January 28, 2012

Higher Education & Actual News About The Eadies

Some of you may ask, "Hey Ben, what do you do with all your spare time?". Well, besides our four kids & learning a new language, I have been working on some graduate studies on the side. To be more exact, I have been dabbling in the study of "The Linguistical Cross Cultural Differences Between Common Household Pets & Farm Animals" (the future title to my paper undoubtably to be published in a distinguished journal at a university near you).

Now some of you might say, "Ben, I'm just a regular Joe, can you explain in laymen's terms what this is all about?"  Well, to be honest, I have only gathered some initial data with the help of some random colleagues at IMLAC (our language school). For instance, those back home in Canada (& the US) know that the common cat says "meow". Well, to my surprise this does not include cats from foreign countries! Check out and be amazed at some of the datum I have gathered in the field:

Indonesian cats say, "meong"
Korean cats say "neow"

Now, one starts to think, what are the ramifications of introducing a Korean cat to a Canadian cat? Or, an Indonesian cat with a Korean cat, and so on? Can they communicate? Are they capable of learning more than one Meow? What would the lack of communication do to their kitty social behaviour? Do all cats really like balls of yarn, or is this just another culturally learnt behaviour? Upon further investigation I also found the following:

Canada "woof woof"
Indonesia "guk-guk"
Korea "mong mong"
Germany "hoof hoof"

Canada "cock a doodle doo"
Indesian "ku ku ruyuk"
Korea "ku ku ree ku"
Russian...I can't remember, but more cold sounding.

I smell a government grant coming my way! The hard truth is that your tax dollars have been spent on more useless subjects, tens of thousands every year...so why not? And if not, maybe I'll just concentrate on my own communication skills, or lack there of.

Actual News About The Eadies

Amy and I are working our way through our second unit of language school, and as we are now more settled as a family, we are enjoying our school more as well. Each day I drop off Simon & Helena on the scooter (7:30am) at pre-school, while Amy walks Luke to S.I.(Sekolah Internasional) for his Grade 1, and then she walks to language school where I meet her. Charlotte is cared for by our awesome house help during the morning while Amy and I are in school. We would appreciate prayer for our kids as they continue to adjust to there time at school, as it was all new just 2 months ago. We're so proud of them!

Next week we have three new MAF families arriving in Salatiga from the US, and they will be starting language school in February. Two more families should also arrive in the following month or two. How exciting to have some new families to get to know and to also help out (the best we can) as we were helped so much when we first arrived!

Life here is slowly becoming more normal, as each day and week that goes by we become a little more familiar with the people, the town, the language, & where stuff is. Our home is also feeling more and more like home. Amy and I thank God for His faithfulness to our family during our first couple months overseas!

Okay, time for some pictures as no blogpost of mine is complete without them...

My neighbour is much braver than I. A couple of days ago I noticed him about 50ft up a coconut tree, hanging on with one hand, and using a machete to hack coconuts down with the other hand. Here, he's making his way back down to terra firma. No rope, no harness, no WCB, no problem! Further more, I figure he's at least in his early 50's. Impressive. I've heard fatalities from falling out of trees is not uncommon, as climbing up trees for picking fruit is common.

Luke & Si checking out a pipe hole (meant for playing in) near the soccer field at Luke's school.

Charlotte eating pancakes this morning, yum yum!

Being our 4th child, Amy and I would not exactly appose a 'late bloomer' in the mobility department...But, Charlotte is not that. She crawls very well now, and is starting to climb up on everything too. The 'barricade-your-kid-in' stage is in full swing for us once again, but since it is our last we'll be a little sad when it's done!

January 21, 2012

Entertainment Close To Home

Carnival At Your Door
Check this out. Capitalism at work. No motor, two sets of pedals (one for moving kids, one for moving on), & three kids having fun for a price much much cheaper than the travelling 'spring' fair in Prince George. (Grandma's: Note that the back tire is chalked for safety.) What you don't hear is Indonesian kiddy music blaring super loud courtesy a scooter battery powering an old tape cassette deck.

World's Best Sprinkler
As it is rainy season, ones' afternoon plans must take into consideration massive amounts of rain. One day Amy and I discovered we could throw bathing suits on the kids and out they go, happy as can be! I guess it's similar to Canada, except instead of bathing suits they'd be wearing snow pants, tuque's, boots, & mittens.


 Simon enjoying rainwater pouring out of the gutter.

Neighbourhood Celebration
As I mentioned in our last post, our family was invited to a Christmas / New Years neighbourhood 'Christian' get together a couple weeks back. It was held about a 2 minute walk from our house in a roofless building (that looks like it one day might just get a roof). But, with a portable tent and a full sound system the party was in business!

This was our first experience with the local Christians in the community. Obviously at this stage in our language training we understood very little, but it was very neat to gather with & celebrate with other Christians, as we have Christ in common! This particular building is kitty corner to a M*slim boarding school. For us, being new to the country and culture, it is an interesting dynamic to here the Call to Prayer ring out at the usual time from all the Mosques in the community, while being at a Christian Christmas gathering...Not something I've experienced before!

