15 November 2013

Memory or Scar (A note from Nath)

Hey Friends.

I have only shouldered the load of this blog once and so I thought it was about time that I expressed myself in this way.
  Life moves on here at a rapid pace. The weeks seem to fly past and we now realise that Christmas is approaching. This signals our chance to return back to Australia and once again enjoy hot chips with extra chicken salt, and BBQ meat. It's funny the things we look forward to.     
Occasionally we miss places. For example, walking Missy on the Brown Hill Creek loop walk ending up in Carrick Hill for a coffee. This is a genuinely a beautiful way to spend 4 hours. The ever changing scenery; the wild flowers at this time of the year; and of course stunning views of Adelaide - make this something that we miss.
Occasionally we miss people. Family and friends are missed at times. Events such as birthdays and special occasions are when we notice the distance. Technology is a great improvement to the lives of people living and working away from their usual support systems. Text message apps allow solid ongoing communication and we find ourselves texting mundane useless information to people just like we did when we were living in the same city. We find that this sort of technology minimises the feeling of distance. Our American and Canadian friends whose loved ones are living a full day behind Indonesia, feel the distance more than us Aussies who are living only a couple of hours behind Australian time zones.
Always we miss food! Does that mean I love chicken-in-a-biscuit and semi-sun-dried tomatoes more than my Mum?! No, but getting a quick text from Mum feels like she is around the corner where as no amount of texts or images can make up for those numb lips that come from the salt overload after punishing a box of Nabisco’s finest.
Anyway, I wanna' share with you a funny little Indonesian experience that occurred recently. These are the differences that create memories daily for us living over here. Admittedly, this may be more a scar than a memory ;)
A week or so ago, we took our grade 5 and 6 students into ‘Old Jakarta’ to visit many of the original Dutch buildings built in the early 17th century. The history is interesting and Jakarta was designed and built as a mini Venice. The canal network was structured in such a way that boats, barges etc., could move from the ocean straight into the canals to distribute tradeable goods easily. See some of my pics below:

So we are visiting these sites and buildings and the students stick their head over a fence - and there thirty metres away from our group of fifty students - is a man, balanced precariously on a length of bamboo, squatting down, facing away from us, depositing a fully digested load of last night’s Nasi Goreng into the canal below. Our students spotted him immediately and began frantically pointing and giggling. The poor guy had the self control to finish what he had started, splash the area clean with some canal water below and stride confidently away from his open air latrine. He was a truly proud Indonesian and this brings a new richness to our goal of holistic education, hehe.

Ahhh Indonesia. Memory or Scar? I’ll let you decide.
From Nath B

No comments:

Post a Comment