Friday, March 1, 2013

The Hair Cut of the Century

One day last week, I decided that, in order to save myself from the heatstroke inducing end of rainy season, and the commenting of my lovely school teachers, to cut my by now far to long hair. Now here in Indonesia, hair cutting is something that ranges from the simplest to the fanciest of fancy. You can get your hair cut right on the street from a guy with a cart, or search for a triple digit salon complete with elite fashion consultancy in the verynheart of that that is jakarta! Seeing as how I consider myself quite a sensible person, both having no money AND wanting to get a decently good haircut, I tried to shoot for something in the middle of these two ends. So I search around and learned there was a decent one near my school frequented by my brothers here. so I headed over one night and upon arriving at the shop, I knew I was in for QUITE a treat. The varied hair displayed upon the barbers was quite unlike that of the everyday Depokinians (Depokinites?, Depokers?), with much styling colouring, and an overall hubbub of fashion and frivolity. After writing y name, and enduring the now far than normal and often sigh inducing activity at the entrance of a Bule to a shop such as this,  I was given the barber "Dadang", who himself sported a strange mix of gel and intensive coming that left me in a daze just comprehending it. This being my first haircut after my first week here, I didn't really know any "hair related vocabulary", thus improvisingly got my point across of the general thing I wanted done with my hair: a kind of short all around with some bit in the front left type of thing. (I was rather unsure myself). He heartily nodded his head many times and said " Ah yes yes yes good good good Mr.good good good" and thus the fun commenced! While he was cutting my hair he asked me something along the lines of if I wanted it washed after with some kind of gesturing, I couldnt wuite understand as he had a very strong accent, and I of course said sure! So the haircut itself was in a way similar to that in the US, in that it used a variety of clippers, combs, and scissors to cut my hair to a general way of how I wanted. But it was UTTERLY different in the way of HOW these were used. In the US when you hair is cut, you usually try and make some small talk while the person cutting your hair calmly cuts and trims, generally in a very relaxed manner. HERE, I was met with this same attempted small talk, but I was also treated to the magnificent SHOW that was the cutting of my hair. Eat cur of the scissors was not simply a cut, but a magnificent work of art involving the twisting of a wrist and the quick sleek slice of the scissors before they were retracted again with such speed it was quite unbelievable. Everything was for show it seemed to me. He would whip his comb into my hair anf flick it upwards multiple times, and then cut of maybe several millimeters of hair before sliding smoothly to the other side to repeat the effort! The whole time I was really quite unsure  at the silliness of having my haircut have to be a fashionably showy thing and the entirely serious manner in which the man went about it.It was quite amusing.
So after my extensively fashionable hair-cutting was completed, I was escorted to the hair washing area and treated to a rather lovely rinsing. After that I got up and went to get ready to leave when I was told "wait wait wait, were not finished yet!"(Oh BTW, Indonesians Always say things three times. Its a rule.) Thus the dumfounded me was led back to the chair where the man began opening a strange number of bottles and adding a large amount of product to my freshly cut hair. Oh great I thought, now i'm going to have to wash this again... But then to my surprise, he began Massaging my head, and then my shoulders, and then my arms and complete upper body! My dear what an interesting turn of events! After several minutes of this he abruply stopped, stepped back and presented me to myself. I half expected him to bow. In all, it was a rather excellent haircut experience that I will not soon forget (though my hair turned out rather wonky in the end)! And best of all, it only cost me a grand total of USD 2.50.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

A Word on Futsal

As most of you may know, Football is one of the things that drives mankind to seek peace with each other and further our existence on this planet. And by Football, I of course mean it in its traditional sense of the game played by using your feet with an 11 man team in attempts to score in the others netted goal, not some rowdy game involving much throwing of an oblong ball and timeouts which goes on For many hours and has silly things such as in play reviewing and a myriad of technological inputs which the State of Alabama is EXCELLENT at. ( ROLL TIDE! BRINGING IT TO THE GREAT STATE 4 YEARS IN A ROW BABY! WHOO! *Insert Foto sama bajunya*) Indonesia is of course no exception to this love that seems to exist everywhere! Everywhere you go you can but help run into it. Its on tv, on peoples shirts, on their hats and scarves, its in the Paper, on advertisements, on the news, and is pretty much the only thing and "sensible male" wants to speak of! And they dont just follow Indonesian leagues here of course, or just the Almighty premier league. Here they tune into La Liga, Serie A, EURO Cup, UAFA Cup, and Even some The US's very own MLS(Something I thing has more viewers here than in the us. I still don't know why you would watch it.) Needless to say, The bug has affected me quite a bit, and I've developed into something of a fan of the sport. I'd flirted with it before of course, watching a mens world cup, or European Champions game, skimming over a highlight or two to see all the fuss, but sense coming here one has to jump full into the thing (or whatever else would I talk with people on the train about?).

