Tuesday, August 3, 2010

the end

end of stay orientation in indonesia at the beach- amazing. a time to reflect on the year, relax with jillian josh and omar, as well as some of our afs volunteer friends. a bit sad though, to realize everything was so so close to ending.

so many people were at the airport when we left. we took so many pictures with friends and family and everyone felt sad but the breaking point was pushed when we started to go through security and all the afs volunteers started to sing leaving on a jet plane. me and jillian cried so hard. that sadness didn't last long though because immediately we found out malaysia airlines was super strict about bags being exactly 20 kilos, not even 1 kilo over was ok. well we were all about 8 kilos over so we opened up our suitcases and started throwing things out. clothes, shoes, books, heavy stuff. we'd hold something up and say 'am i ever going to wear this again? no! its heavy!' it was stressful because we had so much to ditch and it kept being over no matter what and the whole time we could hear them announcing the boarding for our flight. so we tried to go through immigration as a big group but they wouldn't let us so we waited in the long line and as soon as you were through you'd run through the airport to your gate. on that walk though, after getting through immigration, sadness came back. how could i possibly leave that beautiful land? the first flight to kuala lumpur was a somber one. we talked of our regrets mostly, all the things we really should have and definitely could have done better. on the next plane, the one going to london, we met up with the YES kids from malaysia. so weird to see them haha. when we finally got off the plane in dc, jillian looked around and said 'the people here are so colorful!' indeed they are. lots of the orientation there was spent looking at all the people and wondering where ones who weren't white came from and marveling at how clean everything was. all the kids looked so different. it was so fun to see them though and to hear about these foreign and magical lands everyone was in. the last day there was hard though. josh and jillian were in the first batch of kids to go to the airport. our little group being split apart until who knows when. i was a mess. me and justine just stood there, holding each other and crying as the airport shuttle took them away. on our flight back to salt lake, me and amber got to talk a lot. we were both anxious to go home and didn't really want to. descending into salt lake was pretty stressful. i just didn't know how to deal with it. our families were waiting for us with signs and balloons. my sisters were so weird, being so loud and acting like fools. i was pretty shell shocked for about a week. america didn't feel like it was home. it felt like i was a foreigner, an indonesian, merely vacationing in america.

i've been home over a month now. things are basically normal, it almost feels like i never left. but there are still unexpected things that throw me off. like how big everything is, how much things people here think they need. re learning social cues with my friends. i miss indonesia so much. i miss the humid heat, my host family, my friends. seeing street vendors everywhere. the dirtiness of the crowded city. everything really. i'm learning how to adjust and be an american again, but keeping indonesia with me at the same time. its a weird balance that you kind of just have to feel your way through. i am happy to be with my real family again but still a bit lost. this will probably be my last post on this blog. thanks to you all who followed my adventures via this blog. thanks to my family. this would have been impossible without you. thanks to jillian, josh, and omar. you are all amazing. thanks to all the other kids on yes abroad this year, for sharing experiences and being friends i will never forget. thanks to the other afs kids in indonesia. thanks to afs, both indonesia and america. thank you for giving me this opportunity.  thanks to  my host family. aku sangat sayang sama kalian.

thanks for it all.
dadah :)

Monday, July 12, 2010


in the first week of june we had another afs trip, this time to banjarmasin on the island of kalimantan (borneo to you english speakers) i know this was a bit ago but i'm way behind on posting so here you go

