Rough few days

Trip Start Oct 31, 2011
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Indonesia  , Sumatera Utara,
Sunday, November 6, 2011

Dad affectionately refers to it as The Rendang Runs. I don't feel very affectionate about it. I've been in and out of the bathroom every 10 minutes for the past three days. I though I was sick on Wednesday, but I was wrong, that was just the beginning. I had food poisoning once when I lived in Korea, that was the first time. Here I fear it may become a common occurrence. Sunday is a write off, so between vomiting, or the other one, or both, or laying in bed feeling sorry for myself, I figured I'd use this time as a good opportunity to catch you up on the last couple of days. I can't say it's been easy, but I guess I'm here for an experience and an experience is what I'm going to get!
Wednesday night I faced my biggest challenge yet; a cockroach, in my suitcase! Well I'm not usually afraid of bugs, but I have to admit that this one had me really squealing like a girl. I don't think I've ever seen a real cockroach before, certainly not one that big. Roger was duly employed as chief cockroach squisher and set about, shoe in hand, on a bug hunt to kill
the perpetrator. Five minutes later the deed was done and the cockroach, slightly flatter and belly up, was sent packing out the front door. The next one I met? I was ready!

Forcing myself out of bed on Friday (ironically my first day meeting people at work was the first day I got sick!) and into the bathroom to get ready I'm faced with a cold tap and two buckets. I'm not up for this, at all! Nonetheless I need to get out and about so I put on a brave face and tentatively pour the first bucket over my knee, cold, nasty, not fun! Well I carried on regardless and by the third or fourth bucket it's not feeling too bad, the water heated up, or maybe I just got used to it. By the tenth bucket I'm loving it, much more fun than a shower, I'm splashing water all over the place, literally having a whale of a time, who says I need a install a shower?

Saturday I wasn't feeling too bad, so we called up our favourite taxi driver Suni to take us out on a hunt for air-conditioning and a washing machine. I can't tell you how great this guy has been. I've gotten to know all about him from all the times we've called him for a ride; He is 41, has four kids and a wife 2 hours away. He's a Sagittarius and his wife is an Aquarius, he calls her his beautiful angel...far cry from what Roger usually calls me! We've spent four or five hours a day with him at times, he's been into the stores to buy our water and our gas because he can get a better price, he's advised us on internet connection and how much it should cost to get a bag repaired and for around five hours in his taxi and with all his help the final bill comes to 5 USD.
Yesterday we took him into the department store with us and bought him a sandwich, I could see on his face how weird an experience it was for him. Later on he told me that that was the first time he'd ever been in that store. “I think Miss Joanne and Mr Roger are very rich” he tells me shyly. It was that moment that I really realised how incredibly lucky we are in the West. Of course I've though it before, but I've never really felt it like that. We complain about our debts and our bills and our mortgage and that we can't afford the latest technology, or that we can't afford to go out for dinner. We complain about the price of gas and the weather or the cost of dog food. We complain when there is a power cut (here they happen every day) or when there is no hot water in the morning.  Suni was just happy to get a club sandwich in the local department

So it's been a rough couple of days, what with being sick, cockroaches, cold showers and being in a country incredibly different from what I'm used to. At times I've felt really low and at times I've felt like I'm really living. I 'Googled' encouraging stories before writing this blog today to help
me see the good in all the difficult things that I've encountered since arriving here and the first one that popped up was this. I'll leave you with it.

 A man found a butterfly cocoon. One day a small opening appeared in the cocoon. He sat and watched the butterfly for several hours as it struggled to force its body through that little hole. Then it seemed to stop making any progress. It appeared as if it had gotten as far as it could go.
So the man decided to help the butterfly. He took a pair of scissors and snipped off the remaining bit of the cocoon.The butterfly then emerged easily. But it had a swollen body and small, shrivelled wings.

 The man continued to watch the butterfly because he expected that, at any moment, the wings would enlarge and expand to be able to support the body, Neither happened! In fact, the butterfly spent the rest of its life crawling around with a swollen body and shrivelled wings. It never was able to fly.

 What the man, in his kindness and haste, did not understand was that the small opening in the cocoon and the struggle required for the butterfly to get through the tiny opening were God’s way of forcing fluid from the body of the butterfly into its wings so that it would be ready for flight once it achieved its freedom from the cocoon.

 Sometimes struggles are exactly what we need in our lives. If we go through our lives without any obstacles, it would cripple us. We would not be as strong as what we could have been. We could never fly!
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evelyn curry on

Oh, Jo and Roger. It's so good to have such details about your new life in Medan. Thanks ever so much for posting these. Makes you guys seem not so far away. LOVE the internet for that! :) I pray you feel better soon, Jo. And I pray Roger, you stay healthy. Norm read your letter in church this morning and it 'bout made me cry. Thanks for the reality check, as well. Our problems are no comparison to 90% of the world's population.
Blessings and blessing over you 2 and can't wait to hear of more stories about Medan.
love xxx

Melody on

So love this... keep writing! Loving having a link with you that I can check on whenever! Love you xxx

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