Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Trying new things!

School, birthdays, school, and more birthdays. Vacations, portfolios, djembe's, and did I mention school?? My days have begun to get away form me. I don't know how that happens...one day I feel like I'm all caught up on what needs to be done. I have a decent amount of free time to ensure my sanity and then...BAM!! No free time for you! It happens just like that...there have been some stressful situations at school lately but those are no fun to talk about so I'll skip to the more fun, more entertaining aspects of my life lately. There have been tons of birthdays in February including my own. We had a Bachelor Themed birthday party for me. Which basically means we got all dressed up, had a fancy meal and at the end of the night one lucky girl (me!) got a fake, silk rose from the only single man in Sentul...my friend Josh :)It was quite funny.
Vanilla bean cake with nutella buttercream frosting! Yes, please!

The "Bachelor" and all the available bachelorettes :) I won!
 The next weekend we had another 80's themed birthday party to go to in Jakarta at one of the other campuses. The trip there was unbelievable. A 1 hour trip took over 4 hours. It consisted of a van ride from school to a taxi station in Jakarta, a horrible taxi driver (whom I swear must have just moved to Jakarta...I knew the city better than him!), a phone call to an Indonesian friend who tried to tell the taxi driver where to go ( he still didn't know or care), getting let out of the taxi on a very busy, muddy exit, standing in the rain with all of our overnight stuff waiting to flag down another taxi, my friend Debbie throwing up in the 2nd taxi cause she got car sick, and finally arriving at the party over an hour late. It was quite a story-telling trip. The party was a blast though!! Our outfits were so cute and totally 80's...I think ;)
Leanne (right) was an 80's aerobics instructor and Britt (center) found those leggings at the mall right before we got there while we were waiting for the taxi...the only positive part of our journey ;)

Just a little photo shoot...I look a little creepy but it's still a fun pic
Also, my parents will be here to visit in just over 3 weeks! I'm so excited...we have most of the activities of the trip planned. It will be a lot of running around and shopping and seeing the sights of both Bali and Sentul. Please pray they don't get "Indo belly" too badly so we're not slowed down. I'll let you use your imagination as to what Indo belly is. Here's a hint: There is usually a lot of running to the restroom :) Get it?

And finally...I bought a djembe! I'm so excited about it, too! I had my first lesson last night with a group of people and it was so fun! The fingers on my right hand feels like they got smashed in a car door today but other than that I can't wait until the next lesson. I'll post pictures soon of my djembe and me playing it...it's so pretty.

Things I've been thinking about: Lately it seems that no matter what kind of chapel or church service I go to the repetitive song has been "All in All". We've sang it twice in the last few weeks in children's chapel, twice in Staff chapel, and at least once at church. I'm wondering if maybe I'm supposed to be listening to something. Without giving you the long story and the touchy details, things at school in regards to next year have been a little dicey. There have been rumors floating around about housing, staffing, and other issues. It's been really rocky since about Thanksgiving time. Things seem to be clearing up now but the integrity of the leadership and the unknowns of next year had everyone quite anxious and just plain upset. The unknown was scary and we felt very much out control in every aspect of our life. But just in the last few days my attitude has been different. I'm not complaining as much (it doesn't do any good) and I've been praying for my leaders instead of putting them down in my head. God truly is my All in All. Where I live, what I teach, where I teach, who I teach with, and every other area of my life is in God's control. If I honestly believe this (which is hard sometimes, but I do) then I have to trust that He will guide His people to make decisions that will glorify Him. It's a process, but I'm trying to get there. 

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Dodging Cats and Chickens!


 Well, I've been back in Indo for almost a month already. It seems crazy that it has been that long since I've been home. Christmas was such a fun time and I was so blessed by people there. It was great to be back in the Midwest where I didn't have to worry about roaches scaring the daylights out of me, ants crawling all over my body, my food, the tables, and everywhere else. I didn't have to beg restaurant waiters to make my food 'tidak pedas', which means 'no spice'. And most of all I could wear jeans and a sweatshirt all the time without feeling like I was going to die of heat exhaustion. It was a splendid time! Oh, and seeing my family was ok too...just kidding!!! Seeing all my family and friends was the best part. I didn't realize how much I missed everyone until I saw them again.

