One final update for what has been going on and what is to come. Our family has grown up. In fact, today is Abby's 16th birthday. Matt turned 18 in October. Tris and I are well into our 40s. We came here to Indonesia for a 2 year stint and fell in love with the lifestyle, the people, and the culture. While there are still some things we don't understand, like why some of the older rich women back comb their hair so much that the hair above their head is the same length as their face, and why Indonesian men allow the few hairs on their face to grow to braidable lengths, we continue to make new discoveries. Tris likes to imitate one that you often see on the side of the road, usually near a food stall, and that is men pulling their shirts above their bellies and then rubbing their bellies. While our family is still very much Canadian, I find that my kids have some very 'Indo' qualities about them. They don't rub their bellies like Tris does, but they do love Indonesian food, and Matt covers everything in hot sauce. I'm not sure that it's Indonesian, and I think it's more school culture, but they spend a lot of time studying with friends and doing homework. One thing we have done that is very non-Indonesian, and that is to adopt a black dog. Dog's here are considered dirty (by the Muslim population), and black ones are considered evil by many, so if poor Jasper was to wander beyond our gates I'm not too sure he'd do all that well on his own.
|Jasper the dog|
Our personal updates? Tris is working as the Diploma Program (IB) Coordinator at our school (SPH) as well as teaching physics and chemistry. He's also involved in some other programs that allow him to travel a bit around Asia. Just recently he began helping to coach Abby's basketball team. Matt is prepping to leave us next school year, and is very busy with university applications and school projects and exams. He has applied to schools across Canada and the US but we haven't heard where he'll end up. My hope? Close to family (UBC) but as Matt wants to spread his wings a bit, he's rooting for something a bit more to the east. For fun, Matt still loves to socialize, and he's in a running club that he and a friend organized. Abby is busy as well. Today, on her 16th birthday, she'll finish up an exam schedule that will lead us into the holidays. Abby's time is spent studying, playing sports (soccer last term, basketball now) and perusing Pinterest in any spare time that she can find. She has more ideas of things to make over the holidays than we have hours, so we'll have to prioritize a bit. Both kids are involved with Student Council (Matt with Motley, kind of like a school spirit club, and Abby with Social Committee, where they focus on people who are less privileged). Time is precious in this family, and so we are going to use the 2 weeks that we have coming up to relax, eat, and recupe for the upcoming year. I don't think our family has ever been this busy. We do meet up at dinner time most evenings, thankfully. My news? I have been doing a Masters of Education for the last 2 years, and just have my practicum to finish up (Jan to April). Once that's done, I will be eligible to work as an elementary teacher. I will graduate the same time as Matt, and when he goes to university, hopefully I'll go to work to help pay for it:)
I've tried to think of ways to end this blog, by possibly giving some sage advice or offer some profound bit of wisdom. I've had a year to think about it and since I haven't come up with anything specific, I'll leave it. What I have learned over the past 5.5 years is that everything comes down to God and His will for our lives. When we're in it, things work, regardless of the level of difficulty. When we chose to do our own thing, struggles seem to grow exponentially, and there is no peace. My hope for my family, including myself, is that no matter what we do, where we go, or where we end up, that our eyes will be focused on God, and that our attitudes, actions and choices would reflect the wisdom, grace, strength, peace and love of God.
Thanks for reading.