08 October 2012

Sibuk Sekali (Very Busy) & our Gracie Jane...

Our lives have been busy to say the least! We are about to "naik" or move up to Unit 6 of 9 in language school. We currently have a 1 year old (Sweet Gracie Jane) who desires to go EVERYWHERE by herself! And she is busy opening doors for conversations with the Indonesians who surround us on a daily basis. Her contagious laughter, funny faces and cheesy smile she wears (each time she sees a camera) makes us smile no matter how hard the day has been! Here are a few pictures of our baby girl who is loved by and loves everyone she meets...

Hanging with Mommy!
Dancing with Mommy! 

Gracie with her Pembantu, Ibu Agnes (Her babysitter while we are in school) 
Gracie and Ibu Santi
Our silly girl & her Mango mustache 

Gracie Jane making a new friend
"I don't want the cupcake! It is scary!!!" - Gracie Jane

Helping Daddy fix the chair

Thank you everyone for the love, prayers and continued support! We could not be here without each of you. 

Will, Nan and Gracie Jane

13 September 2012

Fuel leak!

Recently the fuel valve on our motorcycle sprang a leak which gave me (Will) the opportunity to take it in to the local repair shop (or bengkel). Now you are probably wondering why I don't just fix it myself. Well, the main reason is because all my tools are in the US waiting to be shipped to Papua, also by going to the bengkel I get to practice my bahasa and learn new techniques for maintenance. When I go it is more about the cultural experience than the end result.

The morning after the bike started leaking badly I went to the bengkel. Upon arriving the mechanic (montir) told me that it would be no problem to fix and it would take about 45 minutes. Although skeptical I proceeded to watch him defuel the bike and take off the broken fuel valve. He left with the part to go buy a new one. After a few minutes he returned telling me he could not find the part. I said ok no problem. I go to Semarang (big city) on Friday so I will just pick one up then.

This is when the fun began. Knowing how maintenance here in Indonesia is different from the US I waited with great anticipation for how he was going to put the fuel valve back on as a temporary fix.

He began to superglue the part back on and to make sure it was sealed he took his lit cigarette which made an ash/glue compound. Perfect. Lets put fuel back in and check for leaks. Yep leaks all over. If only you could have seen my surprised face. I had a sealant back home which I used to get my bike there for repair so I went and got that. When I returned, part of his cigarette filter had made its way into the ash/glue "seal."

When it was all said and done we de/refueled two times and didn't fix anything. But like I said before going to the bengkel was not about the end result of the bike. I got some good language practice and was able to continue building relationship with my Indonesian friends.

Just this last week Nan and I were reflecting on how thankful we are for our motorcycle and just how far we have come since coming here. It really is a luxury to get on a motorcycle and go wherever we need and not have to wait for anyone. Going to the city takes us about 20 minutes with Gracie, but before with public transportation (angkot) it took close to 3 hours. At the same time we are thankful for the times riding the angkot because we appreciate what we have so much more as well as get the opportunity to learn this culture a little better. That being said, we have learned a ton about Indonesian culture because we ride a motorcycle. To grasp this concept you really need to come and experience Indonesia for yourself.
Hati hati! (Be careful in Bahasa)

This picture was taken during the first leak check. Notice anything out of place? Take note of the puddle of fuel on the ground as well as my buddy's cigarette in his left hand. No big deal except it was lit with about a half inch of ash waiting to drop. His daughter is looking on "helping" dad.

18 August 2012

Time for Lebaran!

Right now we are at the beginning of "Lebaran."  It is the season to celebrate the end of Ramadan and all the fasting which has been going on for about a month now.  Because of Lebaran we get a few days off school.  It is quite a relief from the week and a half we have had in Unit 4.  The first three units of language school focused on talking and listening whereas now we are focusing more on reading and writing.  Our day now consists of only two hours of class, but for homework we ask questions to Indonesian friends and then write a one page essay in bahasa about what we learned.  When class time comes, we do a presentation telling the class about the paper.
Gracie helping celebrate the completion of Unit 3
To balance school, time with Gracie, and everything else is sometimes a huge task, but we seem to have gotten into a rhythm with going to class together again and leaving Gracie home with our new babysitter.  We are very thankful for all of your prayers as we have adjusted to this season of life.


