Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Take your cat and your dad to school

Nope that's not a happy cat!!!! Colin's class is finishing a unit on pets. The students were invited to take their pets to school. Each day was assigned a different type of pet:

Thursday Mechanical Pets” – Tamagotchis etc.
Friday – “Pretend Pets” – stuffed animals etc.
Monday – “Small Pets” – hamsters, turtles, fish etc.
Tuesday – “Big Pets” – dogs, cats, monkeys etc.

Yes it says MONKEYS! YIKES!!! Chalk that up as a you just don't see that back home kinda thing! (although I didn't see any monkeys at the school) Today I loaded a pissed off cat into the van and tried to explain to a confused driver that I wanted to take the cat to school, not to the veterinarian. I'm not sure Pak Haryono understands WHY we drove the cat to school, but we made it. The kids enjoyed seeing our cat. I think many were surprised at his size. He is a typical spoiled, overweight (15 lbs!), American housecat. Indonesian street cats tend to be small, skinny, shy and for some reason most don't have long tails. Colin stood up and told the class about his cat and then answered questions. “How long have you had him? Does he really sleep with you? How old is Bing?” Really cute!

It was also take your dad to school day. Colin got to take his dad to school and show him all about what he has learned in computer lab. For this task dad had to be the student and Colin the teacher. They used a drawing program and Colin had to walk his dad through the step of duplicating a baby robot. Colin had to do this without touch the mouse, keyboard, or screen. After they accomplished this task they had some free time to draw picture of each other. Below is the picture they drew.

New Art Work

Shannon and I went to another auction this past weekend and found plenty of art work that we liked, but it was the two pictures below that really caught our eye. These two pictures are fun and exciting and we thought they would make a great addition to our collection. I hope y’all like them as much as we do and if not that’s okay because they will be in our house and not yours. (ha ha)

My Car
(1999 aquarel on paper 40 x 50 cm)

(1999 aquarel on paper 40 x 50 cm)

Erica Hestu Wahyuni was born in Yogyakarta in 1971. She could be considered a prodigy, developing her passion for art already in elementary school. She studied painting at the Indonesian Fine Art Institute in Yogyakarta (ISI or ASRI). Erica belongs to the increasing number of woman artists in Indonesia whose art works are also promoted in the USA.

Saturday, May 26, 2007


No, it's not measles; it's mosquitoes. I stupidly forgot to spray my feet last Friday night at Happy Hour. Luckily it was just my feet.

Here's what happened: On Friday afternoon's a group of us moms (and sometimes dads) gather in one of the driveways here in the compound to chat and share a few drinks while the kids play around us (actually they swarm around us like mosquitoes). It's a nice way to end the week. I wore tennis shoes and to get more comfortable decided to take them off. I forgot that I had already sprayed down with mosquito repellent and of course my feet were missed because I was wearing socks and shoes. While I enjoyed myself the mosquitoes enjoyed themselves too. Sooo now my feet look like they have the measles!

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Moment in Time

There are in our lives those moments in time that when looked back on later will be remembered with photographic clarity. Sometimes these moments are momentous: graduations, weddings, and funerals. Other times these are just ordinary moments that hang in our memory for unknown reasons but are just as special: sitting on the creek bank fishing in the summer heat, a cup of warm cocoa on the first really cold day of winter. Sometimes you know it is happening and try hard to remember every detail, other times it just happens. At a party last night I looked around the last 10 partygoers as we sang American Pie and realized in a few weeks time all but two of this group will have moved on to new assignments around the world and likely would never see each other again, would never gather in a living room in Jakarta for an evening of sadly off tune Karaoke. I tried to grab all the details and store them away for another day in the photo album of my mind. The smell of the pizza, the taste of home brewed beer, warmth of freindships found so far from home.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007


The Pattimura tree dominates the courtyard at Pattimura Elementary. Here kids prepare to perform the musical Yanamomo under the spreading branches of the Pattimura tree. It made the perfect backdrop for this particular play. The show focused on the Yanamomo tribe of the South American rain forest. I am not sure how the staff pulled it off, but somehow they managed to get more than 300 kids from prep reception (age 3) to 5th grade to perform an (almost) 2 hour musical. Very impressive.

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Our House

Several people have asked what our house is like. Here is a picture of the front of our house. Yes it still has toys all over the place. I am sure it drives the gardeners nuts. I have noticed the toys get moved every few days so there are not big brown dead patches in the grass.

This is a picture of Grayson in the little garden next to our front door. The shell he is sitting on is one David and I found at the Sailing Club at Tanjung Lasung. It is so heavy Dakota and David had to take the canoe and paddle down to bring it back, instead of carrying it. A bunch of us were making bets as to whether they would make it without flipping the canoe. If you want to see more pictures of our house click on the "our house" photo album to the right.

Sunday, May 6, 2007

Eating Out in Jakarta

Eating out in Jakarta is always an adventure. You can eat at the roadside warungs or even at the kaki lima carts. You would have to be braver than me, but you COULD if you wanted to. (David says he does) You can eat at any of the many restaurants in the malls and around town or you can eat at one the 5 star hotels and have food by a world-class gourmet chef.

David and I have a favorite Chinese restaurant we often visit. It is close enough to the house to walk if we want. Today we were out running errands and decided that Chinese dumplings were just what we wanted so we headed over to Din Tai Fung to get some dumplings. This restaurant has been voted by the New York Times to be one the top 10 restaurants in the world, in spite of that the prices are very reasonable, dinner for both of us is around Rp 180,000 or about $20. As we drove up we noticed banners all down the road advertising 50% off menu prices for the next 2 weeks. That can't be right we thought. Then we opened the doors and realized that all of the Indo-Chinese in Jakarta had beaten us to the dumplings. Sadly there were going to be no dumplings today or for the next 2 weeks. I have never seen such a waiting line… well except maybe the day the Burger King opened at Senayan City.

Disappointed as we were, we headed over to Plaza Senayan to see what restaurants were to be had. We accidentally stumbled onto another good place to eat. Bakerzinn had a wonderful menu (with pictures). David enjoyed a noodle dish loaded with garlic, bratwurst, and peppers. While I had an herbed puff pastry bowl filled with a creamy mushroom stew. Mmmm mmm mmmm it was as good as chocolate! I know, chocoholics, this is tantamount to sacrilege but golly it was yummy. The only thing we found a bit disappointing was we were too full for dessert. I guess we just have to go back for coffee and dessert another day.

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Colin and his Bat

Colin caught himself a bat today. He comes running into the house hollering at me that he caught a bat. I asked him if it is alive and he emphatically says yes. I asked him if he picked it up and he told me sadly “no Ibu Dwi would not let me”. I went to see this bat that he caught and was expecting to see something the size of a rat. But to my surprise it was no more than the size of a thimble. I later put the little guy back in the roof where he crawled away very fast back in to his home.

Grayson and Potty Training
We have been working with Grayson to get him potty trained and today he did a really amazing thing and we want to share it with every one. If you would like to see what it is that he did you must click this link because a picture is worth a thousand words.