Thursday, November 4, 2010

3 and a half months later

Okay yes, it's been a long time.  I apologize.  No good excuses just laziness and only weekly access to the internet if even that.  Updates are as follows:

I am alone now.  Mary left me in early June as you who are avid readers of this blog may already know.  No other volunteers are coming to join me at the moment but that's okay.  I'm actually happier than I was last year.  I think its right what they say when they say two years abroad is better than one because after a year you become more familiar with the culture and how to do things in that culture and you also become more comfortable in using a a language, even if you still speak it like a 2 year old, you become a very confident 2 year old.

I am still teaching English at the Women's Training Center and I teach some outside students also.  I am not currently teaching the middle school kids but I miss them so much that I think I will ask the Sisters if they will give me permission to teach those kids again in January.  They are really the sweetest kids ever since they are taught to respect their elders.  I can't believe I'm an elder, I remember being a sweet kid like it was yesterday.  Yes, I was sweet (most...some...of the time).  I think part of the reason kids in America are not so sweet is because they are taught, as we all were, that it is important to be an individual, to question authority.  I don't think it was specified, however, how a kid should question an adult's authority (i.e. in a respectful manner).  Anyway here kids don't really question adults' authority.  I have yet to decide to what extent that is good or bad.  Anyway I'm happy they don't talk back to me and as they don't disrespect me I don't disrespect them, not accounting for cultural differences/misunderstandings.

Anyway my house is constantly a mess as I am much to lazy to clean an incredibly large house that requires constant maintenance.  Screens need to be changed, curtains added, bugs killed and so on and so on.  Oh the other day my house flooded again due to unseasonable heavy rain. 

It should be dry and brown right now but rain, which has apparently not been seen in these parts for many years, is preventing things from browning.  I don't know if its good or bad.  On the plus side, there's still water.  On the minus side, farmers cannot clear and prepare their land for planting next year's rice.

Oh my computer is kind of broken at the moment because I stupidly tried to watch a burned Sex and the City dvd and the stupid dvd did something to my computer.  The punishment fits the crime but as a result I can't listen to music because my music is on my computer and I'm going insane.  I need music! How can people live in silence all the time?  Maybe God wants me to figure something out in the silence but so far I have just focused on how I miss noise.  I think I need to tune in to God but that's not easy.  I have tried to grow spiritually but I think God is calling for more effort.  I wish I wasn't so stubborn, though.

Oh have I forgot to mention, there's a doctor from Jakarta at the Sister-run clinic now.  He'll be there for at least four more months.  He's my age and a doctor already.  Its strange because in the States doctor's don't become full fledged doctors until they're at least 30 years old but in Indonesia it does not take nearly as much time.  The youngest doc I've met has been 24 years old and no he wasn't like an intern or resident.  Anyway Doc (as I like to call him) speaks excellent English.  He also has been kind enough to help with the Guys' band I am in charge.  Actually he's pretty much taken over the Guys' band teaching them religious songs (since he is a musician also).  That's fine with me, since I know nothing about playing instruments.

Canasta night is something new that started when I came back from my traveling around the island these three months.  Every Sunday night I play Canasta with the Sisters.  For those of you not familiar with Canasta, you need to play with a partner.  Every Sunday there are three teams of two.  Last Sunday I played with Doc (who is also included in these games), whose name is Raymond, as my partner.  Our team name being Raylia, a combo of names thanks to the Sisters.  Next time I will insist on Cecmond.  Anyway I like and hate playing Canasta.  I like it because its fun and I hate it because I always lose!  So last Sunday, sure enough my team lost and the Sisters decided to make things more interesting by making the 3rd place team (i.e. the losers) sing an Indonesian children's song, complete with hand motions.  I was not happy because I did not agree to do this before the game began, but my wonderful partner took it upon himself to agree on my behalf so I was stuck.  I was consoled, however, by seeing Doc, was not happy with the situation either.  Anyway we got through it, Doc sang and hand-motioned and I only hand motioned as I don't know the song.  It was still fun, though.  This Sunday, though, I hope to kick some Sister butt, no offense Sisters!

One last thing to add.  I was locked in my bedroom this morning.  I lock my bedroom every night as it faces the outside, motel style, but this morning I could not unlock it no matter how much I tried.  I had gotten all ready for morning daily Mass and was ready to go but my damn door wouldn't open.  What was worse was that I had to wait like 30-45 minutes to text someone for help because the Sisters were all in Mass.  As there was nothing I could do to get out I decided to mandi (bathe using a bucket full of water and a scoop) in my bathroom (thank goodness for having a personal bathroom).  I mandi-ed using ice cold water.  Usually in the morning I heat up my bathing water on the stove downstairs as the water is really cold in the mornings and heated shower water is an unknown luxury.  Anyway heated water could not be had this morning because of the imprisonment situation so I mandi-ed with cold water.  When I was done I considered any other way I could get out, thinking it would be humiliating to text the Sisters that I was locked in my bedroom and couldn't get out.  I figured everyone in the village would hear about the situation and I would be teased mercilessly.  I tried desperately one last time to unlock my door and as if by magic the door unlocked like there had never been a problem to begin with.  Oh life...

One last thing.  Celebrated Halloween last Sunday by giving out candy to the girls at the Women's training center and a few other people.  Halloween is an unknown holiday in Indonesia.  Many people think its funny that adults and children alike dress up in weirdo costumes.  Many think its strange that children go around house to house asking strangers for candy.  One girl asked me if this tradition of children going from house to house to house asking for candy was well known amongst the American people because if she had children coming to her house dressed in strange clothes asking her for candy she would just tell them to go away.  Anyway I made the girls (who are approximately 20 years old) trick or treat for their candy.  I closed the classroom door and told them to say Trick or Treat and if they did not say it correctly I would not give them candy but close the door and make them do it again.  The girls thought it was the most hilarious thing in the world and they could not stop laughing.  I told them they sounded almost authentic except the children in the States don't laugh hysterically when they say Trick or Treat.  I appreciated they played along however.  It made me feel a little better about missing Halloween in the States.

Okay this is a new record.  I have been at the internet for almost 2 and half hours.  Now it is time I go so until next time...Happy Belated Halloween.  Hopefully I'll talk to you again around Thanksgiving.