Sunday, December 31, 2006

This morning on our way to church we were treated to the sight of dead goats with their necks slit having been sacrificed to celebrate Hari(day) Raya(big) Kurban. Last night they were calling Aluah Akbar for the entire night without ceasing... so needless to say, the grownups in this house are a little fatigued today. Then at 7:00 the calling stopped and we heard a sermon extolling the virtues of helping one another in times of need. I don't know if I've mentioned before, but we live about 75 metres from the nearest mosque. But there are many mosques very close to us and they all call out to pray at around the same time, but not in sync of course, and with the volume as high as it will go. It is quite the sound to hear. I wish I could record it for you to hear. Especially at night when sound travels really well; it is amazing to hear. Unfortunately it is all in vain as they are praying to Aluah and not Tuhan (our God).
Tonight we plan to welcome in the new year with the other MAF folks that are still around. The plan is to light fireworks off our roof. Hopefully, it doesn't rain....
We would like to wish all of you God's continued blessings in the New Year! Selamat Tahun (year) Baru(new)!

Saturday, December 30, 2006

What to do when it rains aaallll day long...

Hari Raya Kurban

Right now we are listening to the repeated prayers to Aluah as it is Hari Kurban right now. All week there have been goats and cows for sale by the side of the road.
Eid ul-Adha is celebrated by Muslims worldwide as a commemoration of Prophet Ibrahim's willingness to sacrifice his son Ishmael for Allah. (Muslims believe that Abraham had to offer up Ishmael, not Isaac) Others celebrate Eid ul-Adha as it marks the end of the Pilgrimage or Haji for the millions of Muslims who make the trip to Mecca each year. Like Eid-Ul Fitri, Eid ul-Adha also begins with a short prayer followed by a khutba (sermon). In Mecca, the khutba is delivered at Mount Arafat.
It is celebrated approximately 70 days after the end of the month of Ramadan.
Eid ul-Adha is four days long starting the day after the pilgrims in hajj (annual pilgrimage to mecca by Muslims world wide) descend from mount Arafat.
Men, women, and children are expected to dress in their finest clothing and perform prayer (Salat) in any Masjid or mosque. Muslims who can afford to do so sacrifice best domestic animals, usually sheep, as a symbol of Ibrahim's sacrifice. Any faulty animal scarification may not be acceptable by Allah (Quran,Hadith); this sacrifice is called "Qurban". The sacrificed animals (camels, cows, goats and sheeps) have to meet certain age and quality standards. At the time of sacrifice, Allah's name is recited along with the offering statement and a supplication as Muhammad said. The meat then is equally distributed amongst the sacrificer's family, friends, relatives, and the poor and hungry. The regular charitable practices of the Muslim community are demonstrated during Eid ul-Adha by the concerted effort to see that no impoverished Muslim is left without sacrificial food during this day. Coming immediately after the Day of Mount Arafat when Muhammad pronounced the final seal on the religion of Islam, Eid ul-Adha gives concrete realization to what the Muslim community ethic means in practice. People in these days are expected to visit their relations, starting from their parents, then their families and friends.
Today our neighbours invited us to a celebration for their new baby. Normally here before a baby is 40 days old they cut a bit of hair off the head and put it in a bowl with water and flowers. Not sure why they do that, but anyways, they at some point want to cut off all the hair as it is the hair from inside the mother and it is considered dirty. We didn’t go for the party as it started at 6:00 and like the house blessing party we observed a couple months ago, the men were sitting together and the women apart and they prayed and sang for a good half hour first and then they ate some appetizers together like deep-fried banana and other deep-fried delicacies. Then they gave all who attended a Styrofoam take-out container with white rice (of course) a piece of chicken, a hard-boiled egg swimming in hot sauce, some cabbage and cucumber and a piece of Indonesian kroepoek (not nearly as good as the dutch style…) to take home. We came when the party was basically done after our kids were in bed. But we still got our take-out meal. So we were able to visit with the parents of the baby, especially the dad. It was nice because we don’t often get to chat with him as he works in the morning and the evening and is home for a siesta during the afternoon. Today he had permission to stay home in the evening for the celebration. He works at a hospital and dispenses medicines like anti-depressants and epilepsy drugs. He didn’t formally train at university to do this, but went through a 2 month training program at the hospital. Our neighbours are always very honoured if we take the time to visit with them. It is really great for our language and cultural training to spend time with them. They are a really nice family.
P.S. This post is actually from 2 days ago, but because of the earthquake in Taiwan we have been having internet issues...

