Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Words of "wisdom"..

Heard at the supper table last night...
three year old child,"I don't want to get married."

Parent,"Why not?"

Child,"Because I don't want to die."

What have we been teaching this child???!!!

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Blog a la Nederlanse

Nog een paar dagen en dan is Unit 4 achter de rug, dit naar school gaan is wel even wennen we hebben misschien niet zo lang school van 13:00 tot 15:00 maar we hebben zo’n 2 uur huiswerk en dan moet je ook je vragen nog beantwoordt hebben bij een vriend of een goede buur. Je leert wel veel over de gewoonten van de Indonesiers zo als: als je een goede friend tegen komt zeg je niet “goede morgen” maar gewoon “morgen” en dan “wat ben je aan’t doen” of “waar ga je naar toe / kom je vandaan”, je hebt altijd tijd voor vrienden, buren, of familie gewoon even een praatje zelfs als je wat laat bent voor werk, al zeg je dan “sorry hoor maar ik ben laat voor werk tot ziens”. Nou is dit natuurlijk niet veel anders dan Nederland maar als je hier goede morgen tegen een bus chauffeur of de winkelier zegt wordt er vreemd naar je gekeken zo als ze hier zeggen “Lucu sekali” = erg grappige.
Mensen wonen hier natuurlijk ook anders en hebben een zeer andere huis inrichting zoals onze buren als je het huis in loopt is er een oud studenten bank in de “gastenkamer” 2m x 5m en dan de woonkamer 3m x 5m met een vistank een kleine boeken kast en een tafel met een TVtje. De keuken is een aanrecht zonder sink en de kooktoestel “op olie” staat op de grond en je kan de badkamer zien want er is een half muurtje tussen de badkamer en de keuken dan is er ook nog een trap naar boven zonder railing, we weten niet wat er boven is zo ver zijn we nog niet geweest. Er zijn twee kleine slaapkamers beneden, er wonen moeder met twee zonen (25 en 14) dochter en schoonzoon met dochtertje (4) en een nieuwe baby en dan komt ook regelmatig de neef slapen want het is dichterbij school. De schoonzoon werkt voor een medicine bedrijf de zoon zoekt voor werk maar werkt af en toe als motor reparatie monteur, moeder heeft een gado-gado (een soort salade met pindasauce) stand op de straat bij onze kampung haar man is al een paar jaar geleden overleden de familie is zeer gast vrij en we hebben dan ook regelmatig thee daar. De familie is zeer Sundanees dat is West Javanees maar niet van Jakarta. We hopen meer van ze teleren en daar door ook meer van ons tekunnen vertellen. In Indonesie kun je niet vrij uit evangeliseren aangezien een van de 5 prinsipes is dat elk geloof is even belangerijk en het is dus niet goed als je zegt dat ze een verkeerd geloof hebben. We bidden dan ook dat de mensen door onze levenstijl vragen krijgen.

Today Christiaan's class had an Egyptian presentation for the parents. It was really cute, complete with a pharaoh and a mummy (see photo).

No other important new news to report. We're all healthy! For the time being....

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Many Indonesians have trouble hearing the difference between the words “kitchen” and “chicken” and we think, well, what’s so hard about that? Until you try to learn their language….

Words that sound alike but mean very different things:

Doa – pray
Dosa – sin

Boleh – yes you may
Buleh – white skinned person

Kelapa – coconut
Kapala – head

Istirahad – break
Istri – wife

Undang – invite
Udang – shrimp

Bolos – play truant
Balas – reward

Alat – tool
Alamat – address

Tinggal – live at
Tanggal – date (day/month/year)
Tunggal – the only one

Bintang – star
Binatang – animal

Menengok – visit a relative or sick person
Merokok – to smoke

Janji – promise
Jangan – don’t

Cincin – jewelry/ring
Cincang – chop into pieces (it’s what we call ground beef)

Friday, January 26, 2007

More reason to be thankful...

