Yesterday we were able to purchase a scooter So to all those who gave so generously to our scooter fund right before we left, here it is... (Thank you so much! )
Here is Luke after getting his first ride home from school, and looking cool as possible. This is a Suzuki Skywave, and at a whopping 125cc's, it is one of the bigger "sepeda motors" to roam the streets of Salatiga. Actually, I've been told that a disproportionate number of Skywave's are owned by white folk around here. For one reason or another, the expatriate crowd want or need that bigger seat and extra horsepower. Go figure :) Too many Big Mac's and not enough 'nasi' (nasi = rice). For us, it means I can take both Helena & Simon to pre - school in about 2 minutes, and be at our language school in another 4. Once we get more settled, we might look at scooter shopping for Amy.
Only Two Photos!?
Photos on our blog have been a bit scarce as of late. Part of this is just due to how busy our family has been, but also partly for another reason. A little background: Just before we left Canada we decided to purchase a 2nd laptop computer. This was mainly to be a backup to our 1st laptop as we weren't sure how easy it would be to replace a computer during our 3.5 year stretch overseas.
Well...last Sunday night our new computer grew legs and left the front room of our house for good - all the while Amy and the kids were in a nearby room. At the time, I was out playing basketball at the international school. Although it was a new computer (that I loved), it was just a computer. The obviously more troubling aspect for our family is that someone would be gutsy enough to walk into our home when someone was home.
That said, this type of occurrence is quite rare here. Crime exists everywhere, even Canada (and all of you who had recently had something stolen can attest to that), and in country that imposes the death penalty for things such as drug trafficking, crime is generally kept in check. The MAF community here was (and is) very supportive in helping us go through all the proper process after something like this...who to call, what to do, who to notify, etc. When you're new to a country, you don't have a clue. We had about 12 Indonesian 'polisi' folks in our home at one time, and I got to spend 3 hours (with my very lucky friend Dan Geaslen who translated all night) in an Indonesian police station.
We've found out that many other families in the area that have been taking no more security measures than we were, but just never had a problem. That said, obviously there is a lot we will be doing to prevent something like this happening again, and also allowing our family to feel safe in our home. Related to this, it has been interesting how the neighbourhood has responded to our home invasion, as Javanese culture is quite different than what we know of Canada.
First off, everyone in our neighbourhood knew right away about what happened. Sunday night happened to be the same night the 'men only neighbourhood meeting' was taking place (something I at some point would like to attend). Our Pak RT (Pak = Mr. or Sir, RT = neighbourhood leader...When we first moved into the neighbourhood we had to bring our Pak Irti copies of our visas, Indonesian police reports, and passports) was notified right away what had happened, as it is culturally best to notify your neighbourhood leader before even notifying the police. At the meeting everyone found out what happened, and having your neighbourhood on the watch may be the most effective crime deterrent there is. I've been told that if a crime was committed and the neighbourhood caught the person, sometimes the police are not involved and 'justice' is served in whatever way they deem appropriate. Definitely not Canada! Amy and I are hoping that out of this we can strike up a bit of a relationship with some of our neighbours.
We have a lot to be thankful for! I personally am so thankful to God that Amy and the kids never heard or saw anything - as an actual encounter with someone with the intent of stealing could be a bad situation. With me not at home, it is not something I like to think about. We're thankful to God that we had two computers, and now still have one that works just fine (just slower and older). I'm thankful to God that I hid my camera bag before going out, I don't know how I would replace it over here.
Just Sunday morning Amy and I had read Luke 12 at church:
"I tell you, my friends, do not fear those who kill the body, and after that have nothing more that they can do. But I will warn you whom to fear: fear him who, after he has killed, has authority to cast into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him! Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? And not one of them is forgotten before God. Why, even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not; you are of more value than many sparrows." Luke 12:4 to 7
(Charlotte passed out in her walker - not worrying!)