Monday, August 26, 2013

a look at our home... from the outside.

welcome to our home... 

in indonesia all houses are built side by side (sharing walls) and all have gates (unless you live in a gate-less community but those are very rare).  so our house is the one with the grey and black gate.  we really love our new home and especially our neighborhood.  one day i will take pictures of the inside... one day maybe.  :)
we sit outside our gate many afternoons and kids begin to gather.  i put my camera away when they come so i can interact and watch my kids so i don't have any photos of the kids playing.  but our kids are really making friends on our street and i'm so thankful!  it is known now that we have about every time of ball that can be bought here (we are a sports loving family) so the kids gather around and play... we're teaching them baseball, basketball and football, the important ones.  :)  

a view of our street.  i really like our street... it's a brick street with bright orange curbs, lined with tons of green trees.  it's really colorful (as most things are here) and there is something about it i love... and as i write how colorful it is i'm not sure why i chose to include a black and white photo.  oh well, next time.  the sun also sets behind mary every evening and brings in really pretty light.  

we also have a lovely (or totally disgusting) "creek" of water in front of our house... it's in front of every home.  it's the drainage system or something.  it's black, filled with trash, dead animals and mosquitos and doesn't flow... ever.  mary is sitting above it in the photo above.  i have a very high tolerance for germs, but that thing grosses me out!!!

people don't make plans here like we do in america, so we just kind of hang out outside and wait until kids come out.  we eat our snacks outside, luke sprays ants with water (a favorite past time), and we just bring whatever outside so people know we're up for playing.  

luke and his crazy face with the huge bruise on his forehead... he's all boy.

this is a terribly blurry photo but i love it because mary is looking at luke and laughing at him being silly... there is something about the look in her face that shows she is really enjoying her brother.  those moments come but not always, so it's sweet.

luke is "be right back" as we call it.

mary proudly writing hers and luke's names

and if i were to guess, luke is drawing a guitar pick.  his drawing of choice these days.

now we're off to the "court" in our neighborhood.  there is a big slab of concrete that kids play soccer on and ride bikes.  it's nice because there are a lot of trees so it's often shaded (a big plus here!).  there are also some treacherous 1970's playground bars... but we take what we can get so we play on them.  

climbing together... :)

mary looking amazingly athletic.  confession, i think she ran past the ball and didn't end up kicking it... but the photo makes her look like she's going to kick it with her back leg in motion.  one day, mary, one day.  

and this is luke's favorite face these days.  he loves to do it to people looking at him across the room (i catch him doing it to random indonesians sometimes), when he talks to my parents on skype and especially when i'm trying to have a serious "talk" with him about the need to obey.  i used to bust out laughing (because i wasn't expecting the face)... now i am strong and laugh in my heart.  :)  

and here are a few people that passed our house as i was sitting outside.  i haven't figured out how to take good photos of people passing my house in motion yet... but one day i will and you will see the many things you can buy and services you can receive from a person passing your house on a bicycle.  :)  

this is our cute neighbor who the kids love!  nenek mul, aka 'grandma' mul  

and this guy was yelling "sepatu" (shoe) as he rode by, indicating that he is ready to fix any shoes that may need repairs.  i love how different life is here (usually).  :)

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

the cow-headed-train-mobil.

 a few weeks ago luke's neighborhood "school" had a special activity for idul fitri.  one of the traditions (for lack of a better word) of the holiday is to give food to the poor.  so, luke and his little friends all brought snacks that were complied so that each kid got 2-3 bags to give away... as we road on the random cow-headed-train-mobil around town. (see below)

here's luke's little class.  i mean, could the kids be any cuter!?!?

this is what we all rode on.  first, i thought that the kids would ride on it and the parents would walk beside it.  i thought we were just going on a little joy ride around the neighborhood.  not the case.  we all piled on with the 30 kids on our laps and we went all over our area and on major roads.  not something that would happen in the safety land of america!  :)

here's luke walking to the train with his bags.  love him.

getting ready to go.  mary was not too thrilled about be jammed on that train, as you can tell by her clearly stressed face.  once we got going she liked it a little bit, but it was a little too hot and crammed for my little girl.  she hung in there though.  

luke loved it because he was on my lap hanging half way out the entire time trying to pass out his bags.  i was holding him, trying to assure he wouldn't fall off into the sea of motorcycles, trying to help him give his bags to people and photograph the whole thing.  not an easy task.  here's a photo of the beauty/challenge of driving in surabaya.  

a few of the happy recipients.

and here's a terrible photo of us.  :)  a really fun cultural, unique experience... with about a gallon of sweat to show for it (as usual for me).  the joys of tropical indonesia. 

