Friday, November 20, 2009

A Bit of Style

Wearing a school uniform is really not that bad...
at least when it looks like this

For the past few weeks we celebrated Indonesian culture at school. It culminated with a an day-long parade of costumes and dance and food. Some of the girls' traditional dress was really stunning. After I spent the day dressed with such pomp and dignity I was reluctant to take it off.

We have made it successfully through Kayla's and Hannah's birthdays. Connected to those two events has been the addition of two fish and a hamster. Pictures to be added as soon as we're sure they will survive. We don't have a particularly strong history of pets lasting too long. Hamsters don't like to be dropped and fish don't enjoy murky, green water. We'll see.

I've missed the last two weeks of golf due to rain. That has really tested my often said phrase, "I never get tired of rain." Usually I don't. I love rain. I love thunder and lightening. That reminds me. I should take a picture of the tree 50 feet from our house that was struck by lightening last week. Incredible. Took off a huge limb, ripped a 30-foot long barkless patch, and sent debris flying onto rooftops and all over the street.

Last night (Friday afternoon and then into the evening) we held a senior school retreat for 25 teachers who have leadership responsibilities in the MS an HS. Subject lead teachers and grade level lead teachers. Of course you can't just have meetings and discussion all need a break for dinner, hence the pictures of dessert and the tables. A nice bit of style, don't you agree.

Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

There you saw it...the Mercers playing their instruments of choice. Kayla, sporting the new braidless hairstyle, has begun taking piano lessons. She actually likes singing even more than playing the piano. Both are done well.

Hannah also started on the piano but has been playing the saxaphone and flute at school. She was doing so well on the saxaphone that they asked her if she would play the baritone sax. It sounds wonderful and she plays it very well...the only problem is lugging back and forth to school.

Ben continues to love playing the guitar. He actually sounds pretty good and very loud as he imitates Jimi Hendrix and Led Zepplan and Paul McCartney.

And that's me, playing the CD Player. I'm OK. I hit the wrong buttons quite a bit when I'm not wearing my glasses. Most of the time I can hit "play" on the very first try.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Church, Picnics, and Trick or Treat

The first few weeks we were here we visited several different churches. Papa Bear thought some were too far to drive. Mama Bear thought some were too loud. Baby Bear thought some didn't serve good snacks. And all the Bears were confused when some didn't speak their brand of Bear-talk. A couple months ago a new church plant started and they were using our school's campus. That certainly was close enough for Papa Bear...a 1-minute car drive is just right. So that's what we now do on Sunday mornings.

I should back up and say that freedom of worship, at least in Jakarta, has been a real blessing. Indonesia is unfortunately usually pronounced this way: Indonesia-the-world's-largest-Muslim-population. It's one long word with emphasis on largest Muslim population and a long silence afterwards. It's almost like a warning: expect the worst, expect extremists. It has been surprising how casual and relaxed Jakarta has been.

Today walking around the mall I tried to estimate the number of women who wore even a basic head covering/scarf. It was around 20%. The population is 90% Muslim. And of the 20% who wear a simple scarf, it is 0% who wear the full length burka-type covering. I can't recall ever seeing one here. Nairobi? Lots. Regularly at Village Market, especially on Sundays. A crowd of burka-clad women wasn't even a head-turner to in Kenya.

So, it has been encouraging to have a wide choice of churches. It is encouraging to work in a school that is very clear in its Christian foundation and purpose.

The particular church we have been attending is a recent church-plant from Ann Arbor, Michigan. It was started by a group of Korean-Americans who moved here together. They have a web site (Harvest Mission Community Church) if you are interested in seeing what kind of a church it is. The pictures I've included are from the church picnic and games last Sunday.

This week, Saturday, many of the ex-pats from SPH and who have little kids got together to keep that great American tradition of Trick or Treat alive. Again, enjoy the pictures.