Trip to Penang

I've got to leave the country again because my visa has expired. I came in on a 30 day visa on arrival and it is almost expired. That means I have to take a trip to Penang island in Malaysia for a few days to get a new visa. How tough is that? I leave tomorrow morning and leave from Meulaboh to Medan this afternoon. I can't wait to eat at a western restaurant like Chili's again. I'm getting a bit tired of fish and rice every day. I'll be back on Saturday to Medan though.

 
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Unique Communion

Today at church we had communion. Because of where we are though, it is impossible to get wine and grape juice is not common either. For the drink, the only thing we could find was Groovy Grape Soday. I'm sure God got a smile out of that one.

 
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Women's Vocational Center in the news!

We made the Jakarta Post with an article about the center. Contrary to what the article says, we will be open longer than 3 months.

Jakarta Post Article

Acehnese woman finds solace through sewing

Nani Afrida, The Jakarta Post/Meulaboh

Kartini rocks her daughter, Rafi Karanda (4 months old), to sleep in a miniature cloth hammock hanging from the door. After she is sure that Rafi is asleep, she begins sewing.

 
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Acehnese Bird Houses

I wake up each morning to the sound of swifts chirping which is a very nice sound. At first I thought that there were lots of birds around but it turns out that it is recordings of birds that I am hearing. The most prestigious food in all of food in China is something called birds nest soup. It is reportedly good for longevity and is served to honored guests only. For the history of birds nest soup, <a href="

 
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My 15 minutes

Today about 15 reporters came to the women's center in Meulaboh and interviewed me and some other people there. Reporters really can be quite nosey. I think they really liked the place and I'll be looking for newspaper reports about the center in the news. Almost all of the really big newspapers were there. Quite exciting.

 
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New Computer!

I finally got my new computer. It is an Apple Powerbook 12" with a super drive and extra big hard drive. I'm excited to learn how to use it and play around with all the features. Sweet.

 
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People

Dealing with people is hard. I love my new job but it has a lot to do with dealing with people. That makes it hard. Please be praying for me on Monday as there will be some major things happening in one of my projects. Hopefully the outcome will be good and either way the project will be able to move forward in a way it has been struggling to.

 
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Enter the wind

I've managed to pick up a bit of a cough the last couple days and it is making me feel quite miserable today. I think part of this is because of the air conditioner in my room. I'm so used to not haveing one that the dryness and coldness is killing my lungs. It is interesting that Indonesians believe in something called "masuk angin" which means you catch a wind. At first I thought this was ridiculous until I realized that we catch a cold, equally as ridiculous. Either way, I'm not feeling very well.

 
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Rubber

I just got back from Panga where there is a Rubber project that SP is doing. I'm now officially in charge of it. I got to see the fields where they are going to be planting the rubber trees to replace ones destroyed in the Tsunami. I wish I knew something about agriculture.

 
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Panga

I'm taking a helecopter trip for the day today to Panga. I'm traveling up there to get a handle on a project. I can't write more because I need to leave for the airport. Later.

 
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Quick Appology

Sorry everyone for the lack of updates recently. I've been flying between citys about every third day and I didn't have a computer until a few days ago. I still don't have a way to connect it to the Internet until a few more days so I'm still stuck borrowing other people's computers when I have the chance. My NEW laptop will be arriving in less than a week and so I will be switching it out again.

 
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New Computer

I decided to go ahead and buy a new computer this week. I bought a 12" Apple Powerbook. Yes, I have officially gone over to the other side. I've always been a little dissatisfied with Windows and have played around a lot with Linux over the years. As I am needing to buy a laptop and wanted to get something good, I couldn't find anything that matched the features of the powerbook for ANY price. Throw in that I get to play with Mac OS X and I'm sold. I also bought an iPod even thought I don't listen to music all that much. Maybe I'll start.

 
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Medan

I got to Medan yesterday and officially started my new job of Progam Manager, Livelihoods. I spent most of the day meeting with people and learning the ins and outs of how stuff works at Samaritan's Purse in Indonesia. I'll be spending the next three or so weeks with the current Program Manager, Livelihoods learning the ropes. Monday I'll fly to Meulaboh and then back to Medan on Thursday. Sunday I'll be flying back to Banda Aceh finally.

 
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More comments on Singapore

Here are a couple of funny signs that I have seen and remember:

In the bathroom next to the urinals was a sign that said,
"Our 'aim' is to keep the toilet clean. Your 'aim' will help."

On a patch of grass about a quarter of the size of a football field was the sign,
"Public Land: Enter at your own risk."

Risk of what? It is a patch of grass you can barely throw a frisby in. I guess you are out of luck if a meterorite hits you while you are on public land.

 
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Consumerism to the max

I've decided to write a bit of a critique of Singapore from what I have seen in the last few days. Singaporians really attempt to model themselves after the US though so most, if not all of this probably is applicable to the US as well.

Singapore is known as Asia's shopping center and it shows. Everywhere you go there is stuff to buy and helpful slogans encouraging you to buy. There are two main things that seem important to the people, improving the state of Singapore and improving their own life.

Here are some of the slogans I've seen:

 
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