we all met at the airport again. this time omar was running really late and traffic was the same as ever so by the time he got there they had already done the final call to board our plane so we ran through the airport, just like in movies.  banjarmasin was the way i always imagined indonesia to be. it is a city but its small and so jungly and green. the atmosphere is more slow paced and relaxed and everything's a lot smaller, its nothing like jakarta. the other afs kids were at the airport waiting for us and we got into cars to start the adventure when someone noticed we left bjorn and sielke behind because they'd gone off to get their baggage. we drove to martapure, called the diamond city because they mine tons of diamonds there and we did some oleh-oleh (souvenir) shopping. one of the afs leaders bough this fruit called sawo and it was weird but tasty. then we went to the banjarmasin post newspaper because they wanted to get pictures of us and talk to some people about afs and studying in indonesia. we got to wander around and look at the big press where they make the newspapers while people took paparazzi pictures of us. they told us that starting the next day there was gonna be a film crew following us around and documenting our activities for tv! me and jillian and katrin were staying with a guy who was one of the first afs kids from indonesia to go to america. he lives in this beautiful white house that's at the head of this complex of beautiful colorful houses, like a king watching over the village. nele's host dad is the vice governor and that night we were all invited to dinner at his house for a welcome party.  their house was giant. it was insane. aside from that, just being excited about such a fancy house, the party wasn't too eventful, we just ate dinner and then the kids all sat on the floor and watched tv and played with the cats. before we left me and shion had to do formal thank you's to the governor which was embarrassing. after that we all went to a club, again the afs people were so chill and took us there and partied with us. the place we were in was kind of dead but upstairs there was a disco where the only light source was the lazers and it was jammed full of people who were smoking and dancing like zombies to insanely loud house music. it was a pretty wild night.

the next day we all met up and spent most of the day driving in this sweaty van that definitely wasn't meant to carry as many people as we had in there. at some point we stopped at a police station. we got to get out and play around with their big bulletproof shields and then got in the car with open sides that they said they use to transport criminals. we went out driving and so many people stared and laughed at all the bules in the police car. it was a lot of fun. then we drove to seriously the middle of nowhere, out in the jungle, hoping to see some of the dayak people. the dayak people are a tribe in kalimantan, formerly notorious headhunters. it got dark too fast though so we had to turn around and go find our hotel, which is also in the middle of the jungle. it was pretty good though. there was a hot spring pool and a regular cold pool so we all swam for hours, switching back and forth between the pools and shoving each other into the black water of the cold pool and doing chicken fights. back in our room we cleaned off and suddenly jillian started screaming because she heard someone say hello and looked around to see that a part of the white paint on the window had been scraped off and she saw someone's eye watching her. it was so unsettling to think that someone took the time to go all the way to the back of our house and watched her shower.

no one slept very well that night. also by morning everyone knew about the peeping tom so i think it was mutually decided not to shower. to wake everyone up one of the afs leaders opened all the doors in his car and blasted club music. it sounded like there was a live band outside it was so loud. our adventure that day started out driving to a village to climb a mountain to play in a waterfall. the hiking was fun and so beautiful but it was disgustingly hot. and so far to go. i made the brilliant decision to wear new converse without socks so less than halfway through i had blisters all over my feet and went barefoot for a while. it was fun to feel the earth underneath my feet but there were a ton of rocky parts which were difficult. when it started getting really uphill and rocky cippy gave me her flip flops and i gave her my shoes. it was a pretty brutal trek. we stopped at the top to put swim clothes on and had to peel the sweaty clothes off. the waterfall was breathtaking. we swam around in the icy pool a bit and climbed around on the rocks and logs that were slick with moss. it was so fun. it started sprinkling rain when we gout out and kept raining the whole time we walked a shorter way back to ride ojek back to the bus. me, jillian, omar, shion, and a couple afs people, including the man in the yellow shirt, who we decided was the peeping tom, get there last and the sprinkling rain turned into a torrent. i think that was one of the coolest things i've ever done, speeding through the jungle in a rainstorm on a motorcycle. i felt so alive. it was raining so hard a few times my eyes got rained shut. all the bang ojek in the village laughed at how wet we got. we went to a cafe to drink warm tea and then went bamboo rafting. the sun came back out so it was perfect. there was a small bench kind of thing in the middle of the raft but we ended up just sitting on the floor because we wanted to dip our hands and feet in the water. on both sides of us was jungle, spilling out into the water. it looked untouched. its amazing to me that no one i know has ever seen such a thing. i was so happy, peacefully floating along the river, with intense green jungle on both sides of me and a perfect blue sky above me. at one point a ton of the guys who were rowing the rafts took their bamboo sticks and used them to pole vault into the water and then we all jumped in and swam. it was almost impossible to go anywhere because of the currant though. we got back on our rafts after a while and kept going. some kids from houses on the riverbank swam out to us and climbed aboard for a while. what a life that would be. for dinner that night we stopped at an open air restaurant in a park and watched south africa vs mexico on a projector. it was intense. we drove back to banjarmasin that night. it was a magical day.

