Monday, January 26, 2015

Lots of pictures

We will take a little bit different tack on this week's blog.  Will show lots of pictures with captions.  See our letter home for more details and personal stories and feelings. 

One of Kathy's favorite little girls, Devy, a Moslem neighbor across the street  from the Barat Branch.  She brings them food, candy, clothes, etc almost every week. They often come  sit on the grass in front of the Church waiting for Kathy to come out.
Mom is Aci, 6 year old girl to the left is Wiwit, and the older girl to the left is a neighbour.  Their house is basically the room you see behind them, a 14 foot square room where they sleep on a mattress on the floor, and do whatever else Indonesians do.  This one of several homes in a row of connected homes.  A TV of course.  Shared cooking and bothroom facilities nearby.  Some have a fridge. 

Several missionaries from Surabaya and Malang converged on a sleepy mountain town east of Malang on the slopes of  Bromo to climb 1 Km or so into a waterfall (air terjun) called Sumber 7 (7 sources), named after several  waterfalls.

It was quite muddy, steep and slick.  a crew was building a new road into a hillside near the small river.  We met this Hobbit-like man, who appeared to be the boss of the work crew, who for a fee...maybe $4, escorted all of us.  Look at his height compated to other Indonesians, themselves already typically quite short compared to Americans.  He kept asking us for cigarettes and offering to pray for us and invoke the local spirits in our behalf.
Our climb out of this valley.  We exited by a different route than we came in.  Felt a little sketchy, in places. 

Not a good hike/climb for those with any sense of fear of heights.  We climbed on a bamboo ladder bound tgether with heavy gauge wire.  Felt like something you would see on the Amazing Race or Survivor.

A sketchy ladder, followed by a mildly sketchy bamboo bridge over the gorge leading to the main falls.  Major creaking with each step  We felt like Indiana Jones with a Book of Mormon.  Elders being Elders...Elders Headrick and Arthur.

Elder Wills doing his weekly service project for the little man dwarfed behind him.  These bundles of sticks are heavy. These tukangs carry these bundles up and down the hills all day.  Amzingly the local community had built a concrete sidewalk for perhaps 1/2 Km into the hillsides to make it easier for them to access their fields.  Here we mostly saw beans, cassaba, peas and cabbages.  Also some fruit trees, durian, papaya, banana.  There are frequent heavy rains from December until March or so.  Access can be quite difficult. 
Interesting story.  Several years ago the national oil company, Pertamina, was drilling nearby, just south of Surabaya, when they struck an unexpected volcanic mud pool.  There was an immediate explosion at the time, people killed, and over the years so much mud has escaped, and continues to do so, that multiple villages were totally submerged.  You are seeing a mud plateau behind me, perhaps 20+ meters high, and in the distance can also see the steam erupting at the source.  They built a tall earthen embankment to try and control the mud flow.  There is no end in sight for this.  Man's puny efforts to control Nature are laughable.  Righteous living will do more than any earthen embankment,

Some street scenes in Tumpang.  Here you see some Javanese elders lounging roadside, wearing their Moslem, black felt, flat topped hats.

Still horse carts in these small and more remote towns and villages.  Not commonly used. Perhaps mostly for the tourists, but very familiar to me from the early 1970's, when these were commonly seen routinely as a source of transport.
Many villages have the Indonesian national philosophy, the Pancasila, emblazoned on a stone or statue.  Pancasila, comes from ancient Sanskrit, Panca, meaning five, and Sila meaning principles...Belief in Only One God, Belief in Just and Civilized Humanity, Belief in the Unity of Indonesia, Belief in Democracy, and Belief in Social Justice for All Indonesians.

A common means of public transportation..the angkotan kota...a private van which runs a set route on a set schedule for a set fee. 

A small community mosque in every village and neighborhood.  They have sprouted everywhere since I was last here. 

We enjoyed a missionary Zone Conference this past week.  President Donald spoke, amongst others.  Here he is showing a large contingent of the Missionary Leadership Council, which gather to counsel together and be taught monthly in Jakarta.  Behnd him our new Mission Standards of Excellence, which includes 20 lessons a week, 20 contacts a day, 14 Books of Mormon a week placed, and so forth. We are being stretchchchchchchchched...
Donut break.  6 dozen Dunkin Donuts go fast with 30 missionaries.  The local donut shop loves Zone Conference!

