Monthly Archives: March 2010

Video Update

Here’s a video we made as an update on our life here – this video was originally made for a conference at one of our churches back in the US that took place over a month ago, and for some reason it took me until now to get it online for everyone to see. Sorry about that!

Because this blog is public, the video has been edited and modified from the original so there are some sudden transitions, and some of the beginning and the ending have been chopped off.  But, hopefully for those of you who didn’t see it at the conference it gives you an idea of what we’ve been up to!  Again, sorry for the rough form here.

http://vimeo.com/moogaloop.swf?clip_id=10306488&server=vimeo.com&show_title=1&show_byline=1&show_portrait=0&color=&fullscreen=1

6 Month Update from Matt Menger on Vimeo.

It’s sometimes hard for us to believe that we’ve been here 9 months now!  It really hit us when we called a shipping company and had them come out to do an estimate on what it will cost us to ship our belongings from here to our new home on a different island.  It seems that all we’ve been doing lately is packing, moving, unpacking, and repeat.

We are, however, excited that this move will be our last for a while (in theory, at least!).  Once we get situated in our new home, we can get started with what we’ve been looking forward to – the arts!

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Taste of Texas

So when we made the list of things for my family to bring for us it was really funny what we ended up wanting from America. I mean, not the staples like dental floss and vitamins, but the fun food things that we can’t get here that we miss. I thought that I would miss pork as a regular staple in my diet (we can get it here, but because our house-helper belongs to the majority religion here, we only cook it very very occasionally on the weekends), and seasonal fruits and veggies like peaches, parsnips, asparagus. I miss these things, but fortunately, living without them has not proven to be a hardship. However, these are not the things that I asked for – granted, they don’t travel very well. So what, you ask, was on this list of things that we CRAVE from America? Junk food. Pure and simple – full of sugar, preservatives, and all that other horrible-for-you stuff that I really didn’t eat very much of in America. (Anyone that knows me already knows that Chocolate is a regular food group in my diet, but that hasn’t changed here – there’s really good Indonesian chocolate!) Enough with the side notes. When we lived in America we never ever ate at McDonald’s but here we eat there at least twice a month, just because it’s sort of close to a real hamburger from home. Me? Eat at McDonald’s? You couldn’t have paid me enough! Whataburger is, however, another story (YUM!). Man! I really want some Whataburger! Okay… so writing this is proving to be more challenging to stay focused and not let my taste buds run away with my fingers – sorry!

So the list of things we asked for included: Kraft The Cheesiest Macaroni & Cheese, Twizzlers, Skittles, Milky Way, Snickers, 3 Musketeers. The Twizzlers were gone in three days and the Skittles were AMAZING!! I mean, it was all amazing, and by the time my family left, we had put ourselves on rations so that it didn’t all disappear too quickly. I’m sure that if I walked down the candy aisle in any American grocery store right now, I would have a hard time not putting one of everything in my cart, just to remind myself how it tastes and revel in wonderful sugary American treats. I don’t mean to sound gluttonous, but sometimes it’s the funny things that you find yourself craving when you’re so far away from “normal”. So to anyone out there that is thinking of sending a care package, you now know all our weird and wacky cravings for “America” (sorry I don’t think Whataburger would ship well either).

CANDY

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Language and Family

Today I (Kara) finished Unit 5 of 6 in language school. For this test I had to give a 20 minute presentation and write a paper on a specific topic all in Indonesian.  I gave my presentation on the cultural differences that I have observed in the playgroup that Elizabeth goes to twice a week (see a previous blogpost).  I am so relieved to have it over with! Matt is almost half-way through Unit 6, so we are nearing the final stages of our language learning. As much was we feel like we can barely say what we want to in this language, when we look back, we see that we really have learned a lot! It sure is an interesting process with lots of highs and lows, and many points of frustration. But now we can laugh and talk with our friends and teachers and not have to translate every single thing they say in our head. So we must be getting somewhere!

We had so much fun with my family (mom Jenine, dad Steve, sister Brittany and her husband Gary) here and I know that this is a very delayed post about the things that we did together, but I wanted to show some of the great stuff that we did! It was really interesting to see the things that they noticed, because with how long we have been here now a lot of the differences are just “normal” to us. I could share more about this, but won’t right now – you just have to come visit us yourself!

Here we all are at a really beautiful Indonesian restaurant where you eat outside in a little hut. The food is delicious!

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We also took them to a performance of traditional Indonesian music that we went to when we first got here. It is a great colorful show with lots of audience participation!

Here are Gary and Brittany learning how to play the Angklung:

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And Mom dancing with one of the little girls in the show (the whole audience goes down to the floor to dance):

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Gary had fun riding the motorbike with Matt:

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They experienced tropical rainy season normal every-day flooding:

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And we took them to a traditional market:

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Elizabeth had so much fun playing with everyone! She was absolutely worn out every day, because there was always someone to run around and laugh really hard with! It was a nice rest time for me, since there were many capable hands to help watch her, but now that they’re all gone I have my hands full again. One of the privileges of being Mommy! Here is our girl getting play/love/snuggle time with her Grandma, Grandpa, Aunt Brittany and Uncle Gary. She had a blast and it made my heart so full to see them all together!

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Since I can never get enough pictures in here to tell the whole story, here is a slideshow of some of the many pictures that were taken during their time here. We were so blessed to have them all here at once (and to have my Mom stay even longer). Anyone is welcome anytime!

http://picasaweb.google.com/s/c/bin/slideshow.swf

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Sorry for the silence…

We’ve been busy lately, and apologize that the blog hasn’t been updated too much recently. We’ve had family visiting, so that’s a pretty good excuse!  In the meantime, enjoy some cute video of Elizabeth to make up for it:

http://vimeo.com/moogaloop.swf?clip_id=9941343&server=vimeo.com&show_title=1&show_byline=1&show_portrait=0&color=&fullscreen=1

Elizabeth and Bubbles from Matt Menger on Vimeo.

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