Thursday, December 28, 2006

It's Thursday and we're at the pool right now. I'm making use of the wireless internet available here. It's a tiny bit faster than our access at home and right now we can't get on the internet or access our email at home. So if you've emailed us in the past couple days and we haven't replied, well, we just haven't seen it.
We are having an enjoyable holiday so far. We took the kids to a bigger Jump'n Gym yesterday and they had fun there. Today, as I already wrote, we are at the pool. It's been a long time since we've been swimming as the weather has been so rainy and cold (at least cold for us...). So it's great to get a little vitamin sun today.
That's about the scoop from here! Praying that all is well with all of you also!

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Selamat Boxing Day!

Aidan and Hugo on the go carts. Quite hilarious, Aidan had a few spectacular crashes into the tires along the sides.

Today we took the kids to Bandung Super Mall again. We had promised to take them back when we had holidays as the last time we went it was so incredibly busy you could hardly move. Today it was soooo quiet, very nice. It did get a little busier towards mid afternoon, but by then we'd already had our fun. Please see photos for more about our fun... The last photo is of a bunch of kids that were waiting by the entrance to the mall. They try to earn some money by bring people to their cars under cover of their umbrellas. Of course it was raining by the time we went home and I was trying and trying to get through to the taxi company but to no avail. In the meantime these kids were standing in front of us literally staring at us as though we were an attraction at the zoo. That hasn't quite become entirely normal for us yet... There were taxis dropping people off in front and I ran up to one from our preferred company (BlueBird-clean cars and drivers who don't smoke...) but was told that I'd have to put my name on the list. I kind of acted like I sort of understood but not really and the next time a Blue Bird taxi came the door guy called me over so I guess magically the list disappeared and we were first. Turns out that BlueBird is not actually allowed to pick people up in front of the mall. People are supposed to go outside the mall grounds and wait. So we were just very fortunate that today the rules were bent for us and we made it home safely and in good time. Always an adventure here... Hope you all had a nice relaxing Boxing Day!

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Selamat Hari Minggu

It’s the day before Christmas and it’s raining again. It’s amazing how fast our thoughts have changed from, please rain, to, can we please have some sun? We managed to get in this family photo just before it started to rain, hence the spots on Hugo’s shirt… (that's our house on the left)
Well, we have all fallen victim to the evil flu. Aidan was the last victim to fall. Hopefully that means we will all be healthy for the rest of the holidays. The kids had their last day of school on Friday and will be going back, along with us, Jan 8, 2007. Hugo and I had our evaluations on Thursday and they went very well. We have officially passed unit three and are on our way up to unit 4. Yeah! Unit four is 2 hours in the afternoon but there’s more homework of the written variety.
We want to wish all of you, wherever you are in the world, a blessed Christmas as together we remember Christ’s birth.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

We have been having quite the rain storms here. If one were to venture outdoors, one would become drenched in seconds. Today we had a thunderstorm that was so close that the lightening and thunder were virtually simultaneous. It was incredibly loud!
In this country they are much more formal than we are with regards to what you call eachother. In Canada we adults just use first names unless we are speaking to an elderly person or a member of parliament. Children of course use the terms Mr. and Mrs. for grownups. Here, it is quite different. If you don’t know each other yet you must use Ibu for a married woman or Nona or Mbak for an unmarried woman. You may say their first name after the title though. Once you get to know each other and know who is older, the older person may call the younger by name only but the younger person must always use the title. Sometimes an older person will call the younger person Dik which is short for Adik which means younger sibling (even though they aren’t actually related…) At school we must call all of our teachers title first and then name. We must use Ibu even for the unmarried female teachers out of respect. Outside of school we can call them whatever they tell us to as some of them are a bit more modern… All the above rules apply to men as well except they are addressed as Pak if married or Mas if not married. In Canada we use the word “you” when talking to someone as well. Here it is more polite, at school especially, to use the proper title (don’t have to use the name too). It is actually very polite to use your own name when talking about yourself too. That’s weird to do so I’m not really doing it… At school before going home, the teachers must go to the head of the school and ask permission to go home (even though some of them have worked there for almost 20 years…). When asking permission, they must say their title, first name and then ask. Like, “Boleh (may) Ibu Erica pulang (go home)?” I never imagined that there would be this many little things to learn here!

