Monday, August 18, 2014

Living the Life of a Celebrity

We are winding down our amazing month in Indonesia.  Every day has been a new adventure. I've loved the scenery, the food, and the people...especially the people.  

Apparently throughout most parts of Java, white people like me don't visit.  One resulting phenomenon that David and I didn't anticipate was the numerous requests from random strangers to pose with them for pictures.  Families, school groups, couples.....they all were almost as excited about a photo with me as I would be with Barack Obama.
Random new friends in Solo.

Random new friends at the top of a volcano outside of Bandung.

A dad takes this shot.....wanting me to pose with his family.

Everyone was so genuinely happy I almost always obliged to pose.  For me, it's a gentle reminder of the world's diversity and  my own culture is a small slice.

Back to the states in two days! 

Saturday, August 9, 2014

An Indonesian visit

We are about two-thirds into our trip. Last week we had the pleasure of visiting Andorra's  high school in East Java in the province of Madiun where we were greeted with enthusiasm and treated like celebrities.   The students tried out a little English and erupted into laughter when we attempted to say their names.

Kids sang happy birthday to David.

Andorra's fellow English teachers.

The principal met with us too!

We had a wonderful time and I'm grateful we could travel so far to meet the children and teachers she works with.

Friday, August 1, 2014

A Week in Bali

I thought I would post a few pictures to show I'm still around.  We did meet up with our daughter and we've had such a nice time catching up!

Temples, ocean, volcanoes, different food, markets, rice paddies....they provide a wealth of opportunities for pictures.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Surrounding our Luxury is Another World

Intense day in Jakarta! 

First I'm struck constantly by the friendliness of everyone even though the language barriers and economic differences are immense. 

Second, a walk across the road (20 feet from the hotel gate) showed the third world nature here.  David and I took a stroll and were left with images that words can't really describe.

Pictures show the canal, primitive living conditions, fishing and one friendly fisherman, and a canal side cemetary with both marked and unmarked graves.

The final picture is the inside of our hotel lobby close by.  

Thursday, July 24, 2014

The other side of the world

After 20 something hours in the air David and I are finally in Jakarta, Indonesia.  More to come later....we are happy to be on the ground!

If you ever decide to do this, plan in advance how to get from the airport to the hotel.  The taxi drivers were on you like vultures wanting business.  Thankfully David had pickup arranged. 

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Indonesia Bound---the Home Stretch!

In a few short days, my husband and I are embarking on the biggest trip so far in my life---Indonesia!  If you have followed my blog, you know that one of my kids is in the Peace Corps there, and I haven't seen her for over a year.  She's not coming home for a while, so we must go to her--I'm so proud of what she is doing and want to see where she has made friends and become an ambassador of good will.

The impact on this blog is that for a month (yes-- the trip will be that long), I'm not posting anything in terms of speech therapy.  You will see, however, pictures from a friendly colorful place on the the other side of the earth. I hope you enjoy this.  The images below summarize our first week's plans a little.

Indonesia is huge.  We are landing in Jakarta.

13 million people in this city!  Not staying here long---just enough to recover from the 20 something hours of air travel.

                             Then it's off to Bali.
 No comment needed here.

I'll post my own pictures later.  You get the idea.
One week in Bali, then three more weeks exploring the densely populated main island of Java.

See you!


Friday, July 18, 2014

Smoothie Time!

A teacher and I went rogue during Extended School Year---we actually prepared a nutritious healthy snack with the children.  The past two years, preparing and serving food in class have been forbidden in our school district. 

I've complied with this ridiculous policy even though:
  • my children can be motivated more to communicate for food than anything else
  • menu preparation is great for fine motor collaboration with the OT
  • there's the whole 'step by step' process in preparing a snack that is hard to replicate with other activities
  • food preparation can promote healthier eating
  • there's tons of vocabulary with food
  • etc.....

After watching the crappy lunches roll in, however, with kids refusing to eat anything at school, I just had to prepare one thing with them this summer, and it was Fruit Smoothies! Screen shots of the recipe booklet are here.  Link to download entire booklet is below.

 Ingredients were simple---banana, blueberries, plain yogurt, a little sugar, ice cubes.......

We checked with the parents first about allergies.

For non-verbal, or low verbal children, make sure you have their regular communication systems available.  Have pictures available for the bananas and blueberries.  My kids wanted to taste them right away, since they didn't understand the whole concept of delayed gratification. They loved the blender, peeling the banana, putting in blueberries one-by-one, and pouring the smoothie. 

For the record, my kids didn't want to actually taste the smoothie, so no nutrition policy laws were broken. If we were actually permitted to do this on a regular basis, the cycle of food rigidity would be altered for the better.  They had fun doing the prep work, and used a lot of language to make requests and comment.

Click here for the recipe booklet.