The other day I decided to buy Ibu Nina some diapers for her little baby girl. I bought a pack of 14 diapers. I think all of you back home would say, wow, that’s a small package, it’ll only last about 2 days. To Ibu Nina, who normally buys one diaper at a time, or maybe a pack of 6 if her husband has just been paid, this was a very big package of diapers. Normally her baby wears these thin cloth diaper type things that you tie on. But as soon as the baby pees she needs to be changed because her clothes get wet. So Ibu Nina spends an enormous amount of time washing the baby’s diapers and clothes in between feeding her. They also have to wash everything by hand as they don’t have a machine. So I felt rather sorry for her and decided to buy her some diapers. The pack of 14 only cost me about $3.50. Unlike with us, I’m sure this pack will last more than 2 days as they normally only use them at night or if they have to go out.
Just another reason to be thankful for what we have the ability to buy…
This is the best "before" photo I could find of our kitchen. The next photo is what Rp 600,000 will buy you... Our old cupboard doors were growing mould on them and they also didn't allow any air to circulate in the cupboard and so it was a veritable petri dish down there... not very healthy. So while we hated to have to spend money on a house that's not our own and that we're only going to live in for another 6 months, we feel that it's better for our health this way.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

This morning I went outside our front door with my school book in my hand to go and see if someone could answer my questions of the day. Ibu Umi from next door, the house with one window and lots of people living in it, waved me over rather enthusiastically. So I went in and sat down. I wondered what was up. Turns out her son needs to buy books for school. There are some books that the students share between a few because you can write your answers in a notebook. But most of the other books you have to buy because you have to write down the answers in them. They needed Rp112,500 in order to buy all the necessary books for the second semester of school. They said that they would repay us by the 10th of the next month as that is when Ibu Nina’s (Ibu Umi’s daughter, the one with the new baby who by the way has been named Mita) husband gets paid and then they can pay us back. Normally it is expected that they show me the books that they bought so that I know they are not lying. But as we live right next to these people and see them work hard every day to eke out a living here, I quite trust them. After we had finished talking about that, I went and got them the funds. Then it was time for the baby to be bathed and Ibu Umi asked me if I wanted to see how they do it. So I went into the back room of their house where they have their “kitchen”. It’s hard to explain what it is like, but I’ll try. There really isn’t a kitchen at all. There is a small counter top in one corner but it doesn’t have a sink. There is no sink at all. Beside that, surrounded by 4 foot high walls, was a squatty potty toilet. There is no door to this “washroom”, only a doorway. None of these walls are painted and are just the colour of the cement they were made with. Then Ibu Nina told me that her brother wanted to “use the water” so I vacated that area of the house quickly. Her brother closed a curtain in the doorway between that area of the house and the rest. That’s as much privacy as you get... Wah duh! It’s no wonder they think our house is sooooo nice. So, while my kitchen is incredibly tiny, at least I have a one with a sink and a tap and a fridge and a double burner gas stove and an oven box. (see photos that I posted in August of our kitchen…) And while our bathrooms aren’t beautiful to look at, they have doors that you can lock and showers that spew out hot water and sinks to wash by…
The Indonesian government has started a program whereby families that are very poor can get a special paper which enables them to visit the state run hospitals and see a doctor and get medicine free of charge. With this paper they can also get rice for a lot cheaper from their local RT guy. However, to qualify for this special letter, you must live in a house that has a dirt floor, is not made out of cement-just weaved bamboo or cardboard, and is not very big. You must also not have a job or own the house yourself. This should give you any idea of the poverty that exists here. People like our neighbours are considered too well off to qualify for that kind of governmental help. Makes us all thankful to live in a country like Canada where good health care is available to all.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

On days when it isn't raining, the kids like to play together outside. Not much room, but they have fun anyways.
Today, it's raining... but that's a good thing, we don't want our well running dry again...

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Have no Fear!

To all of you who thought we were homesick after reading my last blog, have no fear. We are not homesick, these are just humorous observations we’ve made so far. We love living here! (Although Christiaan really misses our big yard back home...) When you move to a country such as this one, there is very little that is the same. You must adjust or go bust. (I just made that up…) And all the things that, when you first arrived, you thought were gross or weird, just become normal.
Yes Nicole, most people in Canada buy No Name ranch dressing, and if they had it here I would gladly buy it, but Kraft Fat Free is the absolute only kind of ranch dressing they have. There is just simply no other choice. It’s also about $2.50 for a tiny bottle… so we don’t buy it very often. That’s part of life here. You just make do with what’s available and hope your taste buds (and those of your kids) eventually adjust… That’s the same with the milk here. Yuck in general. But there is a kind of fresh skim milk you can buy that’s drinkable. It also costs $2 for 1 litre! Thankfully most of the kids are happy to drink the UHT milk which is a little cheaper. Again, thankfully, take-out pizza from the local Pizza Hut is much cheaper than back home (although again, it doesn’t taste nearly as good as Panagopolis…). Generally though, we eat a lot of Indonesian food as it is cheaper and we really like it a lot. There are times though, when you just want a good baked potato instead of white rice… Potatoes are available (one variety only), but again a lot more expensive than rice…
BTW, apparently today is the first day of the muslim new year. We thought that maybe last night there would be fire works etc, but nothing of the sort. Just a nice quiet night…

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Things we've learned/experienced so far...