Sunday, August 11, 2013

idul fitri 1434

this weekend millions of people in our country celebrated idul fitri, the end of the month of fasting for Muslim people.  it all started on thursday morning with a special service at each local mosque.  we have a mosque in our neighborhood so earlier this month i asked permission to come to the prayer time to take photos.  i was warmly welcomed... in fact, i had many people invite me to the front as they saw me awkwardly hiding behind things taking photos.  i resisted as i wanted to keep attention away from the only white, unveiled woman. 

i watched, prayed and photographed.

a look into the celebration in our neighborhood....

these are the two women who live across the street from us, one of whom is the leader of our area.  she says she now has grandchildren (luke and mary)... and our kids refer to them as "nenek", or grandma.  we have been so welcomed by them and are so thankful for this relationship.

this is a huge time of celebration, family and community.  many go back to their villages to be with family or visit family in the area.  as they greet one another on this day they shake hands, kiss both cheeks (for women) and say "mohon maaf lahir dan batin".  it means please forgive my sins, both internal and external.  they have an opportunity to make things right with others.  this is a deeply spiritual time for many, and i'm sure there are many who aren't thinking about the spiritual implications (just as many Christians don't truly focus on the meaning of christmas).  i feel like this is the first time that we are getting a glimpse of what this holiday is about for many people.  

our neighbors, the mothers of two of luke's "school" buddies (the one in white is his teacher also)

these are our luke's little friends from our neighborhood play group.  both live on our street and mary and luke have gotten to play with them quite a bit this holiday.  i'm thankful my kids have friends to play with our on street.

**obviously i don't have any photos of men... they were there, i just wasn't bold enough to approach the front to photograph them.  :)

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

visa run take two.

so, we went to singapore last week to get our visas... and it was successful!  praise God!  we are legal in indonesia for 2 years.  our friends came with us because they were in a similar (or much more difficult) visa journey as us.  it was fun to hang out and explore new places with them.  

we went to the kids' section of the botanical garden one day.  there were big slides, sand, a splash pad and some other stuff.  it was good times.

and of course i didn't bring swimsuits.  i'm that mom, all the time.  

then we saw a real playground in little india (which had delicious food carts!).  

the big girls did a lot of helping with luke... and luke loves being their buddy.  thank you for all you helped him with and all the times you entertained him, girls!  :)

we had a lot of pool time.  mary just kind of hangs out in her tube.  this pool didn't have a shallow end or steps so i was really thankful for the tube (otherwise i would have been holding her the whole time).  

i got a spray bottle at ikea.  oh, how i love ikea!  luke loved the spray bottle too.  

and we had a family night out to chili's... and i had chips, three different dips and red wine for dinner.  it was pretty amazing.  :)  it was such a fun family night for us!  danny and i loved the food and the kids did so well.  we laughed a lot and had a really fun dinner out (doesn't always happen with young ones).  and did i mention that i love, love, love chili's chips and salsa.

and these cars, which were stationary because i'm not one to pay for cars to move for 45 seconds, entertained the kids for so long.  they play together.  together!  laughing, pretending, talking.  it was glorious.  they do a lot of not playing together, a lot of protecting their toys from being snatched and intentionally annoying one another so this was a glorious time.  

and lastly, we picked up a new family member at ikea.  meet ruby.  she is mary's new baby.  she went everywhere with us, got a passport and a ticket to board the plane.  she's cute.  

now we're home and plan on staying here for a while.  we've been thankful for the time we've had as a family as we've travelled for our visas but are very ready to just be home.  we're getting to know people in our neighborhood and the kids have started to make friends.  we've had neighbors at our house for hours this week as it's the biggest holiday of the year here.  we look forward to settling into our new home and neighborhood, with new visas in hand.