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The big new thing in our lives the past few months has been Elly starting preschool at a preschool that our church just opened up. Kacie was asked to help teach English to the kids, but she doesn’t have a work permit so we have only been around as parents of a student. Elly’s teacher just graduated from the theological college with a teaching degree and is a vibrant leader in our church.

It so happens that in Elly’s class, the youngest, there are just a couple of kids. It’s as if we are paying for Elly to have personal Indonesian tutoring! Elly loves her teacher and is thriving at school and picking up lots of language.

I love school just as much as Elly does, because it turns out it’s such a cool opportunity to get to know the other moms. During the first two weeks all of the mothers stayed outside or inside the classrooms, helping, guiding their kiddos, and getting everyone used to the setting and rules and system. That meant that I spent hours and hours sitting and chatting with the ladies, and now still spend some time several days a week just talking with ladies that are now friends.

I find a lot of joy in being in that community, in hearing them discuss local news, tease each other, buy vegetables from a passing seller, talk about kids and parenting and culture, and get serious over the deeper issues some of them are facing. I’ve had various serious discussions, some that really put me out of my depth as I struggled to apply truth to this particular cultural situation so different than a similar situation would be back home in America.

Left: Elly getting weighed by a community health team that visited the school, weighing kids and distributing worm medicine.

Below: The community health team, all the mamas, and Hope.

Below: The school marching in the city's Children's Day parade.

Friday is exercise day at this school and all other public schools and office around the country

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