November 26, 2011

In Photos...

So our new home is in the city of Salatiga, in Central Java. What brings us here is the language school IMLAC which teaches Bahasa Indonesian. We'll spend about 11 to 12 months here, unless any unforeseen set backs cause us to stay a bit longer.

As we venture out more in more in the coming weeks and months I hope to post lots of pictures to try and give a little glimpse into our lives, but also to show what life looks like here for the Indonesian people.

Helena is not a local, but already has made herself right at home! This last year she would often ask Amy in the car, "Momma, are we going to Indonesia!?" Amy would reply, "No, just Walmart..."

This little feller lives in our front yard...for now. He's not huge, but bigger than anything you'd see in Canada, maybe close to 2 inches in diameter. I think I might evict him and his two other buddies because afterall, he is a big spider, and I'd freak if I ever got one on me. I mostly threw this pic in for my brother. More spider pic's to come Jord!

These next few pic's are of our route to Luke's school. Here Luke is checking out the little drain pipe where he had seen a snake head poking out a couple times on previous morning walks to school.

A start of a little street just 50 ft from our home. It's hard to pick out in this picture, but notice the wandering chickens...

And, wandering ducks...

A soccer field just down the road from our home.

This is the playground at Luke's school, Mountain View International. We're quite lucky to have such a school for Luke to attend! Our language school is just the other side of Mountain View's campus. Each morning I drop Si and Helena off at their pre-school, Amy drops Luke off at his school, and when I show up we walk on to our school. Lots of walking & lots of school all around. Of course, once we get a scooter, our morning routine will get a bit quicker :)

Hello From Indonesia!!!

Yes, we made it here! We just got internet yesterday, but honestly the last week or so has been so busy there was no point in having it before hand.

Where to start!? The plane ride over was actually pretty straight forward (for having 4 little kids)...14hrs from Vancouver to Hong Kong, a quick 1.5hrs in the Hong Kong airport, and then a 5 hr flight to Jakarta. Unfortunately some of our family was sick when we left, and spending a night and a day in airplanes didn't help much. We spent our first few days of jet lag recovering from sickness. But all in all, we made it just fine and it could have definitely gone worse than it did! Thank you to all who prayed us across the Pacific!

 Here we are in Hong Kong pausing for a picture in our rush to our next gate. Unfortunately we never had time to sit down at all here, a quick bathroom stop and then get on the next plane!

 Jakarta was kind of a blur to our family. We only spent 2 days here as our visa paperwork was hurried through since we were in a rush to get to Salatiga for the start of language school. Here's Luke outside of the guest home we were staying in. I wish I had better pic's of Jakarta, but I was beyond tired and only had my 'point and click' camera.

This picture definitely does not do justice to the shear amount of people here, and also the crazy traffic. Riding on a typical street reminded me more of kayaking down a mountain river as the traffic just seemed to 'flow' along through the path of least resistance. From a car you were almost always within a foot of any number of cars, scooters, or Bajaj's (pronounced "Bajai" - 3 wheeled covered motorcycle type things made in India, they're everywhere in downtown Jakarta. I got to ride in one 3 times. Super cool!  I wish I had my camera).

Jakarta is like a world unto its own, as Central Java (where Salatiga is) is a much different place. Someday Amy and I (& the kids) would love to spend more time seeing & experiencing Jakarta.

Here's a little example pic of a Bajaj that I stole off the internet. The old ones are red and have 2 stroke engines, and the newer ones are blue and have quieter 4 strokers.

After 2 days in Jakarta, we headed back to the airport (to the dismay of our kids) and got on another flight to the city of Semarang. Fortunately this was just an hour flight, but included 3+ hrs in a hot airport for a Canadian family that is used to snow pants and toques this time of year :)

From Semarang we were picked up in an air-conditioned van and road the 1 - 1.5 hrs to Salatiga...and to our new home! The MAF families here have gone above and beyond in helping us to settle in here and figure out how to live.

I hope to have our next blog post soon and introduce y'all to Salatiga and the world we're just getting to know! Thanks again for all your prayers as we have really felt God's hand of protection on our family throughout the last couple of weeks.

