|Jakarta (this entry comes from Alissa)
It's 6:26 in the morning and I'm about five minutes into my 30-minute
commute to the office.
My favorite part of the trip is coming up, where we turn off the main road
(Kemang) and start weaving down little (and sometimes tiny) roads and
alleys. The little children are walking to school and are happy and
laughing. It is unusual to pass a child looking tired and grumpy. The very
small children are often on the back of a bicycle or motorcycle or are
walking with an adult.
The average speed of the actual driving of the trip couldn't possibly be
more than 15 miles an hour. There is one road we go on that we actually
go about 40 miles per hour, but it’s only a stretch of road lasting about one
mile or so, and then we turn back onto the smaller (read that as slower)
roads. The office is about 15 kilometers from the house.
I just passed the first garbage truck I've seen in Jakarta. Litter is a
problem. I constantly see people sweeping and tidying the sidewalks and
curbs, but there doesn't seem to be any trash cans anywhere so people just
drop their trash as they walk along.
Tonight is the open house for Middle School. We will follow Arianna's
schedule and listen to her teachers for about 10 minutes per class. We went
to Annaliese’s open house two weeks ago.
Annaliese is Costumes for the play, Bye Bye Birdie. She is making friends
and seems rather happy. Arianna is running track this six weeks. She is
having a friend over Wednesday night.
Our shipment arrived on Friday and we are down to perhaps 20 boxes still
to unpack. Much to Arianna's and Annaliese's joy, the trampoline has been
assembled. Christopher and the guards put it together on Sunday while
Annaliese and I went to ACE Hardware to buy shelving, shower curtains,
orchid food, brass polish, and assorted, recognizable brands of cleaning
products. Arianna made her first batch of chocolate-chip cookies to thank
the guards for their help.
Our goldfish seem to be getting bigger every day, and we now have a
turtle in the pond, as well. We don’t know where it came from, but it
swims around happily. I put a number of orchids around the waterfall and
pond so there are splashes of pink and white and purple amidst the
greenery. Orchids are very inexpensive here -- perhaps $5 for a large one
and $3 for a smaller one.