  So I've been quite busy since I've been back. There has been a lot going on here at school and I've done some things I've wanted to do since I got here in July but never got around to it. The first thing was visiting an orphanage. A few friends and I hopped on our bikes and drove about 45 minutes to an orphanage where we hung out with some babies. Driving through the back roads through villages means you have near misses with cats and chickens. I almost ran over so many animals. It was insane. I actually think the chickens might be suicidal. We got lost and drenched on the way there and about an hour and a half later we finally found the place...thanks to a very nice guy who we followed to the place for only 10,000rp (about $1). You just pay people to get what you want here :)


Here are some pics of the babies and a video of one baby who really wants to crawl!!

video
My friend Debbie with her little ones

These were the littlest of the group. The little girl in pink is only a couple months old.

The active ones that I couldn't get a good shot of cause they wouldn't stop running! :)

Debbie and I with the twins...they were so snuggly!

Me on the way home...it was a great view!
The next weekend, my friend Josh took me and his brother to this "Secret Place" he had found when he was here over the summer. Him and another guy discovered it. So again, we hopped on our motor bikes and drove about half an hour to a village (dodging cats and chickens...as well as pot holes the size of small ponds on this trip) where we paid some guys to let us park our motor bikes in the alley near his house...(again, pay to get what you want).
Here are a couple pics from this trip...and I also have a sweet video from this trip but it wouldn't up load and there was another one too but there was one sort of inappropriate part in it I didn't think people would appreciate. So sorry.

Josh (right) having fun...his brother Daniel avoiding the water.

Cute little water fall next to the river



The last thing I want to share was completely random and happened Saturday afternoon. My friend Josh and I were hanging out and he decided to go running and this group of Christian Indonesians were having a retreat in our neighborhood and asked him to join. So he ran and got me and we danced with them...why? I'm still not sure...because they asked I guess. Click the link below to experience the greatness!

This is how we do it in Sentul


Thank for reading...sorry it was a bit long. But I told you I've been busy the last three weeks :)

Monday, November 28, 2011

I'm here...but moving forward

So, I must apologize because I have decided that I officially stink at keeping up with my blog. It's true, I have not updated in a very long time and now I don't know what to share because so much has happened. This semester has been awesome, tiring, exhilarating, amazing, and stressful all at the same time. I have learned so much about Indonesia and the culture here and I have even learned a little of the language (emphasize the word little.)

So since it's been months since I've updated, let me just give you some highlights of my semester so far:
  • Went to Penang, Malaysia for a week in September to visit a friend from college. So much yummy food and beautiful scenery. 
Jodi and I in Penang with our Iced Milo. Mmmm!



  • Took a short weekend trip to Singapore to visit some friends in October. 
  • Went to Bali in November. Which was great!! Bali is beautiful :) We rented Motor bikes and drove all around the island we were on. Such a fun trip...although driving the wrong way down a one way street during heavy traffic in Bali wasn't my favorite thing to do there ;)
    We found Push-Pops at the store!
      
    First day in Bali! It was sooooo hot there!
  • I also took a trip to a drive through zoo in Puncak, Indonesia called Taman Safari. All sorts of animals (zebras, elephants, camels, llamas, deer, monkeys, hippos, etc) walk up to the car windows and you feed them carrots. Although the monkeys really hated the carrots. They would rather have candy or chips. I also got to hold a baby lion...a little freaky I have to admit. 
Zebra! 

This was right before the guy in charge of the elephant told the elephant to give me a massage. And when I say massage, I mean a feeling something like getting hit in the back with a baseball bat. It hurt!


  • And finally...Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving overseas is a funny thing and we actually had to work that day at school. But anyway, Americans get super excited about it over here and the nationals just sort of look at you confused about why it's such a big deal. They don't understand the food that we eat for it, the reason behind it. On Thursday morning I said to my class "Happy Thanksgiving, everybody!" And I got 16 blank, deer in the head light looks from my Indonesian kids and 1 'Happy Thanksgiving Miss Brenna' from my student who is from North Carolina. It was quite funny! We shared a nice little American moment. It was really fun for him and me to explain Thanksgiving to the rest of the class...although the "Indian" part was a little hard to clarify. Native American? American Indian? A person from India? Ahhh!!
And that just about brings you to now. I'm sure I have missed a bunch of really funny or cool stories between all those events and I will try to keep you more informed in the future.

