Sunday, February 15, 2015

From: "Cat Ovens" to "No we are NOT Celebrities Incognito"...

Well, we finally have proof that cat ovens exists here in Indonesia.  (John Williams, I am thinking about you right now!)  Actually as stated before in previous letters, "cat" (pronounced chat) is Indonesian for paint.  I have been trying for months to get a picture of this sign...sometimes they have it out and sometimes they don't.  Keith surprised me with this photo as a part of my Valentines Day presents!  (I also got  Dunkin Donuts and a cute card!)  I know...I must be the only girl who has ever wanted a picture of a cat oven for Valentines Day!

Keith took these photos (above and below) while on splits with the elders.  The ladies above are making sate, ayam (chicken) or kambing (goat).  They place coals below the grill and then fan it to smoke/BBQ the meat.  Luckily this looks like a fairly clean warung...some are not so clean. Sister Williams would get "upset" with Elder Williams if he chose to eat at a "not-so-clean" warung. 

This butcher shop was next to the street full of beauty supplies...you go figure. I had to walk through the blood running out into the streets to get to the beauty supply shop. (I bought an electric clipper to cut Keith's hair.)

This was the salon next to the butcher shop that I purchased Keith's Whal hair clippers in!  (After cutting Keith's hair for three months with just a scissors, I now can finally use a clippers!)  When I walked into this shop, I was "attacked" by five sales women and two sales "guys".  As I've mentioned before, Surabaya is not a tourist area and white American's are not common.  After I purchased the clippers--and turned down everything else in the shop--I invited them in Indonesian to our English class and handed them a "pass-along" card.  The girls went crazy, giggling saying that "the bule speaks Indonesian" (bule is a slang term for white people).  Even though I don't speak much Indonesian and frequently get the adjectives and adverbs in front of the nouns and verbs, the Indonesians like to hear a foreigner speak their language.  The owner told me if I came to the back of the store to buy her make-up she would give me a discount, etc. I was lucky to get out of that store with my purse still attached to my arm! 

In the above picture I am reading the "Polar Express" to Kimbley with her mom Sofi.  Cassandra sent me this book for Christmas with bells to give the kids I read with...and I am still reading it with the kids; It took me some time to translate it into Indonesian.  Sofi  reread this book with her daughter and both of them really loved the story.  In general, I found that Indonesians don't do a lot of reading, yet they love being read to and they love stories.  (The last 10 minutes of my English class every Saturday I do a bit of literature and the class LOVES it!)

Is this Venice or somewhere in the Caribbean?  Nope...this is in good
ol' Surabaya! This picture is a bit deceptive, because the water-way is actually part of the sewer system here.  During this photo you cannot see the debris.  The rainy season helps the open sewers flush out (sorry for the pun).

Keith found this sign over another sewer/river.  The sign says not to electrocute fish.  Shoot!!! There goes another P-Day with nothing to do!

This is sister Titus Parinam.  She is the sister that we went to go visit last week, but arrived 3 hours too late.  Rest in peace sister; we are glad that you and your husband are reunited.

Keith and I are forever finding interesting translations of Indonesian into English.  This is beef and chicken floss... I somehow have a mental picture of chickens and cows with good dental care.  The hardest thing is trying to follow translated cooking instructions.  I have been told to "wind my vegetables", make sure my "meat is mature", and to "let my normal temperature, for minus or plus 20 minutes" (I still don't know what I am supposed to let my temperature "do" after I add or subtract the twenty minutes...does anyone want to guess?)

This is Elder Blaser and Elder Loudon, our "tough" zone leaders!  We sometimes take them with us in the car to visit members-contacts that are too far to reach on their bikes.  These Elders have awesome work-ethics and a great sense of humor!  We love them!  Elder Blazer on the left is a fabulous pianist/musician.  Before his mission he tried out for "Vocal Point" and was seriously considered, but had to leave for his mission before the decision was completed.  (Vocal Point is a popular BYU music group.)

Both of these pictures (above and below) were taken as we walked through the "gangs" looking for inactive members.  The baby above is 4 months and SOO adorable!  The little girl below is another sweet Indonesian child (they make them so cute here!).  We did not know either of the families, but everyone is friendly and loves photos!!  (They usually ask you to take photos with them.)

Ok...We just had to stop and get this picture.  We drive by this monkey all the time and have no idea why it is there.  I think it is someones pet, but he doesn't seem to friendly.  He's always tied to the tree stump.  Someday I will stop and ask someone about this monkey.  (Monkey is Monyet in Indonesian.)

