Eid al-Adha

I have known about this holiday since I arrived in Indonesia, so its no surprise. The closer it gets the more I struggle. This evening the festival begins.
The energy of the city is shifting. I FEEL it!
Eid al-Adha is a Muslim religious holiday celebrated every year world wide.

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It honors the willingness of Abraham to sacrifice his first born son Ishmael in a test of devotion to Allah. Abraham ignores the temptations of the Devil to disobey, and is rewarded with a sacrificial lamb to slaughter rather than his son. Cows, Goats and Sheep, started appearing the beginning of last week in abandoned lots, used car lots (that switch from selling cars to housing animals), and mosque court yards in preparation for this religious holiday. After these animals have been sacrificed the meat is given to the poor.
As I have been traveling to and from my home everyday this past week I have seen these makeshift lots everywhere. Yesterday I stopped to pet one of these goats and stood there in tears.
I asked myself, how is this any different than what takes place in the states? We celebrate Thanksgiving much the same way. Many turkeys are gathered and sacrificed for this holiday. We also celebrate many other holidays gathered around a table where an animal was sacrificed. I have partaken in these holidays since I was born. I have also purchased and eaten the meat that was served during these social gatherings. I am still not a vegetarian.
So why am I struggling with this festival so much? Maybe because its hit closer to home, so to speak. I am now up close and personal. Its not like walking into a grocery store and seeing packaged meats on display. They bear no resemblance to the animal with 4 legs, eyes, nose, a mouth, ears and a soul that gave its life so that we may eat.
Believe me it makes a BIG difference.
Again I ask myself, what am I here to learn through this experience.
For me, it has truly opened my eyes and has helped me once again to not take beings, situations and things in my life for granted.
Each person who reads this will have there own interpretation.
We are humans…emotions will arise.
May your minds be open to receive your message.
I bless your journey.

To Be or Not to Be?

I was on my scooter and following my (trusted) Global Positioning System(GPS). NOT! It led me down a dead-end. When trying to navigate myself out of the predicament my GPS put me in I happened upon a woman who was standing in the street waiting for a GO Jeck. I said, do you speak English? And she said yes. I just about jumped off my scooter and gave her a big hug. I was already 2 hours into being lost at that point. You can imagine my excitement when I found this unexpected surprise! I said I have no idea where I am at. She said good luck getting out of here. Well..now that helped, I thought!  She said there is only one way in here and one way out. She showed me her digital map and insisted, “see.” This Go Jeck driver is even lost. He keeps driving into a dead-end. She said, so how long have you lived here? I humbly replied, a month. She said WOW! You are Brave.. She explained, I have been here 6 years and you could not pay me enough to be driving on my own. The traffic is crazy and finding your way around here is like well… And she looks at me and repeats, Wow your braver than I am.

I invite my neighbor over to my apartment for a visit. In the course of our conversation she commented WOW Trina you are so brave. You live in this apartment all by yourself and you travel alone. I don’t know how you do it. I could NEVER do that! I need someone in the house with me.

I don’t feel like I am being brave. When taking steps outside my comfort zone I feel more alive and in control of my life.

Yeah I am scared! You dang betcha!

But then I ask myself…

To Be or Not To Be?

A Tailored Experience

Coming from America it’s hard to wrap my head around a day’s pay being so low!

An American friend of mine needed the curtains in her house hemmed.
She commenced to hire a man to come to her house and do just such a job.

On a side note…Did you know that a person who reaches the age of 60 here is no longer allowed to work for a business, corporation or a company? Yep, You are kaputt as a card carrying member of the middle class society! You are either to live with your children or find something else to earn some form of income.
It is not uncommon to see an individual with his trade strapped to his bicycle. For example: A welder, schlepping Acetylene tank and a torch; a tailor, whos’ sewing machine is mounted to the handle bars and his sewing kit strapped behind the seat.
I wanted to see for myself so I went out in search of this skilled craftsmen because my backpack was falling apart.
He did a better job than I would of ever done:) Take a look.

There are also individuals who are armored only with flip flops and an index finger brave enough to stand in harm’s way in the middle of an intersection subconsciously repeating a Hail Mary( oops maybe that was me) and face the barrage of impatient drivers in navigating you through the motorized insanity of oncoming traffic for a few, and I mean a few rupiah… .04-.20 cents.
Did I ever mention that the largest bank note here is equal to approximately $8.25? Yep, that is all she wrote!

So back to my story…
The tailor showed up at my friend’s house and carefully managed to hem all the curtains on his creatively crafted, dual purpose, two wheeled engineered mobile sweat factory. After he completed his work. My friend handed him $10.00.
What appeared to be a mere pittance, for ministering a full day’s work which in turn rendered a HUGE smile and deep gratitude.
He humbly revealed, “that is double my standard pay!”

Toxic Cleasning

Kemiri translated Candlenut, is toxic when ingested raw.
I was walking through the produce isle and found a package of these next to the raw ginger and other spices.  I google translated the Indonesian word and discovered it was a nut at least so I thought. I should of got clue from where it was perched. But I was hungry and it was healthy and I was excited to try a different kind of “nut.”
I began to chow down on this unexpected delight. They kinda look like a Macadamia nut in the package only a little bigger and they taste a little more bland. I probably had about 15 of them.
One and half hours later I started shaking, sweating and experiencing dizziness, stomach cramping and nauseous. OMG what did I do?????? I googled again “can I eat raw Candlenuts” … A tumultuous NO started ringing in my ears after I read the definition.
Well it’s a little late now I thought!  I immediately had a flashback of the movie “Into the Wild”
I was beyond SCARED!
Damnit is was all in fun until someone gets hurt!
Candlenuts are used in cooking.  It’s a spice. When cooked the toxicity dissipates.
Needless to say I got myself to the emergency room.
I am home now.  The gifts of these little treasures just keep showing up with frequent visits to the little girls room.
Seriously though I am so grateful. THANK GOD!!! This could of been so much worse.
I think I found the real NUT!