November 8, 2011

Christmas in November!

After having a belated Thanksgiving turkey dinner in Revelstoke at my Mom & Dad's two weeks ago, we arrived in Sechelt to find a Christmas tree & presents!  And, this last Sunday we had a family turkey dinner courtesy my wonderful Mother-in-Law. Who could say "No" to more turkey?


Want a class on multi-tasking from the best? That's a delicious turkey dinner that my Mother-in-Law is whippin' up!

 Sir James at ease in his Den

 Guess who's crawling...just in time for the airplane :)

Visas, Scooters, & the Beach...

Visa Update
As of late last week we got notice that our visas have arrived back from Jakarta, and now need to be processed by an Embassy in California. We submitted our visa applications way back in July, but unfortunately this is kind of the norm for getting Indonesian visas (but I still stressed all the same).

But all is good! We have a tentative date for leaving, 2:10am on Nov. 15th out of YVR. This will leave very little time for us to arrive and settle into our new home before the beginning of language school, but problem, we'll deal with that when we get there :)

This last weekend we had our Send-Off Celebration at Christ the King church in Gibsons. It went awesome, thank you everyone who came! A special thank you to Marjorie for baking up a storm, and for MAF'ers Remi V. and Guy W. for coming over on short notice (Remi's stories were a definite highlight for me).

Speaking of highlights, Amy and I were so touched when Dave, Irene, & Ann (my uncle & auntie's) put their lives on hold, flew down from Houston (BC), caught the ferry to Gibsons, had lunch with us, gave us big hugs...and got back on the ferry to go home. What can you say? We feel so loved and are so grateful for the amazing family support we have been shown over the last year.

And last but not least, thank you to everyone who gave to our scooter fund! We were blown away. I'm really excited to show everyone on this blog the many ways we will use our 'scooter-to-be'. Thank you!

The Beach
A quick walk down the steep hill by Grandma's and you're at the beach!  What'll it be this time, baby crab hunting, rock throwing, or how about a pirate hide out? Pirates sound good. After all, the girls aren't here!

 The drift wood was a little scarce at this ol' stump, but it made for good climbing.

 Silhouette o' Simon

November 1, 2011

Packing Up & Saying Goodbye...

From Idaho we travelled up to Revelstoke where we spent a final week with my family before we said our goodbyes for a few years. I'll say this much, goodbye's are not easy. It also was our last Sunday to attend the church I grew up in (Revelstoke Fellowship Baptist). Amy and I were so blessed to have the church pray for us and send us out as one of them - part of the body of Christ in Revelstoke. It is such a honour and blessing to represent the churches (including so many individuals & families) back home here who have & will invest so much into what we're doing with MAF.

Please continue to pray for our visas to arrive soon, as our language school in Salatiga starts on Nov. 18th. We would like to arrive at least a week early to settle our family into our new home before school starts for Amy and I.

 Ahhh...stretch! I can't imagine it is much fun travelling for two days with a suitcase stuffed where your legs normally go. Luke & Simon did just that.

 Taking a morning travel break somewhere north or south of Penticton (I can't remember).

 Looks can be deceiving, there isn't an inch to spare inside this van! By the way, the trailer is named "Jeremy".  Don't ask, I'm not the one who named it. Jeremy is for sale by the way.  Jeremy's location: Revelstoke, BC

 Mt. Mackenzie & Mt. Cartier just south of Revelstoke...I wanted to snap a few extra pic's of Revelstoke & surroundings to have with me in Indonesia. 

 Helena enjoying a dirt road ride in Papa's truck!

 Papa & Helena

Our "bags" ready for the airplane...well, we have a couple more suitcases to add to the mix. Thanks to my Dad for delivering them from Revelstoke to Chilliwack. I must say, after all the packing & prep we've done in the last year, I never realized how hard it would be to pack these bins. This is what we'll have with us from North America for our first year in Indonesia. Our crates that we packed in Prince George will be delivered to Papua when we've arrived there after language school.