Here are some thoughts and highlights of my week:
Weather: I have a love/hate relationship with the tropical heat here. While in the States, I’d missed the chance to be able to be outside without a coat at any hour of the day. I enjoy the eternal summer we have here. However, on those really hot days (the last two days were especially hot and humid), I am constantly sweating, I take two showers a day, and I wish for a bit of cooler weather. I did enjoy hearing the rain last night on our metal roof. I haven’t heard rain like that in six months. American homes are so much quieter.
Friends: Two days ago, I got to reconnect with my good friend, Maylan. I really enjoyed catching up with some of what had happened in her life in the last six months. Then yesterday, I went to visit my friend, Ibu R.T. Evan came with me and charmed her and her daughters. I especially enjoy the hot tea (even though it was such a hot day) that Ibu R.T. always serves me. For some reason (probably lots of sugar added), it always tastes so much better at her house than at mine. And of course, I love getting to spend time again with my MAF friends, seeing how their kids have grown and being a part of their lives again.
Jumping back in: In many ways, it feels like we never left, and yet there are some things I’d forgotten about life in Indonesia. We’ve spent the last three days getting our visas renewed in the immigration office, fixing things that had broken in our house, unpacking and trying to remember where everything is, removing mold from clothes and getting used to traffic again. (Indonesians drive on the left side of the road, but I forgot and drove on the right side of road for about 30 seconds two days ago. Thankfully, I was on a small road and encountered no other traffic during that time!) I’ve returned to the adventure of shopping, where I visit many stores, outdoor markets, etc. hoping to find most of what is on my list. I had a small triumph in finding canola oil after going to five stores one day to search for it. But it’s been sad to give up watching the latest episodes of the Office on the Internet. Apparently, the Web site can see that I’m in Indonesia and won’t let me watch it. Too bad!
Evan: Can anyone tell me why my son has no problem eating fuzzies, rocks, dirt, and anything he can find on the floor, but he won’t eat peas? I brought a few jars of baby food to get me started in Indonesia (we can’t buy baby food here, so we must make it). When I’d left the States, Evan liked peas, so I bought several of those. But by the time we’d gotten settled in Tarakan, he decided he didn’t like them anymore. So, I’ve had to jump right into making his baby food. I’m not sure why dirt is better than peas, but what do I know?
Glad to be here. I had thought I’d have a let down after actually returning to Indonesia. After all, it is hot here. My family is far from here. Traffic is a bit crazy. Smells from trash are powerful. But honestly, I am so happy to be back. I have grown to love this country, and have learned to be patient with the things that I don’t love.