Wednesday, June 24, 2015

First Full Day in Indonesia

Hi, we’re Corina and Hannah and we’re sharing our two perspectives on our first full day in Indonesia. Between sorting bags, visiting Insan Permata, introducing ourselves to the Indonesian culture, and overcoming jetlag, we had a busy day.
As our driver took the van down a narrow street, the returnees simply can’t wait another minute to arrive at the orphanage. The rest of us in the van are here for the first time, and are filled with excitement- yet unsure what to expect. When we drive up to the gates, the kids are already there waiting, and we are received by hugs and huge smiles. The yard becomes a commotion of reunions and introductions. Once the craziness dies down, we start activities with the kids. The orphanage is not large enough to hold our whole group and the kids, so we spread out. Duct tape “roads” for toy cars are set up outside, and an obstacle course is made out of streamers inside. With such simple toys, the kids are content. This encompasses their whole attitude- happiness and contentment with the little they have. There is a range of ages at the orphanage, from Gabriel at 9 months to Indah who is almost 17. While one girl immediately grabbed my hand and held it, others take longer to warm up. These are the kids that somehow break your heart, steal it, and fill it all at once.
After we gave lots of goodbyes and hugs at the orphanage we headed back to the Chevron Camp for a late lunch. Next we were off to Mall Ciputra. Driving through the streets of Pekanbaru, the city of over a million we are in, gave us a great glimpse into the culture of Indonesia. The city is raw, there isn’t the orderliness or precision we find in America. Nice buildings are next to shacks and motorcycles seem to weave in between everything. The Chevron camp is out a ways from the heart of the city so it was about a half hour drive to the mall. Our mission from John and Kathi when we reached the mall was to split up into groups and find the best “white elephant” gift.  We explored the mall where a large group of Americans were an unusual sight for the Indonesian shoppers. We enjoyed getting to be celebrities for a couple hours. While there were some weird things and clothes we discovered in the mall, we realized that the Indonesian people are not that different from us at all. They may speak a different language but they go through their days doing the same things we do and experiencing the same daily struggles and victories, just in a different context than us.
Random gifts in hand we all piled back into the cars and returned to Chevron camp. We were welcomed back by the visit of a troop of monkeys who were scurrying around in the trees across from our houses. Lots of picture taking, admiration, and laughter ensued as we realized they had gotten into the garbage and were now eating the bread that had been thrown out. After they all scampered off we were brought Indonesian take-out for dinner. The take-out consisted of rice, vegetables, chicken, and fried soybeans and tofu, a delicious or not so good combination depending on who you talk to. A friend of John and Kathi's

in Pekanbaru wrapped our busy day up for us by talking about the wonderful opportunity we have in our time in Indonesia to show God’s love and let him work in us. Today whether this was our first day in Indonesia or our third year we all were able to begin to grasp and fall in love with the culture of this country we will be calling home for the next week.

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