82 Jam — 110%

During IST, each PCV had to reflect about an enlightening experience they had thus far. Roughly, this is what I shared: Since overcoming some severe bouts of homesickness, I’ve made it a goal for myself to be here, in Indonesia, mentally, emotionally, and of course physically — 100%. Well maybe, 95% — we all know I’m a bit cuckoo and that 5% of me will always be in some other world. To be honest, I can’t say that I’ve ever committed myself 100% to something. I’m used to being a juggler, a connector, of multiple activities, that it’s challenging for me focus my attention to just one thing. It’s been really hard for me to be a PCV 100% when I’m worrying about keeping in touch with people back home without missing them, feeling bitter or jealous that I’m missing out on a lot. It warps my perception of my priorities here. The reality is that life goes on whether I’m there or not… and my life here continues to flourish, with many new experiences shared with those around me. No matter how hard I try to remember everything, I’ll never be able to fully convey this experience. Alhamdulillah, I have my camera to capture the bits and pieces! Kira-kira (around, approximately) 82 hours since returning from IST, and this is what I have to show for it (photos below), going 110%. That means no napping, no locking myself up in my room (even though Arrested Development seasons 2 & 3 keep calling my name…), it means reaching out, being a social kupu-kupu (butterfly), being a yes-person, embracing every opportunity to get back to life HERE. To everyone back in the States who haven’t heard from me in a while, I’m happy, I’m healthy, and most importantly I’m busy. I haven’t forgotten about you all — I hope this blog can continue to serve as a bridge between us!

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Neighborhood children. They have an abundance of energy, curiosity, innocence, and this fearlessness that I will forever envy. Being a child or really under the age of 15 (maybe?) in Indonesia, means you can really do WHATEVER YOU WANT. They are the ultimate examples of social butterflies, fluttering in and out of each others homes, napping wherever they want, setting stuff on fire, running through the fields, biking wherever, eating endless amounts of sweets… riding motorcycles… the list is infinite. I miss being a kid.
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This is my IPS 2 Kelas (Social 2 class). I’ve had discipline/classroom management/motivational issues with them in the past, but this week has completely changed my perception of them. The boys who initially were giving me headaches and led me to eat copious amounts of Oreos once behind closed doors, have started participating and speaking up. I don’t know what spurred this, maybe simply time itself, but I’ll take it! They were my first class to try out my Halloween lesson with, equipped with a pumpkin carving contest. A pumpkin named “Two Face” took first place and now all pumpkins are on display outside of the classroom. Success, success, success!

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Before IST, I never hung out at the school canteen. I usually depend on my home-cooked meals to serve my vegetarian needs as the canteen only serves two things, bakso (meatballs) and nasi pecel (rice, veggies, spicy peanut sauce). I’m usually pretty weary about eating at warungs, they aren’t the most hygienic places and there’s a 50% lebih chance of acquiring some extent of food poisoning, but if it means I get to bond with teachers outside of the teacher’s office (where some sleeping, and some productivity happens), then I suppose it’s a risk I should be willing to take. Who doesn’t like to bond over meatballs and peanut sauce? To kick this worrisome attitude of sanitation (or lack of) in Indonesia, it’s best to remember my mother’s sincere advice: “shut up and eat”.

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Evira turned 18! These are the group of 12th graders that I hang out with every week outside of school. They add color to my life here. They’re hilarious, full of curiosity. Being with them reminds me that I’m still young and don’t need to always uphold this Ibu-Ibu-image outside of the school.

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Lastly, my new haircut!

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