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

The Challenges of Teaching English in Indonesia
Bondowoso / Culture / Daily Life / Indonesia / Language / Peace Corps / People / Religion / Teaching

The Challenges of Teaching English in Indonesia

The other day my counterpart, Pak Warai, sat next to me as I prepared material for English club. Suddenly he asks, Mel, what can we do to make students study outside the classroom? Pak, I laughed, if we can solve that we would improve education all over the world! He sighed. I feel putus asa. … 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

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

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

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

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