Sunday, May 06, 2007

May in Malang

April disappeared quickly here in Malang as I was busy teaching many classes, sharing with very special friends and getting to know some more wonderful people. The Indonesians are a lovely people and they have super food:) This photo (sorry it won't upload) was of a typical food vendor selling green persimmons, custard fruit, and sugar cane cubes on little sticks. (maybe next time) Anyway, I am loving every minute of my time here.

However, the climate is still a bit difficult for me. I doubt I will ever get used to the high humidity coupled with the heat. The late October rains finally came with a vengeance in February -- but have stopped last week just as quickly as they came. The past week has been 'rainless' and the ash is once again quickly collecting daily in every nook and cranny:( OH well -- this is the way it is on the volcanic island of JAVA:)

May is bringing a bit slower teaching schedule. Merdeka University has finished for me. I doubled my class load since I am leaving June 13 before the semester ends. The Level Six English students have been a joy to teach and work with. We have baked, toured some of Malang together, worked in class with drama, debate and sharing. I will miss being with them. My TESL classes will also finish this week. It has been a long study but I have learned a great deal and hopefully will find some place in this world to apply my newly acquired English teaching skills.

However, there are many other classes to continue working with - so I won't be bored:) I still am teaching English levels 3, 4/5 at the seminary 4 times a week, the m. elementary school children - grade 4 & 5 three times a week, the Kanjurahan University lectures once a week and working with the kindergarten at Wesley International one day a week.

This is a photo of my two Merdeka English Speaking classes on our last day. What wonderful students:)

With this change in my teaching schedule I am hoping to work in a bit of site-seeing here on Java. There are so many places I would love to visit, but I am afraid that time is against me. However, there just might be a free weekend or two remaining. It will be fun to see what works out and with whom:)

I am both teaching Indonesians to bake cinnamon rolls, crescents, cookies, etc. while also learning from some great cooks how to prepare lovely Indonesian dishes. I love the food here and even becoming a bit of a hot chili pepper addict -- absolutely amazing :). This is something I never expected. However, one can certainly gain an appreciation for the great Indonesian 'spicy' foods. They are delicious. I will miss them terribly when I return to the Northwest. I am sure I will be haunting the nearest Asian markets the first time I get a chance.

I am not sure where and what I will be doing when I return to Newberg in June. China, Taiwan, The Philippines, and even Mozambique are options, plus anywhere else that God might open up. I am just waiting to see where HE will lead next.

My e-mail still remains the same and if you are interested in keeping up with what is going on in my life -- please feel free to write: or They both work well, but I check the yahoo most often.

Thank you for checking my blog site and I am looking forward to hearing from you:)

Until soon -- from Indonesia or Newberg or 'wherever'

Saturday, March 31, 2007


Spring is a relative term for Malang, since the only thing that has changed in the past 9 months is that the OCTOBER Rains finally arrived. With only two seasons: HOT & DRY, and HOT AND WET, East Java remains one humid, hot, sultry, but lovely place. Pictured here is my team celebrating at a weekend retreat in Batu, 45 minutes outside of Malang. You can see why I feel that except for the weather, Indonesia is a place of beauty, artistry, and wonderful people. The food is great, too. (However, in this photo I had been up all night with the flu -- but other than that it was a the lovely retreat)

I only have a bit over TWO months left for my English teaching and TESL classes. here in Indonesia. I am averaging 3 to 4 English classes during the week - 2 hours each. The teaching and all the preparation give me little time for getting Bored:) However, I am very grateful for the weekends and have had some wonderful experiences sharing with various groups, churches, and students.

I have also been mentoring two teachers at the international school. The kindergarten teacher and her class have become a delight. Here is a photo the day I taught them all how to bake cinnamon rolls and cresents. We were all in the dough and had a great time. In the background you can see my yellow canary, one of the musical delights of my life here in Malang.

