¶ This blog started in 2015-2016 with two years of devotionals: “Midweek Meditations: Family and Friends.” ¶ It continued throughout 2017 with short poems: “Midweek Moments: Creator and Creation.” ¶ Now in 2018 comes a lighthearted travelogue: “Midweek Milestones: 6½ Times Around the World.” ¶ For three decades we lived in a faraway place. Our travels, during those years and since, have brought us to a strangely uneven global total. Each blog posted during 2018 will actually be an excerpt from a paperback soon to be published — with cartoons, plus fuller accounts of our worldwide adventures (and misadventures!).
WEATHER OR NOT (I)
Weather is one variable of travel that cannot be ignored. Have you ever had a trip partly spoiled by packing the wrong weight of clothes? Have you ever tried in vain to peer through fog and mist at some world-famous landmark?
Weather in tropical Indonesia, where we lived for thirty years, is fairly predictable. Most people will tell you that Indonesia has only two seasons, rainy and dry. From long experience I’d modify that to “rainier and drier.” There can be brief rainy spells during dry season, and there can be brief dry spells during rainy season.
It’s interesting to note that in their own language, Indonesians themselves do not speak of “rainy season” and “dry season.” They speak of “rainy season” and “hot season.” Yet it’s always more or less hot in the tropics. And sometimes during the so-called hot season there are those blessed blue-sky days that feel distinctly cooler than most days when the rain is frequently falling.
There are few variations in Indonesian weather during the rainy (or rainier) season. At almost every place we have traveled in that immense archipelago, the normal daily pattern has been much the same: The seasonal rains start about the middle of the day and may continue off and on into the night.
Yet there seems to be one exception. On the great half-island of Papua (which is Indonesia’s Far East), the daily pattern is apparently reversed — at least during my only visit there: It rained every morning and cleared off every afternoon.
Actually my family and I couldn’t complain about most of the weather we experienced in Indonesia. We lived in a city half-a-mile high in the mountains. Thus we got to enjoy year-round warm springtime, rather than perennial sweltering summer. (Of course we still got drenched sometimes on hikes and picnics.)
Indonesians aren’t such careful nannies as Americans: Swimming pools are generally allowed to stay open during a gentle rain. In the warmth of the tropics, it feels strangely pleasant to swim during a light sprinkle. I used to tease our sons, “Stick your heads under the water, boys, so you won’t get wet from the rain!”
Once Fran and I were leading a group of Indonesian youngsters in a Christian musical about the biblical story of Noah. Its title in English was 100% Chance of Rain. Wisely we practiced for it during the dry (or drier) season. Wisely we presented it on a Sunday morning when rain rarely falls, even during the rainy (or rainier) season.
Would you believe . . . on that particular Lord’s Day, after we had sung and acted out our story about the Flood, there came such a heavy morning deluge that all of us had to wait awhile before we could even leave the church building?
Copyright © 2017 by Perry Thomas