If it feels like something is crawling on you, there probably is something crawling on you
If the thing digging around in that corner looks like a rat, it probably is a rat
If you hear noises up in your ceiling, it’s probably a rat too (we have a flat roof so no problems like this-friends have had it happen)
If the angkot you’re riding on seems full, there’s probably room for at least 5 more people
If it feels like there aren’t any windows open in the angkot, there probably aren’t, because, remember, wind is bad, bad, bad…
Hang on to your wallet when riding on an angkot…
Always make two choices when ordering anything anywhere, because there’s a good chance your first choice is out of stock.
When getting a doctor’s prescription, there’s a good chance that half of the items listed are vitamins…
Make sure to rinse your feet off after walking through rain water (it rises pretty high here during downpours) to avoid mysterious rashes
Don’t be freaked out about sharing your home with little lizards, they eat mosquitos
Oh the sound that’s made when you squash a cockroach…
Always carry extra Kleenexes in your purse as toilet paper is never a given in public washrooms…
Don’t make use of too many electrical items at one time in your home or you’ll find yourself in the dark
Water pressure is a fond memory of old…
As is drinkable tap water…
And lots of kitchen counter space..
And really tasty hot dogs that aren't bright red..
And Kraft Ranch dressing with the fat still in it (we can only buy fat free ranch dressing in small bottles-not the same…).
Pointy noses are the best…
So is really, really white skin…
Streets = garbage can, recreation area, eating area, place to sell whatever you can possibly sell
Rivers = garbage dump, laundry facilities, toilet, bathtub…
MPV=multi person vehicle=motorcycle
When a baby’s poop changes colour it means he wants to be smarter…
This is also true when a child loses weight…(I learned this very important info only recently from our neighbour ladies)
If you haven’t eaten rice with your meal you’ll get hungry really fast-you need to eat rice with every meal
People are much, much more important than time!

