meandering down the street

Friday I went to North Jakarta to visit one of our kindergartens. After we observed class for a little bit, I grabbed Korry and we went for a walk around the neighborhood because I wanted to have a feel for what the community really looked like—beyond just our street.

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As I exited the kindergarten building, this vendor was passing by. He sells “jerry cans”—buckets of water that the local residents use for bathing and cooking, or boil for their drinking water.

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At the end of the street is part of a containment lake. On both sides of the lake are shacks build on stilts. Technically it is illegal to live on that strip of land because it further pollutes the water in the lake. Apparently the word on the street is that the new government is going to enforce the law and force all the residents to move to public housing and then bulldoze their current community.

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By the containment lake I found all sorts of goats lying around—they were even chillin’ on the dam. I asked Korry why there were so many goats, and she said it was because Idul Adha (Muslim feast of the sacrifice) is coming up next week and after that….well….no more goats.

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As I continued down the main street, I walked past houses that are really more like shacks. Seeing these homes made me realize that I should not ever complain about where I live. If families can make this one room shack their home, who am I to ever complain about where I live?

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After going down the main street for a couple of blocks, I turned again and went down a side street and happened upon a cool vehicle. The vehicle, really more of a cart on wheels, is kind of like a motorized tricycle. You don’t see this form of transportation much anymore in other parts of Jakarta—so I hadn’t really ever seen one before.

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Finally I ended up back at our community center where we house the kindergarten and medical clinic. As I walked up some of the moms were waiting out front to pick up their kids from class.

It was fun to get to see a glimpse of their community. Next time hopefully I will be able to go into one of the homes and get to talk to families, rather than just observing. But walking around was definitely a good first step!

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