January 15, 2012

Poor Ol' Wilson

Our friendly backyard spider met his (her) match the other day. Luke was looking for targets with his squirt bottle, and squirted him with a mild mixture of soap and water. The next thing I hear is "Daddy Daddy come look! Wilson the spider is coming down from his web!"

At first I didn't know what was up with this big ol' spider bailing out of his nest, but apparently the mild mixture of soap and water is a little more caustic to a spider than it is to us! It was a sad occasion but also (as I imagine some of you would agree) a relief that there isn't a giant spider in our backyard. All in all, Luke discovered quite an efficient way of "off-ing" a large spider, (or family pet).

Poor ol' Wilson gracefully dying on our lawn.

Older distinguished British fellow narrating:
"As the hunter becomes the hunted, and as the predator sometimes becomes prey, the vicious circle of life and death continues..."

Luke mourning the loss of beloved Wilson.

Luke preferring the crispy crunch of an apple to the crunchy crisp of a soapy spider.

Non-spider related bits of news:
Amy and I have just completed our first week in Unit 2 of language school. As busy as our school routine is (seemingly very busy), we do feel a little normality to our lives when compared to our first month here. As we are learning a new language from scratch, we are just getting to the point where we can have a very basic conversation with someone local:

(Translated for your reading pleasure)
Me: "Good afternoon Ma'am, Could I have 3 water (bottles delivered)?"
Ma'am: "Good afternoon Sir! Oh yes, we can deliver some water. How are you today?"
Me: "Uhhh..."
Ma'am: "How are you?"
Me: "Oh! Good, good...Can I...pay...uh..."
Ma'am: "Would you like to pay now or when the water is delivered?"
Me: "Yah, now! Thank you!"
Ma'am: "That will be thirty eight thousand, please."
Me: "Sorry...?"
Ma'am: "Thirty eight thousand."
Me: Oh, yah, Thirty...eight..."
Ma'am: "Thank you Sir..."
Me: "Thank you...See you later!"
Ma'am: "Yes, see you next time!"

Of course, we've had our share of word mis-use as well. As I can't remember all of them, I do remember "reviewing" my previous day to my class in Unit 1, and instead of saying "My house help cooked our lunch", I said "I cooked my house help for lunch". To get the point across to what I had just said, the instructor proceeded to draw a giant pot with my poor house help stewing in it.

The other day Amy meant to say "Sampai nanti (until later)". But instead she said "Sampai lantai (until floor)". Or, weirdly enough, google translates sampai lantai to cathedral...which could be totally wrong as google translate is useful but often wrong. But either way, it was a good laugh at the time. We're thankful for the patience that has been given to us by all those Indonesians that have painfully put up with our non-sensical attempts to communicate. Good thing the Javanese are so outwardly polite!

A week or so ago we also had the privilege of attending a Christian neighbourhood Christmas & New Years get together just down the street from our home. Yes, it is a bit weird (from a Western stand point) to have something like this almost a week after the new year, but I think it is common to have such a combined celebration here. Despite us understanding very little, it was a neat experience to gather with fellow believers in Christ! I hope to share a bit more about it in our next blog post.

January 7, 2012

A Scooter's View

A couple days ago I got brave and zap strapped my camera to the front of my scooter to try and film a time-lapse of our town. Although I missed the 'downtown' section with all of its interesting sites, I think this gives a bit of a glimpse of what it looks like here when the traffic isn't too bad. We hope you enjoy!

January 5, 2012

Outdoor Swimming in January

The other day our family went swimming! I brought along our point and shoot camera for documentation sake.

NOTE: I seem to have become a camera snob and feel the need to point out to people when my photos were not taken from my good camera, even though I may be the only one who notices.

Yah yah, I know...All you folks with snow in your yard are a wee bit jealous of what you see in these pictures. But please know - before you send an letter to the editor and consider cutting our support, we definitely thought of all of you as we sipped our sodas pool side in the relative 'cool' of the morning...'cool' being relative, as 'cool' to Java is August in Canada :)

Sorry, I couldn't resist a few smart remarks. As any of you with kids very well know, getting out of the house once in a while is paramount to preventing insanity. In a country with way less organized entertainment than North America, and with a family who doesn't have much of a clue (& often is a little low on options), a pool is a real blessing!

As this place is a hotel / spa / restaurant type of place, we were able to walk over and have some lunch after swimming. Amy had a salad with her meal, and she bit into some little pepper that just about burned her mouth off her face. I think it is just Indonesian to have at least one hot item on a plate to make it a "complete" meal...that and rice of course.  I, not being one to squander chances, ordered a burger.

January 4, 2012

In Photos...

If I remember correctly, I think these shots we on Christmas day. A few local girls came over and spent a bit of time playing with our kids in the yard. As you can see, the girls obviously have held a baby before, as they probably help a lot with their own siblings!

Luke showing off a snail shell (I think) he found the property beside us with the neighbour kids. This one is a small one as some of the others looked rather mutant sized. Simon is carefully piecing together the dinosaur bones he discovered in his Christmas archeological egg artifact (courtesy of Amy shopping in Idaho).