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

So yesterday we decided to take Christiaan to get his blood tested as he hadn’t been feeling well at all and was still covered in little spots and complaining of a very sore head. The idea was that the lab would check for dengue fever. Instead they did a host of other tests including checking for typhoid fever, but did not check for dengue. The nurse from the kid’s school called the lab and asked them about it and they said that they check all the pertinent blood information and if the numbers are not within normal range then they go ahead and check for dengue. But as Christiaan’s numbers were okay they said that that meant he didn’t have dengue. So even though we specifically asked for a dengue check, they still did things there own way. The reality is that even if the blood seems normal, he could still have dengue. Anyways, it’s an expensive test, for here anyways, and we already paid a lot for the other tests, so we won’t bother going again unless he really doesn’t improve. The reality is that there is no special medicine that you give for dengue, you just need lots of rest and fluids. So that’s what we’re going with right now. So far only Hugo and Aidan have avoided this thing, whatever it is. According to the nurse from the school, it could also be a strain of rubella. Even though we’ve been vaccinated against it, there could be a deviant strain here. We know that it is recoverable as Marc has completely recovered from it. We had his stool checked about 2 weeks ago and he was all good (thankfully!). He has been much happier lately than before. Brynnie’s big spots are now drying up into little ones although she still has some of the little tiny spots like Christiaan. But she’s still quite happy and very active. This is all simply part of the fun of living in a tropical climate in a country like Indonesia.
At church there is a couple that quite obviously enjoy eachother’s company. He looks to be in his early thirties, she a bit younger. I asked our friends about them, like do they plan to get married? David said, ”Well, they do love each other… but she’s Chinese and he’s from a different Indonesian ethnic group (I can’t remember the name he said, it’s one of the smaller ones.).” So I’m thinking, what’s the big deal? Well, Indonesians don’t really like Chinese and Chinese would rather their children married with fellow Chinese descendants. A couple generations ago a lot of Chinese people escaped China to come to Indonesia in the hopes of a better life. And life is generally better here as there are more freedoms than in China. However, the Indonesian government isn’t a big fan of them and gives them a special designation on their identification card, even if they are born here and their parents are born here. They also have to pay a lot more tax and are refrained from working in Academia, public service and other governmental occupations. The thing is that a lot of the Chinese who came here worked very hard and opened businesses, especially textile shops and factories. So a lot of them are wealthy and they also employ a lot of Indonesian workers. Although there are many who are not wealthy as well, the general Indonesian population views them with suspicion. Back in 1998 there was a bit of an uprising due to the fall of the rupiah and basic economic problems. Some students in Jakarta started demonstrating against the president at the time, Suharto. Four students were shot and rioting followed the funeral. For some reason people started looting businesses and shops owned by Chinese. Also a lot of Chinese women were raped. This of course led to an exodus of Chinese people. There was a fact finding mission into these events and it was determined that there were a number of groups of people made up of men who “were well-built with short-cropped hair (they refrained from saying the word soldier.). But when the Chinese left, a lot of Indonesians lost their jobs. Even my pembantu’s speak negatively about them. I think a part of it is jealousy and a part of it is the fact that the Chinese still maintain a lot of their cultural traditions. Also a lot of them are Christian, Buddhist or Fung Shway (not sure I spelled that right). They are also the one group that likes their helpers to wear special white uniforms with checkered trim so everyone can see that this person with them is a helper. (Not a big fan of that whole practice) So anyways, this poor couple from church, who although love each other, may never be able to marry as long as their parents do not approve. Kind of sad, one would think that being Christian would superscede all that, but I guess that isn't the case here.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Today just I went to church with just Christiaan and Aidan. The idea was to not pass on the virus, as it is obviously contagious, to the other folks at church. But Christiaan isn't fully recovered, he had a fever on Friday night, and went to bed tonight with a fever again and has little red spots all over. Brynne looks really awful still. All her spots have pustules now. I'm not sure the doctor was so right in his diagnosis of an allergic reaction. We may take Brynne to get her blood checked tomorrow morning. A bit frustrating not to be able to completely trust the doctors here. One really has to take charge and do a lot of research on their own.
We were unable to visit Ibu Tati on Saturday as her husbands older sibling passed away the night before. It turned out to be a good thing because Mikah and Christiaan were both not feeling too hot that day.
For the rest we're doing fine. We had a good dump of rain today which freshened everything up again as it was getting a bit dry here.
Selamat Hari Minggu to you all as you are just starting out your sunday as we are ending it off having just listened to a very interesting sermon by Rev. Wielenga on 1 Sam 21; David's visits to Nob and Gath paralleled with Christ's suffering for us and what we need to do here now.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Well, there’s another virus making the rounds of our home. Wah duh! Didn’t expect to get sick this much!? Thankfully this virus just makes one feel kind of lousy and have a fever for a night or two. Unfortunately Brynnie is suffering from it at the same time as reacting to her immunizations last week and she seems to have some sort of allergic reaction right now. At least that’s what the doctor thinks. Brynnie is covered in large red welts that are hot to the touch. She woke up with them, poor thing. But inspite of it all, she still has a tremendous amount of energy. The doctor prescribed amoxicillin so hopefully it helps whatever infection she’s fighting. It’s always a hoot to go to the doctor’s clinic here. For minor things and vaccinations I go to this beautiful new hospital but I’m not sure that the pediatrician there is very experienced and I trust a local doctor more (at least right now). When you go to the clinic you just put your name down on a list and wait. Today, I came 15 minutes before the clinic opened and I had to wait 1.5 hours to see the doctor. Ugghh… Not real fun, but we survived. Thankfully my Indonesian is a lot better now and I was able to understand him quite well.
Tomorrow we hope, provided everyone is healthy, to visit one of our helpers, Ibu Tati. It will be interesting to see where and how she lives and to meet her family. It will also be interesting to see how it goes as she insists that the entire family must come.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Today we started Unit 4, yeah! Four times a week we have to hand in a written assignment as the focus in unit 4 is more on reading and writing than on pronunciation and grammar. We do however; still get grammar class once a week. We also have to do 2 formal presentations this unit. At the same time as working on reading and writing, we will be learning more about the culture here. We’ve already learned some, but now we will delve even deeper into it. Today we learned that while in other countries it is common to greet anyone with a greeting such as “Good morning, how are you?” Here that is only used in formal situations. Most of the time you will greet friends and neighbours with a greeting like “where are you going?” or “where are you coming from?” or “buying lots today?” It is quite funny that they don’t ever say hello. But because we are foreigners, a lot of people do greet us with “selamat” out of respect. If you pass someone you don’t know, you just nod your head and smile.
I often chat with the mother and daughter that live beside us. On the photo is the daughter with her two daughters. The mom’s name is Nina and her mother’s name is Umay. They all live together with Nina’s husband, and her two younger brothers. (I have mentioned them before.) Ibu Umay’s husband died about 7 years ago. They have one window in their entire house. They also do not have an oven and cook using a kerosene burner. They also do not have a fridge so when everyone in the kampung received meat on Hari Kurban, they had to eat theirs right away or it would go bad. Had I been more on the ball, I would have offered them a corner of my freezer… These two women are so much fun to talk with. They have such a great relationship. Ibu Umay I always there to help her daughter with the kids or the wash and ironing (they iron absolutely everything, and I mean, everything…). They are also extremely culturally correct. The other day Nina apologized for having her feet out in front of her while nursing the baby while sitting on the floor. It is impolite to point the soles of your feet out. Of course I told her that that is really not impolite to me and not to worry, but it is so ingrained in her that she can’t help it. Nina and Ibu Umay love to tease each other too but they do it in such an Indonesian way. I can’t even really explain it as it is so tied into the language and culture. But it is very cute anyways. It has been a real treat to get to know them and they have helped me with my language a lot.
Nina, and her two girls. Asilah is holding her new barbie that her dad bought her because she wouldn't stop crying after they came home from the hospital with the new baby. She is still very jealous of her new sister...
P.S. We thought the kids would start school today as well, but they are still off until thursday!