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Here in Indonesia people eat a tremendous amount of rice. They eat it for each meal. So when the price of rice goes up, there’s a bit problem. This has happened a few times recently. There have already been demonstrations in Jakarta about it. The reasons for the rise in price are various. The rain came very late this year so the crops were affected. Also there are probably some unscrupulous government workers who sell rice to other countries for a profit instead of selling it to their own people. There are also those with lots of money who buy up tremendous amounts of rice and then sell it little by little for a lot thereby controlling the market. But the fact remains, the price of rice for the average person here has risen. Those who are very poor are beginning to resort to eating sweet potatoes or roots. Unfortunately, while roots might be a lot cheaper, they are also a lot lower in nutritional value. They are only a source of carbohydrates. Apparently the government is supposed to be controlling the price of rice but I’m not sure about all the details yet. Anyways, this is big news here right now and many of the “little” people blame the current government. They feel that life was better under the dictator Soeharto because at least then people could easily buy rice and milk. I think that time makes people forget the bad things….
On the family front, Hugo and I are feeling a lot better, but now Marc is sick with the same flu bug we had. That leaves only Brynne and Aidan who haven’t had it yet….
Tomorrow is our last day of school! Yippee!! Then on Thursday morning we have our evaluation, and we know that it is just a formality, they never fail you if you’ve made it past unit 1… phew….

Monday, December 18, 2006

Today a group of kids and some older "kids" from church came and sang some Carols and read some scripture about Christmas. Here you don't sing in front of the house, you go into the house. This is out of respect for our muslim neighbours and so that we don't all get eaten by mosquito's. It's really neat to be one in faith with these people in this foreign country so far away from home.
Update on the sewage issue: Apparently on Saturday already our neighbours had toilet sewage in their bathroom but they didn't say anything to us. We didn't see anything until Sunday and it wasn't until today that our neighbours told Ibu Tati about it. The people here are so non-confrontational that they didn't even eat so that they wouldn't have to use the toilet. Too funny! Anyways, the neighbour man hired someone, after we agreed to each pay half, to come and unplug the drain. Here that is not so easily done. They first had to dig out the concrete around the pipe beside our house. Then they had to cut open the pipe and use some sort of a long tool to push the blockage out. Then they had to repair the pipe and the concrete. Not very practical. But then they also cement toilets into the floor here... Anyways, the problem is solved thankfully!!
Well, it’s Monday morning and I’ve just dragged myself out of bed to check email and post a blog. Yesterday Hugo and I were hit with a nasty virus that made our entire bodies ache, throw up, fever and the rest… We have never ever been that sick before. At 2:30 yesterday I finally called the other MAF folks here and asked them if they could take the kids. The kids were doing great considering Hugo and I were both in bed so they had no supervision, but when Brynnie got up from her nap we needed help. Unfortunately now the drains of our house, and two of our neighbours are plugged and so any sewage water is coming up in all our bathrooms…. Yuck… One of my Ibu’s is on her way to talk with the landlord about it. Lets hope they just fix it and don’t make a big deal about it. Ibu Tati said that her daughter is doing a little better now but is still sick. But that Typhoid, it can last up to 5 weeks. Christiaan was also sick on Saturday so lets hope that Hugo and I are the last to get this nasty, nasty virus…

