Feeling settled is kind of unsettling to me. I’m anxious. Excited. Ready for a plane ride. Or just ready to move. I’m trying to appreciate the time. Time with my students who I actually know individually at this point. Down time. Wait time. Lunch time. And sunsets in my village.
The last three months have been filled with a little bit of everything. A healthy slice of stress, taste of relaxation, serious amounts of inspiration, the usual bout of sickness, and too many long sweaty bus rides.
Surprisingly I haven’t surprised myself. I’ve been happily floating on. I started polishing my resume, job searching, and I spent an afternoon eating peanuts under my mosquito net trying to hide from those blood suckers. I’ve been coating my arms and feet in bug repellent twice a night. When I write my children’s book about Indo life someday, it will include how mango eating and hiding under a mosquito net to escape the attacks on your toes or just from the world for a moment, can actual be a large slice of relief.
?So what happened these past 3 months? I feel I was consumed with several different things going on and then once May hit it’s like everything stopped and I suddenly realized I have weeks left. WEEKS! Countable with one hand, weeks.
Close of Service: Get that service wrapped terbungkus (to-go)!! I’m getting better at bringing things to an end. I’ve grown up and faced that endings don’t always have to do with me, and closure on both sides is necessary to move forward. It seems to be taking it’s time and in a good way.
It was helpful having a conference to help set my mind straight into the future. There was a lot of discussions about the progression of the program and our own future, along with some networking, resume building, cookie eating, how not to pick your nose during an interview, and activities on how to fight the urge to choke someone who asks ignorant questions about your last 2 years.
Island where dreams I never knew I had, came true. Bunaken: After the conference I flew to the island of Bunaken with a fellow volunteer Erin and her friend from America, Gina. I’m now caught up on America with the million questions I grilled Gina on, and magazines she brought along. I’m also still slightly tan, which my teachers were not too happy about when I got back. One teacher saw me and without thinking spatted out “jelek…?” which means ugly. I knew she felt embarrassed once she realized she spoke out loud, but my response was to laugh anyhow, which feels really good to have an automatic response as such. Plus my mind was still lost in Bunaken.
It’s sort of a hard place to sum-up. It’s a small island in Northern Sulawesi that can only be accessed by boat. The island is covered with coconut trees and surrounded by photoshoppedcolorblue water. There wasn’t really a sense of time and our schedule revolved around going on the boat, eating, and lying in a hammock. Twice a day, the boat took a group out to snorkel and dive. I don’t and probably will never dive because of the pressure it causes on your ears, but apparently this is the place to go for diving. I did see some exquisite corals, swam along with schools of fish, floated in open water, and got to wear water booties… my feet were so happy.
Gotta see the baby!!! While I was on Bunaken, I anxiously awaited news about my sister’s third baby. Merrill Shane. Exceptional name choice. St. Patty’s baby, how have we not had one of those before with such strong Irish blood? He’s the second of the 2 new nephews that have come into this world since I departed to live on the other side of it. The first was Felix Madison, born 4 months after I got here.It’s mind-blowing seeing him all grown up, with a full head of RED hair, never actually meeting him before.
This newbie is sort of like a dream since I was not physically there for my sister’s pregnancy. I kick myself a little bit for not making it back to meet Felix and see my sister pregnant, but the last year did go really fast and I’m ready more than ever to spend time with my whole family. In November, my cousin Sarah had a baby girl Stella who has these huge eyes and I already can’t get enough of her, and we’ve never even met. Babies babies babies. They are popping up everywhere even in my village. I make lots of them cry still, unintentionally of course! I want to buy all the baby wraps I see!
April was a blurry dream
IGLOW Camp: My mind was blown with the success of camp IGLOW. CPs and PCVs worked really hard to organize the Indonesian Girls Leading Our World camp, but here, you never know when something will actually go down until that day. So 89 girls from ten different schools from 1 to 7 hours away, spent 3 days focused on their goals, improvement of their skills, and themselves.
The camp was really empowering in a lot of ways. Seeing the girls work with people they’d just met, being committed to the sessions and coming back to their schools with the willingness to share their experience. Of course during the camp there were some hiccups and bumps along the way, which can and will be ironed out over the years when it’s being planned. However some things like, electricity outages, late food, and long lines for the bathroom are things that aren’t as predictable.
We did have many incredible moments where the girls could be themselves. I’ve seen a growth in my students attitudes about their future and about life. We gained so much support from back home and from our schools and I hope Indonesia can continue to keep it’s GLOW bright for many years to come.
May has arrived
Ya Allah 1 month to go! My host mother, Bu Marpi is super open and friendly and good at killing insects and fish with her hands—something I just learned. It definitely has a lot to do with the fact that she’s been widowed for 7 years. Earlier, she was up at 5 am chopping her own wood for the fire, she’s a machine. On a slightly uncomfortable note, I’ve seen her topless one too many times to count and she doesn’t react to it anytime we cross paths or when we are in mid-conversation and she decides to disrobe. I guess in a really strange way I’ll miss that about her…? I think that’s kind of a weird statement I’m just going to avoid rereading. I mean it’s her house and she feels comfortable around me, which for a Javanese woman is way unusual.
She’s a special lady. She has been trying to guilt trip me into staying longer, which I keep telling her is way impossible. She makes it really tense though and sometimes even starts this piety crying act. I ain’t buyin’ it. I think it’ll be real when the time actually comes but right now it’s just kind of for show to pass the time. I just keep reminding her that she gets my mattress once I leave!
I didn’t think I’d feel it, but being here is starting to feel cukup (enough). I guess I should start a “things I’ll miss” list. Off the top of my head: my neighbor who scares away the chickens, living in intervals of 3 months, and the crumpling plaster that falls off my walls every time I enter the house…the latest seems to have fallen into the shape of California…maybe it’s a sign…