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Blog a la Nederlanse...

Wij wensen jullie allen een gezegend nieuw jaar.
In een moslim land waar we nu wonen zegt Kerstfeest niet veel. Het maakt ons bedroeft om te denken aan al die mensen die denken dat ze hun eigen weg naar de hemel moeten kunnen bewerken. Gedenk ook deze mensen in uw gebed dat ze de blijdschap van dit goede nieuws kunnen delen. Dat ze mogen begrijpen dat Jezus de enig weg naar zaligheid is.
We leven met en onder de mensen met een Moslim geloof en dus wanneer zij speciaale feestdagen hebben kunnen we dat meemaken. Het eerste feest dat we mee maakte was Ramahdan dit is de maand dat ze vasten van zon’s op tot zon’s ondergang, niet eten, drinken of roken dus. Uit respect for dit aten en dronken we dus ook niet in publiek. Elke morgen rond 2:30 kon je de mosque horen om de mensen te waarschuwen dat het tijd was voor de laatste maaltijd van de dag, sommige mensen gaan daarna weer slapen sommige blijven ook op zoals een van onze pembantus. Deze hele maand is besteed om je zonden te gedenken van het afgelopen jaar. De maand eindigt met Idul Fitri op de laatse dag van vasten rond om 18:00 komt de mosque weer tot leven maar nu met het zegen van een kort gebed dat de hele nacht door gaat tergelijketijd zijn er mannen en jongens aan het trommelen en word er vuurwerk afgestoken dit we hoorde dat dit tot ongeveer 4:00 s’ochtends duurde wij waren rond 23:00 inslaap gevallen. De volgende dag word besteed aan het beszoeken van familie en frienden waar er veel word gegeten. Dit was eerste keer dat Erica werd uitgenodigt bij de buren in huis.
Het tweede feest is Korban dit van 30 tot 31 Dec en met dit feest wordt herdacht dat Abraham zijn zoon “Ismael” wilde offeren maar dat de Here een ram in de plaats heeft gegeven, de Moslims geloven dus dat het Ismael was en niet Isaak, op 30 Dec rond 18:00 begint de mosque met het gebed wat eindigt rond 5:30 s’ochtends en dan een paar uur later worden de geiten en koeien geslacht. Het wordt verwacht dat een ieder die het kan betalen een geit of een koe (voor de rijken) koopt een geit kost ongeveer Rp 750.000 wat is iets hoger dan een gemiddelde maands loon. Er zijn dan ook niet veel mensen die dit kunnen betalen Hugo heeft wat foto’s gemaakt van het verdelen van het vlees, dit wordt gewoon buiten op de grond gedaan, ze verdelen daar 4 geiten en een koe voor zo’n 160 families. Dit feest is dan ook voor het delen met de armen zodat ook zij soms wat vlees krijgen. Al moet het wel de zelfde dag gegeten worden aangezien de meeste mensen geen koelkast hebben.
Na de nieuw jaar hebben we 2 nachten in een hotel in Lembang geslapen een stadje ten noorden van Bandung het ligt wat hoger en de lucht is zuiverder, een zeer goede plaats om aardbeien te telen en andere planten het is dan ook bekent om de tuincentrums en bloemen winkels. Wij maken ons klaar om weer aan school te beginnen terwijl de kinderen to de 11 Jan nog vrij hebben. We hopen eind Jullie klaar tezijn en dan ook in Papoea te beginnen.

