21 April 2007

Mempersiapkan – Mum-pur-see-op-con – prepared. It is something we need to be more of. We do not spend enough time in planning so often things get done at the last minute. I do not know the word for procrastination but I will look it up for tomorrow.

21 April 2007 – Saturday

We were up very early and at the airport by 6:00 for our 7:30 flight. It was good to have Lukito along because that way we had some idea about what was going on. One thing about Indonesian airlines – they always give you a simple meal. Nothing special but always worth eating. Basically you get a stuffed roll – this morning it was with a small sausage, a cake dessert, and a candy of some kind.

The flight went well – we got to see the sea and some ships as we were landing. The pilot seemed to me to come in hot. One of the problems they have at regional airports is that the runways are a little short – this means if they come in fast they either stand on the brakes or run off the end. We managed to stay on the runway.

The Bennetts were there to pick us up and take us to the chapel. We were happy to see them again. They are doing a great job in Semarang – both with the branch and with the missionaries. In just a few weeks they have made themselves part of the branch and they know everyone by name. I think that is great.

The Career Workshop was well attended – of course no one showed up on time but we were able to start only 30 minutes late. While the district specialist and Lukito took care of workshop. The Bennetts took us to their home. It is a large 3 bedroom home, in a good area, with a nice front and side yards, and for about ½ of what we pay. If we come back to Indonesia, I hope we are able to serve in a smaller town like Semarang.

We went back to arrange for lunch. We should have ordered it when we first got there for delivery at a certain time. As it was we had dinner about 45 minutes late. Later someone mentioned that they had a caterer in the branch – we could have asked them to provide the lunch. In the future that is what we will do – have them provide a traditional meal.

After lunch the Barretts and their second driver – they are so busy that they need 1 ½ drivers – took us to Chinatown and a great fabric store. This was down an alley and we were the only white faces in the whole place. I decided it must be a good place to shop because it was packed. Mary found lots of material for more dresses, skirts and blouses – all for $30.

We got back just as it ended and helped to clean up. During the day I talked to a number of the participants and asked them to send me their resumes. I will try to help them get some interviews. The big challenge is to develop resources that we can call about job openings and that we can send resumes to. Hopefully this will help people start good careers.

After the cleanup we sat with elder and sister Bennett and talked about this and that. I asked Elder Bennett to look for good schools and universities for our young people to go to with a PEF loan. After that their driver – a very interesting man who also happened to be named Sam – took us to the airport.

Semarang is a smaller regional airport with three whole gates for departure. But it was a fun place to spend our time. They had a gift shop where we bought two paintings for $20 and the largest supply of reasonably priced paperback books in English that we have seen. We each splurged and bought one book each.

While we were waiting we ran into the president of Tangerang 2 branch and I learned somethings about his business – software – and a school that they run to train programmers. It is a two month course that costs $500 but when it is done they hire the top 10 for $250 a month and that can grow to $2000 a month. This is a big salary for Indonesia. Hopefully we can get some of the young people to major in computer programming and get them into the program. It seems all I need to do is sit down and talk to people to learn about more career offerings.

The flight home went as well as going and the landing was better. While we were walking from the plane to the way out we ran into President Jensen and his son Sterling who just got back from a trip to one of the other islands. It is a small world it seems – flying with a branch president and meeting the mission president.

The trip back to the apartment was uneventful but it was so late that we did not read from the Kitab Mormon. This is the first day in months that we have not read at all from KM. Sometime during the coming week we need to make up for this lapse.

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