Somewhere along the line, we got a kid. Big kid. Thirty year old kid [September, 2018]. Meet our Foster Son, Hasrianto Chenko Blessley. He lives on a small island called Selayar south of South Sulawesi, a bit east and north of Bali.
I “adopted” Hasrianto when he was a little kid, and helped his family and village for several years as he was growing up. I’ve lost the letters he (with some help) wrote us, but I remember with fondness when I’d get them, a couple of times a year from Foster Parents Plan (now “Plan International”).
Hasrianto found me on Google+ and we’re in contact frequently via Facebook. He’s a good lookin’ kid (what would you expect?), writes English pretty well, and is a university graduate. I don’t know how much of an impact my contributions were to his success, but I hope there was some. In any case I’m proud of him. Like… a dad.
Update: November 2, 2018: I’ve just returned from a trip to Indonesia, planned entirely on going to meet ‘Anto and visit his home island! I left in early October, spent a week in Bangkok (a second home of sorts; I’ve been there at least 50 times so it a good place to recover from jet lag). Then on toward Sulawesi (see the map below). It is not straightforward to get there, so I had to overnight on Bali in each direction (tough, eh?). Ultimately I flew to Makassar, South Sulawesi, he took a ferry from his island there. I had it easy: about an hour flight. He left his village around 5:30am and we connected about 13 hours later. But wait, there’s more!
It would have been silly to for him to take this ferry (I flew us back…) – the reason for converging on S. Sulawesi is I’d scheduled a tour of Tanah Toraja something “completely different” culturally for both of us. We bonded along the way, had a great time, and I flew the two of us back from Palopo to Makassar, then Makassar to Selayar. There I met his family and checked out the island, before return to Bali to connect with my flights back to Vancouver.