There are people here I have discounted. People that love me as those who have known me for countless years. People that know things about me I cannot possibly express to people in America. People that would defend me no matter what I did in their country. People I would call my Indonesian family.
The mountain I see every morning and promised never to take for granted. That majestic miracle, unmoving, unyielding, just baring itself naked to rain, wind, storms, day, night. That mountain that moves me to tears, when I didn't know I had any. The mountain that makes me question the importance of my own existence.
The river behind my house. The powerful, fluid movement of it's dance intrigues me each and every time. No matter how many times I stare at it's shallowness and it's depths I cannot comprehend it's nature. It washes away the sins, but bags of trash litter it's sides.
So in this big, beautiful country, I am but one small speck, and having lost sight of how much I'll miss of the people and the land, I humbly return to my stage of understanding and integration. I love Indonesia. I love Bu Dyah, I love Gilang, I love Mbak Apriliana, I love Pak Mislani, I love Bu Anna, I love Fajar, I love Dian, I love Plaosan, I love Gunung Lawu, I love Gunung Rinjani, I love my front yard, I love every LES girl, I love nasi pecel, I love soto ayam, I love gado-gado, I love sate tahu, I love indomie, I love mangos, I love sawo, I love manggis, I love salak, and I love Javanese dance.
That's a very condensed list of the things I'll miss about this astounding country and my experience.
To six months of learning, enjoying, exploring, and eating!
1. Thanksgiving with my family, eating more than my stomach can handle and running it off with some post turkey football.
2. Cuddling with Rijo while watching a Knicks game and then me jumping off the couch and yelling at refs and opposing teams, with Rijo yelling at me, "you don't even know their names!!!"
3. Being anywhere with Puja and making fun of everyone around us because they're stupid and we're not. Let us continue believing it. Thanks.
4. Wine night with Cait, just sipping (okay more like chugging) wine and eating pop corners.
5. Going to a vegan restaurant with Mariana and Mario for the first time and hating it, but making a yummm face anyway.
6. Laughing at dad's corny jokes at dinner, and then legitimately laughing because he makes those funny faces.
7. Doing mom's makeover for every party and she still looks as beautiful as before the makeup.
8. Sitting with uncle and listen to him tell lies that end up being funnier than any truth could ever be.
9. Yelling at Ashish for being annoying and then making him buy me pizza from two boots
10. Getting Rijo to think he's the best potato peeler in the world just so I would never have to do it for Thanksgiving again. I'm a genius.
11. Taking funny pictures after getting ridiculously drunk with Divs and almost falling out of a Santa hat. Yes. Out of.
12. Playing video games all night after opening Christmas gifts with the cousins.
13. Dad flipping out on Rijo because I was the idiot that took medicine, forgot, drank vodka, and then passed out and couldn't answer my phone. Haha, good times...
14. Mom and dad shopping for us and then saying, "these girls are so spoiled." I blame you guys. But thanks.
15. All my friends from Goldman that took me to new foods and way too many bars. I love Vietnamese sandwiches, and the udon from the Bangladeshi guy is the best. Ever.
16. Backyard barbeques...especially the time I made like 3 quiches, and everyone ate them. Or at least that's what I remember because I want to. I hope they ate them. They were good!
17. Central Park with Rijo, where we took serious pictures, and silly pictures, and happy pictures, and captain morgan pictures. That was awesome.
18. Century 21 with mom. Because shopping with mom is the best. Dad says everything looks good.
19. Puja's ginger snaps. Definitely, hands down, the best ginger snaps I've EVER had.
20. Hot chocolate on a cold day with a warm sweater and a crumbs cupcake.
I checked off everything on my list. Rewrote all my personal statements for the 18th time. Finished all my lesson plans for all my extra curricular activities for the entire semester. Answered all the emails I was putting off. Cleaned my room--even though I cleaned it last week, but it's already been too long.
And now I sit here, three hours later, trying to figure out what to do with myself. With a horrible stomachache and nowhere to go, I'm bound to either my bed or the couch. So I sit on couch and stare out the window. I'll just read a book I guess.
I've never had the problem of having nothing on my To-Do list. Ever. I should feel useless and without meaning. But I don't. I feel relieved! Now I can read with no excuses. I can watch Lost and figure out what the hell is behind that stupid door (yes I'm on season one).
I'm content for now. :)
I told myself, this year would be the same. I reminded myself of the hacking cough, the blackened eyes from lack of sleep, the hole in my pocket from purchasing "anti-mold/anti-fungal" devices, and the severe seasonal depression that hit like a ton of bricks in my face. But I couldn't hate it. That first rain hit the ground and a smile crept on my face. I slapped it off my face. Obedience face!
I don't know what it is. I love the rain in this country. It's absolving, cleansing, purity releases something I never knew in "my previous life." The sounds of rumbling thunder, crackling lightning, and millions of drops hitting the steaming pavement excited my ears more than most man-made melodies. Nature's own sforzando.
The feel of that cool, fresh air as it breaks on my face, screaming life into the parched atmosphere takes my breath away. The touch of an errant drop on my warm, sun-kissed cheek melts, soaked into me as though it had never fallen from the heavens...
Why do I love the rain?
It makes me feel tiny. Like there more than just my feeding, bathing, and putting to sleep. The universe is accomplishing a billion tasks in the time that one tiny drop of rain changes my entire day.
You’re asking, what’s been up? I haven’t posted in forever and a day! I know! I’m lazy. Peace Corps makes you LAZY. Do I have time? Of course. I sit in my room or on the porch, read my book, work out, eat food, drink water, and start that cycle again. Oh and play with the kids—a lot. Day after day after day…
BUT that’s about to change. I’m heading off to Mid-Service Conference soon. What does that mean? That means I’ve been here over a year, more than half my service is done, and before you realize it, I WILL BE BACK IN A WORLD FULL OF BURRITOS!!!
So I know I whine and moan a lot about how hard it is, but honestly I have the good life. I don’t know how I will adjust to a job that requires me to get off my butt for 40 hours or more a week and be productive. I whine about my 16 hours of teaching. You should envy me! I play with kids as part of my job. I get to hang out at the special ed school with the most awesome kids you’ll ever meet. I get to meet new people, eat new foods, download movies, cd’s, workout videos, plan my meals, plan my future, travel around the country. All in the name of peace. My life here is awesome. Be jealous. I live in one of the most beautiful countries in the world. I have ZERO complaints. Getting sick a lot? I got sick a lot in America. Being hot all the time? I have a fan, and live on a mountain. Don’t like the food? I learned a skill that I now not only LOVE, but will stick with me for the rest of my life, I can cook! Boredom? I have books! Movies! Magazine! Pinterest! Missing family? We have skype, facetime, imessage! Missing Rijo? SAME thing! Missing friends? SAME thing! Burritos? I tried my hand at a pretty decent burrito a few weeks ago—no chipotle burrito, but I cannot complain. Maybe I’ll post that recipe too!
So in conclusion, life is awesome. One year mark notched on my pole (I should have been doing that—it would have been a cool souvenir to take back), and I’m ready for my Mid-Service Conference, then vacation with the awesome John Jijaji and Sharmila to Kalimantan, Bali, Flores, Jakarta, and then back home! That’s right, this is home now!
Oh and packages are still welcome. Please love me and send me things that I won’t get here. Like organic stuff—ironic isn’t it. Super difficult to find anything organic in the village! Everything has pesticides! Oh and Women’s health magazines would be FANTASTIC. Thanks :)