All that being said, unlike in a large amount of other countries, the choice pickup football game here is not it in its 11 man, huge pitch and goal form, but in the smaller Much Quicker form of Futsal! Played with 5 players, on a basketball sized pitch, and no such thing as throwins! Its' Excellent, and something I really thing the US could get into. Soccer at a Basketball like speed, PLUS its played on concrete, so no silly things such as soft landings when you skid across the ground. Perfect for kids! Carrying on, At my school every y

 ear they have this awesome thing called "Liga SMANSA" which is a huge futsal tournament running through halway 1st semester until halfway 2nd if I'm not mistaken. Its an awesome tournament where every class fields a team to challenge for the cup! Its a really HUGE event, which involves a group stage, the semi and quarter finals, and a final showdown! Everyone comes out to support there teams, with each class buying matching jerseys, creating rowdy cheers, an announcer, and much hooplah of all sorts. Once the knockout rounds come down, the classes shift to supporting those from the same grade who still remain and as I changed classes second semester, from science to social, I had twice the teams to support! 

Now all along this whole thing, I had been heavily encouraged by all participating, both in my science and social class, that I must join in the good fun of the competition! I however, having given up my soccer habit in the US for agood 5 years, and having tried the game out for fun a bunch, knew how terrible I am at how fast it goes, and how out of shape I have become (Oh Rice and Tempeh how I love you more than running), I always denied furiously because I didn't want to bring my team down by my poor performance! I mean, I'd love to play, I don't Mind making a fool of my self, I just was concerned for the team! SO I was content to watch, eating my nasi goreng and fresh guava fruit with the eventually of spilling half of it when we leapt up at goals! But despite this clear love of being lazy and watching, I was still heartily encouraged to join.So much that I finally ended up giving in... Or really being forced to! At our last game against some class 12 team, we weren't doing so hot! We were in the second half just a few minutes remaining, down 3 - 0, not looking hot, and they all started yelling at me I had to join. They even started I chant about it... I was still at odds when one of them took a jersey off someone else, and forced it down over my head pretty much shoving me into the game!  As we started to paly and we kicked around the ball, I realized just how fun the game actually was like this, and kind of began regretting not joining in the play sooner. It all culminated for me in the when I had the ball in the Red Zone near there goal, and mad a splendid cross resulting in a goal and thus an assist on record for me! Whoo! There was much cheering and whatnot, and about ten seconds later the time was called! We all ran together and congratulated a good match, and depite us losing and not continuing, I felt rather excellent about the whole thing and was in the best of moods for the rest of the day! 

This experience really highlighted two things that I've really come to grasp while i've been here in Indonesia. 1.) That really, the best way to have any fun and do anything really, is to just seize up any opportunity you have, no matter how small, and just go for it! and 2.) That it really is the "small things" in tlife that offer the most pleasure a lot of the time. The things that aren't some huge achievement, but are just simple choices to just go for something, without thinking too hard about it. Whether its joing a game like that, talking to some kids on an Anggkot, successfully bartering your apple down 10 cents, or just up and deciding to apply for a scholarship to an exchange program the night its do, the "small things" if they are indeed "small", always in my experience end up being the most fun! ITs excellent to get out of my self imposed "comfort zone" and just try for something bold and new. Whether you fail whatever you did and embarrass your self or feel awkward, or if the small thing you did leads to a great time, atleast you did something! You tried, you went for it. The only thing in life that we can decide is to go for something, and then see what comes. The two ideals go such hand in hand its fantastic, and its definitely become a kind of mantra I think about whenever I feel timid about something! 

We hit half way in our exchange here last week and I can't believe it has all gone so fast! We've definitely had our Ups and Downs over the past few months here in Indonesia, but I've come to love this country and its people who have become my second home in so short a time, and I can't wait to see how the next half our our journey will go!

Some of us YESers at our midyear orientation in Bandung last week

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

You Know You've Gone Native When...

