Tuesday, July 21, 2009

I moved! (the picture may be deceptive.... not taken in San jose.)

I am now living in San Jose, California. This is a move friends and family have been encouraging since I left three years ago. I roder a bicycle to the northern part of California, and encountering the first hills of my journey, lost hope trying to tow a sixty pound trailer up eight percent grades showed me how well I overestimated my tenacity and strength. It also showed me I knew nothing about planning for such a trip.

Weeks before arriving in Redding I passed through the twin cities of Marysville and Linda. There I met the ownerof a local KFC and his daughter who asked me about my bike ride. She said ass I lefrt the store that I was walking with a limp. I told her that it com,es and goes. I assured her it was from riding my bike a lot.
Perhaps as part of my sins, I can add scaring a young person away from bicycling...

So, perhaps that was evidence of the diagnosis I received just two months ago. After visiting a chiropractor, almost getting fired from my job twice, receiving notices from people through my blog, leg tremors, falls, and loss of function in my arms and legs, I finally brought all this full circle. I contacted the social workers, made the appointments, and got the tests which brought me to one phone call over a month ago, telling me I have multiple sclerosis. Shit happens.

Still, now I am bacfk in a valley where the help I need is available in abundance, where services are available to assure my independence, and I can see my family and friends more freely.

Yesterday I went to see a cousin that works as a physical therapist. She did assure me that while I am using a walker and a wheelchair now for mobility, I should be able to walk more freely with the right braces and supports. So, let the healing begin!

Thank you for reading!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

The Angklung, traditional instrument of West Java

The angklung was a delight. I foun many clips of the instrument, but I selected this one, because it is short. The instrument is made of wood, and eight are required for a composition. Each one is designed to deliver one note.

While I was on Java, we visited a presentation of the angklung. It was in Bandung, and people were all given an instrument to play. Each one was marked one through eight, and the lady instructing us started by calling out numbers. She then switched to hand signals, and soon we as a group were playing music under her guidance.

They day was fun and instructive. I am grateful I showed up...

Thank you for reading

Thursday, July 9, 2009

A Hole in the Ground, Bandung

From Jakarta I was able to jump on a train to Jogjakarta, and I was there for over a week. I would say that if I was going to come back here to Java, I would probably want to spend the bulk of my time in Jogjakarta. The city is the original capital for the Republic of Indonesia, and I was able to get to so many places so easily without having to taksi (taxi) all over the place. Jogjakarta had friendlypeople, and much quieter energy.

I spent much time recently talking to my family. It is important that I remember stress has aggravated many of my nhealth problems, and I am taking these moments to relax, and enjoy my days here, back in Jakarta. I have visited museums, markets, department stores, and many dining establishments. I am in Jakarta, seeing my girlfriend more often, and sifting through pages of digital photographs.

I had a few days in a city called Bandung. Bandung, one Malaysian woman told me, was a place of great outlet shopping. Shopping outlets is not a big interestof mine. I did enjoy seeing the historical sites of Bandung. I also enjoyed the visits to two geographic sites, gorgeous craters that many people worked together to get me there.

Traveling by wheelchair often, I found nthe willingness of one man, Samuel, to navigate my chair down manywindy, rocky paths, and turning the chair backwards could get me to my destination .
I assured him I am a lot heavier than his grandmother, and he told me that this was all about technique, not strength. I am grateful for the trips to these sites, but should you ever visit Bandung yourself, know that it is a wildly spread out lkandscape.

Travel in Bandung took hours, and my traveling partners fell asleep in the car. I had no book, and I got very bored waitin g to see the next attraction. Still, if you like the smell of sulfur, the craters are the place for you. Check them out. July 8 is my birthday, and I am looking forward to relaxing. Election day is upon us, and Indonesia shuts down on election days. I will turn 39 quietly, I suppose.