Due to the recent earthquake in Jokjakarta, I've been asked to be on the immediate response team to the area. I'm on my way there right now and will be there for the next three weeks. This means that I will be postponing my trip to the US by two weeks.
Also, this is my personal blog and I've tried to be very careful to not post anything sensitive to my work and I will continue to do so. I'll continue posting information on how I am and maybe a little on what I'm doing but I need to be very careful about work related stuff since I am not authorized to speak for SP.
Looking at Google News articles about Bush meeting with Olmert revealed a good amount of spin. Look at these headlines from the first page. Keep in mind that these are all from major news sources.
President Bush Holds a Joint Press Conference with Prime Minister ...
Bush praises Israeli PM's plan about West Bank
Bush welcomes West Bank plan
US urges Olmert to talk to Palestinians
Bush gives cautious welcome to Olmert's plan
Bush fails to back Israeli plan for borders
So today I spent inspecting houses and trying to find a new location to build houses. Besides getting upset with the village leader for not showing three times and finally telling him he had to come to my office tomorrow or I wouldn't consider building houses in his village, there are two notable things that happened.
Here is my complete Itinerary for going home in June:
GARUDA AIRLINES 189 Banda Aceh 06/03/2006 11:25 AM
MALAYSIA AIRLINES 865 Medan 06/03/2006 15:30 PM
JAPAN AIRLINES 5839 Kuala Lumpur 06/03/2006 10:50 PM
AMERICAN AIRLINES 176 Tokyo 06/04/2006 12:25 PM
Arriving at DFW 06/04/2006 09:45 AM
AMERICAN AIR 2465 Dallas/FW 06/16/2006 06:25 PM
CATHAY PACIFIC 6121 Los Angeles 06/16/2006 11:55 PM
CATHAY PACIFIC 6099 Hong Kong 06/18/2006 08:50 AM
MALAYSIA AIRLINES 864 Kuala Lumpur 06/18/2006 14:45 PM
I mentioned before (I think) that it is west wind season here right now which means there are really strong winds and extreme rainstorms. The last two days have been just nuts. All night long I got woken up by the wind and the rain agains the roof two stories above me and outside my window. Driving out to the project site, all the houses we built were wet all the way up to the base of the roof. The people said the rain was coming in sideways all night long. Around 2:00PM another storm rolled in and we drove home in it.
Fox news is running a story on Six Health Woes That Ruin A Date. It goes into detail on how these six things can ruin a date and what to do about them.
1. Bad Breath
3. Gastrointestinal Woes
Did you know that defenestrate means to throw something or someone out a window? Me either until it showed up as the word of the day.
Can you imagine yelling at someone, "Don't defenestrate that!" I think you would just get some confused looks.
Apparently usually it refers to people being thrown out a window. For example, in 2 Kings 9:30-33 Queen Jezebel is defenestrated.
Skype has decided to give away calling to the US and Canada for the rest of the year. This is awesome news for me since I use SkypeOut quite regularly and will continue to do so till the end of the year. The bad news is that it is only free if you are calling from within the US and I am in Indonesia. So why is this still good news? A few months ago I switched to a satellite internet system that has an IP Address in the US instead of Indonesia so as far as Skype knows, I'm in the US and can get free calling to the US!
Tonight was a near full moom and around 8PM there was a brilliant yellow moon on the eastern sky. We were trying to figure out why this is and figured it is either polution or Mount Merapi erupting. Mount Merapi is a couple hundred miles to the East of Bandung and the ash is supposed to be coloring the sky quite beautifully in Yogyakarta. There is a very high chance that the volcano will be erupting full scale very quickly. Oh, also there was a 6.1 earthquake in Banda Aceh again yesterday. Gotta love Indonesia. It keeps you on your tows.
The last two nights I went to BAIS's production of "Lost in Yonkers" by Neil Simon. They did a really great job with it. I had read it before but didn't think it was very funny until I actually watched it. Of course it is very serious as well. The second night had some suprises like one of the main actresses fell off a motorcycle on her way to the performance and apparently broke her arm. They put it in a sling and she performed without missing a beat. One of the characters also partially undresses for bed on stage. Since this is the last night he decided to take his pants off as well.
Just FYI, tomorrow morning I'll be going to Bandung for probably my last time for a very long time. I'm headed out for some Rest and Relaxation that is sorely needed. Looking forward to seeing all my old friends again... Um, not that they are exactly old but that I haven't seem them in a while... well, I think you get the point. Its getting late. I should stop writing.
Today was Maulud Nabi day which I believe is "The Prophet's" birthday. Basically this year I was invited to a bunch of lunches all served at the same time. It is kind of like a Christmas potluck but with foods you probably would never recognize.
One of the foods they cooked was beef kari Acehnese style like we had at the innauguration. It was as awesome as ever and I got the recipe from them.
Beef (chunked into 1 inch cubes) 8-10 kg
Bananas (2 stalks) or Young Jackfruit 3 also chunked
Lemon grass 6 stalks
White Shallots 3.5 Kg sliced
Its the small things in life that give you pleasure. Today we moved our electricity connection from the end of one line to the end of the other line. We were having lots of trouble with our electicity getting too low of voltage to run things. Indonesia is standardized on 220V and our house was getting between 160V and 180V. The big AC in the office wouldn't work below about 175V and the smaller ACs would stop working at about 170V. Now with the new connection we have about 200V at the house right now during one of the daily lows.
This is the second time in my life that I've had to fire someone. I had to fire two people today and I really don't like doing it. The first time I had to fire someone my supervisor was there and helped me do it. He gave me some very good advice. That is, if you are going to fire someone, make the decision ahead of time and don't allow yourself to change your mind. It is very true that I always want to change my mind when I am doing it.
These guys were guys I really did like and I didn't want to fire but I had to. Not a fun situation.