we woke up at 4:45 in the morning to the scariest and most disorienting azan ever. we met up with everyone at a harbor and rode a little boat along the river for the longest time. we got to watch the sun rise and it was so beautiful. katrin, me, jillian, omar, bjorn, and lea laid on the floor inside the boat and slept for a while like hobos. we were trying to go to the floating market but even though we got up so early we were still too late so the only people we saw there were selling some fruits and vegetables. we got a ton of oranges and soto banjar from a passing boat. after boating around for a few hours we went to a little monkey place, full of trees that grew right out of the water. sometimes the monkeys would jump out of the trees into the water and swim. it was so scary. after walking through the park we boated back to the harbor and went to a school to talk to the principal because there's going to be an exchange student going to school there next year.  this was our last night in banjarmasin so we were going to have a farewell party at the white house where me jillian and katrin were staying. a ton of people came. when the ones we didn't really know left we went to the same club we went to on the first night and watched the england vs america soccer game. we were the only ones there rooting for america haha. we got kicked out around 3 because the club was closing. it was kind of a sad night, for some of us it was the last time we'd see each other, because everyone had to go to the airport at different times the next day.

katrin and a few others left really early in the morning so me and jillian spent the day together watching soap operas. at 5 omar came over to go to the airport. we found rahel there and ate dunkin donuts while we waited. on the plane we were supposed to be row 33 or something but we got mixed up and ended up in row 34. before takeoff, a flight attendant came and told us we needed to move and to follow here. don't know if it was because we were in the wrong seats or because we're bules or what but there were empty places in first class so that's where they put us. it made the flight so much more fun. me and jillian got a ride into the city with omar so we wouldn't have to go through the troubles of finding a taxi like we did last time. that next week was full of preparations for the afs farewell party/talent show. i went to my last day of school and cried. i didn't think i was going to but i guess i didn't really realize how much i liked my classmates and teachers. almost every day after that we met up at omar's house or the afs office to practice. the final show went well. it was us performing alongside the yes students from jakarta who are going to america in a few months. we did a traditional dance called saman, sang an indonesian song, did crazy lip syncs, and then sang the national anthem, indonesia raya. it was a sad night again though.  the last time we'd see many of the afs friends who helped make this year everything it was. i miss them all so much.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Monday, May 24, 2010


wow sorry it has been so long. it's been over a month since my last post but it feels like no time at all. i guess since it's nearing the end everything just feels like it's flying by. it's kind of ridiculous. anyway, here's the post i should have gotten done a while ago. the pictures will come up separate because this is already gonna be rather long so..yeah. i'll get them up though i promise.

