S: Borneo 6: January to March 2013
FC: Borneo 6 | January 16 to March 13 2013
1: FORWARD: This record of my sixth visit to Indonesia is an edited and expanded version of the regular postings I made to Facebook and 34 close friends via g-mail during the 9 weeks that I was in West Kalimantan. The original purpose for this visit was three-fold; which became four-fold when my younger son, David expressed a desire to accompany me. I was thrilled that David was interested in joining me as I considered this trip to be not only an opportunity for him to understand why I have developed a "growing obsession" with Indonesia but also to add a further perspective to his developing passion to devote a portion of his life toward serving the Lord as already evidenced by the exercising of his construction and videography talents working with Doppenberg family in Guatemala. The other reasons for making the trip to West Kalimantan were firstly, to attend the graduation from STK of my friend and translator, Zachary followed by, less than one week later, his wedding day as he and Melia become one. The final purpose was to fulfill the desire to see the young lady Debora fitted with a prosthetic right hand.
2: Monday, January 14th - 8:30 pm.: My friend from Village Bible Church, John Klassen, offered to drive David and me to Pearson Airport. We arrived at the Airport around 10:00 p.m., thanked and bid farewell to John and, having availed ourselves a day or so earlier of the On-line Check-in, the printable Boarding Pass and the Seat selection, sauntered past the ever-lengthening line-up at the Cathay Pacific counter, dropped our baggage off at the designated location, passed quickly through the security and headed for our gate to await the 1:30 am. (Tuesday, 15th) departure of flight CX829 to Hong Kong. We arrived in Hong Kong at 6:00 a.m. (local time) on Wednesday 16th. having endured over 14 hours in the air in almost total darkness. For someone who barely sleeps at all when flying, I am amazed how many people seem able to sleep for the duration, give or take a couple of visits to the bathroom, and, of course, meal times. Following a 3 1/2 hour lay-over at Hong Kong, we boarded Cathay Pacific flight CX777 to Jakarta arriving at 1:30 pm. (local time). Dave and I had plenty of time to familiarize ourselves with Jakarta Airport especially since Dave would be returning to Canada alone. Our flight to Pontianak was with Sriwijaya Air and didn't depart Jakarta until 6:30 pm. arriving in Pontianak at around 8:00 pm. Zachary and Melia were waiting for us. We hailed a taxi and headed for the New Tribes Mission Guest Home. Thursday, January 17th: In the account (Book 5) of the January 2012 trip, I spoke of the surprise and dismay that I had felt upon hearing that the Training Centre had been closed. As the taxi approached the NTM Home, we noticed a van just pulling into one of the parking bays and, to my surprise, a pleasant one this time, Steve and Lois Manda got out. Why I was surprised was because in 2012, Steve and Lois left Indonesia to return to the US the same day that I left to return to Canada. They had not been able to renew their visas and, at the time, it appeared that their ministry in Indonesia had come to an end. However, during the year they were able to secure a 1 year visa and were spending a few days in Pontianak before heading to their ministry area in Putissibau. This morning Dave and I went for an hour's walk; managing to take a wrong turn on several occasions and ending up in the back yard of several homes and receiving puzzled looks from the homeowners - what are these westerners doing here? - until friendly "good morning " (selamat pagi) brought smiles to their faces and a sudden burst of conversation which was cause for us to now have the puzzled looks.
3: After lunch, Steve Mando offered to drive David and me to STK but Ronny Welong wasn't in his office so we continued with a tour of Pontianak. The market that had been directly opposite STK is being demolished and rebuilt so we drove to the temporary location. Lots of friendly banter - mostly "allo meester - how are you?" After the market, Steve drove us to the river (Kapuas) where several boats were being loaded with supplies for the many interior villages. We strolled along "hardware alley"; every store has a specific item for sale: generators, yardwork equipment, coconut shredders, plumbing supplies - it was like a Canadian Tire mini-mall (except for the coconut shredder). | A panoramic view of the of the path in front of the NTM Home
4: The Market
5: Zachary and Melia have been to see us several times already and last evening asked Dave to take several pre-wedding photos. Visited with the couple until the power went out.