|So Alissa thinks that, just because many of
these photos were taken nearly six weeks ago,
we should actually post them. Harumph.
Working backwards in time...
Much of Jakarta is reeling from a few weeks of
heavy rains, and a few days of deluge.
Newspapers are reporting 380,000 people
displaced by the flooding here. We were aware
of the potential for this sort of thing back when
we were choosing our house. We are perched
on a hill, well above the raging waters. We lost
power for about 24 hours, but we were
equipped with a back-up generator last summer
and it served us well. The concerns now, as the
water recedes, are about disease and
displaced persons. Many of the dwellings that
were destroyed could have been only
marginally called homes, but they did provide
shelter and a base. Now even that is gone.
Groundwater sources for most people here are
tentative and often somewhat tainted in the best
of times. Dengue fever has been on the rise
since before the flooding, and with stagnant
water pooling here and there, malaria-bearing
mosquitos will be vying for our blood supply.
As I write this, I'm trying to be conscious of the
readership -- particularly Mom, who is on the
verge of buying a ticket for a visit. So, ummm,
really our biggest problem was that our internet
connection dropped out for about three days.
Otherwise, we were simply enjoying one
another's company (since school and Alissa's
office were closed and/or inaccessible on
Friday and Monday). It was nothing. Come on
And then there was the dog.
"But," says you, "they don't have a dog."
"Didn't...", says I, alternating between indulgent
and pained smiles. See the photo and synopsis
at the bottom of this page.
Still working our way backward in time, Alissa
spent a few weeks in London in January. After
our visit in Oregon (which was earlier and will
therefore be addressed later), we parted ways
at LAX. She returned to Houston and then
continued on to London as the girls and I flew
back and resumed our Jakarta life. The
workload allowed her to see a play or two while
there. Ask her about the time she lost the
backing to an earring on Fleet Street and then
just happened to notice it in the dark when
walking back several hours later.
We squoze / squaz / squeezened about four
days in Oregon into our stateside itinerary. A
chunk of this time was spent with Quetzalí,
Camilo, and hermano Jeff up on a snowy and
blowy Mt. Hood (Barbara stayed behind to
prepare for her return to the classroom).
Arianna and Christopher spent several hours
on the slopes (skis, no snowboards) while the
others toted the wee ones 6,000 times up the
tubing hill. It was an excellent diversion from our
year-round 93-degree norm. Besides, this was
our first time to meet Camilo, and the first time
we'd been with Quetzalí on her home turf. A
pleasure we hope to soon repeat.
Before that was an extended stay in
Friendswood and Shepherd, but I've planned
my space poorly and I'll just have to hope that
most of you were there and remember it.
|below: Apple pie baked by Vicky during cooking class in early December. Alissa is teaching
several of her friends to cook. A Saturday afternoon of cooking, then a dinner party.
|Pre-Christmas present opening (since we left Jakarta on the 22nd, but didn't want to haul
everything to the U.S., then pack it up and haul it back).
|below: This large painting of a Balinese ceremony now hangs over the headboard in the master bedroom. No symbolism should be inferred
from the fact that it is a funeral and cremation ceremony. We just like the painting. Also below, Christopher adores his new custom-made desk.
|Christmas Eve in Shepherd, Texas. Barbie's the one with the cascading hair. Antone's the one with considerably less hair (the human one...
the other is a Chihuahua named Kermit). We harvested the thoroughly decorated, if somewhat anemic, Christmas tree from the woods.
|Early January, visiting the Jeffro family in Salem, O. Here we
were en route to Mt. Hood, where we slipped and slid in the icy
white (luckily, Mr. Jeff had snow chains). When we got there,
some of us went skiing, some went tubing, all got plenty chilly.
|"Banjir" Flooding in Jakarta - 1-5 February 2007. Our house is at the top of a hill, so we were spared. The home of one of our guards was
inundated. The motorcycles realized that if some sucker in a car pushed through the low spots, they could usually make it by staying in the
wake. Entrepreneurial cart pullers loaded up a few motorcycles for a less-risky crossing.
|This poochlet was rescued -- not from
the flood, but from an unsavory pet store.
However, the young lady who "saved" the
pup was not allowed to keep her. Hence,
thus, and therefore, we got a call.
Meet "_______," the newest member of
our Jakarta household. (Her name will be
divulged as soon as it is revealed to us.)