I’ve been without internet for a week now, so I have some serious catching up to do and it will take several posts to do that.
Yes, we finally made it to Jakarta after a grueling 30 hours. Getting here is not so easy – it was a little hectic trying to get all of our possessions into 4 large bags and 2 carry-on’s, but we did it.
We left Salt Lake on Thursday the 15th at 7:00 pm for the 1.5 hour flight to Los Angeles, had a 3 hour layover and left at 11:00 pm for the 14.5 hour flight to Hong Kong. We arrived there at 5:00 am Saturday (sine we crossed the international date line) and left for Jakarta at 9:00 am – another 3.5 hour flight. FINALLY, on Saturday at 1:00 pm, we arrived in Jakarta!
Yes, DeeAnn is as tired as she looks! The picture on the right is outside the airport with the Mission President, (President Rowley) and his wife (far right) and the Demke’s. They are going to Timor Leste (you will have to Google it), a small country south of Indonesia. They are going to be the only members of the Church in the country and will be doing humanitarian work there.
We then went with the Mitchell’s, the couple we are replacing, who took us to our new apartment. We are on the 17th floor of a high-rise downtown Jakarta. The top floor is 51, but the numbering jumps from floor 35 to to floor 50 – don’t ask, because no one knows.
This is the view out our window. Looking the other way, you can see a tiny mosque between all the new construction.
90% of Indonesia is Muslim and Muslims pray five times a day. They are ‘called to prayer’ (salah) via very large and very loud speakers (they are on the tall minaret) beginning at pre-dawn – which here is 4:30 am. (FYI – theyesm other times are mid-day, afternoon, susnet and night.) Now, another unique feature of Jakarta is that construction goes on 24/7. And, in the green space directly next door to our apartment (and just out of the the picture above) is a little shack that keeps chickens. Sooooo, at 4:30 am, we hear the call to prayer, roosters and heavy construction! It’s great!
A great thing about our apartment is the gym/pool – and yes it’s as nice as it looks! (They clean it every day.) Since senior missionaries are not bound by the same rules as the young missionaries, yes, we get to use it. So DeeAnn and I will be able to continue our routine (as best we can because of the frequent travel schedule we will have) in visiting the gym and pool every day.
The Mitchell’s have been so terrific helping us get settled, showing us the ropes, taking us to the store, etc. They are going home after 18 months and since we are setting up a new apartment, they have loaded us up with all the stuff from their apartment – pots,pans, towels, etc. They have been so helpful as we’re trying to learn the Church Humanitarian computer tracking system, the various projects that have been done and that are pending.
One of the great ongoing projects here is working with Dr. Titi – a pediatrician who has a small 26 bed hospital. She arranges plastic surgeons to come in to her hospital and she donates the facility, they donate their time and skill and the Church purchases the supplies needed to perform cleft palate surgery on children from surrounding villages. This is life-altering surgery for these children and we are so excited to be able to continue working with her! She and her assistant, Dr. Maya, came by the office yesterday to bid farewell to the Mitchell’s and to meet us. We took her to lunch and during lunch it started to pour down rain (it does that a lot here). She and Dr. Maya came in her ambulance, so after lunch, rather than call a cab, she called the ambulance to pick us up and drop us off back at the office.
We’ve been here 5 days and there’s so much to put in the blog. Give me time to catch my breath and more later…..