Wedding A La Indonesia...

Today we went to church and heard a good sermon about the importance of a life devoted to God and not to other things like television or money.
After coming home from church Mikah and I went to a wedding reception being held at the bottom of our hill. The entire RT was invited as the bride is the daughter of the RT head. So Mikah and I went with one of the other MAF wives to check it out. There was a couple canopies set up for shade and under one of them was a stage with two sets of enormous speakers on it. On the stage was a young woman singing her heart out but the sound wasn’t that great as the speakers were cranked to maximum volume and therefore rather crackly. In front of the stage under the second canopy were rows of chairs for guests to sit on. Upon arrival you are shown to a table where you sign your name and receive a thank-you gift (a key chain with a thank-you note attached). Then you enter the tiny house and go to the back and give your congratulations and put your envelope with money (no toasters or kettles please) into the fancy box with a slot on the top. The bride and groom are very elaborately dressed and have powdered faces (to look more white). Then you go back to the front room and get some food from the buffet there. Upon exiting the house you receive a cup of water (these are presealed cups of clean water-very popular here) and a plate of fruit (a tiny banana, mandarin and a rambutan (a redish hairy looking fruit that you break open and inside is a white slippery fruit with a pit in the middle)). Then you sit down and “enjoy” the music and dancing. The singer was fairly provocatively dressed and was dancing in a very provocative manner. At one point she invited two guys from the audience to come up and dance with her. Even though this culture is very muslim, they still try to be western and a blind eye is turned in situations like this. Anyways, you eat your food, it’s almost impossible to talk with each other as the music is deafening, and then you go. I don’t think people here really go to wedding receptions to share in the couple’s joy, they come for the food. For some of the families down at the bottom here it is the only good meal with all the food groups that they’ll have for a while. Here divorce is extremely common and polygamy is becoming more and more common as well. Apparently the Koran allows for up to four wives, if you should so desire....
It was another unique Indonesian experience. And the families of the bride and groom were very excited that we buleh’s came…

This is the result of a buzzer-happy mom....

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Hey all! We’re back from our 2 night trip to Lembang, a little town in the mountains. There we visited the beautiful hotel Sangria and made good use of their pool. We had a nice enjoyable time as a family there. Nice to get out of our kampung for a few days. Here we are living within feet of our neighbours with little privacy, so it was nice to get away.
The photos are of us in the hot (warm) tub, the method they use to grow strawberries here, lots of people have horses here that you can pay to ride, and the street near the hotel is lined with little warungs (shops). It is really fresh up in Lembang, meaning a lot less polution, and the weather is a lot cooler which is why they can grow strawberries and other plants there. Lembang is actually famous for its horticulture. You can even buy poinsettia's there!

Monday, January 01, 2007

This was the scene today in front of the mesjid closest to our house. They slaughtered 4 goats and 1 cow. Then they divided up the meat, by weight, into those black bags to be distributed to all the families in our RT. An RT is the lowest division in the city. Above the RT is an RW who is in charge of 10 RT's and so on... As you can see from the photos it was a very sterile environment...
We have already welcomed in the new year. We lit off some fire works earlier in the evening with the kids. Then at midnight we went up on our roof (it's flat) and watched as a bunch of houses around the valley up on the hills (rich folks) were lighting off some very beautiful fire works. Thankfully, things are a lot quieter tonight than they were last night!
Again, Selamat Tahun Baru from us all down here in Indonesia!!