Learning Culture

I’m listening to the gradually waning sounds of laughter, splashing water, and hoots and hollers coming from our front porch area. Our three kids and three of their friends/teachers from the language school we attend have been busy pouring bucket after bucket of water down our carport, accompanied with some rather nice smelling bodywash, apparently. Almost all evidence of what occurred there a couple hours ago has been literally washed away.

Caedmon celebrates his sweet – and messy! – 16th birthday in Medan!

We witnessed tonight what we had heard rumors of over the past few weeks here – a birthday tradition among young people in Indonesia involves ambushing the birthday boy or girl with raw eggs and then a good dousing of flour! Who would have guessed? If they had just added sugar (and it was earlier in the day) we could have set Caedmon out in the sun and he could have baked himself into his own birthday cake!

He handled it with great patience, and by the end of the event, most of the participants and Caedmon’s siblings were also doused in egg and flour.

Friends – messy friends!

What a blessing it is when your language teachers are also friends who go out of their way to come over and surprise you on your birthday! These are some of the same folks our kids have taken hiking outings with over the past month or so. Wonderful young women who really do care about their students. And having fun. Definitely they care about having fun! Friends like these have helped make the adjustment to a new country, language, culture, and climate much easier for our kids, and by extension Gena and myself.

After pausing to enjoy some snacks, they all dutifully cleaned up the considerable mess the celebration had entailed. Another wonderful blessing – and a fantastic memory. Sometimes learning a new culture can be surprising and a lot of fun – if also really messy!

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