Keith took both of these pictures above and below.  We can't get enough of the adorable children (Can you tell we miss our grandchildren?).  I've seen babies under the age of two wear jilbabs.  They have all colors and patterns.  (The other day I saw two teenage Muslim girls swimming in our pool with full ankle to jilbab attire.  The clothing was made out of some kind of neoprene.)

Keith went on splits with Elder Davies (from England) and Elder Pujianto (native Indonesian).  They were pleasantly surprised to find a "gang" that was kind of pretty.  The bricks were designed in an herringbone style and the edges of the street were painted.  

More interesting street scenes.  Above is a becak driver.  They always sit in their customer's seat while waiting for a "fare".  Below is an interesting way to park cars when there is no parking left.  Sometimes the cars that are parked in front of other cars have to be left in neutral, so they can be moved around when someone needs to get out.  

We went to the beach outside of Malang after driving to Malang for a marathon training session with the district Relief Society, Primary, and Young Women's auxiliaries (from 5-10 PM).  Keith monitored an audit while I was involved in training.  (We saved our P-Day for the beach knowing we were coming to Malang.)  

Yes senior missionaries are encouraged to swim for exercise.

After I got out of the ocean, I sat on my towel.  Within a few minutes I had something really weird happen.  Group after group of strange people approached me and asked for a picture with me.  Now it is not unusual to have Indonesians ask for a photo with you, they do it ALL the time (white people are unusual in the area and they want to post you on Facebook with them or something).  But it was almost as if there was a line of people waiting for a photo shoot to my left!  It got kind of ridiculous; Keith got out of the ocean and didn't have a towel to sit on!  There were even mothers with children asking for photos!  (Hence the title to this blog. White people in Surabaya are not celebrities incognito!!)

This beach was nice because it had great swimming and cool history!  It was fun to walk over to the island using a connecting bridge and explore a Hindu temple.

Indonesians don't generally show any public affection, but it was almost Valentines Day, so what the heck!

              Poor Keith...Did he forget to "fill his lamp" and get shut out of the celebration?                      Actually these are the beautiful doors into the Hindu temple. Unfortunately they were locked.  The sign below says that only "important people" can get inside.  I guess even though tons of people waited in line to take our pictures we are STILL not important enough to get inside!!! 

Pictures on the Hindu temple island looking back at the swimming beach.

This is on the Hindu temple island looking out to sea.  We noticed that there were NO visible signs of wild life on the rocks (muscles, clams, etc) and no sea birds.  That made us wonder about the cleanliness of the area.  We noticed a river coming into the beach from the mainland when we walked to the island.  (Most rivers that drain into the ocean here carry sewer with them, so we just weren't sure and didn't want to wreck our day guessing about it.)

(Keith pointing made me feel like we were back on vacation, for a couple of hours anyway.)

This is the Hindu Temple.  Keith did the peace signs because everyone here does them. (We think it is kind of silly.)

A cute laki-laki (boy) with his not so cute laba-laba (spider).  This spider's long black-widow-like legs were between this little boy's fingers when we came across him.  This was really a huge arachnid!   He tried to chase me with it, at Elder Williams request, but when I didn't run he quite. (I learned this a long time ago...thanks to my boys.)  By the time we got out the camera he had the spider in the bag. 

Purchasing rambutan and semangka (watermelon) for our beach adventure.  I always put rambuton in a sack after discovering that they are ALWAYS covered with ants (semut).  
(I discovered this after feeling ants crawl up my legs and arms in the dark car after buying rambutan one night.)  
You see my hand in my purse in the picture below? Yes, I was just putting away my anti-bacterial wet wipes after cleaning this guy's knife.  I got sick one too many times to not take precautions.  (He cut the watermelon in partial strips without removing the pieces.)

The minute we got in the car to go home from the beach the sky let loose with an incredible rain storm.  These pictures really don't do it justice.  I actually love the rain...even though it creates flooding.

Valentines Day Indonesian style.  These photos are from our branch Valentines Day party.  The call it "Hari Kasih Sayang".  The party was a talent show and everyone was asked to participate.  (It is refreshing to see that no one is embarrassed.  They all just have a great time.)

Relief Society Sister singing.
Elders and sisters running a Valentines Bingo game using scriptures.
These girls are from my English class which was cancelled because of this party.  They are here doing the bingo game.

Ok...here is the coolest picture yet.  This is the card that Keith made for me!  I was totally shocked; I did not expect anything since we were on a mission!  (I also got the before-mentioned donuts and the photo of the cat oven.)  My husband is such a a cute romantic!

And here is Rhys, one of our grandchildren.  As you may have seen on Facebook, He gave this "heart weapon" to his mom.  He said that "you shoot it at someone who's angry or sad to make them feel love."  We should all have such a weapon! 

We miss you all and appreciate your support!
Love Kathy (and Keith)

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