All of the Missionary Sisters sering in East Java plus some guests from Jakarta. A great group of hardworking and righteous women.  Love the colors, yeah?

During the Conference, a Moslem demonstration was held down the street from the church.  We locked all of the gates and doors and kept everyone inside.  They were marching from their mosque with intections to end at the French Institute which is right next door.  All of this was triggered by the French newspaper publishing cartoons of the prophet M, which prompted the terrible, deadly reprisals in France and elsewhere recently.  The local police knew this was happening, and so wisely preventively put police in front to prevent anything more than angry words.  They had a large police van parked right in front of the church here.  We heard some angry words on a loudspeaker down the street, but it ended quickly and nothing more happened.  I was over talking to some of the police walking home from eating lunch while they were setting up their riot gear.  The ZL's had to come get me. 

AJBS, the local version of Home Depot, right next door to the East Branch of the church here.

Sunday after church, we had the Assistants to the President and the Sister Leaders over for a quick, impromptu dinner...BBQ chicken, baked potates, garden salad, olives, canned peaches, and Kathy made amazing almond bars.  We enjoyed hosting them before they flew home to Jakarta.  Elder Simanungkalit played some lovely hymns on our keyboard, and a few games of UNO were enjoyed. 
Only on an Indonesian airline will you find a Prayer Card in the pocket in front of you, right next to the Emergency Procedures brochure.  Printed in 6 languages for 6 religions.  Indonesia recognizes 6 religions.  Only after I was home did I discover, to my slight discomfort, that I was not supposed to remove the card from the plane...is there a prayer for that?

Found a great Indonesian BBQ place close by...quite spicy ribs...good.  Served with a mild peanut sauce...ok, rice, eggplant...not good, and urap-urap.

Discovered I really like Urap-Urap...a stir fried, veggie dish with cabbage, sprouts, spinach, and fried shredded coconut, seen at the top of the picture above.  The word urap in Indonesian means ointment.   Plurality of nouns in the Indonesian language occurs just by doubling the word.   Banana is pisang.  Bananas becomes pisang-pisangUrap-urap refers specifically to this dish; it is not "double" anything.   You can always tell when an Indonesian has translated using a dictionary.  I just ate "ointment ointment". 

Saturday night after dinner with a member, a Filipino family living here for several years who are great cooks, we were driving home and came upon a motorcycle accident.  He was laying in the road.  2-3 Indonesians standing around.  Seemed more worried about the motorcycle.  He was complaining of his leg and back hurting.  Quick trauma survey seemed fine except for deformed right ankle.  We cautiously moved him 2 feet out of the roadway, called the police, and I manually immobilized his ankle, while they removed his helmut.  Mentally ok and denied pain anywhere else.  Meanwhile traffic racing less than 2-3 feet away, eager to get past the bottleneck.  Police finally show up, immediately commandeer a passing flat bed truck, and they almost literally throw him into the back, unattended with no splinting or spinal precautions whatsoever.  Off he rides with a private citizen, suddenly deputized as an ambulance driver. Not sure where he took him or if the police followed.  Overall, totally bizarre, dismaying and frightening event.  If I am ever sick or injured, please get me out of here. 

A little home-made gift from Kimbley to Sister Williams for the help given during her recent illness and hospitalization.   She is doing great now.  Found out that her total week-long hospital stay cost around 5 million rupiah, about $500, paid by the Church.

Some beautiful landscape views on our way once more to Taman Safari Park near Malang.  Sister Sperry goes home in a few days, and wanted this experience before leaving.

Sisters Hasibuan, Sperry and Aryanto.  Some sew and some reap. 

Mount Arjuno in the background. Malang is surrounded by active volcanoes.

Sister Williams and some  Sisters in Surabaya East Branch.  The floor makes a lovely seat, as we notice every day here. 

Sister  Suryaniningsih and her daughter Inday, and her very ill husband in bed behind.  We met them recently while out looking for members.  Have not been to church in years, but now getting frequent visits, and have committed to reading their scriptures. We spent a few hours there recently giving her some fellowship, learning each others language, etc. 

Watching the bird show.  Being a good companion.

Some remarkable tropical flowers here.  Proves the Lord is an artist with a sense of humor, I think. 

Daughter Cassandra, granddaughter Hope, enjoying a few more surf trips to the beach in Hawaii.  We miss them so. 

Love to all of you. 

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