Wet Sunday

Yesterday I went out after church with some friends to a local restaurant. We went by Ankot (public transportation) and had a great meal together. Of course just as we get up to leave the rain starts pouring. I didn't have an umbrella and didn't ride my bike so I had to run about half a mile to my house. i had sandles on and jeans so I rolled them off and took off my sandles and just ran. I was still soaking wet by the time I got home. So much fun.

 
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Garbage Collapse

Here in Bandung (pronounced ban as in flan and doong with a sound like pool only different consonants) it has been raining very hard for the last month or so. This floods most of south Bandung pretty bad every year but this year it is really bad. We live up north on the slope of the mountains and so are pretty unaffected by water except for when the roads turn in to rivers.

 
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Animal Sounds

After having lived in several countries and learned several different languages, one of the things that really strikes me as funny is the way different languages perceive the sounds that animals make. Teaching students from several different countries it is always fun to ask them what sounds a certain animal makes and listen to the different responses. Not the best use of a computer class but fun none the less. Here are some funny examples:

Rooster:
English: cock-a-doodle-doo
Chinese (Mandarin): gou gou
Indonesian: kikeriku
Korean: kko-kki-yo

 
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Aceh trip update

Couple of real quick updates. We have gotten the team together. It will consist of 9 students and 6 adults.

First of all we have founded a new group called the Bandung International Student Association or BISA for short. Bisa is the Indonesian word for the verb "can" as in, we can. This organization is the one we will go and represent in Aceh and connect with a school up there. We will basically be adopting the school and helping them rebuild. The goal is to have students from both of the International schools in Bandung to help with this effort.

 
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Information and misinformation about Aceh

There have been lots of incredible stories floating around about the tsunami in Aceh. Two in particular are getting a lot of attention.

 
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Ketchup or Catsup?

One of the first things to get used to here in Indonesia is that ketchup is not ketchup, or at least not the same stuff as back home. Here ketchup is more what we would refer to as soy sauce. There are also two kinds of ketchup, manis and asin, which mean sweet and salty. Ketchup asin is similar to soy sauce in the US but still a little different. Ketchup manis is thick and sweet (also one of my favorites).

 
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Lightning

Today we had yet another severe lightning storm. This one was during the middle of the day so I unplugged all the network gear in case we got hit again. We have been hit twice in the last two years and I never sleep whenever there is lightning in the area. Luckily this morning the electrician I hired began installation of the new lightning protection and grounding I'm having installed. Soon I will be able to sleep soundly again.

 
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Finger lickin' good

Here in Indonesia, fried chicken is a favorite among fast food. Even MacDonalds has fried chicken and rice. There is also Popeyes, KFC and the most inexplicable Texas Fried Chicken. I cracked up the first time I saw a Texas Fried Chicken since we DEFINITELY don't have them in Texas. Since then I've learned that it is another name for Churchs Fried Chicken. I guess having a restaurant named Church's in a predominantly Mulsim country is not the smartest marketing idea. There is also a California Fried Chicken but it is a local ripoff of KFC and TFC and tastes terrible.

 
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Happy Singleness Awareness Day (SAD Day)

I'm still single so I can be bitter about it.

Here are some does and don'ts for singles on this SAD day.
Does:
1. Go for a walk in nature.
2. Buff up at the gym.
3. Stay home and eat whatever you want.
4. Watch a horror flick.
5. Wander around your neighborhood (or campus) with a waterballoon launcher and plenty of waterballoons.

Don'ts:
1. Go to the movie theater.
2. Go out to dinner.
3. Go to any mall with hearts of flowers showing.
4. Send a card to someone (Could be your last SAD day if you do).

 
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Newsletter 15

Newsletter 15 is available from the menu on the left.

 
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How safe is your password?

I've talked with lots of people over the years about passwords. Usually the first thing I say is, "the most common passwords are: god, sex, love, secret and password." Invariably, one out of every four people I say that to gets a look on their face like I can read minds. Clearly I've guessed theirs. In fact, many people choose very poor passwords. I've got my own technique for creating passwords but a Microsoft employee is recommending that you not use passwords at all with Windows.

 
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Fire, Fire!

Just about everyone here in Indonesia smokes. I've never smoked in my life, mostly because I don't like inhailing smoke. When I'm around a campfire I like to sit windward of the fire. Of course Indonesians often want to offer me a cigarette and so in broken English they ask me, "Are you smoking?" They mean of course, "Do you smoke?" but I always check above my head for any telltale tendrils before I answer.

 
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419 Eater

Having tried to sell some stuff online and having an e-mail address I have come across a fair amount of 419 scammers. For those of you who don't know what they are, they are the people who offer to give you money for no reason or some stupid reason. In the end they take all your money. If you have some time, head on over to 419eater.com and check out some of the ways that people mess with them. Absolutely hilarious.

 
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Lord of the Rings

Today was the Lord of the Rings Marathon for our youth group, hosted by me. We used the school's auditorium, new ceiling mounted digital projector and sound system to make it almost like a real theater. All three extended movies together were about 12 hours long. I am always exhausted after watching them all. Good fun though.

 
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Gong Xi Fat Chai

Happy Chinese New Year of the Rooster everyone. Today is the lunar new year for the chinese and they celebrate in Indonesia by all the singles go around to married people and say "Gong Xi Fat Chai" and then are given money. Apparently they get quite a bit. Tomorrow is Islamic New Year and Friday is Korean.

 
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Randall Responds

I thought it might be fun to change things up a bit today so I'm creating a new feature called "Randall Responds." I know, stupid name but it works. What I am thinking is for people to ask me questions in the comments of this post and in a few days I will collect them and answer. Feel free to ask about anything at all.

 
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Super Bowl Bonanza

Its Super Bowl Monday! Thats right. Here in Indonesia the Super Bowl is played Monday morning because of the time difference. Unfortunately we have school during this time! Because of this many of us are trying our darnedest (I like that word!) not to find out the score before tonight. There is a rerun on satellite and we are having a party to watch it. A couple of interesting notes are that the game is cut down an hour for the rerun so we don't get all the "boring" plays which for previous games has sometimes included scoring. We also don't get the fun commercials.

 
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Sick again

A recurring theme of living here in Indonesia seems to be having a stomach sickness. I tend to get sick about once a month with diarhea, vomiting or both and I'm at it again. I finally ate a little today at lunch for the first time since monday. I've been trying to allow my body to "beat the bug" but after four days of not eating, having no energy and sleeping through my prep periods, I'm throwing in the towel. I'm now on heavy doses of Flagyl to kill off Giardia. We've lost a lot of the elementary kids to a similar sickness.

 
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More on the earthquake

Turns out the epicenter was 43 Km south of Bandung and was a magnitude of 5.2. Not very big. It caused an elementary school to collapse and a few houses to topple but nothing too major.

For more information, News.com.au

There is a good look into Indonesian psychology with the drilling in Garut if you read the article.

 
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Earthquake!

We had an earthquake here at school today. Apparently there have been hundreds of small quakes around the region since the big one. It was a small one and just bumped the desks around and made me feel dizzy. Don't worry about tsunami's here though. We are at around 4000 feet elevation. I'm more worried about the several active volcanos within a few hours of here, one is only a 30 minute drive away and I love going up there to visit.

 
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Funny little story

Here's an e-mail from one of my roomates. This is so Indonesia.

I was sitting in Yopie Salon at Bandung Super Mall getting my hair cut (ok, a creambath, but a hair cut sounds more masculine) when I looked at their calender and it was a picture of my Junior High School in NH.

 
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