Thursday, June 24, 2010

On Tonights Menu...

A trip to the Indonesian embassy...

Yesterday Hugo and I took the train to Den Haag to get our visa's from the Indonesian embassy. Normally, you hop in the train in Enschede and you stay on that same train for 2.5 hours until you reach Den Haag. However, there was an electrical issue at one of the stations along the way and we ended up changing trains twice and arriving 3 hours after departure. We decided to keep our jingle in our jeans and walk to the embassy... It's a bit of a hike but the weather was beautiful and Den Haag is a beautiful old city. The office of the Indonesian embassy is in a rather old, ugly "white" building. Upon entry you feel as though you have actually entered the country itself. The first thing you see is a mushola (prayer room). The waiting area for visa's is a small boxy room with a large ornate couch and some not so ornate wooden seats. There was no line-up so we could obtain our visa's immediately from the friendly lady behind the counter. Then we went to use the washrooms... this only confirmed our feeling that we were no longer in Holland, but in another country...
It was a nice day out for us, Mom and Dad took care of the kids as we didn't think they would enjoy spending 5 hours in a train... They went to a large outdoor playground instead. More their kind of fun!
As it stands now, we are due to leave Holland for Heathrow early Tuesday morning meaning we need to get up at about 2:00 am to make it to the airport on time... Then we have a 5 hour layover in Heathrow before heading to HongKong where we will have a 26 hour layover before heading to Jakarta where we will most likely spend the night as there are some things we need to get in Jakarta. Sounds like fun eh? Teleporting sounds like a whole lot more fun to me!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010


It's been a bit of a rollercoaster ride this past weekend. Hugo went to the Indonesian embassy on Friday after hearing from the office in Jakarta that our visa's had been approved. Remember, we are in Enschede which is in Eastern Holland and the embassy is in Western Holland. The train ride is about 2.5 hours... At the embassy Hugo was told that they had not yet received the visa approvals. Even though Hugo had printed copies of the visa approvals, they would not accept our applications. So it was a wasted trip. On Monday morning Hugo hopped on the latest train he could take while still being on time to the embassy (it closes at 1:00 for visa applications). Just as he was getting on the train he finally got through to the embassy. Even though they open at 9:00, they did not answer his calls until 9:30. He spoke with a number of different people who all confirmed that they had not yet received the approvals. He called me. I called the MAF office in Jakarta and the woman there said she'd see what she could do. The train ride is 2.5 hours and then you have to walk or take a taxi to the embassy. Then wait in line. When Hugo came to the counter and handed over our applications, the lady said,"For seven people? The approvals just came in." Wow!! Whew!! So on Wednesday we can go and pick up our visas... Now the fun part is finding flights... We did not cancel our original tickets but are in the process of changing them. All flights with our Airline are booked up until the end of August so our agent is checking hourly for cancellations. It looks like we were successful and we may have flights out next week. It may involve an overnight in HongKong, but that's a small price to pay!
It's been a bit hard not to worry and to just trust in God's plan for us. As I've said before, it's a difficult thing for us sinful control-freak humans to do. We're learning!

Monday, June 14, 2010

We have had a busy 2 weeks so far here in Holland. Busy but nice! Our first weekend we spent at a dairy farm in the countryside with all of Hugo's siblings, spouses, and kids and of course, the parents. It was a fun time together. This past week Hugo and I went away for 2 nights to a hotel in Appeldoorn. We relaxed and rented bikes one day. Then on Saturday there was an open house for us and we got to visit with some of our relatives, particularly Sikkema relatives. That was really nice. So now we are one week from our anticipated departure date. We are still waiting for our visa's to be ready. If they are not ready by Friday we will forfeit our flights and wait until our visa's are ready and then try to book flights with another airline. That is not the optimal result but we shall see. Thankfully all is in God's hands!

Thursday, June 03, 2010

I figured it was about time I updated you all on where we are. Well, we made it to Holland safe and sound. (We actually travelled on our 13th Anniversary...) We managed to make our connecting flight in Frankfurt after walking what felt like miles after exiting the aircraft on the tarmac and going by bus to the transit terminal. During our flight the woman in front of us wasn't waking up and her family members began to panic. The were of Indian descent and made a lot of noise in their panic while tryingto get her to wake up. Turns out she'd taken a sleeping pill. But there was a lot of commotion around us for about 20 minutes as paramedics and then a doctor (both Italian) checked her out. Never a dull moment! The boys slept through the entire event even though it happened in the row right in front of us.
We were happy when all of our totes came onto the luggage belt in Amsterdam. Always a relief. In spite of having one too many pieces of luggage, we were not charged anything for it! I feel this is because by the time we were at the check-in desk, there was a rather lengthy queue behind us and the people behind the desk were checking their watches... They didn't even check what kind of carry-ons we had (also too many) Whew... After collecting our large amount of luggage, we exited the baggage claim where we were met by some of the members of Hugo's family which is always fun!
Now we're in the city of Enschede which sports some incredibly long street names and is right on the border with Germany. To top it all off, the weather has been really really nice.... like, no rain... :-)