We live amongst a tribal group known as the Dem who are located in the mountains of Southeast Asia. We are here to learn their language, translate the Bible into their language, and teach them about God. If you would you like to receive our monthly newsletter, send us an email at:

Tuesday, June 30, 2009


This weekend we went with several other org families to the southern coast of our island. We stayed at the Happy Bay Beach Bungalows. We had fun swimming, playing in the sand and Dylan was able to rent a surfboard and met an Australian guy who introduced him to some of the local surfers. It was a really nice time of relaxing and enjoying the beautiful beach that was right across the street from our bungalow!

This was our bungalow consisting of a bedroom and bathroom - $8.50 a night

This was our view from our bungalow. To the left is the (really cheap) restaurant we ate at while we were there.
Raquel's buddy Braden

Thursday, June 25, 2009


This morning, for our last excursion, we drove up the mountain to the Gedong Sanga temple complex, discovered by Sir Stamford Raffles in 1804, it was built during the 9th-century Syailendra Dynasty. The 9 temples are situated at about 1,200 meters above sea level and are scattered within a pine forest. I copied that last sentence from a site on the internet. Ha! The view was gorgeous and we had a good time walking around. The whole walk/hike was maybe two miles long.

This little old lady followed us the entire time carrying all that stuff hoping that we would buy something from her. We did buy some drinks, but it sure was a lot of work for a dollar.

A hot springs - good thing this picture isn't a scratch and sniff (the sulfur was pretty stinky:)

Ok, so this picture is of our group minus Phil. The plan was to have him put the camera on a ledge, then run around a fence in the ten seconds the camera timer would give him to join in the picture. However, the stones were a bit slippery causing him to take a tumble as he rounded the corner. You might notice that everyone (except me) in the picture is looking quite concerned at the plight of poor Phil. For some reason I felt that smiling happily for the camera was more important and chose to ignore the suffering going on around me. Sorry Phil!:)

Dog Days...


Dylan is allowed to drive! See how happy Raquel is? I'm that happy too:) It will still be another month until I'm allowed to operate a motor vehicle but that it is quite all right- I need a lot of practice. They let Dylan drive early since he has experience driving motorcyles and on the left hand side of the road. It's already been really helpful in getting to church, shopping etc.
We were able to buy two motorcycles from a family that was moving to another island. Dylan's is a bigger motorcyle type thing and mine is more like a scooter.

getting gas at a roadside stand (from a milk bottle:)

Sunday, June 21, 2009

I just realized that I just posted a lot about Raquel's bathroom habits, I apologize if anyone is offended. Also, Happy Anniversary to my Dad and Mom on 29 years of wedded bliss:)

Coffee Plantation

This week we spent the morning at a coffee plantation. This was one of the few times we brought Raquel with us on an excursion and she was fantastically well behaved. It was so nice to actually enjoy an outing with her:) She even did really well with telling me that she had to go to the bathroom. During the tour we had to resort to going behind the bushes. She didn't seem to mind about doing her business outside, but wanted to make very sure that no one could see her. After being very cautious about potential peeping Toms she marched back to the group and announced "I peed!" So much for being discreet:)

This is the swamp next to Salatiga

Coffee trees

Coffee berries (the red one are ripe and ready to be harvested and dried)
There was lots of room for Raquel to run around and these cool dirt stairs to climb

Funny faces

Veggin' out

Raquel has been having some issues with constipation (sorry if that's TMI) and so we've been encouraging her to eat her fruits and vegetables. When I came in the kitchen yesterday at 6:30 am I found her and Bru munching on beans and carrots and Raquel looked up at me and said "This will help with my poo!"

Happy Father's Day Dylan

and Dad and Philip:)

Thursday, June 18, 2009

...and puppy makes four

Look what Dylan brought home! We've been thinking of getting a dog for a while now. We think it will be nice for Raquel, she loves animals sooo much. This afternoon while putting her down for her nap I told her that Daddy might bring home a puppy. She said "oh my goodness and then we can feed him and give him something to drink? I'm so excited!" It was pretty adorable.

so here he is, the new addition to our family - Bru
He is an eight week old German sheperd mixed with some other type of dog.

Raquel and Bru meeting for the first time
Raquel has been getting out all of her toys to share:)
I think she likes him

Happy Birthday Dylan!!!

On Tuesday Dylan and I were able to go to Kayu Arum (a resort/spa/restaurant nearby) to celebrate his birthday. They have a free shuttle that will pick you up and drop you off at your house. We had a lovely lunch and relaxing massage. It was wonderful!

After Dylan played soccer a fellow org family, Paul (who also plays soccer) and Irene Pries came over with their two children. We ordered chicken sate and had chocolate cake with chocolate frosting per the birthday boy's request - just pretend there are twenty more candles on that cake:)
Raquel and Hannah had a BLAST playing together:)

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Kolam renang (swimming pool:)

There are several resorts around Salatiga and we have enjoyed checking out their beautiful pools on the weekends.


For another of our excursions we visited a Jamu lady. Jamu is a traditional herbal 'medicine' in Asia-Pacific. The lady we visited makes 11 different drinks to treat all types of ailments. We tried two of them. Typically the Jamu sellers will mix up the drinks at home and then walk around selling it. We went to her house where she kindly mixed us up some lovely beverages from the ingredients below.
Jamu kunyit asam (sour tumeric Jamu)
Jamu beras kencur (Rice flour and ginger Jamu)

We didn't really enjoy either of them, but maybe if we were sick enough...:)
At the end they asked if we would like to taste the most bitter drink in the world. We each took a sip of a drink made from the brotowali plant. It's purpose is to "clean your blood". It was completely awful. The taste didn't go away for about half an hour. They said that you're only supposed to drink it about once a month. If you would drink it every day your tongue would go numb. We're going to go with once a lifetime.

Where do tires come from?

On Tuesday we went to a rubber plantation. It had been raining so the factory wasn't actually up and running, but we were able to see what a lot of the process looks like.

The workers (mostly women) score and tap 350 trees a day to collect the sap.

It's taken to the factory and processed with chemicals in these vats
A machine presses it into sheets
Then it's smoked in a room (that smells like burnt rubber:)
It's then sorted, packed into bundles, pressed and shipped off to companies that make tires or shoes.