Daily Archives: July 8, 2007

08 July 2007

08 July 2007 – Minggu

I had a hard time getting started this morning. I woke about 5 but crawled back into bed. I did a little studying of Indonesian but we did not read from the Kitab Mormon. I would like to use the excuse that we have to leave at 7:15 to make it to Jakarta Raya for an 8 a.m. meeting. Or that since I woke with an annoying headache I was afraid that reading would cause it to hurt more. But the truth is neither of us seemed to want to read this morning.

We went to Tangerang 1 sacrament meeting. Mary played the piano and Elder Wight translated for us so we had a good idea of what was going on. I try very hard to hear the words, even if I can not translate them. Sometimes the speaker talks slow enough that I can hear most of them as words but one sister spoke so fast I don’t think I ‘heard’ 1 out of 20. All the speakers gave talks on missionary work.

After the 1st sacrament meeting we decided to stay in the chapel and talk to the people who were streaming in for T2’s branch conference. I very glad that we did because I met a member who hires translators for Dodge Philips. They have to go live on an island but they get all their housing paid for and a decent wage. Add to this a chance to work for a multi-national company that has a pension plan and it looks like a good job. I told him I would try to find some resumes for him.

I would have loved to have been able to understand the talks in branch conference. President Gjarot and president Mack spoke. I could feel the strength of president Mack’s words even if I could not understand them. The branch choir – led by our friend Agus – was excellent. As good or better than most ward choirs back in the states – at least those we have heard. I could feel their faith as they sung.

After that meeting the other meetings were hard to sit through. However I must say that the Gospel Principles class was really well taught by elder (we can not remember his name.) He went well beyond the material. There was a family who has just moved here from Melang where they were baptized about 4 months ago. One of their daughters has not joined. They all seemed quite interested and will make a great addition to the branch.

While we were there I spoke to the branch presidents about giving us lists of less actives they would like us to work with. President Paul thought I said active and gave me a great list of those but when I told him I wanted less actives he said he would get back to me later. So now we will wait for the three presidents to get us their lists. I feel good about this and think that it is important.

In the evening we got great letters from two of our students. I am including them here so that they will become part of my journal. It is wonderful to see the fruits of our labors. It gives me great hope for future classes.

From our best student – Vita
Thanks 4 the email,n4 missing me….today is my b’day….n im so happy received ur email. Sorry i can’t answer ur email soon, i was very busy n didn’t have time 2 go to Warnet. I have a good news 4 u…..central java distric,called me as coordinator 4 distric translater…..hehehe im so happy…even little bit nervous….ough not just little bit, very nervous.
And yesterday, we had distric meeting with president n sister merchant, anna n i translated for sister merchant,sis.barnard,sis.roberts,sis.bennet,in relief society meeting.
And this morning in sacrament meeting i translated 4 sis.merchant who gave talk.
Well….i miss the class….unbelieveble, when i was in jakarta, i had homesick n now i miss the class…..n i miss both of u………hehehe
There is one sister from new york who stay in jogja for study, n he learn to speak in indonesia. So we decided to help each other,i speak in english to her,n she speaks in indonesia to me. And we correct each other. Well i like that, i have partner to exercise my english.
And i found a program in english on radio,even just 1 hour in a day, but i can improve my listening….. i also watch news program in english on tv…..well i do the best i can to keep practise my english.
Well….i miss u , and thank you……

From Jin-young the 16 year old Korean who probably had the best improvement in understanding what she read and heard.

This is Jin Young.
How are you!
Sorry I should have sent an e-mail but I couldn’t use internet last week.
Anyway, I’m doing well.
I’m trying to speak English at home, and my mom wants to learn from me.
Especially she will teach relief society lesson with Sister Kim who is the other Korean.
So I’m helping her. And our family is trying to memorize The Articles of Faith in English and we will read the book of Mormon in English together.
I am really thankful for your teaching and everything.
English program was really good for me.
Through the opportunity, when I speak English I can have confidence and I can understand YW and Sunday school lessons easier.
Thank you thank you thank you very much.

Later in the evening I got a call from Elder Kane who is putting together a committee to look into the viability of some horticultural projects to aid our single mothers and older families. It was my idea but he certainly is the one to head it up. I am not even going to be on the committee. But I think that the Lord is behind all of this. Hopefully something can be found to aid our poorer members to live better lives and provide good educations for their children.

We read for an hour from the Kitab Mormon – we are into Ether where the brother of Jared is getting some light for the ships. I stayed up rather late watching a special on the new Harry Potter movie. I am pretty sure that we will go see that in a real movie theater and not just buy a DVD – which probably is already available here.

08 July 2007 – Building Special


Note that these 3 – 4 workers seem to be the whole framing crew.
I have been meaning to write something about the building techniques here in Jakarta, and I imagine everywhere else in Indonesia. It has been a real education to watch buildings going up. There are small projects – buildings of 2 to 4 floors – and large ones 20 – 40 floors but of course some in-between. There is one, that I think is going to be about 4 floors, going up right next to the chapel so we have watched it grow each day.

The first thing that is interesting to watch is how few people work on even a major building most days. Most of the time it looks like very little or nothing is going on. There will be huge skeletons of buildings with a half dozen people working. Of those probably 3 were actually working and 3 were sitting around or sleeping. It seems amazing that anything gets finished – but it does. It is almost like that a crew of elves come in at night and finish the work.

The second interesting thing is the use of bamboo. If a building is under 4 floors, all the scaffolding is usually made of bamboo that is tied together. Ladders, crossbeams, and anything else needed to work on the building is mainly bamboo. And of course this is not only on buildings but wherever there is a need for a ladder, or something to stand on, it will 9 times out of ten be made of bamboo.

Third is the way they frame a multi-floor building. Usually they lay a concrete floor, then they put up columns around and with in the structure at what looks like about 10 to 15 feet. Then once the columns are up they put down another concrete floor, and then more columns, until you have a skeleton of a building. The next step is to fill in the blank spaces – a except where there is going to be windows – which is often only in the front of the building – with bricks and mortar. They use lot of cement between the bricks. They do not need to be too neat here because the finishing coat – both inside and out is a thick layer of concrete. Which makes hanging things really interesting because you are always driving nails into concrete.

There is not much in the way of machines used. You do not hear the buzz of many power tools because so much is still done by hand. I watched a group of brick layer working on the third floor of a building. The mortar was mixed by hand and then carried up two flights of bamboo ladders in buckets. The hod carriers get paid about $3 a day and there is no such thing as paid vacation or workman’s compensation.

In most building we have seen they use very little wood except for framing, doors and cabinets. Floors are almost universally tiled. This makes a lot of sense since the amount of moisture in the air, the rain and the number of floods they have would mean they would be replacing the wood every couple of years. Also tile is cooler – something that is very important here.

I am including a few pictures of the building next door. The most I have seen working on it was 3 people and you can see the bamboo scaffolding, the concrete columns and the brick work. I am hoping that it will be finished by the time we leave so I can show the finished product.