The Weight of A Cultural Difference
Bondowoso / Culture / Daily Life / Indonesia / Peace Corps / People / Teaching

The Weight of A Cultural Difference

The following was written before in-service training in Surabaya. I am standing in front of the mirror in my room, analyzing every curve at every angle. Am I fatter? I think to myself. I don’t look any different. I try different clothes on to check. Nothing looks different, but after one-too-many comments on how I … Continue reading

Traditional Ghosts in Indonesia
Bondowoso / Culture / Daily Life / Indonesia / Peace Corps / Religion / Teaching / Travel

Traditional Ghosts in Indonesia

Indonesia—like most countries—has many folk tales, myths and dubious characters (i.e. ghosts).  Javanese in particular are very superstitious people, who will often sleep with the lights on to guard away evil spirits. Today, quite randomly, English club diverted into talking about ghosts—though it does fit in appropriately with Halloween and Dia de los Muertos in … Continue reading

Bondowoso / Daily Life / Indonesia / Peace Corps / People / Religion / Teaching / Travel

Behind-the-Blog Drama

During Idul Fitri, the biggest Islamic holiday of the year, I had way too much time to think about life and generally, I was having emotional overload with all the new experiences and information. I felt a lot of things that I couldn’t really blog about simply because it just wasn’t very clear. Now, after … Continue reading

Becak Ridin’ & the Most Useful Word in Bahasa Indonesia
Bondowoso / Culture / Daily Life / Indonesia / Language / Peace Corps / People / Travel

Becak Ridin’ & the Most Useful Word in Bahasa Indonesia

The other day I arrived to my site from visiting nearby volunteers in another city and it was pretty late—meaning after 6pm. It was already dark out and I didn’t feel like walking the several kilometers between the bus terminal and my house, so I decided to take a becak. A becak is basically Indonesia’s … Continue reading

Bondowoso / Culture / Daily Life / Food / Indonesia / Peace Corps / Travel

How to Make Indonesian Fried Rice or Nasi Goreng

Nasi is the staple of the Indonesian diet. Plain white rice is eaten at every meal—breakfast, lunch and dinner. If you didn’t eat rice, Indonesians believe that you didn’t really eat. Beras, or uncooked rice, is the basis of many other dishes too. Lontong, is rice cooked in a special way, so that it makes … Continue reading

Bondowoso / Daily Life / Indonesia / Peace Corps / People / Travel

(Awkward) Conversations With An Indonesian Ibu

Warning: This topic of conversation may make male readers uncomfortable. I sat at my kitchen table, helping my host mother prepare dinner. I was focusing hard on peeling a cucumber, because since coming to Indonesia I’ve learned that my way of peeling things is unacceptable—but that’s another story. In this occasion, I sat innocently peeling … Continue reading

On the Twelve Months of Islam
Bondowoso / Culture / Daily Life / Indonesia / Peace Corps / People / Religion / Teaching

On the Twelve Months of Islam

Though I’ve been a fasting wimp during Ramadhan—unlike many of my fellow PCVs—that does not exempt me from learning about Islam during this important month in my community. Last Sunday, August 5th, was the 17th day of the month of Ramadhan, which is the day known as Nozulul Qur’an. This is the day the Islamic … Continue reading

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Welcome to Ramadan

To kick off Ramadan all of the schools in my area participated in a “Welcome to Ramadan” parade, which started at 7am, Wednesday morning. The younger elementary and middle school students led the parade and the high school students— which includes my school—ended it. As a teacher at the school, I was asked to walk … Continue reading