on the morning of april 27 all the american students met at omars house to go to the airport together. maybe it's just because we're so paranoid in america about security but it seemed a lot more relaxed to me while we were checking in. it was so exciting when we started to descend at the denpasar airport. bali from the air looked like a jungly green paradise. we got off the plane on one of those step ladder kind of things and immediately the stifling heat hit. it was so much hotter than jakarta. i hadn't imagined such a thing to be possible but there you have it.  the other afs kids got there i think that morning so they all met us at the airport. it was so great to see everyone again! this is the first time we've been together since the orientation way back forever ago in august. the afs leaders led us back to our bus and we set off, talking and singing the world cup south africa theme version of wavin flag. that was like the song of the day haha. it was great to catch up with everyone and hear about their lives so far. we stopped and ate at a mcdonalds and made quite a mess with our trash. it started out just one sad little tower and escalated into a masterpiece. the waiter who cleared the tray had some mad balance skills. then they took us to a beach! all over bali, on the sidewalks and beaches are these little boxes with flowers and sweets and incense that are offerings to the gods. oh yeah where like almost everyone in java is muslim almost everyone in bali is hindu. you have to mind your step not to trample the shrines which can be hard sometimes because often they're like right in the middle of the sidewalk. the beach we went to was beautiful but not a tourist beach, meaning it was dirty and we were some of the only bules there. we were all taking loads of pictures and then ran into i think a school group or something who were delighted to meet bules who are now more or less fluent in bahasa. we took a ton of pictures together. i think it was a good 15 minutes before we managed to convince the leader that we needed to go. our afs leaders abandoned us so we were left to deal with it on our own haha. we walked up and down the beach and then back to the bus to head to the hotel. so the hotel.. well it was not what anyone had expected. i guess that's just kind of the rhythm here though, keep your mind open and expect the unexpected and roll with it. it was laid out more motel style, like it was all outdoor and in front of each room was a little porch. the rooms were a sight. the source of ac was a sad little fan, but the windows were just covered with a screen so the night air could filter in. the beds and floors looked pretty grimy. the bathroom was traditional style, where the way you shower is scooping icy water out of a tile box with a ladle and dumping it over yourself. luckily we were only scheduled to stay at this hotel for 2 of the 4 nights haha. omar and katrin talked to our leaders and got them to let us go out and explore all night. they were really chill about everything. so everyone got cleaned up and then we were set loose to explore denpasar by night. we all smashed into an angkot but only got like a block before it broke down so everyone got out and pushed it until it came back to life. we did karaoke for a while, which was basically everyone sharing the microphones and screaming along to every song. great fun. after our hour ran out we went and checked out a club. one of the security guards offered us a family discount- he let us all in for free. we were the only people there, i guess who really goes to a club on a tuesday night right? it was a scary club. it looked like a sad saloon theater/a horror movie set. there were these random curtains in the middle of it that greatly contributed to that effect. they had good music though so we danced and had fun. gave everyone working there some good laughs i'm sure. we got back to the hotel around 2 and went to bed to rest up for the next day of adventures.

somehow we survived the entire trip on about 4 hours of sleep a night. a couple times people napped on the bus but no one seemed to have any sleep deprivation problems. in the morning we ate breakfast outside on our porches, but the food was not really cutting it for anyone so we ended up feeding lots of it to the stray cats. our first activity was going to see a barong dance performance. it was so cool. barong is... well I guess it's a tiger. it sort of looks like the chinese dragons that people dance in at chinese new year. and balinese dance is just incredible. look it up on youtube or something. after the performance we got on the bus and drove to a big market. the leaders gave us tips on bargaining and again just set us loose for a couple hours. it was overwhelming at first, just so much to take in and so many people shopping and shoving all kinds of things at you and you don't really know what to do with yourself. we all got good at bargaining though. i wonder if tourist bules bargain or not when they shop. because to them it's already cheap but they don't know how much they're getting ripped off. also because they don't really know how much things should cost, you know? people tried to play that on us but we surprised them with our savvy ;) then we went to the monkey forest. the girls took off all their jewelry and we were told only to bring what we need, so really just a camera. we bought little bags of peanuts to feed the monkeys and the guide in the forest said if they come to you to just give it to them or else they'll bite you. the forest was stunning. so deep and green and mossy. we ambled along and out of nowhere the monkeys came. they're pretty fierce. they see that you have food and just snatch it from you. big monkeys would steal from the smaller ones and scare them off and one of them bit shion's hand and made him bleed. if you tempt them with food they'll jump on your back. i sorta wanted to because that would be like the coolest thing ever but in the end i didn't. they're savage beasts, the monkeys. after the forest we drove us a really twisty road by some mountains to pura ulun dhanu. it's this hindu temple by a lake and wow, it took my breath away. every 6 months there are big gatherings at the temples and there was one going on that day so there were a ton of people praying and burning incense. everything about it was pretty magical. again that night we were free to wander so we got dinner and then played cards in a parking lot because there was no where else to go. a couple people watched us for a while, probably wondering why we decided to hang out there of all places. it was a fun night.

