|The bride and groom: Saturday|
The Northwest Ministry Network has kindly agreed to let me be the guinea pig for future Google Hangout courses. If our experiment works, cross-cultural workers around the globe can take advantage of classes and seminars - provided someone is willing to prop up their laptop or tablet to let the expat "into the room."
This first course is Coaching and Brain Science (the way the body/mind processes change). Head coach Amy D is doing the honors on her tablet for me M/T and fellow coach Dan N will take over when she presents the W/Th course. We had some internet disconnects, but for the most part - with the help of two good note-takers - I caught most of the class. We even coached each other online. I am so grateful to get the information from thousands of miles away.
|It's one thing to have rain outside ...|
|and quite another ...|
|to have it streaming in through closed windows|
We hung around most of Friday and all day after lunch Sunday, waiting for the landlord to show up. The neighbors saw him inside our house Monday while we were at language school. He's not spoken to us in weeks. Sigh. It might be time to check in with the leasing agents again. A house is opening up a few doors down and we may consider that. Being able to use one out of five bedrooms hardly justifies the rent here.
|Classmates: reunited at a wedding, plus a foreigner|
Traffic was horrid. Our angkot took over an hour to make the trip to the building supply. Then the shop didn't have the locks or other items we were looking for. We took a taxi home but it was no faster. We'd left the house at 10am and made it in the door at 6pm. One lunch, a morning and afternoon errand accomplished. No wonder we never go anywhere on Saturdays!
Dr W had invited me to accompany her to the wedding of her classmate's children. We never know what to expect when we go to events but Dr. W had hinted it might be a formal affair. She and I had planned to leave at 6. I rushed into the house about then to change from the day's excursion, exhausted and sweaty. Time for a quick rinse and putting on wedding clothes! W stayed home to work.
|The lovely smile of Dr W|
On our way out after 9pm, we stood in line at the photo booth ... only to have them close the line as we got to the front. "Time's up!"
|Folded just so - from head to toe|
After church we met a couple and their son who is studying architecture at a famous university department in town. We decided to have lunch together. What a nice family: the husband was interested in design since he's a builder of Bali villas. They have lived in many parts of SE Asia. Their kids did high school in the USA, staying with relatives during their school years. So we had lots to talk about. And we hope to see them again.
We headed back to school in the morning. Our seminary friends came back to the house with us to negotiate a tricky situation. Friday, while W was tramping about the city and I was home, the helper's husband came inside at the end of the day. He asked me for money. When I asked what he exactly was asking, he wrote down goodly sum that he felt we owed him for the 10 days he'd stayed over while we'd been gone last week. (They'd actually stayed over 8 or 9 but we were gone for 10.)
Um. No. I told him Pak Waldemar handled the money and he could mention it to him on Monday. When W came home, I showed W the paper. "What?!" He was shocked. "I don't think so!"
I asked neighbors if the man's request was reasonable, and if not, what to do about it. "Nonsense!" they exclaimed. "Did you hire him? Your contract is with his wife. Our helper must stay over when we're away, and her husband is privileged to stay over with her. We certainly don't pay him. That man probably thinks you have a money tree growing in the garden and is shaking it to see if something falls down."
|The construction site at our back door:|
no barbecues allowed here yet.
Our dear Indian friends (who'd helped negotiate the helper's job) came by after school Monday. We had a pleasant lunch, combining their seminary lunch with fresh sausage and a new bread recipe (our first "real bread" since our arrival). Then the dreaded chore of the day...
While I was preparing lunch, Waldemar called the helper's husband in. Our friends explained that he had no right to ask for any money: we had allowed him to stay because his wife had asked if it was ok. Awkward. I really like the helper and hope she stays, but our friends also cautioned us about how to behave more wisely toward help.
"You must keep the proper distance to have them respect you, and also that they will not take advantage of you." Good advice indeed.
So that's that. No more privileges of sleeping here, away from their little house, when we travel. No more free meals for the husband who had been hired by the landlord. No leftovers for the family. Our Western inclination is that more generosity is better. However, we feel blessed and protected by the insights of those who are accustomed to expectations within an "other" social order.
I fell asleep about 5pm after resetting my watch to 3am Seattle time. I woke at 8am (Seattle) and did the full day of coaching - until 4:30pm (6:30am here). It was interesting to hear the night prayers over the neighborhood loudspeakers. The security guys banged on the metal fences all around the neighborhood at various hours.
During the lunch break I baked bread which had been rising in a bowl on the table. What a fine "supper." So what if it was 2am here! It felt like noon.
Tuesday, W woke up with a headache. Both of us had just enough time and energy to get ready for school. I left a note for the helper to do specific chores rather than letting her figure it out. We were out the door before 7. Needless to say, we drooped at times in the day. Only 3 more night-days to go.
Now it's time for sleep! It's 1am in Seattle and I have to be up by 8.
Note: as we learn these new ways of being, we want our hearts to remain open and generous - but with grace and wisdom that suits our new surroundings. THANK YOU for your prayers that God will protect, teach, and use us for his glory.
*Therefore keep the commandments of the Lord your God, by walking in his ways and by fearing him. Deuteronomy 8:6 NEV
*Not everyone who says to me, “Lord, Lord,” will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven. Matthew 7:21 NEV
*All flesh is like grass and all its glory like the flower of grass. The grass withers, and the flower falls, but the word of the Lord remains forever.” And this word is the good news that was preached to you. 1 Peter 1:24-25 NEV
Moravian Prayer: Father in heaven, guide us in the path of your will. May we have enough love in our hearts for you Lord, that we keep your commandments. We ask forgiveness of our sins. Thank you, Lord, that we have been redeemed by your precious blood. Amen.