Daily Life / Indonesia / Music / Peace Corps / People / Teaching

Teacher Problems, #5: The Miserable & Magical Edition

Teacher Problem: Moderately liking a sugary pop song because your students overplay it…and then the next thing you know, you’re hoarding three entire Taylor Swift albums* and THEN, listening to these for your personal enjoyment and finding a song that actually relates to your life. The sum of my life as a PCV: “We’re happy, … Continue reading

Bondowoso / Culture / Daily Life / Indonesia / Music / Peace Corps / People / Photography / Teaching / Travel

A Drive Around Bondowoso

November 15th marked the first day of the Islamic year: Muharram 1, 1434.  To celebrate this, all the students and teachers from my school take a motorcycle drive around Bondowoso every year. As a Peace Corps volunteer, I am not allowed to ride a motorcycle (which is the reason why I was feeling left out … Continue reading

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

Sunset Silhouettes in Ulu Watu Temple, Bali
Bali / Culture / Indonesia / Peace Corps / People / Photography / Religion / Travel

Sunset Silhouettes in Ulu Watu Temple, Bali

Bali is only a few hours from Java, but culturally, it is a whole world away. The people are primarily Hindu, so small baskets of colorful flower petals and incense—and the occasional cigarette—line streets, sidewalks, steps and cars’ dashboards as offerings to the gods. In Bali, I saw no mosques and heard no call to … Continue reading

Bali / Culture / Daily Life / Indonesia / Language / Peace Corps / People / Photography / Religion / Travel

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly: Kuta, Bali

As Peace Corps Volunteers we are forbidden to travel away from our sites overnight during our first three months at our permanent site. September 15th marked our group’s three-month mark, so we are finally released from our gilded village cages. To celebrate this, 13 volunteers and I headed to Southern Bali for the first time … Continue reading