We have had some hard nights recently with sleep due to Gracie teething.  She currently has six teeth and more on the way.  This picture is a perfect example of how Gracie spends her time when she is not crawling all over our house.  Although we have many chew toys for her, Gracie obviously thinks this wood table works much better.

If you follow us on Facebook we put up a picture last week about the dozen eggs we found in our back yard.  Apparently, these chicken eggs are relatively expensive here so we were thankful to have them.  After deciding our stomachs are not quite strong enough for them yet we gave them away, but maybe next time we will eat them ;)

It is pretty common for locals to climb 50 foot coconut trees here to get the coconuts that are ready to eat.  I never would have thought but when the coconuts hit the ground they shake our whole house so now when the shaking begins we take Gracie outside or to the window for a little entertainment.  She loves watching...and so do mom and dad.  No ropes or shoes.  It is really a non event and normal here but interesting for those curious about how life is here.

While talking about coconuts it is important if you come here to remember that the word for them is kelapa...not kepala.  Kepala is head.  Sometimes I get these mixed up.  Still even now I have to think before I speak.  I would not want to ask someone here if it is normal to cut heads out of the trees without ropes.  Or what isle the shredded head is on.  Yeah, its all part of learning the language.  Good times.

All clear buddy!  Come on down!
We took this picture only because we had the camera out and the opportunity presented itself when these kids were jumping the fence.  What this picture does not capture is the kid on the bottom "helping" was trying to pull the kid's pants down as he was coming down.  Yet another activity less than 40 yards away from our back door.

24 July 2012

Beauty, 2:45 a.m Drums & Motorcycles...

Daily we are learning more of the beauty of people here in Indonesia. It becomes more apparent as we are able to discover the words behinds the smiles. Each day we are gaining more of the language by God's grace. The first day we arrived in Indonesia we couldn't even remember how to say, "Thank you." Today we are able to carry on a basic conversation as well as begin the building of relationships with our neighbors. 

Gracie is quite taken with the people of Indonesia as well. They pinch her nose and squeeze her "gemuk" (fat) thighs (which is desirable here because it means she is very well fed)! She squeals with joy. Our friend and helper, Ibu Santi and her family come by often and play with Gracie. Gracie is in love with their five year old son Alta. It is such a joy to watch her fall in love with the people we have been called to serve. 

This month is the month of Ramadan, the Islamic month of fasting begins July 19th-August 18th. The celebration days of Idul Fitri (the breaking of the fast) are August 19-20.

This adds an interesting twist to life as the prices of everything "naik" or increase dramatically! Business is done much more slowly as people are exhausted because of the lack of food during the fast. And it is much quieter  throughout the daylight hours (minus the mosques sounding the calls to prayer). However, come dusk, the city becomes alive as people are able to eat and celebrate. Pots and pans begin banging together (to announce it is time to eat) synonymous with the nightly call to prayer. Then comes "morning", well 2:45 a.m. the pots and pans commence again, accompanied by drums announcing the last meal prior to daybreak. The procession literally passes outside our window and continues for at least 30 minutes. It has given us a new appreciation for the quiet hours when we can sleep. We are also thankful for a sweet baby who sleeps through it all! Puji Tuhan (Praise God)!  The pots and pans banging, the drums sounding and the calls to prayer which wake us from a peaceful sleep, remind us to pray. To pray for a people who are fasting without the peace we know. A people with a belief in mind that does not include the ONE TRUE GOD. This is why we are here - to share the hope and peace found in God alone. 

On a fun note, Will is teaching me how to drive the manual motorcycle he just bought me. It is quite the thrill and a bit unnerving at moments as I have never driven a motorcycle before. Especially when I am having to drive on the left side of the road! However, being able to get around town is a necessary part of life here in Indonesia. I must admit, it will be a while until I carry Gracie in the Ergo while driving. However, she loves riding when daddy is driving though!

We have finally discovered our rhythm of life here. It isn't without bumps, but those bumps are teaching us about developing a greater dependence for God. Thank you everyone for your prayers and support in this process. If you are further interested in joining our team click here.  We are so thankful to be here and serving the people of Indonesia! 


