"So if I am able to preserve this writing of mine…I would like you to give it the title 'House of Glass.'"

Saat April—Year One in Numbers

One of the other ID-5 Volunteers posted a Year One in Numbers post.  I’ve stolen his idea and added statistics for some of his categories and for some of my own.

275+   Pounds of rice eaten (assuming the national average)

12  Average number of tempe slices I consume in one day

0.30   Price in dollars of a [dragon fruit] smoothie at my local juice shack

I substituted dragon fruit (my favorite) for DP’s guava.

25  Kilometers (one way) that I ride my bike to the Raung observatory each week

3   Most trips to the bathroom in a day

DP’s number was 14, which is probably why it led the post.  I don’t actually know how many trips I’ve made to the bathroom in one day, but I’ve never been terribly sick.

15   Pounds lost

This was the max number.  Not good.  I’ve gained back ten or so.

360   Number of students taught this semester

18  [Scheduled number of] Hours spent in the classroom each week

49  Percent of my scheduled classes that have been cancelled for National Exams, practice tests, or study tours this semester

17   Largest turnout for English club

2   Smallest turnout for English club

7.5   Hours from my site to PC HQ by bus

5.00  Total price of bus fares from my site to PC HQ (depends slightly on which companies roll through)

6.5  Hours from my site to PC HQ by train

2.40  Cheapest train fare available from my site to PC HQ

4.50  Fare for the night train between my site and PC HQ

3   Non-PCV bules (white people) [living in my town right now]

1  Number of said bule I have met

5   People living in my home

30   Percent of volunteers lost since ID-5 arrived in Indo

3   Photo appearances in the Jawa Pos

2.10   (approximate) Dollars per day spent during an average month at site

3  Maximum number of dead snakes I’ve seen in one day between my home and school (1 km)

10   [Approximate] number of students who have fainted during a single Monday morning flag ceremony

3   Sarungs purchased


0  Times I’ve wished I were home.


Posts are coming on a recent hike to Raung.

I didn’t do much with that seismometer this month.  I’m still looking for a way to make the recording drum rotate.  I took the motor from the fan that was partially destroyed by the coconut tree, but I don’t know how to gear it down or supply it with the right amount of power to make it rotate at a slow enough speed.

There was an earthquake in Sumatra in the beginning half of the month.  It was one of the largest earthquakes in recorded history, but it was far off the coast and was mainly a ‘strike-slip’ event, so there was minimal effect on land and no tsunami was produced.  Only five people died as far as I know, and all of those deaths were from indirect causes such heart-attack or shock.  Four of the five victims were elderly.  The event will surely become the smallest text-book example of how the elderly are the most vulnerable in the wake of natural disasters.

More importantly for this blog, many people back home have asked me, “Was the earthquake close to you?” or “Did you feel it?”  Indonesia is a big place just like the United States.  I often have a hard time explaining to people at my site how my parents live far away from their hometowns and how I went to school far away from my home town.  I have created a new page on this blog that overlays a map of Indonesia and a map of the United States in attempt to show relative distances in the two countries.

2 responses

  1. Dan and Rachael

    Fascinating! That map is awesome, by the way. I could only laugh at how insignificant El Salvador would look if laid upon a map of the US also…

    2012 May 2 at 18.20

  2. Karen Boschert

    Fun post… thanks!

    2012 May 4 at 20.56

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