One of the special events that I participated in, was a recent exchange program celebration where 13 countries from every continent were represented. I had the honor of representing the United States. It was a large gathering of over 350 people. A very impressive Moslem Univestiy hosted the event. The photo shows a few of the participants and Ibu Sri (in the green jacket next to me) who organized the entire event. It was a moment to remember for all involved.

Life is moving on quickly here and I find less and less time to write letters. I am just grateful for e-mail. However, blogging takes a bit more time than I usually have available. Nevertheless, I wanted to take this special moment to blog enough to bring you up to date.

My return ticket reads June 13 and that is coming much too quickly in many respects. I am not sure what the future holds. Maybe it will be teaching again in China, or Taiwan, or maybe even The Philippines, or just being at home in Newberg for a season. Only God knows! Therefore, on I go a day at a time praising HIM for the strength to meet each new day. The Future is HIS and I am very grateful!

I am especially thanksful for this season when we all can celebrate NEW LIFE every where in this world because of JESUS ' DEATH and RESSURECTION! :) What a joy to know that HIS Gift of Life brings hope and joy that nothing can destroy regardless of circumstances or weather. :)


bonnie ( or

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Holiday Happenings

It was a Holiday To Remember: Bus to and from Bali, Flying to and from Melbourne Australia, Meeting friends that I haven't seen for 35 years, and Teaching English to wonderful children at the Children's Home in Kuta, Bali.

After finishing up all the English classes in Malang, an Australian friend, Tim, and I took the 12 hour night mini bus to Bali. It was wonderful to have a companion who knew the way and had contacts in Bali. It was Tm who introduced me to Tina and her special children's home ministry. Plans were made for me to return and teach there for a few days when I returned alone from Australia. What a relief to know 'someone' in Bali and have not only a place to stay but a special ministry:) PTL!!

Tim and I flew on to Australia late that evening and after a couple of hours in customs the next morning, were met by my special friends, Margaret and Lawrence Simpson. It was a grand reunion and I spent many happy days getting to know them again, Melbourne, their delightful daughters, son-in-laws and EIGHT grandchildren (ages 7 - 21). What a great Christmas celebration! They are a jolly group of 16 and the fellowship, food, and frivolity were fabulous. I was most blessed to be added as part of the family. I never dreamed I would be so warmly and graciously received. It was an honor to be with this great family!

On Boxing Day, the 26th, we drove to Fairhaven along the Great Ocean Road and spent a number of memorable days with one of the daughters, Jenny, John, her husband, and their lovely tow heads, Tessa and Johanna. The girls took a week of ocean swimming lessons while I helped a bit with the house work, ran their lovely lab, visited an 'opp' shop, and read. What a lovely time was had by all.

Another highlight was visiting the Healesville Sanctuary where I met personally many of the unique Australian animals. I have many delightful photos of emus, koalas, dingos, kangaroos, platypus, echidnas, a Tasmanian devil, and others to share. However, they won't upload either -- sooo ... not today! But if you e-mail me...:)

I flew back to Bali alone on January 2, having shared a grand New Year's Eve concert with the Simpsons. There I was met by a huge tropical rain and wind storm, but taxied to the children's home without incident. I have wonderful photos of many of the children, but they, too, won't upload. :( (Maybe I can only have two per blog. oh well -- sorry!!) I spent three wonderful days living with and teaching 20 plus children, ages 4 - 18. I had no materials with me -- but it was amazing how creative one can become in such situations. AND I DID KNOW MY SUBJECT :) That is the one and only language (unfortunately) that I do know. Tina was a most gracious hostess and Lord willing, I would love to return and see them all again.

I am now back in Malang - after a 14.5 hours bus ride from Bali, and am waiting for most of my English classes to resume. I am finishing up the first university semester, but the rest, including the second semester university class, m. elementary school, and seminary classes, will resume in a week or two.

I never dreamed I would have a Southern Hemisphere SUMMER Christmas! However, it really wasn't that hot this summer in Australia. It even rained all day on the 25th! That made this Oregonian feel right at home! It was also most welcomed by the locals, since Australia is in the midst of a terrible 4 year drought with devastating bush fires. The rain was a most blessed relief and a wonderful Christmas gift from God.

