How painful yesterday was, staying awake after very little sleep the last 48 hours! We were all so exhausted we were all happily in bed before 10:00 pm – probably a first in our family!
And while today is painful still, how glorious it was to get a solid eight hours of sleep! While we all got up earlier than we normally do, we still got plenty of sleep. And with the extra hours this morning it has been a very productive day!
But first, pictures! These are pictures from the night we arrived.
Working our way through the Covid and Immigration arrival process in Jakarta
Today we learned our quarantine wraps up sooner than we expected. Tomorrow (Saturday) we will undergo yet another Covid test. Assuming the results come back negative, we will be free to leave quarantine and be certified as safe to travel as of Sunday, February 13.
So I’ve booked airline tickets for us to fly from Jakarta which is on the island of Java to Medan on the island of Sumatra (or Sumatera as Indonesians know it). The flight is just under two-and-a-half hours and covers almost 2000 kilometers (a tad under 1200 miles). We’ll fly in the afternoon so hopefully we’ll get some amazing views!
Due to differences in how luggage is handled, today we had our checked luggage picked up by a transport company who will ship it to Medan for us. This saves a LOT of money as Indonesian airlines worry less about how many bags you have total and focus on the total weight of those bags. By allowing a shipping company to send it overland by truck (a 5-day journey) we can get our luggage directly at our apartment in Medan for FAR less money than it would be to check it on the plane with us. We’re learning that a lot of decisions on the mission field are a cost-benefits analysis. No different from at home in the US but in a variety of situations most of us don’t run into in our normal weekly routines! So sometimes it’s necessary to spend more money (to fly on a more reliable airline, for instance) and other times we have the opportunity to save some money (shipping our bags by truck rather than plane).
We arrive at our apartment in Medan Sunday night. Please pray we can begin to meet people – both Indonesians as well as other foreigners – who we’ll connect with easily to begin creating a network of friends as well as resources to settle ourselves.
Though we can only experience Jakarta and Indonesia from our quarantine hotel room, what we’ve seen is beautiful. There’s a fair amount of pollution in Jakarta because of the size of the city. It’s overcast much of the time, but it has not rained nearly as much as I expected. I’m sure that will change from day to day! The hotel feeds us three times a day and has been very kind in helping to arrange the shipping of our luggage.
We pray for another good night of sleep and that tomorrow – our last day of quarantine – will see us feeling more refreshed and closer to normal. In hosting international students in our home for years in California we know it can take up to a week for the grogginess and mental fog of jet lag to dissipate. We’re frankly grateful for quarantine and the chance to rest before launching into things in earnest in Medan.
Thank you for your continued prayers. Please pray we continue to sleep well and adjust quickly. Pray we are able to make good contacts and friends with the others in Medan. Pray for safety in travel on Sunday and that we are able to establish good rhythms and routines in Medan after our arrival.