Friday, December 15, 2006

Today Ibu Tati came to work a bit late, had phoned first but didn't say why. When I went downstairs to see her it was obvious she had been crying. Her daughter, Bunga (means flower), is very sick with Typhoid fever. Last night she was delirious and didn't want to sleep all night. I have to admire Ibu Tati's dedication to her job with us, but I sent her home to be with her little girl. Typhoid fever is quite common here but it is still rather frightening as people can die from it. It can also take about 5 weeks for one to recover from it. Bunga has been sick for 2 weeks now and so is in the second stage which can be quite bad. Please pray for this little girl to get well and for her family to one day come to know the truth. It is difficult to witness here as you are technically not allowed to evangelize. You are allowed to answer questions, but you are not allowed to try to convert people outright. So we try to show by our way of life and how we treat others etc... Ibu Mysiah has once compared how we pray before and after meals to their prayers 5 times a day. Unfortunately she did this before our language was at its current level. I hope that one day she brings up the subject again because now we have more language to be able to talk better with her about it. One thing I did explain to my helpers was that Christmas trees and other decorations are not a Christian thing, but merely for decoration only. They were quite surprised by this as like many Indonesians, they assume that anything western is Christian.
A photo of Bunga and Brynnie sweeping the floor together.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Indonesia is a very superstitious country. This is still a long-lasting influence of the Hindu background and animism. Today as part of our homework we had to ask Indonesian’s about some of their superstitions. I spoke with one of our neighbour ladies and as we are both women, we talked about superstitions during pregnancy. For example, when pregnant, women should not cut up chicken. If they do the baby might be born missing an arm or leg. Also, the father must not go fishing. If he does, the baby might be born with a cleft pallet. The father also must not play cards or the baby may look like one of the characters on the cards…. And the list goes on… As you can guess, when a baby is born with something wrong, the parents feel an incredible amount of responsibility as they must have done something to make it happen.
Indonesians are also very suspicious of large dark trees. They feel that there are ghosts inhabiting the tree that will snatch children away.
I have written before about "masuk angin", but in case you didn't read it before I will explain it again. Indonesians believe that wind(angin), "entering" (masuk) your body is a bad thing. When air is still it is okay, but when it is moving fast, it is bad. Therefore when riding a motorbike, you must wear something like a jacket, if the zipper is broken, wear it backwards, or a vest. This bad wind entering your body will make you sick with many different things like, the common cold, or the flu. Even while riding crowded stuffy angkots, people will close the windows because they are afraid of the wind.

We are now officially in our last week of unit 3! After this unit we will have 2.5 weeks off, yeah!

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

This week I decided to put Marc and Brynne on antibiotics. Brynne’s bacterial infection has reoccurred and Marc has been complaining off and on of a sore stomach (we know he has drunk tap water a few times...) for a few weeks now. So I talked with the doctor’s assistant from the kid’s school. She recommended different antibiotics for the both of them. Brynne’s comes in enormous red capsules; suspension antibiotics are only recently making an appearance here and are very limited and expensive. So I have to open up the capsule and empty out the contents onto a piece of paper. It is a fine white powder which I then divide into three even piles. One pile I mix with yogurt and give to Brynnie. The rest I put back into the capsule for the next dose. Quite the procedure. Marc’s antibiotics come in a pill like a large Tylenol. For 10 pills it cost $2,000 Rupiahs, about 25 cents canadian!! First I have to split it, then crush the half and mix it with yogurt. For the both of them I have to do this twice a day. Hopefully these antibiotics will cure whatever ails them….

These are two things that I think we North Americans are missing, but which Indonesians find very practical. Who loves to bend over when sweeping the dust into the dust bin? Never bend again with the long handled dust pan!
Note the strainer that goes into your kitchen sink drain. Never worry about losing your wedding ring down the sink again!

Blog a la Nederlanse...

Zo al weer een poosje geleden, we zijn nu in onze derde week van Unit 3 en we kunnen steeds meer met onze buren en vrienden praten, Dit betekend dat we ook steeds meer leren over onze buren. Vandaag voor het eerste een lekke band gekregen met de motor, s’middags is het mijn taak (hugo) om de kinderen van school te halen. Normaal brengt Erica ze naar school in lopend zo krijgen we allemaal wat beweging en ik haal ze dan op met de motor, ik loop s’ochtends alleen naar school en met Erica terug. In iederegeval ik was op de motor en had Marc met me mee en ik zou Christiaan van school halen hij blijft s’maandags op school voor het voetballen, we waren bijna bij school toen ik merkte dat mijn achterband zachter werd dus bij school gestopt Christiaan opgehaalt en lopend met de motor naar de banden plak “winkel” het is een zijl gespannen langs de weg waar 1 of 2 jongens zitten die banden plakken voor motors, fietsen, en auto’s. Mijn lekkeband koste me 5000Rp dat is ongeveer € 0.50 en het was in een kwartiertje gedaan. Op deze foto is er ook een kleine Warung te zien waar je kunt eten, drinken en wat andere dingen kunt kopen. Wat ons op valt is dat je veel mannen en jongens langs de straat of bij de kleine “Warungs” ziet zitten. Ze spelen de hele dag domino of schaak. De vrouwen of meisjes zijn thuis, normaal gesproken spelen de vrouwen geen domino of schaak, ze “mogen” dit niet want dat zou betekenen dat het huis werk niet wordt gedaan. Er zijn ook andere voorbeelden er is een jonge familie vlakbij ons die een Warung hebben ze zijn net een paar jaar getrouwed en hebben een dochtertje dezelfde leeftijd als Brynne, ze werken alle bij in de Warung waar ze dan overdag ook leven, eten, en hun siesta houden, het dochterje speelt in het winkeltje of er voor, de kinderen leer hier vroeg om uit tekijken voor motors.