Will, Nan and Gracie Jane 

10 June 2012

Volcano Climb

Mt Merapi erupting in 2010
As I was sitting down to write a blog update I thought, do people want to see pictures of me sitting in class learning OR...do they want to see pictures of me climbing an active volcano?  Although, I would like to eventually post some pictures of class, teachers, and daily life from school I will save that for a later date.  Last weekend I (Will) had the opportunity to climb (not hike) Mt. Merapi which is Indonesia's most active volcano.  

My personal Canadian photographer Ben came along for the trip, so I just want to thank him for all the great pictures.  He also did a little write up on the mountain HERE which has a few more details.  


We started our journey up the mountain at about 4:30 am so the first part of the climb was done in the dark, however when the sun did come up we were in the clouds.  It was not until we were almost at the top that the clouds started to burn off, we could then see the top which was not far away.  After having lunch at the top (Four "PB and J" sandwiches packed by my amazing wife) we made our decent to the first bit of relatively flat ground.  As we came down and turned around the view above is what we saw.  In this picture we were discussing how great it was to have the clouds hiding our goal.
This last bit of the climb was a little tricky considering everything we grabbed or stood on had the potential of giving out on us.  But that is all part of the fun of getting to the top.

Almost at the top
When I first saw this picture of me looking back down the mountain I could not help but think of the two Indonesian guys who were close behind me.  About 100 yards from the top and I start to hear Adele rock'n on the boom box they had brought with them.  "Are you kidding me right now!" I thought in my head.  Never in a million years did I expect to be where I was and hear that.  It put a smile on my face for the last bit to the top.  So good.

At the top
Although we had GPS to guide us up to the top another way we knew we were "on course" was the trail of cigarette butts.  A couple guys smoking wearing flip flops and socks passed me at one point which really confirmed how out of shape I am.  I guess that should not surprise me considering all the registered runners I have seen smoking it up before the L.A. Marathon.  It's just crazy.  Climbing up to 11,000 feet or so while smoking is truly complete fitness.
Running down in the sand and ash

Coming down was were things got a little hairy.  Near the bottom I had almost no control of my legs, but what I did have was encouragement from the locals "You can do it Mr!"  I made it back home safely, but not before pulling over in the car to throw up a bit about a mile from our house.

Thanks for everyone's prayers.  On a family note we are currently very thankful for good overall health between the three of us.  Gracie is slowly getting on a schedule which is awesome for mom and dad!


02 May 2012

A few sights from Salatiga, Indonesia

We are in the middle of a huge adjustment with language, culture, and life.  Here are a few pictures to give you a glimpse into life here in Indonesia.

This is the closest main street by our house which Nan and I walk on everyday to school.  We were out the other day and saw this sign with Amway which was a part of both our lives growing up.

29 March 2012

Not quite settled

We have definitely been busy in these last three weeks.  I (Will) spent a couple nights in a local hospital with a bacterial infection, which caused us to miss the first three days of language school.  I am all better now, but we are now playing catch-up with learning Indonesian as well as prepping to move.  Right now we are in a dorm facility which is directly across the street from school.  Friends joke that the sidewalk to our gate doubles our commute time (it's 50ft).

We really love it here, but we are definitely excited to move to a house in about two weeks.  I think the hardest thing to leave here will be our hosts who have been in Indonesia for over 20 years and have made us feel very comfortable in this very unfamiliar place.

One of the blessings of being here at language school right now is there are eight other MAF families to help us out.  It is really quite amazing how many things we could not do by ourselves when we first arrived.  Getting food in the refrigerator seems like an easy task right?  Nope.  How bout just going out to eat?  Where am I?  I don't even know how to say food.  You kind of get the idea?

All the MAF families in Salatiga, Indonesia attending language school

Seven families are represented by these babies.  We are huge fans of the anak (child) on the far right.

Although we have not been starving, we do have a ways to go before we can do things on our own.  Part of the beauty of the community here is that everyone wants to help and constantly let's us know it.  That goes for expat and Javanese friends alike.

Although we have had a lot of fun here so far, it has been hard leaving Gracie with a helper while we are in class.  She is at school with us, but in another room.  Please pray that Gracie would continue to adjust well to this new environment and schedule.  We have been very thankful for the last couple nights of her sleeping through the night again, which is awesome considering how tiring life is even with eight hours of sleep.