we packed everything up in the morning and drove to nusa dua beach. on the way we passed all these 5 star resort hotels. they looked like castles i can't imagine what it's like inside. at the beach we got sat down at some tables and looked through albums of the different water activities, like banana boats, jet skiing, diving, parasailing, and snorkeling. me, katrin, josh, omar, björn, and shion went parasailing. wow. if you ever want to see how flying might be like, go parasailing. it is so amazing. i felt free as a bird, way up in the sky overlooking the beach and the island. you could see everything! the sky and the sea were so blue and the land was so green it was fantastic. i wish it would have lasted longer, but it was still really fun. then me josh and björn went snorkeling. the water was warm and felt really good. i've never gone snorkeling before so i have nothing to compare this to but it wasn't what i'd always imagined. the tide was changing so the water was all silty and you couldn't really see anything. also i couldn't figure out how breathings supposed to work so I just didn't use my snorkel and dove down until I ran out of breath or my ears started to hurt. defeating the purpose? maybe but it was fun. we swam up to this boat that i think was for real divers but the pirates on board let us come sit and talk for a while and showed us where lombok was. i though it was really cool that we could see it. when everyone got back from their water activities we played in the shallow water and had chicken fights and then showered off and left. we all got killer sunburns. i don't know if anyone put sunscreen on at all. it really it was only a couple hours but the sun must be brighter here, like i said before about the sky being closer to the earth because i've gone to the beach for much longer without sunscreen before but nothing in my whole life even compares to this. it was pretty bad. after the fun beach we went to pura tanah lot. it's another just incredible hindu temple on a beach with all these caves and big rocks surrounding it. in one of the caves there's a holy snake which we got to see. also underneath the rock that the temple is on there's a small cave with a source of fresh water and they say if you wash your face and arms in it you'll have eternal youth and beauty. so we all lined up for that. after you wash yourself there were a couple shaman type guys who flicked water over your head and put a little bit of dry rice on your forehead and a yellow bali flower behind your ear. we wandered around the beach and on the way out we all  lined up and took pictures holding this giant python. that was one of the weirdest things i've ever done. they guys who owned it told us they fed it live chickens and human meat haha. and then we drove to kuta, which is like the most tourist filled place in bali. it was swarming with all sorts of bules, mostly aussies. our new hotel was just a short distance away from kuta beach. this new hotel was a big step up from the last one haha. so that night we explored kuta and walked to the beach. i've never gone to the beach at night before, it's so cool. i love it. sleeping that night was rough. my back and shoulders got the worst of the sun so i had to lay on my stomach and just not move at all haha.

after breakfast the next day we went to garuda wisnu kencana. it's a giant sculpture park on a hill in kuta. it's supposed to have statues of all three, the garuda (an eagle and like the symbol of indonesia),  the hindu god wisnu, and the kencana (a chariot) but the kencana isn't finished yet. the other two were magnificent. just these giant statues with such incredible detail. they were really beautiful. we stopped at a restaurant for lunch but everyone thought it was too expensive so we went to a big warung instead. it's funny how we view what's expensive and what's cheap now. really the restaurant wasn't so bad, probably around the same what you'd pay in america but i suppose by indonesian standards that is a lot. the food took forever to come at the warung so katrin taught everyone this cup passing game which i've always wanted to know how do to so that was fun. after lunch we went to another beach.this time we were all prepared and brought shirts and shorts to swim in. it was so fun. we went out to the big waves and got smashed around by them. the only bad thing was that there were rocks everywhere and once during a particularly violent wave i got laundry tumbled into some. then me and jillian and judith swam out to the place where there are no waves. we went out so far we got to see the waves break in front of us. getting there was fun but going back to shore was another deal entirely. we got to ride the waves in for the most part but it was a long way to go. for our last night in bali we walked around till we saw an exciting looking club where there were some guys doing poi with fire so we decided to check it out. it had good music but we were all the youngest people there and were severely underdressed. so you know we were getting hit on by nasty old aussies. and unfortunately dancing wasn't very fun because of the stupid sunburns. me and rahel and judith and katrin and jillian spent most of the night outside and talked and stuff. this time we stayed out till 4 though since it was our last night and we wanted to end it with a bang. and that's exactly what we did.

