Growing in March

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March has been the month of growth for our little household. We have added flowers, color, and members of the family! Coming this September… Eliana will be a big sister! We are elated!

The first trimester was a doozy, hence why it’s been a little quiet around these parts. I’ll try to pick up the updates, but know that things haven’t slowed down. In fact, between all of our activities and house prep (we’re selling the old NoPo home in May!); we are one busy little family.

Love.

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A foot of snow

And the city shuts down. Granted this has to be breaking some records with the amount of snow, freezing temperatures and the fact that it’s in February. In little ol’ temperate Portland.

I’ll admit we weren’t prepared for this at all. We had fleece mittens and rain boots in the beginning, then finally graduated to proper snow gear to stay comfortable. It’s like we forgot how damn cold it is and what’s required to not shiver uncontrollably for hours. But we’re back on track and with the trusty Land Rover; dominating this frozen but beautiful city.

Today we returned to our old hood for a little urban snowboarding and park sledding. Enjoy!

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Heart of Asia

With only a week and a half left in Asia, I’m feeling a bit reflective. My emotions are a mix of..

- Boredom. It’s finals week and I’m not teaching, rather just staring at students sitting exams, which is mind numbing.
- Sensitivity. Students are showering me with gifts, conversations in the staff room are awkward. I have no idea how to respond to week-early goodbyes.
- Excitement. It’s snowing in Portland and Seth sends me a picture of my boots and I can hardly contain my excitement to be home enjoying the season with family. My whole family. Together.
- Worry. Repatriation won’t be easy. And like I mentioned earlier, we’ll be jumping feet first into the holiday season. This is coming from 2 years of living in an Islamic third world country and we are going to be shocked. I know it.

This video made me smile. I like to reflect on how much we’ve seen and experienced here. But I also want to recognize how much more there is. In Indonesia. In Asia. In the world.

But I’ll leave that for later.

I’m ready to go home.

Taman Mini

We explored another Indonesian amusement park today. we made the decision last minute and left around 9am. The drive was easy, only 30 minutes from Bogor and without traffic (amazing!).

I would give Taman Mini 3 out of 4 stars; better than Jungle Land, but not as cool as Taman Safari. The Indonesian museum was cool, so were a few parts of the Science Labs, the train, cheap entrance fees, and of course then there was this giant castle…

I’m hoping this park just let me delay a trip to Disneyland by a few years.

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Weekend escape to PR

We escaped to Pelabuhan Ratu Saturday evening via a three hour car ride with sleeping children. We arrived around 10:00pm and checked into the Sunset Plaza hotel, which was more like a hostel with tiny $20 rooms and shared bathrooms. But the free breakfast, pool, beach front access, and outdoor restaurant terrace were perfect for our lazy Sunday of swimming and card playing.

We did some exploring and found the point where the green lady (Queen of the southern Java Seas) supposedly jumped to her death. It was incredible to see Indonesians leave her offerings from the cliffs overlooking the ocean. We had to leave quickly though because it started to rain. So we hiked back down the cliff and ducked into a warung for a coconut.

Once we realized the rain wasn’t going to let up anytime soon, we got some help from a few locals to wave down an angkot for a ride back to the hotel. It was in the angkot that we let the experience sink in. Indonesia can be so incredibly beautiful sometimes.

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You know You’ve Lived in Indonesia for 18 months When…

-You forget America has four seasons, that is until you open Pinterest…

-Your weekend uniform consists of cut-off shorts and flip flops on Saturday, bathing suit on Sunday… And it’s November.

-You’ve finally mastered a complete dinner in a rice cooker. Last week consisted of red rice with steamed fish and asparagus (a delicacy found in Jakarta last weekend).

-Amusement parks are no longer thought of as expensive and with long lines. They are cheap, quick, but hellishly hot.

-You’re finally starting to get a hang of Bahasa, yet only have a month left living in the country.

-Your English is starting to sound like your Bahasa. Short. To the point. And with a bit more surprise. Whaa?! Weeeh!

-Walking around a mall with a grocery cart is totally normal.

-Sweating from 6:00 am to 6:00 pm is totally normal.

-Bug Bites. Every day. Normal.

-You reach some sort of milestone when you can call the grocery down the road and in Bahasa, ask them to deliver Bintang to your house as you host a party.

-You realize you hate Bintang at this point and decide to nurse the bottle of rum you bought at Duty-Free 6 months ago.

-A quick 20 km drive to a restaurant or park takes over 2 hours because of traffic and you come prepared with bottles of water and snacks… Because duh… It’s Indonesia.

-You no longer stress over wearing suntan lotion.

-You realize you haven’t had 100% hearing in your left ear for over 3 weeks and you still refuse to see a local doctor about it.

-You begin to realize what makes you truly homesick: certain rights, comforts, and expectations that mean nothing here.

-You begin to mark an X on each completed day on the calendar. One month left.

-You look at Air Asia prices daily. $100 for a weekend trip to Bali. Worth it?

-You try to remember what you packed away before you moved to Indonesia and can’t remember a single item.

-You go to bed at 8:00 pm because staying up any later than that on a week day is too painfully lonely.

Jakarta

Jakarta… You so crazy. I’m thankful I don’t have to visit on a regular basis and deal with your disgusting air, choking traffic, and your unseeingly organized chaos.

I visit only when I’m in the mood for a shit show. Show me your crazies; your women dressed in cocktail dresses and 5 inch heals to go out to lunch, your bedazzled cartoon iPhone cases, tiaras, and offensive signage. You’re so beyond help at this point that I visit you only to use you and leave. Give me your international food and chains. I’ll shop. But then I’ll leave. And be so thankful I can.

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