Thank you for reading this blog and would I love to hear from you! Please feel free to write me at



Saturday, November 25, 2006


Greetings from Melting Malang this Late November:)

THANKSGIVING HAS JUST PASSED. It was a hot sultry day with a huge two hour electric storm which took out my electricity for over two hours. Yet I was with the OMS team and friends for a wonderful lunch -- shared some pumpkin bread, made by my cooking class, with a group of wonderful Moslem teachers, and hosted twelve of my English seminary students for a Thanksgiving "etiquette" meal. This photo only shows the ones who came on time. The rest came a 'little' later- Indonesian style:) Looking back over that day -- it was one of the most Thankful days I've had in a long time. It is not the circumstances in which we find ourselves, but the people around us that make all the difference. PTL!!

The previous week I was invited to share in a three day retreat for the level TWO seminary students at a fishing village just off the Indian Ocean. It was held in a little building on stilts out in the middle of a little harbor. Three days of fish three times a day - no running water - mainly Indonesian lanugage (which is still a foreign language to this ole lady), a boat ride and an hour hike to a hidden lagoon, (photo) and fellowship with "wonderful students" made up the texture of those three memorable days. Once again God showed me it is not the circumstances --beautifully rustic though they may be - but the people you are with. It was a retreat I'll never forget. It was also my first trip outside of Malang -- about 2 hours away. What a JOY to be part of such a culture.

One other little note that I want to share involves my Christmas plans. I was told that it would be almost impossible to spend Christmas in Australia with a special family I met many years ago. It has been a dream of mine for literally decades. However, after MANY hours on internet -- I was able to confirm that I HAVE a ticket to Australia - leaving December 16 - and returning January 2. It is another little miracle and something for which I am truly VERY thankful. Please remember me as I prepare and travel during this time.

Finally, I want to share a poem written by one of my university students. The assignment was to write about What you are thankful for and why. I was a bit dissapointed as I was working through the written part of the assignment. Writing is difficult for these students and it is a 'speaking' class, soo why was I having such a difficult written assignment. After hours of corrections, I began to see that these students were thinking in a thankful way. Maybe they were struggling to express it -- but they were sharing some wonderful things.

Then I came across Olive's poem. It touched my heart and I thought that maybe there IS a reaon for my being here. Maybe I am helping a little. I want to close this blog with her poem. She has given me permission to share it! And I am thrilled! Some say she may not have written it herself. Be that as it may! As you read it may your hearts be stirred once again to look about you as you move through this busy holiday season, and truly BE THANKFUL for all that has been granted to each and every one of us. We are SOOO blessed - no matter where in this world we are at this moment. IT IS NOT THE CIRCUMSTANCES -- BUT THE PEOPLE IN OUR WORLD WHO TRULY MATTER. SOOOO - REACH OUT AND TOUCH THEM IN LOVE AND ENJOY THE RESPONSE :)

Thank you for taking the time to read this blog and remembering ME -- :) You are blessing me!

And now the poem:)


For the alarm that goes off in the early morning hours, because it means that I am alive
For the people complaining about my faults, because it means they want to make me better.
For the lady near me in church who sings off key, because it means I can hear.
For the pile of laundry and ironing, because it means I have clothes to wear.
For the boyfriend who forbade me to do something I liked because it means he cared for me.
For the people who do not like, even hate me, because It means I get a chance to repay good for evil.
For the sunshine that burns my skin, because it means that God’s Love keeps on shining on me.
For the pain in life, because it means that I know that price of joyfulness.
For the friends who ask for my help, because it means I can be their supporters in difficulty.
For the mess to clean after a party, because it means that I have been surrounded by friends.
For the boyfriend who sat right beside me and said nothing at all, because he was there with me, not with someone else.
For the weariness of doing a pile of tasks, because it means I have been capable of working hard.
For helping mother to wash dirty dishes, because it means I have useful hands.
For the disappointment left by the one who I love so much, because it means that I now know how not to make others disappointed.
For the differences between man and woman, because I can know how to appreciate others.

