December 31, 2007

Are You Manage?

I took The Rush to get washed today (our gold SUVan) at our regular place. Sharon has taken it the last couple times so most of the guys there know who we are. But today I had an interesting conversation with an new Indian teenager who's second language is Bahasa and whose third language is English. After the formalities of discussing where I'm from and where I'm working, the conversation starts progressing like this:

TEEN: Are you manage?

ME: Sorry, am I what?

TEEN: Are you manage yet?

ME: Am I a manager yet?

TEEN: Yes.

ME: No, not yet. I've just started working for a small company.

TEEN: (with a confused look I've seen AND given too many times to count) Oh, ok... Well, how about you manage her? (pointing to his tall, beautiful Indian sister)

ME: (the light turns on) Oh, wait! You mean am I married yet? Oh, so sorry. Yes I'm married and my wife is pregnant.

TEEN: Oh, ok. Do you like boys or girls?

ME: (knowing he couldn't mean what he was saying, I realized he was asking if I wanted a son or daughter) You mean what child do I want?

TEEN: Yes, do you like boys or girls?

ME: I want a boy.

Now, don't think I'm knocking this guy - he speaks a third language better than I can speak a second language. Some of the things I've said in Bahasa are downright crazy. Makes me wonder how many times I've asked some really weird question in Bahasa and the person walked away thinking, "That white man is dumb."

December 27, 2007

Highland Christmas

We went back with Justin and Daniela to the Highlands for Christmas.
Yes we are still only 2 degrees above the equator.
Yes that is a real fire you see behind us.
Yes it was necessary to burn because we were really cold.

We took the "mountain road" up to the highlands this time in order to take advantage of some of the tribal handicrafts sold along the mountain road. The back road can make your stomach queasy, but the views are spectacular.

Here is Anthony's handmade blowgun bought along the mountain road.And here is the blowgun in action. There was a big spider... so why use a shoe when you have a blowgun?

video

The highlands are known for delicious strawberries, tea, and other produce. This photo is for our friends out there who have ever eaten mangosteen (or the local word here, "mangis"). Mangosteen tastes like fruit punch...it's amazing. The normal sized fruits are the size of an average tomato. So, when we saw these at a stall we had to check them out...
Turns out these are "African Sea Coconuts" NOT ginormous mangosteen like we thought.
"Rugi besar-lah!"
Here are some of the strawberry goodies we ate while there...

And... no tourist destination would be complete without exciting attractions like...
The "Time Tunnel" was basically a long couple of rooms with a bunch of old stuff in them. Some of it was interesting and unlike the US, you could touch just about everything.
This is kinda what the guy looks like that made Anthony's blowgun.
One of the coolest tricycles we've ever seen.
The end of the time tunnel... not sure why there is a random signpost thingy with major cities on it, but we think it added a nice touch to the strawberries grown outside. I mean really, who wouldn't want to know the way to Toronto while they're picking strawberries?
For Christmas Dinner Justin and Daniela made their famous Eggplant Parmesan... it wasn't a "normal" Christmas dinner, but none of us minded a bit... it was SO delicious!
We missed all our family back home in the states and wished we could've been there with everyone. We were blessed though to be with good friends and have a memorable Christmas! We hope yours was a good one too!

December 18, 2007

Whitey Christmas

We hosted our business Christmas party at our house last night. We all have local friends that we have and will do stuff with for Christmas, but other than K5, all the people at the party last night were white Americans (K5 is adopted...in case that isn't blatantly obvious) We went out to eat and then came back to our house for some songs, desserts, and games.
Since our new camera still hasn't arrived from the states (we're expecting it in early January!) the pictures aren't so great and the video is a bit dark. But we played a fun game where you have to pick up a paper bag with your mouth without putting your hands or knees on the ground. After every round, the top of the bag is cut off and the bag gets shorter.I participated in the first round before the bag started getting cut down... see the vein in my neck? video
This game was really fun, but in hindsight we'd recommend only playing it with people you know well (and would pick up a bag with your mouth that they had just picked up with theirs) and are willing to squat in awkward positions in front of while they take pictures of you (i.e.- your rear-end is up in the air).Since the Guru, Mrs. Guru, and the K's are going to the states for the Christmas holiday, Mrs. Guru decided not to put up the Christmas tree at their house. K5 loved the glittery ornaments on our tree and spent most of the night touching and laying under it. So cute!

December 09, 2007

Wedding near Christmas...

We went to a wedding today. We didn't know the couple, but that's ok here... as long as you're somehow connected to a friend of the bride and groom and live close-by, it's kind of understood that you can come.
"Weddings" here are like "Wedding Receptions" in the states. Meaning, most of the time you never actually see the actual ceremony and sometimes the groom isn't even there yet. Guests just greet the parents, eat, and leave.
Today while we were leaving the groom showed up. We've seen this before and even participated in a couple of friends' "arrivals" as they were the grooms. It's generally known what day he'll come, but what time he actually shows up always varies and the bride has to be ready.
Everytime we witness the bridegroom coming, we're reminded of the story from the Bible about Jesus telling of his second coming. He says we all need to be prepared because he could show up at anytime...those not prepared will be left outside the incredible celebration when he comes to get his bride.

How awesome then that we celebrate Christmas?

I mean, the first time Jesus came, he came as a baby.
Angels announced his arrival as the salvation God had promised long ago with Abraham.
The world was finally getting it's Savior.

Wow.
God totally fulfills his promises.

Which, being reminded of God's perfect record of promise-keeping, and his promise that he would come again, means we can count on him doing it.

The second time it's not gonna be as a sweet baby boy to save, but as the Almighty King and Judge to claim his bride and finally set the world straight.

WOW.

It's gonna be incredible.
MORE incredible than those angels that appeared to the shepherds back in Bethlehem.
And it's for sure gonna happen.
Just nobody knows when.
Just like nobody knew when he was coming the first time.

But just like that Groom came for his GORGEOUS bride today,
He IS coming.
I'm so glad we got to go to that wedding today and be reminded once again of His promises.

Our job now is to let Christmas remind us of God's perfect promises
...and to make sure we are ready for when He comes again.

December 04, 2007

Language Experts...

This past weekend we helped out at an "English Weekend" for some of the country's most promising students. All the students there were in pre-med programs, pre-law, engineering and basically every other brainiac major in college. We were asked to come because we are "native speakers" of the English Language. We had a great time with the students and loved helping them with their English.Our favorite activity of the weekend was "Cocktail Night." It was a chance for the students to practice how they're supposed to act and talk when they get out in the real world and are invited to functions where they will have to "chit chat" in English. The super fun part was this was a "Mismatch Party." It really helped all the students to relax and only worry about their English, not about what they were wearing or how they looked... it was so much fun! Sorry we don't have more pictures...our camera isn't doing so well these days. (You can see another "native English speaker" in the background of the first photo wearing a collared shirt and tie with his pajama pants... it really was a blast!)