Peace be with you!

My name is Nader Ata. I am a Conventual Franciscan Friar of the Our Lady of Angels Province, USA. I am a transitional deacon preparing for Priesthood Ordination in the fall.

Seeking to live with Franciscan Joy each and every day!

*All of photos on this blog were taken by me unless noted otherwise. Please ask permission before using them. Thank You!*

*Also I am not the greatest speller or writer in the world, so please let me know if something is misspelled. Thank you!"


Sunday, July 20, 2008

Indonesia Part 1

Hello Everyone! I am finally posting pictures up from my trip to Indonesia. It is still a mystery of how I found about about this trip, why I ended up getting a ticket, and why in the world the friars allowed me to go to Asia! Any was an amazing trip. I left Friday June 27 (after the Assembly) from Philadelphia with Pete and Nancy at 4:05pm and arrived in Jakarta, Indonesia on Sunday June 29 at 1:15pm. This arrival was
after about 28 hours of flight time - not including layover time - and we missed Saturday June 28 all together. This trip to Indonesia was planned by my brother-in-law's family as a reunion for them. There were a total of 14 of Pete's family members - including Pete's grandfather (Opa) and grandmother (Oma) - gathered and then there was me - Pete's wife's brother. But it was fun! At the beginning of the trip 4 generations were present: grandparents, a son/daughters, grandchildren, and a great grandchild. I was particularly honored, blessed, and graced to lead the prayers before meals and especially praying for the family before we parted ways at the end of the trip. To the left is a picture of the Indonesian flag, the opposite of Poland's flag which is white on top and red on the bottom.

After arriving in Indonesia I soon realized that there always seems be traffic. And the driving is organized chaos but truly an art to say the least. To the right is a picture of only 10 of the hundreds of small motorcycles speeding around the city. Here we are waiting at a light while all the motorcycles drive on the side to get closer to the light. It is a pretty heavily polluted city so it is amazing to see some many people riding them; both girls and guys, sometimes two or three one bike, and children as well. Upon arrival in Indonesia we found out that Opa was sent to
the hospital that day and that 3 people were sick. It was a sad arrival but a very joyful departure because by that time Opa was home, the 3 people that were sick were not, Pete, Mike and I who greeted those sick people were now sick, and Nancy was the sole person who survived the two week adventure not being sick. Anyway to the left is a picture of where Dina, Ben, and Kiara (Pete's cousins), Nancy, Pete, and I lived for the majority of our trip. If you look outside the glass doors that walkway led to were I slept. On the left is a room with two twins beds, in the middle is a bathroom, and on the right is a room with a full bed. I call the that room the ice box room because it is only when sleeping in that room does one need a winter comforter while living in third world country in 90 degree heat.

I did take some pictures of Oma and Opa's house but I ruled them so that I could include others. Above are two pictures of Opa's trains. He loves model trains and he makes the trains, the tracks, and did the electric himself. Renata one of Opa's grandchildren helped with the design and the scenery (she was on the trip too). It is an amazing to see the detail in them, the passion behind them and to imagine the amount of time it took him to make them.

If there is anything I did most on this trip the next couple of pictures will show you: we went to the malls and we ate. We went to the mall practically everyday of this trip. On the left is a picture of the first mall we went to Pondok Indah Mall, as you can see Indonesians do not mess around with their malls. The malls are open to everyone to go in like in the States and I think there are so many because it is an air conditioned clean place to be in. I went on a little shopping spree when
I got there and bought two Polo shirts for $15 each and a Gap shirt and shorts. Needless to say it was difficult to not want to spend money in malls like this. On the right is a picture of Pete talking with you Oma. Oma is one of the cutest women you will ever meet. She goes to the malls with us but does not buy a thing, she comes to simply walk around. It probably was great to have her children and grandchildren around her helping her to walk about.
Next you will see a picture of the infamous durian - it is the smelliest fruit I have ever smelled and not in a good way. As some of you may know I usually breathe through my mouth and not my nose - let me tell that is a blessing when you are around durian. You always know when someone in a store has bought it, the smell is one of a kind. I not only smelled it, but during the trip I ate some of it. It was not my favorite, but it it is edible. Sue, Pete's sister loves the stuff - me on the other hand - not so much! Below you will see a picture of us at Korean BBQ - where you cook the food yourself, me at the Shangri-La Hotel where we ate lunch on day, and cooked ducks and chickens hanging - I know weird and kinda gross but at the same time delicious to eat.

Here are pictures of the many market places we went to in Indonesia. The wood carvings and the paintings were my favorite. If you visit me in San Antonio you can see an example of both in person, hint hint, wink wink, nudge nudge (just a thought). I also found this one wood carving of our Lady, I did not buy it though because it cost 5,000,000 Rupiah which is $5,000.

My first post about Indonesia would be incomplete without this picture. It is more than just a man doing construction it is a man doing construction above the bedrooms were Nancy, Pete, and I sleep. We woke up each morning to the glorious sound of hammering and nailing. It scared the be-Jesus out of me the first day but by the end of the trip it still was not a pleasant noise to wake up too. More to come....

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