Behold the power of pictures and posts: Miles and years vanish with a click, family's updated, old friends reacquainted. Maybe this is why Facebook--now shunned by youngsters--is so popular with us oldsters! Calls to mind those old Bell Telephone slogans:
Recently, I took a walk with friends from my old neighborhood. (note Tina: I did not write "old" friends). Tina mentioned how she had not received any of my Jakarta Stories * in some time and wondered how our Jakarta folk are doing. Well, some 5.2 miles later, I'd updated her, but dang my dogies were barkin' after. Which got me thinking: Tina is probably not the only one who received my posts that is curious about Rusnati, Aan, and everyone back in Jakarta. After all, after hearing so much about them for so long, folks from our Jakarta life had become, as sitcom characters do: friends.
Allow me to digress a moment. (Jakarta news is coming, really!): I don't know if it's an every Facebook buddy thing, or only for those of us with Facebook "Pages" ie my author page Kelly Bennett Books, but I receive weekly reports on how much attention my posts and page receives, including likes, shares & follows. I also receive "helpful" offers to buy space for my posts. And booster messages movie idol Ronnie Reagan, "this one's for the gipper" quarterback might have given: "Come on, Kid, you're only 192 Likes away from 500! You can do it! Get those Likes! Get those Likes! Hup-Hup-Hike! "
What those booster messages should say is Post a cute picture, already? Because that what really grabs our attention: Throwback Thursday, Snapshot Sunday, Outtakes Any Day! We love those photographs!
Which brings me to the long overdue Jakarta Stories, update with pictures, beginning with the newest:
Aan's oldest son, Ajie was married last weekend. So hard to believe that "little" Ajie (wouldn't he hate being called that) is married! Ajie is a college graduate. He works for MNC TV as a videographer. His bride, Dewi, works in a local contractor.
The center photograph is of Aan's immediate family L-R, Izwan, Icha, Ajie, his bride, Dewi, Aan's wife, Entien, and Aan.
Following Indonesian tradition, the bridal party wears batik fabric distinct to their region, and people from the same family will all wear the same bakik. (Makes it easy to figure out who's related to who. Dewi and Ajie's wedding dress is Central javanesse (Semarang). Aan explained that the bridal couple changed outfits 3 times.
Izwan, was just seven when Aan began working for us, has proved to take after his father in the brains department. Since beginning school, he's been at the top of his class-#2 or #1. He tested into the bilingual Indonesian/English high school. He's in his 3rd year and #1 in his class. What's next?
And Icha, Aan's daughter, majored in Public Relations in college. She's now working for a consulting company.
Rusnati and her youngest daughter, Andrea, were at the wedding, too. Andrea, used to be a bit of a Tom-boy. She didn't like school. Loved sports. Love playing with her friends. In those ways, Andrea was much like Max (interesting that their birthdays are days apart.) Rusnati and I used to worry together about these "sedikit nekal" (a little naughty) children of ours. And, when she finished high school, like Max, Andrea didn't want to go to college (she wanted a job.) Turns out Andrea, like her older sisters, has a passion and talent for computers. And after working for awhile, Andrea went to college and works at SMS Digital Printing Service.
Rusnati-a quiet stranger when we first arrived-along with her husband, Rohemon, quickly became our caretaker, translator, guide, friend, family! Shortly after we left Jakarta, Rohemon passed.
Still sad to say and think about, Rohemon, our patient, green-thumbed gardener, handyman, "Jaga" as safeguards of Indonesian homes are called, is gone. He passed away shortly after we left Jakarta. (Feels Like Rain post). In January, Rusnati and her family returned to Cirebon for a "Seremoni Seribu Hari" commemorating 1000 days since Rohemon passed.
Linda, their oldest daughter, and her husband, married while we were still in Jakarta, Sept 2010 & we joyfully attended their reception. They met in college, both graduated with honors and work in IT. (No surprises there, when Curtis had computer issues he'd call and they'd zip over on their motorcycle to help.) In fact, the first time we met Agung was when he came with Linda one Sunday to recover data on our crashed computer. They have a daughter, Keysha, called "Key" now 2 1/2.
Rusnati & Rohemon's middle daughter, Lia, earned a Master's Degree in Computer from STTI I-Tech and teaches at Group Dosen Indonesia. She's married now and exciting news: She and her husband Isa are expecting a baby in October.
Sugiman, our relief driver is doing well. When Joy and I were in Jakarta for our friend Lisette's 50th, he made a point of visiting (And, Aan took off work to drive us around.) We all met up at Rusnati's house. Sugiman was saving to buy a limo and form his own transport company. I'm thinking he has.
And that's the end of my pictures and my update for now. What's especially nice is that our Jakarta folks are doing well.
Sampai Jumpa! (Until next time!)