Greetings and hello from Indonesia! To start of this post I would like to wish Indonesia a very dear and happy four month Anniversary! four months ago right now I was landing in Jakarta's International Airport, and headed off to be a great adventure! Thank you for the lovely four months this far my dear Indonesia, I can't wait for the rest that we have ahead of us!   After living in such a place for a few months, you start to change, adjust, feel normal! You're no longer shocked at strange things every five minutes, and in fact a lot becomes routine at times! The following bit is a wholeheartedly wonderful post my fantastical Surabayan friend Sara (Go Read Her Blog! Do It Now! Right Now!) whipped up with a jolly bit of contribution from Yours Truly. Its heaps accurate and and I wholeheartedly agree with its goodness and give it my stamp of approval!(except for the eating meat bit, [cause I don't do that no mo'] and the bit about wearing jilbab of course).

Hey! It's your (not so) loyal blogger here... I am slowly losing my grip on the English language, which is why, despite my New Year's Resolution being to 'write in my blog more', I haven't made a post in like a month. Life just happened to happen, I guess, and writing in my blog has fallen to the wayside. What can I say - my life here feels normal. Ubloggable, if you will. I have a routine, I have friends, I have a basic command over a completely foreign language. It's around the middle of my year and I can't believe I only have about 5 months to go. Craaaazy how time flies!
Along with all my AFS-approved adjustments, I've started to take on the mannerisms of and begun to form myself to better suit Indonesian culture. And I thought that today I might let you guys know what that entails:
You Know You've Gone Native When...
  1. The very thought of putting butter in your rice, as you used to joyously do in America, makes you vaguely sick
  2. Kalau belum makan nasi, belum makan! (If you haven't yet eaten rice, you haven't yet eaten) - that meaning, you need to eat rice at every meal just as much as the Indonesians do
  3. Eating chicken around all the bones isn't a particularly big deal anymore 
  4. Bones in chicken doesn't just mean the leg or the thigh, it means ALL of them - even the spine, ribcage, and head
  5. Eating with your hands feels completely natural, and you can't even remember why Western culture looks down on it
  6. The thought of eating rice with a fork makes you cringe.
  7. "Apa?" is your automatic response to everything
  8. You can tell the difference between Indonesian and Javanese language - when people speak one, you can understand about 70%, and when they speak the other, you get maybe 10%
  9. You know that people who automatically speak simplified Indonesian to you are absolutely the best in the world
  10. You see a bule in the city and are just as shocked and amazed as your Indonesian companions, despite technically being bule yourself
  11. You marvel at bule when you go to a tourist destination. Their shorts are so short! Their hair is so blonde! Their women are so tall!
  12. Using water and a hand instead of toilet paper is much more practical, and you even kind of prefer it
  13. You breathe a sigh of relief when you see a public toilet is the squat type - it's much more hygenic!
  14. You feel washing your hands with tap water sans soap is all you really need!
  15. You get the questions in English class wrong
  16. The thought of not making salim to your parents and teachers in America is just strange, and in Indonesia you make salim without a second thought! Salim being the practice of touching an elder's right hand to your forehead/cheek/nose/etc as a sign of respect
  17. You've given up on the idea of ever finding American foods in stores outside of Jakarta, and instead resign yourself to waiting for packages from home to tide over your Pop Tarts and Goldfish cravings
  18. Having more than 10 mosquito bites at one time isn't even anything to complain about anymore, you just slather on the minyak kayu putih and get on with your life
  19. It's not particularly strange to socialize with teachers like you might with your classmates, and it's normal for teachers to touch students (in a friendly way) too
  20. A girl and a guy are sitting together, alone? Ciiiieeeeee~ !! 
  21. You don't even have to think about not making much physical contact with the opposite gender, it's just automatic by now
  22. You watch a movie about high school in America and cringe at all the PDA
  23. You've gone out in public wearing jilbab more than once, and love to do it
  24. You respond to 'assalamu'alaikum', even though you're not Muslim, because it's awkward being the only one in the class who doesn't (and you DO wish peace upon other people, right?) 
  25. Your English is atrocious and you know that some things are just easier to say in Indonesian, which makes it hard to talk to people who speak English only
  26. You get really into it when there's a spontaneous massage train
  27. Seeing how much boys freely touch each other doesn't amaze or shock you anymore
  28. Gangnam Style is EVERYWHERE and EVERYONE knows how to do the dance!
  29. You know that the Chinese malls are the best places to go for a good deal - malls with real brand names are just for walking with your friends or family
  30. There's no mall without a grocery store in it
  31. Traffic jams. Traffic jams ERRWHERE. 
  32. It's completely normal for your car to screech to a stop just a few inches away from the bumper of the next car, and close calls in traffic barely make you blink anymore
  33. Everyone has their phone out and are texting furiously while at dinner
  34. You know how to operate a Blackberry despite not owning one because you've had to use your friends' so many times
  35. Taking pictures everywhere with everyone isn't annoying, it's just a part of life
  36. Showering by scooping water out of a basin with a plastic hand-held bucket isn't unusual... it's refreshing and convenient!
  37. You realize that taking two showers each day isn't just a national quirk, it's really kind of required if you don't want to be stinky and gross
  38. You take longer getting ready to go to a wedding reception than you actually spend there
  39. You don't have to worry about forgetting someone's name - any young man can be 'mas', any young woman can be 'mbak', and men are 'pak' while women are 'ibu'. Perfect for forgetful exchange students!
  40. The thought that you once wore shoes (and anything but pajamas) inside your home is horrifying
  41. You no longer have to hold on to anything while riding a motorcycle
  42. Four people, one motorbike? No big deal! Small infants and toddlers being loosely held by their parents? Ehh, they're tough, it's no problem!
  43. The thought of wearing anything but long pants when out in public is an odd one
  44. When not wearing a jacket outside you get a chill, and you can nearly freeze to death when the AC is cranked too high
  45. You start to believe that when you're sick, masuk angin may indeed be the cause. You thus avoid winds of any kind
  46. Walking anywhere is soooooo kampungan, it's always better to take car or motorbike even if the distance is short
  47. Having 5 people smoking within a meter of you at all times is now accepted as a part of daily life
  48. Being able to stop a bus at any time is normal! So is the concept of it never stopping while you get off
  49. You're much more animated in your speech and freely insert words like loh, dong, kan, lah, kok, and other random ones you pick up from your various Indonesian friends
  50. You can't imagine living your life in only a Western country. Indonesia has overwhelmed, broken down, and rebuilt you from the foundations of your being up, and you know you'll never be the same, no matter where you are or where you live. 

