Saturday, June 7, 2014

Life in Indonesia

Ed and Femmy Dethan live in the house where Ed was born and raised, right in the town of Noelbaki, a suburb of Kupang, and his father (rather his step-father who raised him), still lives with them. They have quite a large property, and have added an orphanage behind their home, the New Hope Orphanage, which has 18 boys and girls aged 12 and up who have no parents or cannot be cared for by parents. One home is for the girls and one for the young boys, both of which are supervised. They do their own cooking, cleaning, laundry, etc. and have chores to do taking care of the pigs, chickens, and ducks, and working in the garden. They all attend the same Reformed Church that the Dethan's go to and most of them go to the Christian school or to the Reformed College. They are happy young people and well-cared for here. 

New Hope Home - sign by the orphanage behind the Dethan's home

The boys' building

The girls' rooms. The small building on the left is the outhouse. 
Inside are beds and their personal belongings. Not much else is needed 
since people live, work, do laundry, cook, and eat outdoors.

Sifting through the rice. Rice is served for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Preparing greens grown in their garden 

The girls prepare the food and cook it above an open fire outdoors.

Boys ages 12-15 stay at the orphanage. After that they move to dorms near the College.

Typical homes in urban areas

A typical home of the villages in the mountains

Many Timorese people living in the outlying villages have the practice of chewing 
buai (boo-eye). They break open a betel nut and chew it. Then they add siri or a mustard 
stick with finely crushed limestone. As they chew, they produce a lot of saliva, which 
they spit out. This is called betel spet and is bright red in colour.

Chewing buai is a social event, but also acts as a stimulant and staves off hunger. 
Sometimes parents even give buai to their children.

Red teeth, gums and lips indicate regular chewing of buai. 
Over time, this results in black teeth, tooth rot, and often cancer of the mouth.

We met this lady walking in the mountains carrying a heavy load of bananas on her head

Heavy load on that motorbike!

Indonesian cities are busy, noisy places. Sometimes there are 3 lanes of cars when there 
are only 2 lanes indicated. Lots of honking. And so many motorbikes! Some motorists 
wear helmets, and some don't. Sometimes a driver has 2 passengers, one in front of 
him and one behind, often with children, with or without a helmet on. 
There are no speed limits in Timor. Traffic and road conditions determine the speed.

A street in Kupang

Lots of stands on the side of the road to sell products

A fishing boat near one of the villages - very narrow

Fishing boats at Kupang on the ocean

A couple of months ago the Dethan's started fostering Sam. His father recently died and his mother is very young and unable to care for him, so Ed and Femmy have taken him in. He was under-nourished, underweight, and sickly when they got him, but he is doing much better now. Still quite small and under-active for his age (almost 2), but with the love and care he is getting in the Dethan family, he is flourishing. The Dethan's were asked to care for him at their orphanage, but because he is too young for that, they are taking him in their family. A very cute little guy!

 Sam - don't you just love those eyes?
Yes, he is sporting a cast because he fell and broke his arm.

Jerry knew how to tempt Sam to sit on his lap.

Saying good-bye at Kupang airport

And so our week in Indonesia came to an end. We had a great time with Ed and Femmy, and appreciated getting to know them and their family, seeing the work they do at the College, in the churches, on the radio, and in the orphanage. The Lord has richly blessed their work, and new doors are regularly opening up as more and more people want to know about the Reformed faith.

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