Anyway, I have been thinking a lot about my place in this place. It is so easy for me to think that since I am in a foreign land, doing something I was trained to do and taught to do well, that I have reached His will for my life and I should just stay here and relish in it. So why do I sometimes become discontent or anxious to move on to something new? Because I think He is trying to teach me (again) that following His will for my life isn't moving to a new place, doing something different, being someplace no one has ever been before or even doing the job I went to college for; it's about living each day for Him and following where He leads me according to each day, not just a vague amount of time in the future. The times that I become discontent or anxious are the times when I know I am not being challenged or I have allowed myself to become stagnant not only in my day to day activities but also my day to day walk with Him. It's a continuous inner battle, with me at least, to know whether I am living day to day and not constantly looking forward to the future. I am not promised tomorrow or even the rest of today which means I need to be constantly working towards growing stronger. Anyway, just something I have been thinking about lately and wanted to share and maybe I'm just crazy, who knows. But there you go.

And for those of you who are interested...18 sleeps until I head home!!! I'll be back December 17th!




                 

Monday, August 1, 2011

The Whirlwind that is my life!

  First...School!

It has been a crazy few weeks! I have been so busy that I can barely think straight. The day after I arrived in Sentul City, Indonesia I was thrown into meetings... and more meetings... and more meetings. And then school started which means we plan our meetings around work :) I felt like I was in college again going through syllabus shock. So much information being crammed in all at the same time. The staff made it easy though, they are so kind and friendly and willing to answer any questions I had, which were a lot! They are all very sweet. Like I said, school started and I love my students! They are so well behaved and so smart and fun. They really love school which makes my job so easy...a couple struggle with the English speaking but they get the point most of the time.
 
The school lobby (I am standing at the drop-off circle)
The lower atrium...those steps lead to the upper atrium and my class is on the left when you get to the top of the steps.
Second...Motor Bike!

So I know you are all anxiously awaiting pictures of me on my new motor bike so here it is! Isn't he pretty


I looked completely disgusting in this picture. I hadn't showered or anything because we were on our way to the market and Josh said we would come back smelling nasty, which we did so good thing I stayed gross. :)

Still trying to decide his name
See...I'm even being safe and responsible and wearing my helmet! People drive crazy here so there's no way I would not wear it.
 Third...My house!

My house is pretty nice and it's huge...way too big for one person. It is nice to come home and just be alone for a while. But I do get bored easily so I usually hang at other peoples house. The pictures are pretty boring cause I haven't been shopping for decorations or anything yet. But here it is
Stairs leading to bedrooms and bathroom


living room

Sad, and completely unhealthy supply of "groceries" when I first got here.
Front of my house


Kitchen!

Forth...Creepies and crawlies!!

As most of you know, living in Indonesia comes with it's share of critters...so far in my house I have killed countless ants, probably 10 cock roaches, about 5 spiders, 2 snakes! and partridge in a pear tree...haha...J/K. I also have a couple resident geckos that live with me as well. I keep them around, however, because they eat all the other bugs which are never welcome in my house. They do poop on the walls but it is a small price to pay. I'm sorry there are no pictures of my critters but they are usually dead by the time I realize I should have taken a picture first. You'll just have to take my word for it :)

Fifth...I feel blesssed!
 
Even though my life has been crazy and busy since I arrived I feel so blessed by the people at the school and how everything has just sort of fallen into place since I arrived. The people here are so great and welcoming. It has also been a huge blessing to have my friend, Josh, already here. He has shown me the ropes and helped me adjust to the many "surprises" Indonesia throws at you. God has truly shown me his faithfulness and confirmation that this is where I need to be. Thank you everyone for the prayers!





   

Friday, July 1, 2011

How are you feeling?

I leave in 9 sleeps! Holy cow! I am having a hard time believing that I can count the number of days I have left on my hands. It seems unreal to me. I am so thankful for my family and friends for the support everyone has shown me. The common question I am asked is "How are you feeling?" "Are you nervous? Excited? Anxious? Ready? Scared? Happy? Overwhelmed? Busy?" Well, here is my answer...yes! I have been feeling like a whirl pool of emotions lately. One minute I am giddy with excitement and ready to start packing, while 30 seconds later I will be tearing up at the thought of leaving my family and close friends for such an extended time. I am ready to go because I know this is where God has called me to be for the next two years at least. Staying focused on my purpose and His plan is what is keeping me grounded. It is amazing how God can give you just the amount of comfort and strength you need to get through a situation. So anyway...feel free to ask me how I am feeling in the next 9 days but don't be surprised if you get a different answer every time :) 

P.S. I somehow lost access to my old blog address so I had to create a new one. So pass it on that the blog address I posted in church last Sunday is wrong and this is my new one. Thank you!