the last day was fun but tainted with the feeling and knowledge that we didn't know when we'd all be together again. the yes kids leave earlier than the afs kids so we won't have end of stay orientation together. we're going to work something out though. the americans and rahel needed to leave for the airport around 2 so we had until then to do as we pleased. the guys all went to the beach and the girls all walked up and down the street our hotel was on, stopping at the little tent shops and practicing our bargaining skills again. there was bad traffic on the way to the airport so when we got there we all said rather hasty goodbyes and checked in, only to find out the flight had been delayed. so that was kind of sad. i wished we'd have had more time for a more proper farewell. all the afs kids here this year are so awesome and so much fun. i think bali is just one of those places where you have a great time, you know it's like a tropical paradise, but having good company adds this whole new level to it. i think it was probably the highlight of my exchange. it was so much fun. while we waited for our plane we remisced about all the good times and laughed at all the funny stories. descending into jakarta was kind of sad. just going back to our regular lives seemed a bit depressing after that trip. me and jillian wandered around till we finally found a taxi and then rode to the afs office together where we hung out and eventually fell asleep on the couches waiting for my host sister, who was also coming back from bali that night, to come get me. the next day i slept for 14 hours, recovering from the sleep deprivation i previously hadn't noticed.

bali is so so different from java. the bules walk around without shirts and shoes and have this attitude like they haven't a care or responsibility in the world, whereas in jakarta a lot of the bules look rather bewildered and almost scared or something of the big city.  the indonesians are different too though. i don't really know how to explain it, the cultures just so different. it's weird to see. it just underlined to me again how much indonesia is such a culturally diverse country.

now here i am. one month left in this fabulous country. i have really mixed feelings about leaving. obviously i'm excited to see my family and friends again but it's going to be so hard to leave. i'm kind of scared. i'm going to miss my friends, jillian josh and omar, all the other afs kids, as well as the friends i've made in school and my host family. i just can't imagine not being here, you know? this has just become my reality and my life, leaving everything in america not much more than what feels like a distant memory. it's going to be really weird.

i'll post again soon, both with the bali pictures and with my happenings. again sorry for the gap. until then,

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Spring reflections

its spring now. not that you can really tell much of a difference here, but on my home planet things are starting to change. its bringing back all sorts of memories from my spring break last year, when i found out i was going to come to indonesia. i can't believe how much has changed since then, how my life has just taken off full speed leaving me somewhat bewildered but loving every minute.here's a bit of a tangent of how it all happened.

i was in the car with my family on our way to arizona for spring break. we were in small town farm utah, and it was cloudy outside.my friend amber, who applied for YES with me, called me, screaming that she got turkey. so that got me all hopeful that i'd have an email or something from afs so when we got to the hotel we were going to stay at i waited and got mad at all the french and german tourists who were hogging the computers. couldn't they see that i was desperate? my whole vacation i was a little bit of a basket case. there was no news from afs every time i checked. one day i cracked and started crying and my mom just held me and said it was all gonna be ok. she said she knew i wanted it and she knew how disappointed i'd be if i didn't get it. but she said that i could always try again. who wants to try again though? not getting it is not getting it. i was an alternate at first, praying that someone would be fool enough to drop out so that i could take their place. waiting killed me. there were a series of conference calls, really for the people who got the scholarship but alternates had to participate too just in case. so there was one during the trip and it was kind of like salt on the wound, all the kids on the call knew their country placement and i was hanging on to a thread of a hope. in the car on our way home, i spent a good deal of time thinking about my life. things i want to accomplish, who i want to become, deep stuff like that you know. and then i started thinking about if i'd rather go to thailand or indonesia. indonesia was winning mostly just because the language is way easier, but in the end i decided thailand because it was my first place. where i wanted to go even before the yes program.
right when we got home that night, out of habit, i went and checked my email. for the first time in weeks, there was a new message, the subject line saying Scholarship to Indonesia. i squeaked out my mom's name and my sister raced down the stairs to see what happened. my mom started crying. so did i. the first thing i did was call amber to share my news with her.
all i had to do was say her name and she knew.she asked where i was going and it was all i could do to whisper indonesia. i don't know how to describe the feeling. i was not in my body. there was so much happiness and shock and excitement and emotion i felt numb. i was shaking. i couldn't believe it. it was nothing short of a dream come true. and that we both got it! that made it even better, because we'd gone through it all together. what are the odds really? and  i thought i wouldn't even get chosen to go to texas for the selection camp because i turned my application in a day late. and then after texas, amber did so good and me, well i could have done way better than i did. so i wasn't expecting much. that was without a doubt the best day of my life. and from there, its been a wild ride.