Thank you again so much for all of your prayers for our family during this transition.  We will post pictures of our house when we get settled.

Gracie on her 6 month birthday staying dry from the downpour with dad.

Nan at the pasar (market) getting some coconut.

20 March 2012

Recent Pictures

So in no order at all here are some more pictures from our other camera that we wanted to share with everyone.  Some from before we left and some from our travels to Salatiga.

One of our final speaking presentations to an awesome group at New Heights Church

Gracie's Dedication

Just a few of the goodies we got on the planes
One of the many meals on Singapore Air
Getting our last Krispy Kreme at the Jakarta Airport
We made it!
The Grant family on the SkyTrain in Singapore at 3:30am

It's just too bad if you want heat while driving.

Family Picture in Singapore

So that's it for now.  Thanks for looking.  We are quickly finding out that blogging while here in Indonesia could really be a full time job.  For instance I could do a whole write up on the 15 high school girls that came to our door during lunch to get a picture with a foreigner for a school project.  Let me clarify that each girl got their picture taken separately with us and then in a group.

Just got out of the hospital yesterday.  That story is to come...

13 March 2012

We Arrived!

The view out our window from the Triniti Hotel in Jakarta

We got in to Jakarta on Wednesday around 7:30am... And guess what? All our bags arrived!!! Praise the Lord! We were met by MAF staff at the airport and we shared our first "meal" a waffle with ice cream and chocolate sauce :) it was quite good. Will was brave and immediately jumped in and was doing his best to thank people in indonesian...

This was a snippet of one of our cab rides while in Jakarta.

Our flights were incredible! Singapore air provides your choice of drink what seemed like every 5 minutes... Full meals every few hours and they were really good. They were so concerned with our stomach being filled, they woke Will up out of a deep sleep to feed him. We had a few people lean over to let us know the noodles should be dipped in the sauce as Will started to pour his sauce over his noodles. This got a good giggle out of the people next to us. Then they demonstrated the proper way, and we immitated :) i'm sure that will be the first of many things we will use gestures to learn! The stewardess gave Gracie bags of diapers, wipes, baby food, coloring books, a stuffed Shrek head, blankets... She was pampered! And such a good little flyer. She did wonderfully and only had one melt down as we decended into Singapore and her little ears started popping and she was so panicked she wouldn't nurse. Finally when she did start nursing she fell asleep...

We had an hour and a half to get off our plane from PDX, sprint over to LAX international terminal to check in, and then go through security.  Unfortunately the computers were down so boarding passes were being written by hand for the whole flight (Airbus 380).  Fortunately it started working again, but we were still at the back of the line.  Thankfully we made it to our plane with 5 minutes to spare.  I would have videoed the running we did but Nan was smoking me while she pushed the stroller...awesome.

In Jakarta we took a taxi to our hotel. We wove through the jakarta traffic in which the two lanes do not apply :) Nan held her breathe the whole drive as car pass within an inch of each other. We are so thankful! We ordered our lunch and were fighting sleep trying to make it until at least 7 pm. We decided to take a 30min nap around 2 pm. We had only slept 3 hrs maybe since our departure from PDX. Will said he wasn't going to sleep so i didn't need to set an alarm... Needless to say, we woke up at 11pm only because Gracie started to wimper to be fed. We fed her and then went down for another 4 1/2 hours... We woke up for good around 330 am... An hour later we heard the first call to prayer.

Gracie is doing wonderfully! She is adored by the Indonesians. Everywhere we go people stop to coo over her and chat in Indonesian. It is darling bc she LOVES them! She could be crying and the moment they come see her she giggles and coos back.

Each day we are here we are more and more comfortable. We look forward to starting language school on Monday which will improve our vocabulary above four words. We are in a dorm across the street from language school (IMLAC) which is great considering we do not have anything but feet for transportation. We will be here for about a month until an MAF house opens up.

Yesterday Will had a chance to ride into town with a seasoned language school MAFer who was able to show him where to go to pay bills such as electric, phone, internet, and water. He did his best to pay attention to the route and not the traffic as he road on the back of the motorcycle. As different as the driving is here there is a good flow to it and everyone understands that we are just trying to get from point A to B so hardly anything is taken personally. We are still just amazed how much texting goes on while driving scooters. Good stuff ;)

Thank you again everyone for all your prayers. There are many changes that come with moving here, it is encouraging to know all the prayer warriors we have.

