Wednesday, May 9, 2007 – World Relief office (Jogja area, Indonesia)

“Thank you for being faithful to heal me in my time of sickness, Mighty God! I praise You for health and good nourishing food!”

I’ve had some more interesting food since Friday morning…spicy chicken & vegetable & chili soup with rice, crispy fermented soybean, fried fermented soybean cake with a shrimp on top, yellow melon, and crispy rice/cream flatbread for lunch on Friday; baked fish & seafood with rice for dinner on Friday; baked fish & rice with Sprite and a lime squash; fried rice with goat meat on Saturday night with melon juice; fried rice with egg on top with coffee and an avocado/chocolate syrup drink for breakfast Sunday; chicken, vegetables, rice, and bottled iced tea for lunch on Sunday at the Flamboyan restaurant next to the apartment Norm and I are staying at (I think this is the meal which made me sick); fried chicken teriyaki with rice, a lime squash, and strawberry ice cream at Parsley (bakery/international food restaurant) for dinner on Sunday; fried chicken, spicy vegetables, rice, a small orange, and crispy rice flatbread on Monday for lunch; “terrible American-style” meat-lovers pizza with very sweet Pepsi at Pizza Hut on Monday night; coconut-covered fish with vegetables, rice, watermelon, and crispy rice flatbread for lunch yesterday; and fish with rice and iced lemon tea for dinner last night.

Norm and I just ended up staying around the office on Friday afternoon, but we were able to take a walk with Widi (the newest Jogja World Relief Community Development Facilitator staff member who was formerly a tour guide) through a couple of rice fields, in one of which Norm fell, to see the nearby Hindu temple complex with one large temple and thousands of smaller temples. I joined the World Relief staff for their follow-up meeting with a Muruh village after dinner on Friday. I couldn’t understand much, but I was told that three families agreed to participate in stopping their “open defecation” and working toward a sanitary solution (latrines). I was thankful that I had my GPS with me on the way back to the apartment because I had to help Widi (who was driving) find the apartment.

Widi drove JoJohn (Jogja World Relief Community Development Facilitator Supervisor), Eka (Jogja World Relief Project Manager), the two guys from Project Concern, Norm, and me to a post station around 1200 meters in elevation on the north side of Mt. Merapi for some information about our planned climb on Friday night/Saturday morning. We then stopped by the Buddhist Borobudur Temple, which is the most major tourist trap that I have seen so far in Indonesia. We had to almost constantly say no to individuals trying to sell us trinkets/souvenirs outside the temple.

Norm and I were on our own for dinner Saturday night, which was an interesting experience…We selected a very good restaurant called Mix ‘n Match down the street from our apartment building. Our server did not speak any English, but I was able to recognize melon juice (jus melon) and goat fried rice (nasi goreng kambing). Norm ended up ordering a strawberry juice and chicken fried rice. We returned to Mix ‘n Match on Sunday morning for brunch after we found out from Eka that the international church service at the Jogjakarta Plaza Hotel was not until 5 p.m. On this visit we met the owner, who had spent a few of his younger years in Illinois while his parents were there. His English was very good, so Norm and I talked with him as we drank our coffee and juice. He said the restaurant was a hobby for him and his wife, as his real job is teaching at a university in Jakarta. He is in the process of transferring to a university in the Jogja region, his home (and birth) city.

While I was at the internet café after lunch on Sunday, I began to feel chills, which I knew was not a good sign in the heat of the day. I enjoyed the English international church service on Sunday evening, particularly the hymns sung by a local Christian college group. As we ate dinner, my health deteriorated. I was trying hard not to shiver uncontrollably, and I had some stomach pain.

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