Lost Journal entry, The "Peusijuk" Big Boat Celebration-July 04, 2005-Aaron

My goals for my last trip were to attend the big "Peusijuk" or celebration ceremony for the
blessing of the new AIRO boats, to identify and close on the lease of a property (AIRO Big
Fish) that could become our HQ in Banda Aceh and finally to help bridge the gap
between when Eric was to leave Indonesia for a month and when Eddie was to arrive.
The boat hand-off was in the planning stages for over a month.  The people of Krueng
Raya arrived at our boat-making facility for the official blessing and hand-off of the boats
at 10:00 am, with the blessing and food starting at 12:00 noon.  I was a little perplexed
as to why there was no time on the invitations, only a date and the location "AIRO
boat-making facility" in Kreung Raya.  Apparently, everyone knows that a Peusijuk always
starts at 10:00 a.m. with blessing and food at noon.

Ida convinced Eric and me that we should dress in traditional clothing. We were
concerned that we not offend anyone by wearing the traditional Islam clothing-sarong,
VERY fancy long sleeved shirt, and the black Islam cap.  We were assured that it was
appropriate that we dress that way, and that everyone there would be honored.  Eric and I
set off to the market to find our Peusijuk clothes.  About $20 later each (a huge sum of
money here in Banda Aceh), we were stylin' in our new duds.  When we arrived at the
celebration , we were promptly informed that we chose clothes that indicated "I have one
wife and am now looking for another".  Everyone got a good laugh but they were so
humble and appreciative that we had made such an effort in our dress.

Ida and Bambang made cap-cai (veggie dish) for 300 people, and the Ibus in the village
barbequed huge amounts of fish that was caught from AIRO boats.

Watermelon was sliced and eaten until the kids couldn't move.  Ida and Bambang made
300 goody bags for the kids with several candies, chips, and a toy in each one.

As Eric and I socialized and tried to meet and talk to everyone there, we realized that the
celebration was becoming much, much bigger.  Eric says there were at least 1200
people and I tend to agree.  The goody bags had to be torn apart and the kids given just
a couple of pieces each to make sure that something went to every kid.

Eric and I were seated in the center of the throng of people.  We both spoke(in
Indonesian) and thanked Pak M's team, Change A Nation, LDS Charities, and the people
of KR for allowing us to come and help.  Eric even spoke alittle Acehnese to the delight of
the crowd.

The Imam, or high-priest, took charge at that point, and ushered the men to the
riverbank.  Uttering Arabic prayers and sprinkling the boats with rice, and as a very light,
cool rain began to fall, the Imam blessed the boats to bring forth bountiful harvests from
the sea.

It is humbling to think of the huge changes brought about in these people's lives
because of our boats.  Many more boat-building projects are in the works now.  With
many more celebrations to come.

Ciao and love,
Aaron
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16 April 2006 - Eddie

22 January 2006 - Eric

27 September 2005 - Eric

6 September 2005 - Eddie

1 August 2005 - Eddie

28 July 2005 - Eddie

4 July 2005 - Aaron

16 June 2005 - Aaron

19 May 2005 – Eric

18 May 2005 - Aaron

24 April 2005 – Aaron

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29 March 2005 – Eric

28 March 2005 - IM-Aaron/Eric

26 March 2005 – Eric

25 March 2005 – Eric

15 March 2005 – Aaron

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23 February 2005 – Aaron

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20-22 February 2005 – Eric

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18 February 2005 – Eric

16 February 2005 – Eddie

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11 February 2005 – Aaron

10 February 2005 – Eddie

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5 February 2005 – Part 2 –
Eddie

4 February 2005 – Eddie

2 February 2005 – Aaron

1 February 2005 – Eddie

30 January 2005 – Eric
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