1 January 2007 – Monday – Happy New Year
After waking at 3:00 am I was able to go right back to sleep and did not wake up again until 5:30. I barely had time to get moving before it was time to go the gym for my daily workout. Along the way I ran into brother and sister Leishman. Her knee is feeling much better so she decided to test it this morning. He told me that he was able to get on the internet so I asked if later we might be able to send off an email just to let our children know we are OK.
I put in 50 minutes on the treadmill and then did some crunches and sit-ups. I am feeling great and I seem to have lost at least a pound over the weekend. I start the year weighing 85.7 kg including my sweaty clothes.
Back at the apartment I showered and then ate a small breakfast. I do not seem to have a real appetite – unless I am around sweets of course. Not that I can not eat a lot of food only that there is no drive to.
Mary has fallen back to sleep and I think after studying some Indonesian I will join her. There is little else to do today.
We ended up being fairly busy this morning. I did not take a nap. Instead I studied Indonesian. If I am ever going to learn to speak it, I must work hard each day. Later we studied together by translating the first 8 verses of 1st Nephi. We are able to get the general meaning of about 85% of the words but we do not always get the English meaning.
I had a nice conversation with the Kanes. They are doing great – if they were not so nice I would be jealous. They seem to have been busy each day, had a party at their house, and have a driver that is a gem. Elder Kane is determined to learn the language – he wants to be able to prepare and give a talk in 6 months. I am sure he will get there sooner than that.
About 11:30, Mary and I went for a walk around the grounds. We walked about 3/4 of a mile together and then I walked another 3/4 mile by myself. I would have walked more but started to really work up a sweat so I stopped. I do not enjoy sweating. Next time I will be sure to take a towel along.
Back in the apartment we watched the ball fall in Time Square. There is exactly 12 hours difference in time. I called down to the desk and asked if they had a phone book – that does not seem to be a concept that they understand. She called back with some restaurants that we could call. We also found that the hotel next door may have 5 restaurants. I will check them out after I take my nap. If any of them look good we are going over there for dinner.
After my nap and lunch, we work on Indonesian until we get a call from the Leishmans inviting us over to use their internet. Mary sent out a shot message letting everyone know we are fine and will send more when we get a good internet connection. I am just not sure when that will be. We spent some time talking to the Leishmans about their mission and how they felt about it. They said it was not what they expected but then they probably never are.
Back at the apartment we do more Indonesian – including watching some on TV – and just killing time. It seems we do a lot of that right now.
02 January 2007 – Tuesday
I woke just before 4 am and thought it was almost 5 am – I was congratulating myself for sleeping in when the local mosque started broadcasting morning prayers and I knew it was not 5. However I managed to get back to sleep and slept in until 6:30.
This made me rush to the gym arriving without a towel. Since once I start really sweating I have a hard time pushing on I only did 30 minutes on the treadmill. But that still got my heart up to 127 and I will go back this evening and do some more. I did get a chance to study some vocabulary – but I am not sure any of it stuck.
We are looking forward to seeing the Kanes today and spending some time with them..
Mary and I studied 1st Nephi together. By the time we have worked our way through 5 or 6 verses we are pretty much ready to move on to something else. If it was not for Mary’s excellent memory and vocabulary I would stop much sooner. Anyway I think things are starting to come together – slowly but surely.
Sister Leishman woke up feeling poorly so just Elder Leishman and ourselves went into the office. We were able to get on to internet enough for me to send a single message via the chruch’s e-mail. Then Elder Leishman informed me that they did not like us to use the chruch’s e-mail to send personal messages so that was the end of that.
Before we left the apartment I called the Kanes and they said they would meet us at the mission office at 11:30 and we could get our bank accounts set up. So we left the office at about 10:45 – leaving Elder Leishman to work with a man coming in to learn some English.
The Kanes were already there and we found out they did not need to set up the account in Jakarta. So we got the paperwork we needed and their driver took us shopping and to get some money exchanged. We first stopped at a shop that carries only imported goods. Everything is very expensive but we were able to get black pepper and I bought two cans of diet A&W Root Beer. Since they cost $1.50 each, I will save them for some special occasion. I can get regular A&W for 40 cents at our little store.
Next we went across Jakarta to get our money exchanged. It was a lot different than my experience at the bank. No paper work, no ID and a better rate. We exchanged $1700 which made us multi-millionaires in Rupiahs. The young women who helped us can count money faster than a machine – they do it by flipping through the bills. It is a real sight to see.