Sunday, January 20, 2013


On December 1 2012, we said goodbye to our dear friend Morgan Lide for our final time here in Indonesia. Morgan was a dear friend and a part of our YES and AFS family here in Indonesia. I knew Morgan for but a brief period of time compared to others, but during that time we embarked on a life changing adventure and grew to become a YES Family. Whenever I was with or talked with Morgan she ever made me smile and exhibited a true sense of caring for everyone and everything. During her time here in Indonesia, Morgan used this spirit to make waves throughout her community and beyond that still continue on even though she has gone. It is still hard to think that we won't meet again here in Indonesia for more adventures to come or when our time here comes to an end embark together. But in reality, she is still here with us, and will continue to be for the rest of our time here and the great journey of life that is beyond. Morgan lives within our hearts and thoughts and whenever we find ourselves struggling, thoughts of her push us to bigger and greater heights. Thank you for your friendship Morgan, and thank you for your undying spirit and light, You are missed dearly by those of us here.

Selamat Jalan dear Morgan, until our paths should happen to cross again

Monday, November 19, 2012

US Election Jakarta Style

The US election has been quite a big topic of conversation here in Indonesia! Ever since I arrived here it has been one of the primary things I’m asked about whenever I meet new people. Indonesians seem to be very interested in both sides of the election, though I must say the majority of the people here stand behind President Obama who people in Jakarta consider as family because he lived here for several years. The Indonesian people are great like that; people who live in Indonesia for any period of time quickly become part of the cultural familial bond. On the day of the election I was invited to attend an event that the US Embassy was hosting in downtown Jakarta to watch the election results as well as invite Indonesians to learn about the US election process. Due to the 12 hour or so time difference the event started at 8:00 AM, meaning that we had to get up at about 5.00 to be able to travel the 25 kilometres from Depok to Downtown Jakarta in time. Needless to say, in Jakarta there is always traffic, especially in the morning. After our long winding journey through the streets of Jakarta and a few minutes of being lost in the vastness that is the Grand Indonesia Mall we finally arrived at our destination! The first steps into the room though what may be the largest doors I have ever seen were rather overwhelming! There were large projector screens streaming live feed from New in the US and Poll results from online, a myriad of booths set up with information about the election as well as the US Electoral system in general, large buffets of truly American breakfast food and a sea of people milling about it all! We were soon greeted by AFS volunteers and staff in attendance and I was informed I would be helping in a booth to explain about the US voting process to people and help manage the mock vote we were having. It was a wonderful time explaining the process and I got to talk to a huge amount of varied people from Professors, Students, Press, Embassy staff, Businessmen, and everyone else in between.  The atmosphere in the room was very vibrant and excited and there was much multilingual discussion about how the results of the states would turn out, as there was no real mystery as to how our mock vote would. Aside from our splendid little election there were many other goings on including a speech from Ambassador Marciel and a live stream from a reporter in the US. After his speech I was able to meet Ambassador Marciel and a few other embassy officials and have a brief conversation about Indonesia and YES. As is usual with Embassy staff and just the general populace of Indonesia all were extremely welcoming and very interesting to talk with! As the morning boiled on more and more results came in and there was a good deal of excitement. When the west coast’s polls closed and the results finally arrived there was much cheering and activity and even a balloon drop! It was indeed one of the most amazing events I have ever been to, and it definitely made my first actual presidential election one that I will always remember.