Gracie and Nan all dressed up for our first church service in Indonesia.

16 February 2012

We are going to Indonesia!!!

Thank you! Thank you!  Thank you!  We were given a date by MAF (this last Monday) to decide if we have enough support to buy tickets.  Down to the last day it was so close, but it all came in God's perfect timing.  So thank you everyone who helped by praying and donating generously.  We have tickets to leave March 5th.
Gracie sporting her Cessna polo

Speaking of leaving the country we will be doing this via an Airbus 380 which is pretty awesome because the last time I saw one in the air I was just starting to date Nan and I was at Oshkosh.  This is one of the pictures I took of it accompanied by Patty Wagstaff in the background flying around.  I have flown in a lot of sweet planes but never a double decker.  No better time than now with a 5 month old.
Airbus 380 at Oshkosh 2009
Moving crates into storage

Packing our crates in storage

We have had all kinds of stories that have come from the "simple" task of packing all our stuff into 4 wooden crates that we will not see for over a year. The latest one comes from when I misplaced my tool inventory list which happened during all of our moving around when we were anticipating Gracie coming. Having all of my tools packed it was going to be a big project to re-inventory them all. We found out we needed to remove an item from a crate as well as weigh the contents so into our crates we went. We proceeded to take out all 32 tubs of stuff and yet when I picked up one of them I decided maybe I will look in here for the list. I opened it and there it was! I was jumping up and yelling so loud I could not believe that I found it. Praise the Lord! Amazing!
Gracie helping dad pack his toolbox

Back in September we had our crates and stuff all put in storage.  We had some wonderful help from the Dunham family, Joanna, and Brendan.  So thankful for their help considering we had been up for over 24 hours the day before with a Gracie false alarm.

These crates will be shipped over to Papua, Indonesia which we will meet up with after leaving the island of Java.  It will be like Christmas to open the crates considering we will be living out of 6 suitcases for a year while at language school.

This is a pretty disorganized blog post but we did want to let everyone know the good news and let you know that yes in fact we are still blogging.

Will, Nan, and Gracie

08 January 2012

Back from Idaho...had Christmas...in Kansas.

Gracie's first Christmas
Kodiak family pic

Well, we arrived back home in Vancouver from MAF just in time for Christmas.  We were able to enjoy time with family and friends, most of which had not even met our baby girl yet.  She is becoming more and more human by the day as you can see above in her Santa outfit.

Caravan Prop Hub

Installing blade #1

All done

While at MAF I (Will) got trained up on how to maintain airplanes to the MAF standard which keeps them flying safely over the rugged jungles of Indonesia.  One of the airplanes in the fleet is a Cessna Caravan, which is pictured below.  One of my training projects was to take apart a Caravan propeller and then put it back together.  It is a big prop that gets 675 shaft horsepower delivered to it which is able to pull several tons of weight through the air.   At the hangar there were a couple of these planes, so I took a picture so you have an idea of what they look like on the plane itself.

Prop on Caravan

While I am talking Caravans as I write this I am sitting on a plane headed for Wichita, KS where I will get more detailed training from Cessna on the Caravan.  This is a momentous occasion marking Gracie’s first airplane ride.  So far she is doing great which is what we are hoping for when we take the “short trip” to the other side of the planet.

Dad's hangar help

Gracie on the steps of Kodiak #58

These pictures were taken with one of the Kodiak aircraft that was in the hangar getting about 50 modifications (“Jungle Ready” as we call it) before heading to Papua, Indonesia.  Gracie will grow up around it so I thought it only appropriate to start taking pictures now.  It was pretty crazy to think about all the different things that plane will see as it serves the people of Indonesia.

Thank you so much everyone for all of your prayers and support!  We would not be able to get the training I need without your help so thank you.  Our financial support currently is at 82% monthly which means we only have $1100/month to go and 60 days before our Indonesian visas expire.  Please pray that our last partners would be provided in time.  Also, please pray for all the family and friends we are leaving behind in the U.S.