Two years ago Josh bought an electronic scoreboard for the new gym. He bought it online from the US and shipped it to indonesia. It was billed as being remotely controlled. When we got it though, it was a dinky little remote and the scoreboard part couldn't be mounted in the gym as we wanted. With a little hacking by Agus, my former assistant, we were able to get a setup close to what we wanted. He actually removed the face and ran some cables up the wall to where we mounted the face. Pretty cool actually.
The water at our house has been acting up the last few weeks. First, the pump has been running nonstop since the night with the strong lightning storm a few weeks ago. For a couple of days, we have only hot water at the house. Normally this wouldn't seem that odd except we don't have any central water heater. All of the water that is coming from the well is steaming hot. I can only think of a couple of reasons for this. First, it could be that the pump running non-stop has heated up the water.
There was another earthquake (gempa bumi) in Aceh today. So far it has been measured as a 8.7 which is huge. There was no tsunami though which is a good thing. As I mentioned in my last newsletter though, there will still be very heavy damage from the earthquake. Last time it damaged and destroyed many buildings. Keep the Acehnese in your prayers.
I took a look at the stats for my website and more people are using Firefox than Internet Explorer! I'm glad so many people have already switched to a safer, faster and more enjoyable internet experience. For those of you still using the "big blue e," be sure to check out the Firefox Browser today.
I've updated some more stuff on my website. Most of the work is on the sidebar. I've removed and added some links. I've fixed stuff that was broken. News is now called home because it was too confusing with newsletters right below it. Probably most importantly, I've added a donations option.
Only two more days till we leave on our trip. I'm not sure I'll have time to write tomorrow and we leave early on saturday so I'm going to update right now. We have had two students who aren't going to be able to come with us for various reasons. That puts our total at 13. I think we are all ready to go though. We have T-shirts, ID badges, relief supplies and all the plain/train/automobile tickets we need.
Here are some things you can pray for:
1. The anti-malarial medicine has been screwing with my emotions. Pray that I stay sane.
We are taking Doxycycline medicine which is an Anti-Malaria medicine for our time in Aceh. The fun part is that there are a lot of crazy side effects. I'm pretty sure I've got two. The first is really crazy and vivid dreams every night. I almost never dream but I have really been dreaming since I started taking it. The second is that it has made me very emotional. For those of you who know me, this is a huge change. I feel like crying all the time which is not something I usually do. No pink elephants yet though. You never know with these drugs.
The Jakarta Post
Publication Date : 2005-01-22
The devastating earthquake and tsunamis that killed over 166,000 people and displaced another half a million in Aceh have not shaken the faith of the people, who are known for their strong devotion to Islam.
Most do not ask why God picked Aceh upon which to unleash His wrath. They agree that God the omnipotent was angry, but they lay the blame elsewhere -- some on themselves.
Today we start taking Doxycycline for the trip to Aceh. Malaria is really bad there right now. Something like 40% of the people have it. That is one (of the many) diseases I don't want to get here. Luckily it is just a pill a day. Cost is like $0.10 per pill too.
I know I've ranted about the rain plenty recently but I had good reason to. Apparently February set the record for rain fall in a month in Bandung. Our school is build on the side of a hill and so has a retaining wall on each end, one holding the property up the hill off the school and one holding our school off the next property in a step like process. The retaining wall at the bottom of the school started sagging about a week ago and we are in danger of losing the playground. Here is a picture of them restoring the wall.
Here is a picture from the Bandung Electronics Center which is where I go browsing for fun gadgets. For some reason, most of the worlds starts with a Ground Floor at the bottom and the First Floor is above it. In the US we start with the First Floor, also known as the Ground Floor. Here in Indonesia they take this to the extreme. Check out this picture of the floors.
While in Jakarta this weekend I went to a bookstore and bought some books. The one I read on the way back and last night is called Getting Colour Right. The first thing I noticed is that it is written in British since color is spelled colour. The book deals with the many aspects of color management and how to get the picture you took or scanned to look good when it is printed out. It begins with a section on light theory and how light is perceived by humans.
For our Aceh trip, we have received just about all the stuff we are bringing. This includes:
700 school supply packs (pen, pencil, eraser, notebook, ruler)
315 School uniforms including socks, hats, head covers, shirts, shorts and skirts
100 pairs of school shoes
It is amazing how many boxes all this stuff is. The fun part will be getting it all there.
Tomorrow I will be traveling to Jakarta for two things. One will be to eat at Chili's and the other is to watch the North Jakarta International School's play Jolly Roger and the Pirate Queen. It is directed by my friend there named Tim Shea. Hopefully it will be just like a piece of home, just in Asia.
Last night was by far the stormiest night I have ever seen in my life. Starting at around 10 PM it litterally sounded like someone was dumping the ocean on top of our house. On top of that there was a ton of very close lightning. We had about 30 lightning strikes where the flash and the boom were at the same time. It was really incredible. There was one that was so close I almost fell out of bed.
While listening to stories from people getting back from trips to Aceh, one of the most poignant is from Jay who talked to our group on Saturday. He was one of the first out there and is in charge of pointing all the groups that come from all over to the proper places to work. He is also the dad of one of the students going on our trip.