Sunday, October 29, 2006

Traffic Nightmare

The photo really does not show all. I think Indonesia gets the gold medal for worst traffic on Earth. It was UNREAL. Thousands and thousands of motorcycles mixed in with every type of transportation known to man. The first 8 hours of the drive was relatively least it moved. Then at around 1:00, we hit the major stuff. For NINE hours, we sat in creeping traffic encountering the worst idiots known to be behind the wheel or in most cases, the handle bars. Thank God for Muz, who drove all but the last three hours.

Despite the traffic, Kayla was once again incredible. She sang songs, laughed, took naps, talked about motorcycles, joked around, and NOT ONCE, NOT ONCE did she complain or cry. We are really blessed with that little girl. She did choke on some juice that caused her to throw-up everything in her stomach, but even after that she told us all, "No problem....just throw up, Mommy"...and then started laughing. Unreal.

We made it home by 9:00pm (left at 4:00am), and all of us just unloaded the car and immediately crashed into our beds for a much needed sleep.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Hangin' Out in Sragen

Saturday was spent entirely in the house. I read my golf magazines and took several naps, and Kayla had a good time pretending to be a rice paddie worker and just hanging out at the house. Tika talked, talked, and talked some more....and she talked....of course all the talking was done in Javanese....totally foreign to my ears, so I just stayed tuned to my golf magazines.

Friday, October 27, 2006

A Side Trip Near Sragen

On Friday, we took a short trip up to the mountains to see the tea plantations. Sisters, brothers, cousins, and other assorted kids joined us on the trip. It was very beautiful, and nice and cool in the upper altitudes...a nice break from the heat down below.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

More On The Road

Here are a few more photos from the trip down to Sragen. The bottom photo was an eating stop along the side of the road next to some nice rice paddies. The middle photo is the entrance to Tika's village, and the third photo is of our little house we own.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

The Drive Down

The drive down wasn't too bad...only 13 hours in total. Muz, our driver, drove the entire way...he was amazing. Kayla was VERY good. She had a good time making stops, and playing with Mommy's Nano Pod.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Cooking Up A Storm

The house lately has very nice smells eminating from the kitchen. Tika is cooking up a storm for our trip to Solo. The smell of garlic, onions, spices, curries and cookies and you name it, are all around.

All of the help are at their own homes, so it is just Tika, Kayla and I at the house. Seems very quiet, but of course more busy as we have to tough it out by doing our own laundry and keeping the bed made, and the house clean....ah, poor Grahams. We are spoiled, and you realize how spoiled once all the help leaves. While watching the World Series this morning, I had to give Kayla a, that doesn't happen very often. Ah, the sacrifices we must make....

I am off to the embassy this morning to mail a special package to Dad. Yes, Dad, we found one, and will mail it today. I hope it is not too late. We would have found a cheaper one in Bali, but we won't be there until after Christmas.

This will be my last entry for a few days as we will be in the Ford Everest for many hours traveling across Java to Solo. Tika's brother will be here to watch over the house while we are gone. It is about a 14 hour drive down there. Muz, our driver, is coming with us, so there will be help with the driving. We will return on Sunday, so will post an entry when I get back. See ya.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Almost Vacation

Tika got a call today from a model agency in Jakarta seeking photos of Kayla. Apparently someone at the elementary school told this person about Kayla. So why not? I am emailing a few shots of Kayla, and we will see what comes of it. Kayla loves to have her picture taken, and is not shy about asking. Lucky for me.

Last day of school tomorrow, and then a week of vacation....yes!! I really need a vacation. I have golf planned for Sunday, and then it will be just hanging around the house until we drive to Solo to see Tika's family.

We had our last pool session with the project week kids tonight. They all did a terrific job in the pool tonight, and they are ready for diving in Papua in just a few weeks. I am looking forward to the trip even though it will be a great deal of work watching 18 kids in the water on SCUBA for the first time.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Featherweight Champion of the World

Chris John, the featherweight boxing champion of the world visited JIS yesterday posing for photos with the students and teachers. Pretty cool that an Indonesian holds the title. He was on TV a few weeks back with his championship match on pay for view. I am not a big boxing fan, but it was pretty neat meeting him...a super nice guy, but you wouldn't want to mess with him...he has never lost.

Monday, October 16, 2006

The Americans WIN !!

The USA pulls out another victory. That makes it two years in a row. I played really well, and am back to my good form despite that really bad round a few weeks ago. I was partnered with our new Headmaster, David Cramer, and we played well together as a team. When I had a bad shot, he had a good one, and visa versa. Perfect for match play. I also won closest to the pin on the 15th par three. Apparently, very few even hit the green as I didn't think my shot was that great...but good enough for the small trophy. Anyway, us Americans are walking around campus today feeling proud. We will all wear our medals to the stand-up meeting on Thursday to really rubb it in the faces of the "rest of the world" players.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Colameco Cup Dinner

Scotty makes a practice putt before taking on his ROTW challenger.