For once having no money, because it means I can feel the misery of the poor.
For the regretful past of life, because if means I can hope for a bright future.
For the separation from the one I love, because it makes me know how to appreciate togetherness.
For the mother who orders me to do this and that because it means I am useful.
For a long time waiting for public transportation by the roadside, because it means I have feet to stand on.
For the people who hurt me, because I can be more careful about I one I trust next time around.
For the frustration that came upon me, because I know how to strengthen the disheartened fellows.
For Mrs. Bonnie’s questions about what I am thankful for, because it means she teaches me to be thankful much more!

Written as part of a class assignment –
Olive November 20, 2006

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Mid October in the Tropics

Another two weeks have passed. The month of Ramadan is almost over. The big celebration will be this Tuesday and Wednesday. Meanwhile the whole world is celebrating and traveling HOME! It is like Christmas in the states and Chinese New Year in China. Soo there is NO teaching, but tons of preparation for the following weeks. All my teaching, university, seminary, m. elementary schools, and all modules plus a the community baking class and a possible special Study will resume or begin.

The rains still have not come -soo the 95 degrees with high humidy has little respite. I just MELT and shower and Melt again:)

The food here still intrigues me and I am going to try and show a few more foods, especially the fruits. I really do enjoy the food -- but I have always loved to try NEW foods and cultures.

OK -- lets look at papaya:) This is the way they grow --THEY ARE HUGE. I have cut one to show you what they look like in comparison to a pineapple. (Oh the pineapples are also DELICIOUS:)

I am afraid I will only be able to upload one or two photos. They take almost 30 minutes to load with my slow dial up. However, maybe this will give you a little idea of what they look like both growing and in the process of preparation.. I love papaya and eat maybe two a week:)

I will share more next time --
Until them == enjoy AUTUMN for me and I'll eat Papaya, mango, pineapple for YOU:)

I'd love to hear from you! I do get a bit lonely in my free time. My Indonesian is not progessing well -- soo I still am depending on YOU a GREAT deal:) We are a team and I love to know you are there for me:)

Blessings in HIS Name forever and always

bonnie ( or )

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

October's musings

This is a new idea for me -- And I am not sure I can get the photos uploaded -- but am trying! Please remember me as I TRY MANY NEW THINGS here in Indonesia -- NOT JUST BLOGGING:)

October in Malang, Indonesia is not anything like October in Newberg, Oregon. There are NO Autumn leaves - and NO 'kool' nights. It is moving into SUMMER here and I've been told the RAINS will be coming. SOO far in the two months I've been here - NO RAIN! It was/is the DRY season -- VERY TRUE -- VERY DRY!!

Yet it is a lovely country - inspite of the humidy and the ants:) Papayas hang from the trunks of their trees - AMAZING! (I had the photo on this page, but lost it and it won't upload/download again -- soo sorry) They are my primary sources of vitamin C and fiber. There are also banana and mango trees too, and many others fruits that I have never seen, let alone tasted! What a 'tasty-tropical' adventure. Here is a photo of a typical Indonesian breakfast -- one I am eating as I type:) It is really VERY good -- even if the noodles are FRIED!
As for teaching and studying...I AM VERY BUSY trying to keep up. I study and teach on a seminary campus, teach English at one of the many local univeristies, and teach English to four classes of elementary m. children. However, due to the Ramadan month long holiday - this month is not as busy as November will be. I love teaching - but am finding being a student more of a stretch - both in TESL and LANGUAGE! Please remember me special!

I would love to hear from you! My e-mail is or !

Since this is my first attempt at 'blogging' I am going to stop. I have been on line -- far too long already! This ole grannie is learning ALOT in so many ways and I am just glad to have a GREAT TEAM behind me. Bless you all!!!

For the only cause that matters, EVER -