
 will turn into a beauty one day!  There are some really beautiful butterfly's around here too!

So the plan is to wake up "early" (our neighbors do that at 6 am!) but - well - we still go to bed way too late!  But closer to 6:30/7:00 am we start to clear the head and get up...and try to go for a walk!  When the Sun is out in the morning - it is surprising pretty hot already out there!  So the best time is really earlier!
Across from our house is this pathway we take and we enjoy walking down this road because of the beauty we see all around us!
Nick & I try to walk a good keep that heart rate going and pumping hard! But his morning I did take the camera with me so you all could enjoy this walk with us too!
Here is a fence made out of bamboo...oh it is used for everything strong and hardy!  Look how it is weaved in and out -
This might be an average house in the area...the lot is cleared and opened up and then the house is built!
Nick suggested I take a picture of this palm tree...see how there is those cuts in the tree trunk?
Look closely....that is how they climb up to the very top to get the coconuts!  
Untouched the foliage is so thick - so many plants and trees just grow wild...and if you DON'T keep thinning it out...well you have a jungle again!
Can't get over the little plants I always enjoyed having in our house...those climbing ones...and to see how BIG they can grow here is still amazing for me!
This home was cute with the colors and gate/iron work!  The yards were nicely maintained too!
Nick looks up to the palm trees - how very very tall they grow!  Oh it is so Nick! They grow so tall!
Two men are building this house...every time we walk by - now the roof is almost complete!  Cute roof!
The owner of a plot clears it and then grows what he wants on it....but the above pictures shows you how thick the shrubbery is normally!
 Remember this cactus growing in our front yard on the pillar?
Well now we know what comes out of these cactus'!
Just a stroll through the neighborhood and you see so much!

Sweet huh?
Well now you have been on our walk with us too!  Did you have fun?  

The name kampung (village) - let me try to explain something.  We are not away or separated from town...we are in town...but there is all these little neighborhoods off any main street and when you turn off into have these smaller streets with homes lined up.  They call these kampung and they have a name - so that men can easily figure out where you are.  So our address is 
Jalan (Avenue or Street said first) Antasena in the Kampung Dukuh area RT 06 RW 01 and these are the sections they are divided into.  Most people will say Dukuh RT 06 RW 01 -

Helpful to know and understand!  

So now you too can come and visit us!

Oh by the way - today we have been in the house already 4 weeks...can you believe it?
No sirree!