Monday, June 20, 2016

Wet and Wild Java

Wet- "Get your hands wet." = Get busy. 
The end of Feb/March beginning of April is all tied in with the Memorial season

For our sign language congregation we have a huge territory that has all types of scenery. Let's take a look at some of the scenery that you can see while out in service for the deaf here in Central Java. 

The Dutch were wise with the locations of the big cities in Indonesia. All near the sea, the mountains, and plenty and plenty of water for planting vegetables and the like. 

(Aerial view outside of Semarang)

If you have mountains, you tend to have rain. If you have rain, you get rivers, then waterfalls, etc. etc. So let's take a look at a few waterfalls. 

Due to heavy rains this waterfall became overrun and extremely strong. The man who 'watches it' just told me "don't go in." He was right. It was raging. Right in the middle of the rice paddies and some 100 year old trees. 

(It's not chocolate, but it's just dirt)

Not to far down the road was another waterfall that had a whole bunch little waterfalls around it. Parking was a pain, but it was an easy walk and a great refreshing swim!

(Nobody be me and the camera man running from the rain)

One of my top previous favorite places in Indonesia was Purwokerto. Just amazing to have a hot water spring with a mountain water all in the same spot.  Get refreshed and get massaged at the same time. Well, I found another one that is right up there! 

(Guci, not for leather bags, but for hot and cold waterfalls)

Every waterfall has to have it's source. I've grown a little custom of trying to climb to where the source comes from. In Guci, 1 waterfall leads to another. 

(No one there, so put the camera on a 10 second timer and see if you can capture the moment)

There's always loads of holidays in Indonesia. Most of the friends use this as an opportunity to travel. Part of the culture here is not only to 'travel / jalan jalan' but also to preach. Truly, one of the best ways to travel when you can mix with preaching to those who never heard the truth. 

(This waterfall had proper gov't engineering to make a pool for people to swim in. Never seen that before)

The Dutch built most of the dams and waterways in Indonesia. They are still active although 100 years old. 

Sometimes it seems that Indonesia can take things for granted, or just don't realize it's uniqueness. Below was a King's bathing quarters from the 8th or 9th century. It was an underwater bubbling spring of sulphur water. In the back were ancient ruins that are over 1000 years old. 

(So, we'll just sit on these ruins that are 1000 years old and put our bags)

5 minutes from my home is a underwater spring that for 30 US cents you can go for a swim. The local brothers wanted to visit, so let's party.  

(Water get's flushed every 2 days)

There's above water and under water. It's a whole other world under. The colors of the coral, the varieties of fish, the feelings of little fish following me under water. Over the years I never had a under water camera, {which I'm glad, since I would focus too much on pictures and not enough on what's there} Meet me and the underwater tortoise. 

(Look, but don't touch - Oops)

In our territory and around we have the 'heart of Batik.' Solo, Jogja, and a small town Perkalongan. It is a small town, not really on the map, yet beautiful history. Here in this old Dutch Museum they have Batik from all over Indo. They have some artist's that it's a 5 year process to get your Batik. They Over 2 years to get approved, and a price tag of over $4000.00 USD. Why? It's beautiful, handmade to what you want, and, it's an investor item that goes up in price.

(Rows and Rows of Batik)

Speaking of Rows, there's nothing like some rice rows. Here after a meeting we had a new deaf girl come and one of our old long time deaf bible studies come back. There both the same age, and similar background. Being city girls they don't really know how things work on the outside. A little river, rice paddy, some mud, etc was a good thing.

(Walk naturally on the rice road became the Beatles on Abbey Road)

Out in service you never know what you will see. Again, after a while you get used to everything when you have been here a long time. But, when I first got here there wasn't 'selfie deaths.'  Two young boys died taking pictures in the river when the river suddenly overflowed. 
Here the locals are building there place for sleep. Some people in the village built the box, the others dug the whole, the kids watched and laughed as the men got wet digging the hole.

(2 more selfie deaths)

Also in the preaching work, you never know where you going to meet the deaf. One bible study's mom is the 'pimp momma' at a local prostitution house. Her son is deaf and making process. While waiting for him it's time to preach to some of the local ladies.

(What is True Love whiteboard animation was a hit)

While out in service  I noticed a advertisement for a first time violin concerto. It had been a while since I saw a live music-show. I remember over 10 years ago frequenting the Carnegie Hall in NY for concerts and operas. It was great to get that flow from a live show again.