Everyone Partying it up Election Style!

Us with Ambassador Marciel and a few other fun folk!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

A Brief Commentary

Apa yang seharusnya gue tulis? -or- What should I write about? (Informally of course)

Thus was the quandary I posed to my fellow classmates as I sat in what was supposed to be PLH, or Environmental Science. Instead of being Environmental Science class it was "Jam Kosong", or when the teacher just doesn't end up coming to the room for class. This happens semi frequently here, but today was different as it happened with five out of our twelve 45 minute blocks. this is in addition to our 20 minute morning/lunch and 40 min prayer break at noon mind you. So needless to say, there has been much relaxing, home work, musik, and, wondering what to do with our time. This is actual a pretty accurate representation of the wonderfully laid back atmosphere that is school and Indonesians in general. Whenever there isn't class going on, or some intensive project the students seem to fan out. Often they'll be found eating in the canteen, playing futsal or basket ball with friends, gathered around a guitar playing US popular or Indonesian folk music (The importance of musik in indonesia, everyone is great at singing by the way, and the influence of US culture here are quite a post in themselves.), or just talking and relaxing. The Indonesian concept of space, time, and what being busy is are very different than the Amerikan perspective. Likewise the amount of control and supervision put over students very very different. In school in the US, there is a constant progression forward. If you're not in a class, you're in transit to the next, if you're in a class you're waiting for the bell to ring to move to the next class, and so on and so forth until you can FINALLY(in many peoples eyes) leave at the end of the day. Here there is no such rush. For one, students don't move classes but stay in one class all day with the same 30 or so students while the teachers come to the classes. This leads to a much less hectic packing and moving and because of it bells mean little. Often classes will run or begin 10-15 minutes late and no thought is given to it. Likewise, when the end of the day comes there is no rush to leave at all! Students stay at school to do home work, extracurriculars, eat, or just hang out often until 6 or 7 PM ( and school ends at 3.30). It is often very common for students to spend most of their weekend at school for student activities, some congregate and event, or once again just to hang out with friends. School is a hub and place to gather and congregate, and all of this is without teacher supervision. there is practically no supervision here with all the clubs being student run, all the events by student committees. For the week of the student sports competitions, I don't recall seeing one at all actually.  Everyone is pretty self controlling and there is a strong almost familial atmosphere among classes and the school as a general whole which creates a very relaxing atmosphere. My first few weeks here I would habitually stand up at the end of the day get my things and put my backpack on. My friends in class always looked at me and said the equivalent of, you're heading home already?? Whats the rush?", to which I would say no, just habits from the US and take it off. It rather reminded me of wise old TreeBeard from the lord of the rings talking to his hasty little hobbits (I rather like the thought of that.).  But between the semi-scheduled day and the language barrier, it is rather confusing as to what in the world is going on sometimes. It also doesn't help that I've been raised in the very different westernized world of the US to think and act a different way for the past 18 years. There are many such differences between life and culture here and in the US and that is indeed my most favorite thing about my exchange so far. It's always the small most unexpected differences that surprise me. For example the idea that it is culturally impolite and unheard of to eat while standing and the concept that the right side of the body is more correct. These are but a taste of the complete cultural differences which have been formed over hundreds of years by the distinctly different roots and influences of the two nations.What a fascinatingly complex matter. I often find it extremely difficult to look at things from a neutral standpoint as my observations always having a seemingly American perspective. After all as I said before, I have been raised in the United States my entire life so this is bound to happen. But I try not to. Whenever I find myself saying to myself, In America that would be such and such..., or when I find myself trying to translate English sayings and mannerisms, I have to stop myself. If one wishes to translate and absorb a language and culture properly, I feel it must be done as cleanly as possible without all that baggage of previous perspectives. And that is what I am trying to do. To change my perspective on the world and then be able to observe from both points of view in a fantastic mix of learnings. I'll be honest, it's quite difficult a good deal of the time. But no one said that being an exchange student was a walk in the park now did they! Quite the contrary if I remember all our sessions correctly. But it is indeed a wonderful time, a time for new friends and family, life experiences and adventures, and just maybe, if we work very hard, a bit of perspective.