i only have 2 months left here and i'm dumbstruck. when i think about it, i realize how long it has been but i don't do that often, and it feels like hardly any time has passed. its flying by at an amazing rate. i'm starting to come to think that time doesn't even really exist, its all in our heads.

things are going great still. getting very excited for bali. i think we're leaving on the 26, and i will be sure to take loads of pictures that will make for a nice juicy post.

until then, cheers

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

all them bules

i've been thinking about something lately. being a bule in a place like indonesia it is inevitable that you will be stared, pointed, and yelled at. lots of people like to practice their english, yell stuff like "hey mister!" "how are you today?" and "i love you!" this was overwhelming for me at the beginning. whenever i saw other bules it was like we had a sort of camaraderie, everyone else stared at them too. however, as time has progressed i've noticed something to change. as i've become more indonesian, i find that i too stare and the bules. i don't really know why, they're just so foreign. haha. at the airport the other day i stared all the bules down and tried to guess where they were from and why they were in idonesia. i do it at malls too. its a fun little game. its funny to hear their accents when they speak bahasa. i know my accent is nowhere near perfect, but its funny all the same. what strange people the bules are. its going to weird me out to be back in america, suddenly surrounded by bules.

on another note, i became a victim of domestic abuse the other day. i was slapped in the face by my host sister's 2 year old daughter dewi.

the sky is closer to the ground here. i don't know how to explain it. maybe its the lack of mountains.or that the humidity magnifies the power of the sun. just being here you see it and you feel how air and earth are just so much closer and more connected, the clouds look so touchable. its so magical and fantastic. you have to come here to know what i mean.its really lovely. becoming a forest hermit just keeps getting more and more appealing... haha.


Monday, March 22, 2010


well things have been happening. i cannot believe that its march. where has the time gone? honestly if i think about it i realize how long its been since i was at home but its all flown by like i wouldn't believe it.so yeah...crazy.

a couple weeks ago i went to a birthday party. there were 20 kids hiding in my friends room, and they all jumped out and yelled when she opened the door. she cut a cake and gave everyone a piece. when she was taking a picture with some people, they got some of the marshmallow creme frosting and rubbed in on her face and hair. they everyone started doing it and she had to go shower haha. it was really fun. all her friends were really nice to me and taught me slang. after she was clean a couple people took her outside and smashed eggs on her hair and down her back, making her need to go take another shower. one of the presents she got was the most amazing animal i have ever seen. i don't know its english name but in bahasa its called a kuskus. its...indescribable. it has tiny teeth so they feed it mashed up banana and papaya. i got to hold it and i honestly just wanted to steal it and take it home with me. it has sticky little hands and it climbed all over me so getting a picture was hard but we managed :)

yesterday we went to the airport to get my host brother and sister because they were coming home from mecca. while we were there i saw a vending machine that had beer in it for about $2. i couldn't help but imagine all the shenanigans that would ensue if that was in america...haha

everything is amazing. i don't know how i can come back from this, how i can go back to high school after this. i'm sort of dreading it. i think i'd like to just run away and be a jungle hermit. live with the animals and make a hut of sticks. that would be nice. 

sometime in april there's a trip with the afs people to bali. can't wait for that :) so until then, cheers