The USA team captain, Kevin Callahan

Tom Schulz plays Rob in the putt putt challenge.

We had our annual Colameco Cup dinner last night with the putting contest. Bill Titmuss built a three hole putt-putt course that he moves each year to a new venue. The winners get bragging rights only. So far the USA is winning 19.5 to 13.5, so we have a lead going into the finals tomorrow. The front nine, we play a scramble, and then on the back nine it is match play pairs with the best net score winning each hole. Each team gets 4 points with a win, 2 points for a tie, and 0 for a matter who wins, it is always a really fun day. I just hope we play well.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Word From Qatar Airways

Well, finally got an email back from Qatar Airways about our flight to Greece this past summer. They appologized, and will give us $200 off each for our next flight. That is not bad. We could get free tickets to Singapore for the weekend, so might just do that in the next few weeks. Certainly better than nothing.

The photo above is the ceiling of the Bellagio Hotel in Vegas. I thought it looked cool, and it represents the kind of mood I am in now....colorful.

SCUBA class tomorrow night, Colameco Cup dinner and putting contest Friday night, and then Sunday is the Colameco Cup finals. I have not played since that terrible, horrible, very bad, awful day a couple of weeks ago. I have no idea what little man will pop out of my shirt on Sunday...I hope it is the good little man.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Bali Reservations Made

It is that time of year when we have to start thinking about Christmas plans. I have been offered a free dive trip, so will take up on that offer. We will stay in Jakarta for Christmas day and the first week of vacation, and then I will go diving for a week in Papua, and then Tika, Kayla and I will head to Bali for the last week of vacation. Life is tough.

The meeting last night with the contractor went well. I like both guys that work as a team. One is Indonesian and the other is a bule (white guy). It is nice having a western guy to talk to as he understands what us western people like in a house. Burhan, our architect, thinks they can cut the price by 30%. If that is the case, we will be in pretty decent shape. I just hope they can start building soon....I am finished predicting when....

Sunday, October 08, 2006

IASAS Volleyball and Cross Country

JIS hosted the five other IASAS Schools for Volleyball and Cross Country the past three days. The soccer teams all traveled to Bangkok for their tournament. It is ALOT of work hosting...I put in 14 hour days for three days as I had to do all the team photos, make two posters, and then had to take photos of most all games in order to present a slide show at the closing ceremony last night. All went well, but I am beat tired. Volleyball is VERY difficult to get good photos with the dark gyms and fast movement. I was also told I couldn't use my flash while the ball was in play unless I get the shot at their backs. With those limitations, it was really tough to get decent shots. The four photos above are examples of the things I was shooting. It was fun, but a great deal of work, and I am glad the three days are is nice to be back home with my family who had forgotten who I was.

In other news, we meet the other contractor for our house tomorrow night. This is the guy that I hope we go with....I am just nervous that his price will be too high as well. We are almost at the point of just saying "build it" and we will worry about the money later. We will see.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Teams Arrive Tonight

The IASAS teams all arrive tonight, and the tournament begins tomorrow morning. I will be a very busy guy the next three days. Not much other news...will keep you posted.

I was getting my camera gear ready, and of course Kayla just had to pose. She wouldn't go to bed until I took at least 10 photos of her. Her favorite was the one above.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

More Donuts?

OK,ok,'re right....the last thing I need is more donuts. But who could resist? We were there, Krispy was there, what can a guy do? Walk away? No way!

Not sure if I can finish this blog entry.....too full of donuts. Yes, I will run tomorrow and burn maybe an 8th of what I just's better than nothing, right?

The Fun Starts Today

Sorry for the delay in posting. I tried last night, but when it takes 15 minutes to just open the window to upload a photo, you know something is wrong. It is a beautiful morning here in Jakarta. I love the view from my classroom window. Kids hanging out by the fountain with golden sun peeking through the palm trees. I really do have a great job....but a busy one.

After teaching my Photoshop class, I had to quickly change my clothes for the softball game against the "Old Boys"...they are always fun to play, and we usually have a great game. Last night was no exception. We won the game 7 to 5. It was back n' forth all night. I had a pretty decent game. I was 3 for 4 at the plate and had two nice catches in left field, but my cletes have seen better days, and had to trash them after the game.

The other IASAS schools arrive tomorrow for the Volleyball tournament and X-country races. I will be living at school the next few days. Finally got my grades in for the first report card, but have a stack of tests to grade. Arggggh...bad time to give a test, oh well. I also have 10 college recommendations to write...I always think of Steven when writing is his college hunting going? Speaking of which, last week a group of universities visited our school. It was nice talking to some of the reps from the colleges. Conn College was here, and it was fun talking about Ledyard, Groton and New London with the reps...they couldn't believe I knew of all those places.

Ok, got my kids coming into class....gotta go.