We have returned. A little after one o’clock this afternoon, we stepped off of a plane into a dreary airport. The first time we flew into Manado, I was enthralled. The runway is set next to palm trees and thatched huts. We had no idea what we would encounter in this new land and were excited about the possibilities. The second time we flew into Manado, we were again anxious, but this time for different reasons. We now knew the limit of the health care and were unsure about how our lives here would be changed by my recently developed health problem. Today as we stepped into the airport, I wanted to be anywhere else. I am in the midst of my fourth cold (is it still called a cold if you have fever?) in three months. Sleep is my friend, trying to communicate with immigration officials is not. All went very smooth. We were out of the airport and home (in bed for me) in less than an hour.
Living here is very interesting and at times quite enjoyable. I just think that our quality of life would be improved if there were less mucus, puke, and swelling of limbs. You should be able to pull some prayer requests out of there somewhere.
Singapore was quite nice. Our main objective was to get the ultrasound Doppler study done of my leg and see the doctor. That was accomplished before we were there for 24 hours. The Doppler study showed that there had been much improvement. There is no complete blockage in the vein now, but several places where there is still partial blockage. The doctor (who is quite amiable) upped my dosage of the rat poison and said I should continue it for six more months.
Our secondary objectives were to stock up on reading materials and American foods. We got everything to make a green bean casserole, stove top stuffing, brownie mix, Pace picante sauce, dark chocolate, hot chocolate mix, canned pumpkin, alfredo sauce, and various other goodies. Shopping there was fun because all of the prices are in Sing dollars, which are each worth about 60 cents US. It was a like a huge sale where everything was 40% off.
We were hosted by wonderful family who live in a Balinese resort (as described by the family Matt stayed with last time). I enjoy visiting new places more when we get to stay with a local family and discuss our observations of life in their geographical corner. This visit, I learned more about the school system, mandatory male military service, and Bible Study Fellowship. We also learned (from 11-year-old Victor) that Singapore means “lion city”.
Speaking of lions, Matt and I went on a safari. At least, that’s what it’s called. Someone involved with the Singapore Zoo had the brilliant idea of housing nocturnal animals in a separate place with dim lighting so people could see them when they are most active. They call it a night safari and it was amazing. The barriers were generally worked into the natural habitat and the animals looked happy. We saw all kinds of great animals: lions, a tiger, a red panda (does that count as bears?), various pigs, tapirs, Asian elephants, rhinos, hippos, fighting rams of some sort, many deer like creatures, leopards, a cloudy leopard, and cats that jump into water to catch fish (creatively named “fishing cats”). It was amazing and fun.
Yesterday, we got to go to an English speaking church! That was the first sermon I have understood since the last time we were in Singapore. We spent the day with the Wee’s, the family that Matt and, for a shorter time, I stayed with last time. Matt went on a hike with the father and son of the family. Remember those analogies from standardized tests? Here’s one for you: monkeys are to Singapore/Indonesia as squirrels are to Arkansas/most of the States.
It’s time again for me to go to sleep. Tomorrow is ugly uniform day and I have to get plenty of beauty sleep to battle it.