(Even nicer when it's after a long service day) 

We were preaching in the mall. I have noticed  that Hover-boards have been a big thing in US. While in the mall here I just found it funny kids fully in garb riding around.

(Found 4 deaf and 4 hover-boards)

In another preaching adventure, we have a visit with a deaf girl who used to be active in Surabaya. 
She's attending meetings with the local congregation only when she can. Her husband is very opposed. She's a product of an arranged marriage.

(While going to see her, there were other deaf that we made plans to meet. Nothing like a KFC)

Oh, yes, in the meanwhile we had a memorial. That is of course the most important day of the year. What to write about the memorial...
One of these will be the last..

(The happy crew)

What to say about the new meetings! There a lot more enjoyable with a smooth flow. I personally was shocked when we played the video from the Elder school at the public meeting.  As you can see in the picture below our sister Milla nailed the part interpreting the sister. With all the videos at the meeting, it's being instructed both visually and emotionally.

(Food at the proper time... Sometimes there is wild talk)

We also recently had the headquarters visit. Another big event for Indonesia. The speaker Br. Mantz brought out points that were exactly what we need. Dealing with principles, making decisions right and wrong, being a dictator, rule maker, conscious of others, etc.  So after the streamed program the local friends put on a musical show.

(Of course our buddy Rendy from the sign congregation behind the guitar)

We got another CO's visit really fast with and unexpected surprise! Indonesia now has 2 circuits in Sign Language! That came out of nowhere. So Yosia went north, and Stefanos everywhere else. It's nice to be reunited with my former students, who have been used mightily in the Circuit Work and Bethel for over 20 years. Lot of wisdom and experience.

(Bridge on the monkey island. Literally a monkey cave!)

When CO comes it's always time to bring out the best food. So one of the local family's cooked the most prized possession, man's best friend for a special dinner.

(They actually bought it, cooked some great spicy pork too!)

Let's see what else theocratically going on. Another Circuit Assembly in the books. Imitate Jehovah. It's nice to think about that an entire day was dedicated to trying to imitate Jehovah better and it felt like we only scratched the surface with how Jehovah can help. 
I had the part on being holy. A nice thought is that that they wanted us to make was this. We can never be holy like Jehovah, but we can be accepted in a relative sense by him. Out of everything they chose to show how we can be unholy was... our social network posting. Hmm, why is that a issue?

(In the front row a deaf/blind interested person and a new sister about to say YES)

Finally I had another family member come and visit. This time Mr. Acceptance and Tolerance Nick King came to visit. My sister worked her tail off to accommodate his needs and wants. :)
Nah, it was a great time, going to Bali and Lombok are not the hardest assignments. He's gotta a great zeal and a great way with people. It was enjoyable being around him.

(1 King 2 Kittricks)

My long-time friend Liisi made a trip to Indonesia. She's the one who gave me the sign name "Sleepy T." She is quite a traveler just coming from India and other places. She got a nice run in Indonesia, before heading back. Being deaf she was such a encouragement to other deaf. 

(Old town Semarang from old time friends)

-Wild-  It's only wild because it's not common for you.

While doing some computer work, I noticed a visitor out my front door. I'm a bit skeptical some times, since I have twice had 10 inch long or more slimy lizards come into my house, and sneak into my bedroom. It's never fun when a lizard is on your face at 3am. So, I wanted to make sure this chameleon didn't do the same. 

(He allowed me to get up real close and personal)

Like Batam all those years ago, there always seems to be animals that came into my house. The benefit and malediction of village life. When I first moved in it was always hornets, cockroaches and mosquitos. Those can all be solved with a little spray. But when a butterfly flies in, you just get a big smile...

(He seemed to say that he just wanted to be free)

Like so many posts in the past, CFD Car Free Day always brings out the best and funniest Indonesia has to offer. Just about to go back to the car and finish, I see a snake around the necks of 3 people.

(Were about to be chocked to death! OH NO, just smile :) )

Bible Prophecy is something we don't always understand until we get there. Here's something to look forward too, with proof already on earth. A very rare white lion that is eating grass!

(Isaiah 65:25)

Another animal that get's some mention in the bible is the camel. Fascinating creature this camel, and who knew they liked carrots. When you visit a particular zoo in Indonesia you can feed them carrots.  So I was holding on to a few carrots and Mr. Joe Camel wasn't having any of it. He wanted them. So he kept fighting me in every way for it. Then randomly he bit my friend Chad on the arm.

