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An email update from Eric and Kim
Living and working with MCC in Indonesia
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Life and Work

One thing we've been reminded of over the last few months is that we don't have consistent work hours.  Even though some of job is office time, the typical 9-5 is a far cry from what we actually end up working.  In some ways this is frustrating, even when we go home at night, there may be emails to check (many of our coworkers are 12 hours behind us, so if we're waiting on something important, we'll check email in the evening) and now that we have YALTers in country, a phone call from them at any hour of the day could completely change our plans.  However, the nontraditional work hours can also be extremely positive.  For example, if we have nothing to do at the office we can take an afternoon to get a massage (Kim) or enjoy some hours of sunlight gardening, or playing Frisbee (Eric).  Viewing our life and work as intertwined, requires boundaries of course, just like any job, but we love the flexibility it offers as well.

So, in this spirit we say our life/work is wrapped up in exchange participants right now.  In August we hosted a joint Re-Entry Retreat/Pre-Departure Orientation for our Indonesian participants.  It was so fun to get to hear stories from participants who just returned from a year abroad and see how they have changed and grown.  We were touched by their stories, the things they have learned and how God was revealed to them throughout the year.  We also loved the time of sharing between alumni and new participants and being able to learning to know the new participants a bit more.  It was a time filled with nervous anticipation and excitement.  

A week later we welcomed our new group of YALTers (SALT and YAMEN participants who will spend a year serving in Indonesia).  This year our group is made up of 8 young adults from 6 different countries ranging in age from 19-30.  We've enjoyed getting to know them so far.  They are a diverse group, besides the obvious differences of age and nationality, they bring countless ideas, experiences, beliefs, family structures, and languages to our team.  We look forward to seeing them grow and change this year as they bond as a team and with people in the communities where they will serve.

As Kim shared on Facebook recently, this is the time of year when we feel exhausted, we work long days, pouring a lot of energy and creativity into what we're doing and we go to bed tired each night (sometimes we wake up tired too, yuck!)  But, it's also the time of year when we're reminded over and over again what we love about this job.  When we hear stories of young people's lives changed and worldview opened wide, when we see a group of diverse young adults come together to support and learn from each other, and when we realize how lucky we are to build relationships with people from all over the world.  Really, it's a pretty sweet deal! 
 

A Day in the Life

While it's pretty difficult to say what a "typical" day looks like for us as typical changes based on the season, describing our days is one of the best ways to give you a fuller picture of what life is really like for us.  In an effort to give you a more rounded idea of what we do, here's what a typical day during our "busy season" might look like.

During these six-weeks (September-Mid October) we spend a lot of time getting to know our participants and orienting them to MCC and Indonesia.  We schedule three meetings a week with the whole group to encourage team bonding and spiritual nourishment.  We also try to meet individually with everyone during that time.

In addition to YALTers things, we're also working with a committee to organize selection for next year's participants and visiting placement locations in Indonesia for the 2015-2016 exchange year.  It feels so strange that our participants just left or arrived and we're already planning for the year ahead.  We're constantly working in three periods:  reconnecting with alumni to support them in re-entry, engaging with current participants, and planning for the coming year.  

Learn Indonesian

A place to learn some of our favorite, useful Indonesian words and phrases that slip into our everyday (English) conversation

Pakai
(pah-kie)

This extremely versatile word means "to use" or "to wear."  You can also use it when ordering.  "Saya mau ayam goreng pakai nasi."  (I'd like fried chicken with rice.")  We find ourselves using this word many times a day during our conversations.  




 
Lancar
(lawn-char)

Literally translated to "smooth, or fluent" this word is another one that is used in so many ways in Indonesia.  It can be used to describe the process of doing things, "Semua lancar."  (Everything is going fine) or to describe one's language ability.  We find Indonesians to be very generous, and sometimes after we simply offer a greeting exclaim "Wah!  Sudah lancar!"  (Wow, you're already fluent!)
Copyright © 2014 Kim and Eric Schmucker, All rights reserved.


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