Mikah, Christiaan, en Aidan hebben het nog steeds goed naar het zin op school. Ze hebben alle 3 met het Christmas progamma mee gedaan Mikah moest een “Solo” singen en de jongens zongen in het koor, heel mooi en goed voor berijd.
Aidan heeft de gewoonte om elke dag even langs de school zuster te gaan, kijken of ze er wel is en misschien heeft hij wel een schrammetje of of iets anders kleins zodat ze wat voor hem kan doen.
Christiaan vind voetbal heel leuk maar vindt zijn sinterklaas kadootje ook heel leuk een gameboy spelletje waar hij dan ook regelmatig komentaar overgeeft hoe ver hij is en wat je allemaal moet doen.
Mikah leest veel, tekent, en maak hele wereldjes met de playmobil, my little pony’s, en lego.
Marc is een handvol voor de Ibu’s hij speelt graag met motors, gereedschap, bijde echte en speelgoed. En af en toe laat hij de Ibu’s ook schrikken zoals laatst sloot hij zich zelf op in onze slaapkamer en deed als of hij sliep, wel de Ibu’s zagen het al spelen met het stopcontact, met onze`spullen, of uit het raam. Toen zxe eindelijk de deur open kregen lag hij op bed met de handen onder het hoofd.
Brynne word took steeds ouder ze is een echte scharrelaar en de buren hebben haar de ook regelmatig op bezoek, ze houd van trap op en trap af deur in deur uit, de buren en de Ibu’s vinden dit maar niets want ze zijn bang dat ze valt. Indonesiers zijn zeer voorzichtig met kinderen??
We hopen dat jullie allen goede voorbereidingen hebben voor de feestdagen groeten van uit warm Bandung. Feunekes Familie.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

A little more info about the island we are living on..

Java (the island we are currently inhabiting) is by far the most populous island in Indonesia, with approximately 62% of the country's population. With 130 million inhabitants at 940 people per km², it is also the most populous island in the world. If it were a country, it would be the second-most densely-populated country of the world after Bangladesh except for some very small city-states. Since the 1970’s the Indonesian government has run transmigration programs aimed at resettling the population of Java on other less-populated islands of Indonesia. This program has met with mixed results, and sometimes caused conflicts between the locals and the recently arrived settlers.
Javanese are the largest and most dominant ethnic group in Indonesia. Approximately 45% of Indonesians are Javanese including one of our pembantu's, Ibu Mysiah. The majority of Javanese people today are Muslim, but their culture owes much to animism as well as Hinduism. The first religion of this region of the world was Hindu, later the Mulsim faith came and the two were somewhat blended along with animism. Only the island of Bali remains truly Hindu.
As is true with many of the cultural groups in Indonesia, the Javanese also have their own language. It is quite complex when compared to the more easily learned national language of Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian). The Javanese language has nine levels ranging from low to high, reflecting status, age and familiarity between speakers. There are regional variations too. The Javanese language of East Java is more course and generally considered less respectful than that spoken in Central Java. In Central Java, politeness and good manners are highly regarded. Loud displays of emotion are considered quite rude. Thus, the Javanese are known for their indirectness and deference to authority in order to avoid negative, embarrassing or uncomfortable feelings. This trait stems from the Hindu court traditions of pre-Islamic influence.
The Sundanese people are the second largest ethnic group in Indonesia. Ibu Tati, our other pembantu, and all of our close neighbours, are Sundanese. Despite inhabiting the western third of the island of Java, the Sundanese are not Javanese, any more than the Welsh are English. The culture and language of Sunda are quite distinct from those of Java, although they are certainly related. They are a soft-spoken people with a strong desire to help others.
Sundanese culture combines very diverse elements. While more overtly Muslim than the Javanese, many Sundanese maintain customs and beliefs rooted in older religions. Sundanese language and manners range from highly refined and formalized, to downright vulgar and ribald. Such contrasts are reflected in the performing arts, ranging from the exquisite melancholy of courtly poetry sung in tembang Sunda, to rhythmic farts squeezed from the armpits of ngajibrut street entertainers. Concerts are rare: ceremonies and celebrations are the most frequent occasions for musical performance. Music, dance and theatre can be for ritual, entertainment or both.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Here is the little cutie. Note the Koran and ginger above her head. Her grandmother told me that her nose isn't nice like white kids noses that point up. People here are not only obsessed with white skin, but they also love our noses because they point up somewhat. Their noses are much flatter and point down. Too funny! She's as cute as a button just the way she is!

