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

Archive for July, 2012

2012 Ramadan Fun Facts & Trivia [Updated Aug 18 COMPLETE!]

In addition to the diaries I have been keeping throughout my Ramadan fasting experience as a Peace Corps Volunteer, I have also decided to publish a set of trivia questions.


Every evening, after Maghrib, I have been sending out a “Ramadan Fun Fact” or “Ramadan Trivia Question” to the Peace Corps Volunteers. These fun facts are compiled from a variety of sources. Answers are provided in the respective footnote. The answer is written in a font color that matches the background of this page, so you wont accidentally see the answer to a RTQ you haven’t attempted yet. To read the answer, select the are between ‘Answer’ and ‘End.’ You can practice here:

Answer: Bagus!!!! Selamat ber-Trivia! End.




Ramadan 2012 (East Java, Indonesia) [Updated August 14, Day 25]

This is the banner over the bridge entering my village. The best translation I can come up with is ‘Enjoy Investing Yourself in the Fasting Ritual. Please respect those who are fasting.’ The first sentence (top two lines) is pretty loose.  (Muhammadiyah is spelled wrong).

Note:  Ramadan began on:  the evening of Th 19 July 2012 for Indonesian Muhammadiyah Muslims.  And on the evening of Fr 20 July 2012 for Indonesian NU Muslims.  It is scheduled to end on Sa 18 August 2012.  ||  Catat:  Ramadan bermulai sore Kamis 19 Juli 2012 kalau Muhammadiyah.  Bermulai sore Juma’at 20 Juli 2012 kalau NU.  Rencana selesai Sabtu 18 August 2012.i

More accurately, this is Ramadan 1433H – since Ramadan is a month (the 9th month) in the Islamic calendar.


I’ll use this post to update you on the happenings of Ramadan.  I’m going to make a concerted effort to journal and catalog the daily activities this year (sorry Elle, I’m stealing your idea). The content is raw. There is some filtering and re-wording from my notebook to word processor, but it’s more or less how I wrote it from the initial experience. I plan to keep the entire month in this post.


Other PCV Ramadan blogs:  Elle (diaries) (Tarawiih) |  Amy and Will  | Sarah (diaries) | Ryan Good |


Why I’m Attracted to Surabaya – with ample prelude on rural versus urban, the nature of my site, and places I don’t like to go in Indonesia

Some neat people in front of the statue of Surabaya. As one volunteer explained, “that statue is the first cool thing I saw in Indonesia, so it will always have a fond place in my heart.” This statue and the city have an endearing place in my heart as well. (Picture from Erin F).

This is what happens when I don’t blog for a while, I write a lot.  Sections on:

1. “Growing Up and Moving On and Out” – The context of why I enjoy Surabaya – life from growing up in a big city to attending college in small towns.

2. “Moving to the edge of the world with the Peace Corps… (?)” – What romantic images do people have of Peace Corps sites? Why do they call them “villages” anyways?  What did I expect my site to be like?

3. “The welt of urbanization known as Genteng along the jalan raya” – What is my site like – I hope this gives people back home some idea of what it looks like.

4. “Let’s start talking about people for a second” – How people and their level of exposure play into the rural versus urban discussion?

5. “The wrong place for me to get away” (Bali and other tourist destinations) – Feeling uncomfortable in major tourist destinations and not getting much satisfaction out of places crawling with bule.

and 6. “The easiest way for me to return home half-way around the world” – Finally, why do I like Surabaya so much?