The Beginning (Wish You Were Here)
Bondowoso / Culture / Daily Life / Indonesia / Music / Peace Corps / Peace Corps Training / People / Teaching / Travel

The Beginning (Wish You Were Here)

“Tell me, Legolas, why did I come on this Quest? Little did I know where the chief peril lay! Truly Elrond spoke, saying that we could not foresee what we might meet upon our road. Torment in the dark was the danger that I feared, and it did not hold me back. But I would not … Continue reading

A Peace Corps Fairytale
Bondowoso / Culture / Daily Life / Indonesia / Peace Corps / People / Photography

A Peace Corps Fairytale

Peace Corps is not a glamorous profession. There’s a lot of sweat (particularly in Indonesia), hard work and tears, but, if you’re lucky—like I am—certain people come into your life and bless the experience. They make all of this worth it and I have come to love and appreciate them in ways I didn’t know … Continue reading

A Transformation Into a Balinese Lady
Bali / Bondowoso / Culture / Daily Life / Indonesia / Peace Corps / People / Photography

A Transformation Into a Balinese Lady

As things wind down, more and more people have taken to asking me if I have any “regrets”—which I think is a mistranslation for an experience I never got to have while in Indonesia. It’s hard to think of anything (though I’m sure there are plenty), but while having this conversation with my friend, Bu … Continue reading

Negative, Negative, Negative
Bondowoso / Culture / Daily Life / iGLOW Camp / Indonesia / Peace Corps / People / Teaching

Negative, Negative, Negative

Frustration, frustration, frustrated. It’s hard to write about the hard parts of being a Peace Corps Volunteer without getting really negative, and negating all the good things—and there are many—but there are also some aspects of this PCV life that are intolerable. I’m in one of those moments. First and foremost, as a foreign volunteer … Continue reading

The 10 Best Things About Indonesia (According to Indonesian Students)
Bondowoso / Culture / Daily Life / Food / Indonesia / Language / Music / Peace Corps / People / Teaching / Travel

The 10 Best Things About Indonesia (According to Indonesian Students)

I’ve resigned to the fact that 27 months is an insufficient amount of time to know any place well. I know I’m still in the dark about a lot of things that make Indonesia special and beautiful. In an effort to quickly learn about things I may be missing –and to get an insider’s perspective— … Continue reading

Suasana Hati II
Bondowoso / Daily Life / Indonesia / Peace Corps / Peace Corps Training / People / Teaching

Suasana Hati II

It’s funny to think back on April 2012. Then, I walked into a D.C. hotel conference room full of aspiring PCVs, their adventurous spirits alight with excitement. Now, 23 months later, I walk into another hotel conference room and meet these same PCVs, except now, there is a sense of tranquility in the room—a mellowness … Continue reading

Cultural Observation, #4: God Counters
Bondowoso / Cultural Observations / Culture / Daily Life / Indonesia / Peace Corps / People / Teaching

Cultural Observation, #4: God Counters

Early in my service, I noticed many of my students and teachers at my school had colorful things wrapped around their fingers that they were constantly pressing. These turned out to be a sort of tally counter specially designed to conveniently count – in the case of my Muslim students and teachers – their thoughts … Continue reading

The Art of Being Uncomfortable
Bondowoso / Culture / Daily Life / Indonesia / Peace Corps / People / Photography / Teaching

The Art of Being Uncomfortable

The art of being uncomfortable is actually hard to master because humans are highly adaptable creatures. Still, rare is the individual that seeks to leave their comfort zone very often, and though I moved to Indonesia for two years, I’ve found I’m guilty of this, too. Without going into all of the sordid details, I … Continue reading

Cultural Observations, #3: Muslim Kids Believe in Santa
Bondowoso / Cultural Observations / Culture / Daily Life / Indonesia / Peace Corps / People / Teaching

Cultural Observations, #3: Muslim Kids Believe in Santa

Warning: Do not read this if you want to keep the Santa dream alive. Blame it on globalization and too much Western television, but apparently, Muslim kids believe in Santa Claus. When I visited my host family in Malang, my 5-year old host niece and her posse overheard me talking about going home for Christmas. … Continue reading

Cultural Observations, #2: Drinking Saucers
Bondowoso / Cultural Observations / Culture / Daily Life / Indonesia / Peace Corps / People

Cultural Observations, #2: Drinking Saucers

Did you ever wonder why tea cups or coffee mugs often come with saucers? It always seemed rather superfluous to me – just another dish to wash. But in Indonesia they actually put the saucer to good use. Because most of the water used to prepare hot beverages is brought to a boil right before … Continue reading

Agricultural Economics
Bondowoso / Culture / Daily Life / Food / Indonesia / Peace Corps / People / Teaching

Agricultural Economics

Warning: This post has a lot of numbers. I love my counterpart. Sometimes, we get into the most random discussions on a strange topic of my fixation. No matter what, he will sit patiently and explain every little detail to my heart’s content. I’m not sure how we went from discussing tomorrow’s English lesson to … Continue reading