Dub here, going retroactive again with a side trip that I made to see one of my cousins while in the east last month. Jonathan Eckman is the son of my Grandfather’s baby sister, Carolyn. Before coming back to the states, Carolyn was a missionary in the region. Jonathan has since taken up the baton in Jakarta with his wife April. To my knowledge I’m the first person from the family that has ever come to see them. The flight over only cost about $100 from Singapore, so how could I be this close and not stop in for a visit?
I arrived at the airport on the west side of Jakarta at about 4:00 and cleared customs and immigration at about 4:30. Jonathan and David (Jon’s college age son) met me at the airport entrance amidst a gaggle of taxi and motorcycle drivers competing for my business. After 2 weeks in the region, it was good to be met by familiar faces.
We got in their car and made the trip across town to their house… amendment… we made the 3 hour journey across town to their house. I’m going to throw out a guess and say the total distance was about 30 miles. I have never in my life experienced traffic like this anywhere in the world. Ever. To this point, Karl’s Personal Trophy (KPT) for worst traffic had been in Bucharest, Romania. Judges?? Yes, ladies and gentlemen we have a new winner! Let’s hear it for Jakarta, Indonesia! Unbelievable. I don’t know that I will ever comprehend how the Indonesian public found a way to cram 7 lanes of traffic onto a 3 lane highway. But more on that later.
When we arrived some time during the 7:00 hour, April had dinner ready and the whole gang was there. I was fortunate to be in town during the tail end of a school break so that all the kids were at the house too. They attend a boarding school in Malaysia that, I think, is set up specifically for Missionary Kids in the region. The upside is that parents do not have to worry about the quality of their children’s education regardless of where they are serving. The down side is that they don’t get to tuck them in every night :( I was a little apprehensive about encroaching on the last weekend of their family time, but they assured me that I was welcome and would only add to the family, not detract from it. Seriously, what a great group of folks. Dinner was fantastic and then it was off to bed. We had a big day ahead of us…