Table of Contents

Update 15 Oct 2008

Friends Peace Teams’ Indonesia Initiative Report
October 2008

1. The AVP-NY Annual Gathering last weekend was wonderful. I need / we need to just have time with one another to be able to do the work we do. We have an AVP basic at my house this weekend. I am a participant and not on the facilitation team, even though I am here. This is a new stage for AVP in Alfred. I hope this means that workshops will continue in Alfred even in my absence next year.

2. I did a three-day trauma healing event and wrote a manual for the entire thing. I presented it at AVP-NY Annual Gathering and many people said it was one of the highlights of their weekend. It was very healing for the participants and for me. We were brave and tried activities that we were not sure would work in a group setting, but they went very well. I will try to translate the manual to English as soon as possible.

3. The water filter project was wonderful. We have ten people trained to make water filters, assemble the filter systems and make water storage containers and efficient “rocket” stoves. When I began to wonder if I should try to bring one of them up to the refugee camp to help them learn to make these to improve their home industry, I realized the affect that could have. If they could learn to live in the forest without destroying the forest, which is the solid foundation they would need in order to go after legal rights to stay there. At the end of this year the government mandate to move them off the land they are on expires. This may open the door to corporate attempts to remove them. My presence there at the beginning of the year working on finding a way to be there that is sustainable may be some of the best protection they have from clandestine eviction.

4. I plan to go to Indonesia in January 3 or 4, 2009 and return to the Friends Peace Teams meeting in March. I will spend a bit of time with Gay Howard and then I want to look into doing a speaking tour maybe from Florida up the east coast. I would like to be back in Alfred early May to do massage May – June or July and see where we are at then.

5. I will not be continuing the scholarships to the pre-school teachers, but I do want to continue to support the schools. Jaring Halus will just need me to visit and give them slow steady input. Bagok needs $1,500 to build a school that has enough room in it to do activities. East Aceh needs me to do some training for them when I return.

6. I have been recovering and have not been writing. I am getting treatment for secondary trauma myself, adjusting physically to ridding myself of parasites after a couple decades, and absorbing one-year anniversaries of many deaths of people close to me last fall. I think I am doing well, but it is hard to do the administration, the work, the fundraising, the writing, the massage and the house. It’s more of stretch now than it has been, but it still feels like we’re doing the right thing. I realize I need to get and keep my house and finances in order and maybe rely on all of you for your spiritual companionship and prayers.

7. Sarah went to the AVP International Gathering in Kenya. She met and supported Deb Wood, who’s been to Indonesia, and Mark Graham. Mark served a 25 to life sentence and is now out on parole for life. He has opened the Redemption Center in Brooklyn to take in men and women returning home from prison. Going to Kenya was life changing for him; he was grateful for the encouragement and the support. I hope someday he comes to Indonesia with some of us.

8. Sarah will attend the FWCC Asia West Pacific Section and do a presentation there. I have not been able to raise the funds for others to go. She took the Friends Peace Teams display with her to use. She is currently running a basic Alternatives to Violence workshop in Pati, Central Java with Petrus and Ferry. Next week they do another basic at the boarding jr/sr high school in Langsa, East Aceh called Bustanul Fakri. They also plan to do workshops a rural area of East Aceh where the conflict is erupting again and with the refugees in N Sumatra. She’ll be home in Alfred in a month.