Then we went to the So Go market where we managed to find just about everything we needed at a reasonable price. The Kanes can get better prices for most fruits and vegetables in Bogor so they did not buy as much. We had a problem with our American Express card and so it was a good thing we had a lot of cash. Of course we also bought some goodies at the bakery…it is a good thing it is not close by our apartment.
By the time we were done there it was too late for us to go to the bank and the Kanes needed to hurry up to get back to Bogor in time to open their account. So they just dropped us off at the apartments.
I then went through the hassle of trying to call American Express to see what was the problem. They finally sent up a very nice serviceman who knew exactly what to do and I got through. It turned out the problem is a local one because the company shows that we will be in Indonesia until 2008. Tomorrow I will try to call the local number and see if they can tell me what is wrong.
We had lunch and now are about to try to take a nap.
I took a nice 2 hour nap and would have slept longer if Mary had not woke me. I decided we would splurge and so we ordered from the restaurant downstairs. I had a hamburger with fries and Mary had sweet and sour chicken. The total bill, including 10% tax was $5. The burger was over cooked but OK – Mary’s chicken was very good.
I kept watching the news to find out how USC did in the Rosebowl. Finally I found out that they easily beat Michigan. So they should end up #2 in the nation. If they had not lost to UCLA they probably would have ended up national champs by beating Ohio State. Little Boise State beat Oklahoma State.
I am now going back to studying Indonesian by reading from the Book of Mormon. I find that I can read pretty well but when I try to go from English to Indonesian I do not do as well.
03 January 2007- Wednesday
I slept in until 5:30 but was up and out walking by 5:45. I walked because the gym was not open. I was it’s first customer and put in a good 45 minutes on the treadmill. I think I did a total of about 3.5 miles total. I just wish I did not sweat so much – it makes my exercising much less enjoyable. After the treadmill I did a little work on my arms and then a couple of sets of sit-ups. I am not working too hard on my body until I get down to about 170. Which is about 15 pounds away. At least this year I only have to lose 25 pounds and not 35 like the last time. I think I took off about 4 pounds last week.
This morning as I looked out over Jakarta I thought of how big it was and yet how there are not a lot of high rise buildings in my view.
You sprawl across the land
a giant made of red
roofs small busy people
jammed together traffic
like ants among the cars
trucks, buses – many lanes
where two are marked.
Rain soaked, hot and humid
old and new, brown, green, gray
active mountains waiting
to erupt creating new
covering the past.
I will finish that someday soon because I am sure my feeling about Jakarta will change over time. I really would love to just explore the city – get to know it from the inside. Maybe some day Mary and I will come back and do that.
Sister Leishman was feeling better so we all went into the office this morning. We did not even get out of the car but headed for the bank to open our account. It took about 45 minutes to get all the paperwork finished. The people were all nice – especially the woman who was supervising. She spoke very good English and tried to tell us everything we needed to know. However I was glad we had Sam along to get the details in Indonesian.
We now have an account but we can not really use it for a week. So we will come back next Wednesday or Thursday to get our ATM card.
Back at the office by just after 11 and we spent the next three plus hours trying to get one woman enrolled in an on line job search. I hope that there is a quicker way to do this because that was just too long. As sister Leishman pointed out, most Indonesians are quite introspective and so it takes lots of patience to get anything out of them.
After she left we ate our lunches and then came back to the apartment. We happen to turn on ESPN and found that they were showing the Rose Bowl – it was fun to watch USC play. Of course we already knew the outcome so we did not watch it to the end. Instead we took naps – at least I took one – for a couple of hours. I was really asleep and was not happy when Mary woke me up. But of course if she had not I would have been up all night.
We had dinner – mine was a banana – watched some animal programs on TV and then I got back into reading the Kitab Mormon. I am going to stick to 1st Nephi 1 until I know the words. In just 15 verses I must have 40 words I need to learn well enough to recognize them when ever they come up. I need to see the root words better. But I think the work is beginning to pay off. A few more words stick each day. However listening to Indonesian on the TV is still impossible. But I do have 10 more months.
During the day sister Leishman mentioned that after this week’s English lesson we could do them ourselves. I took this as a hint that they are ready to turn some of the work over to us. I later mentioned that perhaps by the 10th or so we could handle all the work so they could start getting ready to leave. I think she will be more than happy to let us do that.
So another week is coming to a close – we arrived in Indonesia almost exactly two weeks ago. I can not say that it has felt much like what I expected, but I am sure that as we take on more and more responsibility it will.