Sorry about the shortness/blandness/Thoughtfulness of this post that arose from having no classes all day. I assure You the next post I write will actually be fantastically fun, with pictures(!), and maybe some food(!) and adventures! Until then enjoy.

"Bapak mau beli?"  Places that sell goats and cows pop up everywhere during Idul Adha. This one just happened to be where I normally walk on the way to school. How wonderful! It was definitely depressing to see all the empty stalls after the holiday, but atleast it went to a splendid usage.

A daily habit

Grilled Corn and Hot Tea, Indonesian Folk Songs, Rain and Cool Air, Bamboo Huts, And An Awe Inspiring Seemingly Endless View Of Tea Plantations And Ancient Forested Hill Tops. A Truly Perfect Moment.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

A Month and Counting

Well Today, or a few days ago, marks a month in this wonderful place that is Indonesia! Hooray! Its been quite a good month and I thought I'd share a few of the grand experiences I've had just far and what exactly my life here consists of.

I lived in the City of Depok in Indonesia, a rather large town of over 1,000,000 people that is a part of the Megatropalopolis that is the enormous city of Jakarta. Its a sprawling city that doesn't seem to end in any direction and is crowded with everything that one could imagine. Public transportation, cars, and motorcyles share the streets with venders, pedestrians, and a varied variety of things for sale that make up the storied streets of Jakarta and its surroundings. The traffic here is legendary and constant it seems at most times except during Friday Prayer. The traffic here is unlike anything I've ever seen though, its so much more fluid. It seems Indonesian drivers can squeeze into any space possible and utilize every surface possible. Its quite common for motorcycle drivers, by far the quickest way to travel, to utilize side walks and the oncoming lanes of traffic to squeeze around other cars. Its quite a wonderful dance where the objective is to get to your destination as quickly as possible without ever having had to stop because of traffic along the way

The city of Depok is quite vast and I've yet to venture much behind the small area that makes up the the 10 minute angkot ride(8-10 person public transportation bus)  between my home and school. As I've only been going in this way about two weeks its quite a wonderful world to explore on my way home. Its filled with every kind of person, vendor, and building one could possibly imagine. The only consistencies found are the neighborhood mosques which dot the cityscape with their beautiful minarets and traditional Arabic and Javanese architecture which ring out the Adhan five times a day to call the faithful to pray. It is an awe inspiring sound and it still makes me pause in wonder every time I hear it.

 I started school a few weeks ago and my high school consists of grades 1-3, or 10-12 in the US, and has about 700 people. The classes here are divided into a two track system of Science (IPA) and Social Studies (IPS). I'm in the science track and am in the 11th grade here. Everyone at school seems to be the most excitable and welcome person I've met and are always very interested in hearing about the US and helping me with my Bahasa Indo. News travels very fast about me here. Everyday I here some new and random fact about myself from someone at school that I'm meeting for the first time that I can barely remember telling someone about twenty minutes before and most days a  students from one of the other high schools stop and talk to me. I even got into an angkot the other day and the driver knew my name and where I went to school and was glad to meet me! We even had quite a lovely conversation about why in the world I was in Indonesia and what I thought about it so far with only a minimal amount of gesticulation and laughing on either side. All that being said, the people of my High School and the city of Depok are a most welcoming and wonderful bunch and if they represent the whole of Indonesia this is going to be a most wonderful year indeed.

A Few Photos:

My Host Brother Cenna and this fantastic Indonesianesque walkway after leaving Universitas Indonesia one day.

This is my daily point of view in class.

Us and our fantastic red batik we wear every Kamis (Thursday).