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!"


Saturday, August 9, 2008

Indonesia Part 4

Are you sick about hearing about Indonesia yet? Do not worry this is the last post about Indonesia, the following three will be from our visit to Singapore. Anyway, I wanted to take a moment to thank all of the wonderful drivers and maids that graciously made Indonesia feel like home to me: Parmi, Mian, Kosim, Ronny, Tarsi and Xaiful (pronounced Shy-ful). They were the first ones to greet us in the morning and the last to say goodnight in the evening. You can call them help, servants, or staff, but they were more than that. They became our friends, are members of the family, and particularly for me great witnesses to the meaning of love. To the right is a picture of two of the drivers Xaiful and Ronny. The amount of joy they brought into my day - at times when I wanted to be back in the states - is immeasurable. Thank you whether you ever read this or not!

This next picture is of a supermarket - Carrefour - that we went. As you can see no one is holding on to the shopping cart and it not crashing into Renata, Nancy and Pete. That is because at this supermarket the wheels of the cart get stuck in the grooves of the belt on the escalator and it does not move. Call me cheesy, but I thought it was cool. At this supermarket I bought coffee for the friars in Brooklyn and in San Antonio. One of the two coffee types I purchased is called Kopi Luwak. Kopi Luwak is a coffee produced by the Luwak - a relative of the mongoose and slightly larger than the average household cat - which is common in Indonesia and many south east Asian countries. Normally coffee cherries are hand picked and the flesh of the berry is removed a machine - in the case of the Luwak - the coffee cherry is eaten, the flesh is removed through digestion in it's stomach, and the beans are collected after they have passed out if the Luwak. Why on earth would one drink coffee passed through an animal? Essential two reasons: because the Luwak has a keen sense of smell it only selects the very best ripe coffee cherries to eat - better than humans - and because as the means pass through the digestive system of the Luwak, acids in their stomach permeate the been and leach out some of the proteins responsible for bitter coffee. If you want to learn more about it check out these two sites: Animal Coffee and The Taste of Kopi Luwak. Happy reading. On a more lighter not to the left is what I call the "Indonesian Tamale" it looks like a Spanish Tamale but is wrapped in a banana leaf instead of corn husks. And oddly enough the taste like my mother's stuffed peppers.

Here are some more interesting pictures from two of the other malls we went to - Senayan City and Plaza Senayan . The first is of a very tiny escalator in front of the one malls. Isn't that ridiculous! It is funny, the escalator is for 5 step! The next escalator was inside of the mall and this picture is taken in honor of my brother Alex (he has done some cool artwork with high heels).

Above is a picture from Plaza Senayan where there was a National Lego Building Competition. It was pretty cool to see the work of our youth in something constructive and imaginative.

The next of pictures are probably from one the most memorable if not this most memorable parts of the trip, it was from the evening that Opa came home for the hospital. On his way home from the hospital he had one request a Burger King Whopper with Cheese! This was his one food wish after eating "healthy" hospital food for over a week. And of course his children gave him what he desired and being the gentlemen that Pete and I are we decided to order Burger King as well - we did not want Opa to eat it alone! While he ate his burger the rest of the family had BM (I cannot remember the place's real name), basically Indonesian fast food. - On the left is the picture of Opa after his first bit or so. Check out the Don King hair do, the fresh hospital band, his thumbs up and lastly the joy on his face. - On the right is the group picture that was taken at the dinner table - from left to right - Pete, Sue (Pete's sister), Om Ricky (Uncle), Tante Natalie (Aunt), Mrs. Lee (Pete's mom), Opa (Grandfather), Tante Heidi (Aunt), Oma (Grandmother), Nancy (my sister), Renata (Pete's Cousin), and Mike (Pete's brother) - I was the photographer.

Here is a picture of Pete driving in Indonesia, I do not think I mentioned this before but they drive on the left side of the road there. It was Pete's first time driving in Indonesia not to mention on the left side of the road. As you already know we survived the drive! Speaking of driving, on the way to the airport, we saw the Indonesian Idol bus drive by. Yes people are crazed about Indonesian Idol in Indonesia as we are about American Idol here. One of our drivers said that on of the country's favorite contestants is the guys who play the guitar on the streets. It is very cool how the love of music transcends all cultures. Lastly from my pictures of Indonesia is 100 Awakening Sign. I am unsure what actually happened 100 years ago there, but I liked it because of the Visit Indonesia part. So let me know if you are every visiting there, I can put you in contact with one of the host hospitable families I have ever met.

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