Lardi – my driver and a new father

I’ve been meaning to post a couple of photos of Lardi that Joya took one night while we were driving. He’s a great guy who takes good care of us.

I delayed posting these photos because I knew there was more to add to the story of Lardi. One day a few weeks ago, Lardi came into my office and asked if he could have the afternoon off and if he could borrow 500,000 rupiah. He looked quite panicked so I asked if everything was alright. He said yes, but maybe his wife was pregnant. I assumed that he she had to go to the hospital to get a pregnancy test.

I gave him the money and the afternoon off and didn’t think about it again until Lardi called me the next morning to say his wife had had a baby boy. I was shocked at the news. The day before was the first time he had mentioned anything about a baby, and all I knew was that “maybe she’s pregnant.”

“Well,” I said, “Does he have a name yet?”

“Belum (not yet). Maybe you and Ibu Joya can give him a name.”

The only thought that crossed my mind was, “Does he realize that he’s asking the guy who named his cat “Jak” because he’s from Jakarta to name his child?” This is going to be tough. I called Joya in a panic.

I flew to Yogyakarta to meet Joya the next day and we spent the weekend trying to come up with a name. In talking to people, it seems that it’s not uncommon for children to be named by others. It’s a sign of respect. And in Lardi’s words, “I’ve already named three kids. I can’t think of good name for this one.”

After a weekend of indecision, we settled on Albert Toro. There’s a whole rationale for why, but we figured that if he wanted a traditional Indonesian name, he certainly wouldn’t have turned to us.

This weekend, we went to see Albert at his home and met the rest of Lardi’s family for the first time.

We also learned that Lardi is a traditional medicine man and gives massages to just about everyone to cure a variety of ailments. Lardi’s an all-around great guy.

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