Both Mark and myself had our worst night sleep last night. We were both up at various times, it was really crazy. I think that we both were wide awake by 5:00 am local time. It was a rough start to the day, then breakfast came. I keep hoping for the quail eggs, but I missed out the first time. Either way, the food is always good! Especially if you like rice with every meal.
After breakfast Mark and I began to work on a Memo Of Understanding that we will have with the university regarding our scholarships and bursaries. Currently we give out 4 complete scholarships and two bursaries of $1000 each in remembrance of Alana FIfe and Hanna Showwalker. We are very happy with our meeting with the university and the students that we sponsor.
At 10 am, our new friend (a prof) from the university picked us up and took us to a local mennonite church. Yes, you read correctly! They are all over! We had the opportunity to sit and talk with the pastor and ask questions as to how they do ministry in a Muslim nation. We moved from that church to another where the pastor was a woman! I say that because I thought that it was so cool. She mentioned that she had the respect of the people in that culture, even though she was a woman pastor. Makes me think a lot about how many of us in the west look at women in leadership!
We found that the pastors issues were simular to what we face in the west. The most interesting one is the "worship wars" that they have been facing in the last few years. The churches are finding that the youth want a more contemporary style and the older want to maintain the traditional. So, like the west....traditional service is the first one in the morning, followed by the contemporary a few hours later. Get this...the first service starts at 6:00 am!
Following our time with the pastors we went for a traditional Javaneese lunch! Get this....ribs, whole coconut to drink, rice and hot sauce!
Why must I always write about the food? BECAUSE IT IS FANTASTIC!
We were then dropped off at our hotel and had time to explore! I was in Salatiga about 8 years ago and I found the market that I visited way back then. Mark and I walked up and down the street, the side streets and the stalls. It was fantastic seeing all the sights and noticing all the unique smells! Live food, almost dead food, cooked food and uncooked food...oh if only my stomach would let me partake. I took him to a western shopping mall as he had a craving for some salt and vinegar chips. We did not find that but I did find some Lays Seaweed flavor! Mark found a Pringles Sour Cream and Onion rip off that he eventually gave away to a child on the side of the street.
As in any culture there is the extremely rich and the extremely poor. Your heart cannot be helped but moved when you see the poor begging in the streets. Needless to say, Mark and I were the only white guys for miles and we sure did attract a lot attention...especially this big Londo Gamuk! (Fat white guy)
So, we are walking down the main street and then we hear our names being called out! It was Lilik, one of our hosts. He was on the way to our hotel to connect with us and we had no idea that he was coming. What was funny was that he spotted us in the middle of a busy street...only 6'4 tall white guy I guess.
We are back at our hotel...showered up, even though it is the rainy season and we got rained on a few times. We have ordered dinner (FOOD) and now we wait. Tomorrow, our ride will pick us up at 8 and then we are on our way to Solo to meet with Pak Paulus and then off to a school, then the orphanage. Until we meet again. Hey, any questions?