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

So I visited with our neighbour this week. The one who just had a baby. She's as cute as a button, but yet unnamed (the baby that is...). I think they try to figure out her character first or something. I asked if I could take a picture of the baby and they said sure. This was the first time the baby had been photographed. They don't own a camera so they don't ever expect to have many photos and any photos they do have are proudly displayed in their home. They also don't use diapers on the baby because they are just too expensive. They just change the baby's clothes a lot and she sleeps on a rubber mat in a stroller that folds down flat. Currently she is sleeping with a little copy of the Koran and some ginger. I asked what the ginger was for and Nina, the mother, said that it is an old belief that it will keep bad spirits away....
I'm having trouble posting photos right now, but as soon as the problem is fixed I'll post a photo of the little cutie...
Otherwise things are pretty normal here. We have been getting some massive torrential rain storms with some incredibly loud thunder. Wah duh! The gongs down to our house get so slippery when it rains because they are so dusty otherwise. But we have no shortage of water right now and we can enjoy a luxurious hot shower on a daily basis! Yippee!!

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Marc opening some presents.
The crowded living room.
Ibu Mysiah grinding fresh spices with a mortar and pestle.
Ibut Tati decorating the cupcakes she baked.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

It's a party!!

Well, we had our party for Marc, and we survived. It is not even 8:00 and all the kids are in bed and the house is back in order and spotless! Quite the experience again it was. My helpers came in at 11:00 am and began preparing the food. I was expecting about 30 guests to come so we needed a fair bit of food. We made fries (store bought) and chicken strips (homemade) for the kids. For the grown ups we made chicken legs (like shake’n bake, only deep fried of course) the sundanese dish made with beef called rundang, and chop chai (stir fried vegetables). We also had kroepoek (a must here), lumpias and a fruit salad made Canadian style (by me-the only thing I made). Here normally fruit salad is actually spicy. The ladies ate tons and tons of it because it was so tasty. My secret, canned peaches from Del Monte… Shhhh…
So the idea was that we would start at 5:00. Somehow the other pembantu’s were told that it started at 4:00- so we had guests long before we were ready. But Indonesian kids are incredibly patient; they just quietly sat and waited while our kids got a bit wild with boredom. The funny thing was that in the empty house next door to us there was a circumcision party today. Here boys are circumcised when they are a bit older and can understand why. And then they have a big party right after-the boy gets no time to recuperate first. Anyways, that was going on next door. Which was a bit of a worry. You see, here people are really good at crashing parties, especially ones with lots of free food. Anyways, we opened the party with prayer (already there were a few boys hanging around the front door) and then we sang a whole bunch of songs and then the kids went to eat. That’s when some of those from outside wormed their way in and once in how do you say no? Well, we kind of ran out of fries pretty quickly, but here that doesn’t matter because kids are just used to eating rice. Then the adults went to get their food, again some people we didn’t know were helping themselves. No big deal, we had a ton of food for everyone. It was just funny because they basically took the food and ran. Then we handed out cupcakes and after that goodie bags to the invited kids. So it went pretty well. It was incredibly crowded in our house, but everyone had a good time and the food was really, really good. As most of the invitees were pembantus of other MAF’ers, the house was cleaned up in no time at all!
In the meantime, this morning our neighbour finally had her baby. A little girl. If I can I hope to visit her tomorrow as that is a very special thing to do. Of course, here, instead of bringing flowers, bring an envelope with money!

P.S. There's a problem with blogger so I'm unable to post photos at this time...