More Babies

It is definitely Baby Week around here....more

Blessings for a New Mother and Her Baby

This beautiful new mama is probably 20 years old, maybe still a teenager. She had her firstborn baby last week, and within 24 hours of giving birth, her family showered her and the baby boy with an important rite-of-passage celebration. The kind thing to do is arrive at these blessing ceremonies with a black plastic bag filled with laundry soap, which you graciously hand to the host, often the maternal or paternal grandmother, or the new mother herself ....more

What the Little Girls Draw

There’s always a stack of papers on the low shelf in our living room, a small pile of coloring books, and a mess of crayons, colored pencils and markers scattered close by. There is a red felt box of toys, too, but those have been neglected lately. The village kids know it’s all for them ....more

Mabel's Friend Sa

The other day, one of Mabel’s favorite friends, who I will call Sa, hung around our house for most of the day. She looked at pictures on my phone, played catch with Mabel, ended up joining us for lunch, and later quietly sat against the wall in the living room, flipping through our Indonesian Lonely Planet guide while Mabel played with her doll quietly in the corner....more


“A person who undertakes to grow a garden at home, by practices that will preserve rather than exploit the economy of the soil, has his mind precisely against what is wrong with us… What I am saying is that if we apply our minds directly and competently to the needs of the earth, then we will have begun to make fundamental and necessary changes in our minds. We will begin to understand and to mistrust and to change our wasteful economy, which markets not just the produce of earth, but also the earth’s ability to produce.” - Wendell Barry One benefit of living among farmers is learning from them. I finally asked my neighbor why I keep coming across these drying plants hanging on everyone's clotheslines....more

Conversations by the Fence

Early in the morning, after drinking water has been boiled, the rice has been steamed for breakfast, ...more

A Breakdown of Today's Food Preparation Event

Two of my favorites: Mama Arli on the left, Mama Za on the right. They are cutting up vegetables and...more

Kue! Kue!

She walks around the house with her bucket, just like this, and says, "kue! kue!" ("cake! cake!") ....more