Well, I had big plans to do a follow-up on the political scene here. That although there weren’t immediate rumbles of separatist conflict flaring up this is Indonesia after all, and it’s an election year, so scandal, political intrigue and corruption abound. I was also going to make one and all completely envious of Matt and my week-long tropical, island vacation during the Eid holiday after Ramadan in August (almost a month ago – how time flies!).

But instead things are crazy here with our big monthly coordination meeting where all the field staff come in and everyone gives updates on the status of the project. I am the one taking meeting minutes plus a bunch of other stuff plus also giving a presentation on the status of the environmental monitoring and reporting and my research. Yes, so anyway.

I’m just going to give a quick story of the disembodied arm I found in my room last night.

The scene of the crime

About 10:30PM yesterday I had just gotten off the phone with Matt when I heard a noise behind me. I turned around and some adult, male was reaching through the window, past the curtain, and was holding one of my shirts! Thank goodness the only thing we had in front of the window was our clothes. We have always kept the windows open, because we have bars on the windows – people can’t climb in. But silly us, being too trusting of being in a safe, little village away from the main city of Banda Aceh. My mind now is running with all the other possible occasions of creepy, peeping tom action.

As soon as I saw the arm (I couldn’t see anything else, because the curtain was in the way), I started screaming bloody murder and ran out of the room. The creepy thief must have been similarly startled, because he ended up dropping the shirt. Since it is Coordination Meeting time the guest house was full of all the male field staff. As soon as I said there was an arm in my room, they ran out looking for him, some hopped on motorbikes to look with the headlight. They were very valiant indeed. However, the creeper was not found. You can bet that those windows are going to remain closed for the rest of time (as seen in the photo). Our Office Manager today called one of the village seniors to report the issue.

I was momentarily worried that our little bathroom window could be easily popped in, but I reevaluated, and now feel quite safe.

Ok, have to go and review a presentation on locations of patchouli oil distillation kettles – the life of glamour!