Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Earthquake #2, An Aftershock

I have never lived in an earthquake-prone area. Consequently, I have never experienced an earthquake before. Monday night, however, after an exceptionally long day in my life, I experienced one. Living on the 17th floor, it was a little troubling to hear my neighbors telling me to evacuate because the building was moving. I grabbed my phone and keys and fled, hoping that Nambekai (my kitten) would be ok. We all went outside to wait until we knew more about exactly what happened. Well, as it is well known now, an earthquake hit Sumatra again. For me it was different this time, seeing as the day after Christmas I was still in the States, knowing that I'd be leaving there and walking into Southeast Asia. This time, however, I felt it first hand and have at least a fragment of what the people here were experiencing last time. Today (Tuesday) I have been able to go have great conversations and visit with my friends to hear their reactions to everything. Doors are opening and they see True Power...

Saturday, March 26, 2005

My Big Toe!

Ok, for the faint at heart, this is a warning. I am going to talk about the joys of my big toenail. :) So, I have learned why my parents were so adamant about me wearing shoes that were the proper size, fit, etc. At the same time, though, I have played sports my whole life - I've lost a few toenails here and there - big and small - and you know what - they didn't hurt as bad as this did. I was invited to play soccer with the Penang State Women's Team against a Chinese Men's team. I don't have any cleats, so I just borrowed. They weren't my size - at all. I basically shoved my foot into them and went on. Having really small shoes on helps me to run faster - for a while. At half time, I was about to die my feet hurt so bad, so I played the rest of the game with my regular runners on. That night my toe got pretty big and painful. The next day it got worse. I realized that I probably needed to have it looked at so I nominated my friend Nellie, a nurse. She said I needed to have a hole BURNED through it to relieve the pressure - yes, BURNED!! As fun as that sounded, I was open to other suggestions. My toe was pretty big at this point and I really couldn't wear shoes or put weight on it. After a second opinion we decided to BURN. Nellie was excited because she had always wanted to do this. After I saw the glowing, unbent paper clip flying towards my inflamed toe, a blood curdling scream that scared two students and a dog away, squirting fluid and a couple tears - the pain was considerably less! :) Yea for Nellie! Yea for big toe nails! Yea for my new cleats - they are my size!!

Saturday, March 19, 2005

Cameron Again

Recently, I was able to visit Cameron Highlands again - this time to actually enjoy it with an overnight stay. It was wonderful and a perfect break to the over 100F weather we've been having on the island. It gets a little unbearable at times. I actually wore jeans, a long-sleeved shirt, and a light jacket at night! Wow, I almost forgot what it was like to wear long sleeves. The only time I've even thought about long sleeves is in preparation to go to a movie here. They make it so cold in the movie theaters that your ice doesn't melt through the whole movie! That is cold to me - and to just about anyone.

In this neck of the woods, you can't go to the Highlands without getting strawberries. It is too hot in the low lands of the country to grow strawberries but they are everywhere in Cameron Highlands!!! The Highlands are known mostly for their tea plantations however. In fact, many of the Indians in the country came here to work on the tea plantations. Some of those very families still live and work on the plantations. On my last visit here I met a BOH girl (BOH is the name for the largest tea plantations here). We were also able to drive my good 'ole Proton up to the highest point in the peninsula. For those of you who have driven a normal car up Mount Currahee, near Toccoa, Georgia, this climb was much much worse!! You have to honk before rounding any of the curves of the narrow one-way road so that anyone coming down can hear (not that they could stop but they could hear!! :) . Well, I had to get my off-roading in somewhere!

I am getting a more proficient in the language and it actually helped us (Julia and I) out in the Highlands! You get a better deal when they know that you are "local" and not the typical tourist! So, there is the proof that the language classes are not wasted!

It's a long trip up the curvey "old road" to the Higlands - good thing for cold waterfalls! Posted by Hello

We didn't "self-pluck" any strawberries, but we did get a kick out of the signs. Posted by Hello

Long sleeved and lovin' it! Posted by Hello

Yeah, we're cute! Posted by Hello

Pretty butterflies at the Butterfly Farm. Posted by Hello

Big-huge flowers! Posted by Hello

The highest point (if you climb that ladder in the foreground - don't worry, I did climb the ladder). Posted by Hello

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Language 101

So, I've been learning the language for about 2 1/2 weeks now. Some days my mind is fried, as my friends here can account for the loopy behavior I attain post-classtime. The other day, my teacher and I were sitting in McDonalds and she was reading over my homework. I was supposed to select the proper sentence to match the picture, and form a paragraph with all the sentences. Well, I didn't really know any of the words and lets just say instead of Mei Mei being a good friend and a hard worker - she always steals other people's books and nobody likes her. Yep - I picked the wrong sentences, but my teacher laughed so hard she started to cry. At least the paragraph made sense? :)

Monday, March 07, 2005

Life Abroad

I’ve realized something, visiting a country and living in a country are two completely different things. Going on a m trip and being a m are completely different. I can’t honestly say that the first can prepare someone for the latter. Living life and learning language is not shuttling around with a group from one ministry to the next, it is living daily life, trying to figure out the ropes, setting goals, organizing yourself and your ministry as best as possible, and letting go of things held dear. I don’t get to go home in two weeks or two months, things don’t just go away, I have to face them the best I can and know how. If something’s wrong I need to try to fix the things I can and not worry about the things I can’t control. Living here I may not see miracles and mass conversion everyday, but I am privileges to see and be blessed by the Father in ways my boring human mind could never imagine! How many people get to see that – really – how many people are completely happy with their safe home, safe friends, and safe comfortable life and their safe church? As I read through the Bible I don’t see Christ demonstrating that life. I don’t see everyday of His life as a peachy “perfect” or easy day. As much as a part of ach of us longs for the easy life, we miss out on so much using that path. Christ demonstrated joy and passion (along with a lot of other things). Joy to find the best in each day and a passion to make the most of anything. Yep, I needed to preach that to myself.


Have I mentioned I wear many hats? Well I do! I subbed for my good friend Julia at Dalat – a little different than my normal day but quite enjoyable nonetheless. As hard as watching a Veggie Tales sing-a-long and spoiling the ESL class with Almond Joys sent to me from Michelle in Hong Kong. It was a rough day!  Actually, it was a fun change and my team won in ESL Scrabble  imagine that!

Asian Pasties

For those of you who have never lived or been to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, you’re missing out (however, if you stay there for 8 years in a row you may be a little too crazy for me) and you probably don’t know what a pasty is. It is bread filled with meat, potatoes, carrots, spices, and other stuff that varies from pasty to pasty. It is actually quite good and very filling. The copper miners used to pack them as a lunch they could easily eat while working in the mines. Anyway, for all you Yoopers and ex-Yoopers, you will appreciate my find of the Asian “pasty.” It is actually a meat filled “pau.” You can get pau, a Chinese steamed bread made from rice flour, with many different things in it (my favorite being kaya – a coconutty and sweet spread), but upon my enjoyment of eating the meat version I immediately thought of the pasty. Yum yum! Now even those from the UP can come and enjoy home cooking! (Almost)

The Asian pasty! Posted by Hello