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Monday, July 4, 2011

Happy Independence Day U.S.A.!

Happy July 4th to all you people in the good ol' U.S. of A.  Obviously it's not a holiday here in Indonesia, but we still get together as a team for a picnic and a few local fireworks in the evening.  


A few shots before it got dark.




And then we lit off a few fireworks.  Sure it's not like what you're used to in America...but it's all relative.  To our kids, it was jaw-droppingly awesome!  You can see them leaning against the fence in the lower left corner.



It's shaping up to be a busy week.  This Thursday I'll be flying into the Apo Kayan and spending three nights interior with the Kodiak to fly a ton of people to a national church conference in Long Nawang.  On Saturday night I'll be sharing and showing films to the huge group that will have gathered in Long Nawang.  Appreciate your prayers for all of this, and for Joy and the kids and Grandma Hlavka (yep, she got here last week), who will be holding the fort down here in Tarakan while I'm gone.

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

Well - I think your 4th of July fireworks were fantastic. I noticed you had your firewood in a KFC tub. Are you kidding me? You guys have KFC there too? Excellent pictures - Kathy Pemberton

Anonymous said...

A question about raising kids abroad:

do you instill them with a "America-is-the-best" viewpoint, or do you teach them to love and appreciate the country they are currently living in (some were born in in Indo, weren't they?)?

Dave said...

Kathy, Yes we DO have a KFC here in Tarakan--the only "western" style restaurant in town. When we were new here we used to go there once in a while...but it's been a very long time since we've been there now. It's different from KFC in the U.S., and we're not really KFC fans there either. Now if it was Taco Bell...well, that would be entirely different altogether!!! I'd probably work there for free just for some handouts in that case!

Dave said...

Raising kids abroad: Your question is phrased in a way that gives me only two possible answers, essentially forcing me respond by choosing either one OR the other. I'm not sure I'll go with that option. Instead, I'll say this; having grown up during my younger years overseas (in Brasil), and having been to numerous countries and lived in several, I have had the opportunity to see the world and the U.S. through a broader perspective than many Americans.

As a result, I feel like I am BOTH more patriotic as an American, AND more sympathetic and understanding of other countries and cultures throughout the world. Having lived in places that don't give the freedoms to their citizens that Americans often take for granted, only makes me all the more appreciate the sacrifice that so many brave men and women have bleed and died to protect in the U.S.

I've also seen firsthand the HUGE generosity of the U.S. government on behalf of Her citizens when other countries are hit with catastrophic disasters. No other country in the world even comes close to the generosity of the United States of America.

No country in the world offers the opportunities and education that people get in America. Throughout the world, the U.S. is constantly criticized by the media no matter what She does or doesn't do. However, everywhere I've been, I've always met people--real people, not the figure heads or media types--who would drop everything if given a chance to start a new life in the U.S.

Indeed, Americans have a LOT to be thankful for, and I'm proud to be an American. But I've also seen the other side of the coin, where I'm embarrassed b/c of the actions of one or more persons who are from America. I've seen aspects of cultures and countries that are so meaningful and valid and yet so different from those in the U.S. I have a real love and appreciation for the country and people of Indonesia, as I did in Brasil, and probably would in any country I live in...because ultimately I make the choice to try to find the best wherever I am.

So to sum it all up: YES, I am fiercely patriotic and love my home country, the United States of America. But as a guest of Indonesia, I also love and appreciate the people, country and cultures that I find here. And that's what I try to teach my kids. Sheesh! Next time why not ask me a tough question! :)

adelynne said...

Happy Belated Independence Day from a fellow Christian in Malaysia! May God bless you greatly for what you're doing for His glory :))

adelynne said...

And I must say that I liked your second comment, Dave! :)

Arielle said...

If that invitation to ask hard questions is open to everyone, I may have to take you up on that...

Benjamin & Amy Eadie said...

Great answer to the above question...there is no perfect country, because they're all made up of people. When you're on a pedestal it is easy for others to find fault. As a proud Canadian, I must say our country is just not scrutinized internationally the same way the USA is, for good, or for bad. When you're an on looker, finding fault is easier ( I admit, I've done it), and developing a "holier than thou" attitude can happen...

But what I really wanted to say is - I love the Cessna main wheel tire swing, classic!

Anonymous said...

I really miss Joy's blog! But understand, maybe she could guest post on yours once in awhile, maybe pleeeease ;-) Sandra, New Zealand. God bless!