Thursday, July 23, 2009

Update - the past two months

In light of the recent attacks in Jakarta I thought it was important that I do an "update" post to show that its not all doom and gloom. A lot of people probably wonder, if these bomb blasts didn't scare us in thinking; 'perhaps it was time to leave'. But, hasn't. To be honest, I haven't spoken to anyone that have indicated that they were thinking about leaving Jakarta due to these attacks.

I don't think that means we are immune to these situations. Of course we are all affected by it and deeply concerned. I believe everyone will take necessary precautions to keep their families safe. And, rather than going to our favourite bars, or restaurants we might 'hang out' at home instead. But we are definitely not packing our bags.

Remembering that we live in a crazy, messed up world. More people are killed across the word on a daily basis, be it race related killings, hate crimes, the war in Iraq, and the list goes on. Also, considering South Africa's crime rate is probably the highest in the world and I don't even want to think about how many people are killed in South Africa every day.

Asking myself; when will it stop? will it ever stop? And though, wishing for world peace seems so cliche; wouldn't that be fantastic....

It is a crazy world we live in, but we have to LIVE. LIFE, how every sad, hard or unfair it is; will GO ON.

Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. And today? Today is a gift. That's why we call it the present.

I am happy to report that besides a mild stomach bug/parasite and the sniffles we have been well otherwise. As per usual the past two months have flown by. Doing this blog post just reminded me that I was not so "good"early in June though.

My 5 month old Sony Vaio crashed and to my horror, I lost all our photographs, we took since January. Isn't it ironic. While I was using the old Siemens I backed up regularly, expecting it to give up the ghost. Thankfully I saved some of the photo's on facebook and the blog, so all is not lost.

Between June and August Jakarta is usually very quite. Well, at least in Kemang (the area we live in). Most of our friends have gone to their home countries, for 4 to 6 weeks, for their "summer holiday". It has been so quite that I didn't have art classes for 4 weeks, no regular get together's and I've even had 'one on one' gym sessions as the classes have been empty. This happens every year around this time. People are slowly but surly returning though, so I imagine things will be back to normal in a another week or two.

It is quite around here, but not dead. Although, I missed the does go on!

Below are short accounts of what we've been up to over the past two months. Well, at least of what I have photo's of:

Saturday, 27 June we attended an Indonesian Rugby untion dinner. Where we watched the SA vs. Lions match in the "lion's den" at the Ritz Carlton. Phew...we were very relieved that we won. As you can imagine the 4 South African supporters took a lot of slack but we walked out with our heads held high. Thanks, bokke!

Proudly South African!

Some of the evenings formalities before the game started.

1 July was Canada day and we were invited to a Canada day picnic at the Four Seasons hotel on Saturday, 4 July. It was a casual event with hotdogs and hamburgers and red wine flowing throughout the afternoon.

The money made from the raffle, was donated to the ykaki (Indonesian care for cancer kids foundation).

Vita, Katrina and I ended off the days celebration, in the pool.

Later that evening we entered yet another "lions den" but this time unfortunately the bokke lost.

We of course took a lot of slack, but we were still smiling, as the bokke at least won the series.

Katrina (Canadian) "Go bokke", was more interested in the players then the game ;-)

After a relaxing morning at home we popped over to a fellow South African, Shaun's house for a late afternoon drink which in true South African style and hospitality, turned into a late evening.
It is true that the best parties are the unplanned ones. Thanks, Shaun!

Saturday, 18 July we had a lovely evening with a French couple that we met the week before at a BBQ. In true French style we only went to the restaurant after 10pm, and though I couldn't get myself to eat a meal that late, I did enjoy the chocolate crepe with ice cream.

We were invited along to an 'open house' party, which apparently happens a lot around here. I'm not sure I would be opening my house like that, though. It was fun, though.

Armid and Jav, this photo is for you. When ever we talk about you guys, we do a 'blue steel' in your honor. Well I missed that one, but Marc as you can see is really trying to perfect the look)LOL ;-)

Another first that night (or I should say morning) - The only transport home was a couple of ojek's (motorbike taxi's).

I was very happy to resume my art classes last week. This week I did my first painting. And it was also my first experience with a completely nude, male model. Not as strange as I thought it might be. I was not quite ready to examine and paint his "whole" body though. Hehehehe! I just kept my eyes focused above the belly button.
I am wondering though, if my painting would have been better if he didn't go Full Monty ;-). I would be lying if I say I was completely comfortable with the nakedness of a strange man.
So with another week nearing it's end and the end of July now in sight, we are looking forward to our Komodo Island trip coming up from 12-17 August. We are really excited to dive this "National treasure", which would probably be considered a once in a life time trip and real national geographic stuff.
So, watch this space!

Jakarta twin bomb blasts

I still can't get over it. It is just very unnerving to think that a couple of weeks before the attack we were at a function at the Ritz Carlton. And like us, many people probably have the exact same thoughts going through their minds. It just really hit close to home....The big hotels around Jakarta are "hang out places" for many foreign and Indonesian nationals. They are frequented by people for their famous Sunday brunches or some or other special event, work/embassy functions etc..

Talking about hitting close to home; some people we know, were supposed to have attended the meeting at the Ritz on Friday. And some of Marc's clients unfortunately were not so lucky, and were killed. Along with many other innocent people.

My heart goes out to all the people affected by these attacks. I am really saddened by these unnecessary attacks and I am sorry for these innocent peoples, loss.

To the poor families that buried their loved ones and in some cases having to arrange unidentifiable mortal remains to be flown home. To the survivors that have witnessed this tragedy and that will probably be haunted by the images they've seen, for the rest of their lives.

I don't think anyone can every truly understand the extent of the 'damage' that these kinds of attacks cause. At least, I know I don't.

All I can say is, or ask is; WHY? What could anyone possibly achieve by killing innocent people. I just don't get it.

A horrific image of the damage caused, leaving 9 dead and 50 injured.

Click here to watch a video about the twin blasts.

Click here to read a News24 article about the bombings.