(Smile for the Selfie)

Besides Lizards, and Butterflies out my window, you also get the workers doing there thing. Apparently the harvest is 3 times a year. The person who watches over the land will hire some people for about 5 dollars a day to be workers in the harvest... I have seen them come in different shifts. So the parable is right on. 

(Just sat outside watching them work, as I cut the grass)

After they get the desired rice, it's time to call in the cleaning crew. Same place a day or so later they bring in the bulls. Just to stand within a few feet of them puts some fear into you. The wild bull in ancient times was even more awe-inspiring. Roman Emperor Julius Caesar once observed that these bulls were scarcely smaller than elephants. "Great is their strength," he wrote, "and great their speed." Imagine how tiny and weak you would feel standing in the shadow of such a creature!

(Imagine the size of the Bull faced angel around Jehovah's thrown!)

Back to funny things you see in life. Driving in Salitiga out in service I noticed some ladies in full muslim garb coming from the market. An old many driving them and their recent shopping items on a bike with a seat. 

(OK, can you see what the special additional items are?)

(Let's take a closer look; OH, just live chickens)

Back in March Indonesia had a solar ecplise. The whole world was talking about it. So here in Java, we got a good 80 percent view. Some of the local brothers, myself and a Bible student decided to hike the mountain to get a bird's eye view. Taking a motorbike up the mountain as far as I could until the clutch burnt out. So parked it, and walked the rest. What a headache getting it back to the world. Stuck half way up the mountain and it doesn't run. Push, push. What a workout. 

(It was packed to watch the eclipse, but it was special)

(The crew in the middle of the tea plantation. Coffee plantation around the corner)

Here in Central Java, there's random places with random views. You turn a corner, go some place new and you get blessed with something you will never forget. Here in this picture what I won't forget is the fact that on that hill is a small elementary school. I thought about it that those kids have no idea how beautiful there surroundings are and what a privilege it would be to have that view out there window. They'll get older and wish to go to the 'big city' for education.

(About 20-30 minutes from my home)

In other wild spots of Java there's Jogja. My transit coming back from the Circuit Assembly took me through Jogja. I needed to hitch hike and change a few buses to get home. So on the way, I noticed a tourist bus going down the road. Why not follow it! 
This was the 1000 year old temple grounds that we were privileged to see. Funny how the ancients based so much of there buildings off the proper geographical settings

(Mt. Merapi in the background)

Near the Circuit Assembly in Malang are the mountains that lead to the sea. On a previous post  you can see the view from that ocean. A waterfall on the ocean, there's still nothing like it. Instead of this time taking the boat out, we walked and walked along the mountain cliffs and the sea to reach our destination. 

(I love fresh waterfalls and just drinking up the water. What a taste difference. I also bought 10,000 or 80cents worth of fresh cloves that will last me months!)

In the last few months, there's always a sunset or two. This sunset really touched me. Why? I was with a bunch of random brothers and sisters.  Secondly, a sunset always reminds me your best friends is always right there. You may have some sand in your toes, and be a bit wet, but the view takes care of all that. 

(Try colored beauty)

This is sunset is famous for it's swing. People come from around the world for a picture for this swim. They got there foot cut up in corals at the same time. It was a special spot and a special sunset. For me, it was more happy to see people from various walks of life forgetting everything for the joy of something that is happening at every second of every day. A sunset. As you read this, it's setting for someone somewhere.

(Yet on holiday, everybody takes notice

(Nobody here but Love)

Coming home from service in the waterfalls and the fresh water springs we had the privilege of this sunset through the rice paddies and mountains.

(Look in the back left for the highlights of the mountain)

This sunset was from the right side of my home. That's the deaf school in the background.

(Who would guess that a swamp view would be so attractive!)

Last but not least. Once in a orange sky you get these amazing colors after the rain. I have no idea what causes the phenomenon. The right clouds, the right rain, the right sunset. I have seen it a few times over the years here in Indonesia. The whole sky kind of becomes a hue. It's like the whole earth turns the air we breathe into color. So you breathe joy. 

Maybe that's a fitting end to this post of Wet and Wild Java.  Many times in life were overcoming some adversity. It could be physical, mental, emotional, or something no-one else can help you with. Sometimes though behind the clouds of anxiety you may get the right bliss combined with the right timing to take your breath away.

(May you get your bliss that your waiting for...)