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

Saat Bulan (Moments of the Month)

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.

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Saat Maret—Dissected

Completing the adat dress code to enter a temple in Ubud Bali. (photo credit: Nicole E.)

Dissection of times and schedules and resultant spontaneity. (more…)


Saat Februari–Bandung, Bahasa, MAN Fair

The shortest month became the longest.  What happened? (more…)


Saat Desember—Moments of December

I realize that I’m posting this update long after the end of December. Here’s a brief synopsis of what happened in December: students at my school were wrapped up in taking semester exams, activity increased dramatically at Ijen, and my family came to visit for the New Year’s holiday.

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Saat November–Moments of November

This post is going to be a little more casual. Hmm, what happened in November…

Clockwise from top-left: Wearing a traditional dhalang costume on stage after the first wayang performance; a grade X student holds her wayang kertas rendition of Krishna; sinden sing during a performance of wayang kulit; students have fun with real wayang puppets in Seni/Budaya class

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Saat September & October—Moments of September & October: What do I do every day?

This blog entry is a long and wandering account of what my day looks like on a week to week basis.  Parts of the text jump into a more reflective mood, but this post still paints a simple rendition of what my life has been like.  I wish I could write something more substantial right now, but I realize it’s been two months without updating my blog, and there are some people back home who might want to have even the slightest clue of what I’ve been up to.  One major reason this post simplifies service in the Peace Corps is that I’ve focused almost solely on successes and aspirations.  I’ve given no time to failures, frustrations, and reality checks that will come in the future.  I elaborate on this omission a little more at the end of the post, but for now I’ll continue onto the task of filling you in.

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Saat Augustus—Moments of August

Close up of Bromo, Batok, and Semeru; Acara 17 Augustus; Upacara Kasada

‘Twas a good month to start the Saat series because the Julian calendar month of August 2011 happened to include Ramadan, Indonesia’s Independence Day, and the Kasada festival at G. Bromo—possibly the three most important annual events to occur in East Java.  Independence Day follows the Julian calendar and is, therefore, celebrated every August 17, but Ramadan follows the Islamic calendar and Kasada follows the Javanese calendar.  As it can be seen, then, the combination of these three events into a single thirty day stretch is quite serendipitous.  For it to occur in just my second month at permanent site also makes for a great introduction to Indonesian culture.  Also of note during this month are concessions to jam karat and debates about cheating in Indonesia.

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Saat July—Moments of July (Part III): Who knows the difference between the U.S. and America? (And who knows the difference between the U.S., Mexico, and Australia?)

Instead of updating my blog with frequent posts about “I did this today/I did that today” and ending up with a thousand entries by the time things are done, I’m going to instead try to distill each month into one post full of tidbits from my journal, e-mail correspondences, or memory.  I think that this format will (1) be easier to parse through for you, (2) give me a chance to reflect on things before I share them publically, and (3) still provide a comprehensive idea of what my daily life is like in Indonesia.

That being said, I am not prepared to write a Saat July (Moments of July) that encompasses all of my daily habits or important notes.  There are three topics I still want to share with you:  (1) The Anniversary and purpose of Peace Corps, (2) a short and funny story about local food and media, and (3) a funny story about my failures to explain where exactly I’m from.

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Saat July—Moments of July (Part II): Bakso and the local media (Has President Obama been Redeemed?)

Instead of updating my blog with frequent posts about “I did this today/I did that today” and ending up with a thousand entries by the time things are done, I’m going to instead try to distill each month into one post full of tidbits from my journal, e-mail correspondences, or memory.  I think that this format will (1) be easier to parse through for you, (2) give me a chance to reflect on things before I share them publically, and (3) still provide a comprehensive idea of what my daily life is like in Indonesia.

That being said, I am not prepared to write a Saat July (Moments of July) that encompasses all of my daily habits or important notes.  There are three topics I still want to share with you:  (1) The Anniversary and purpose of Peace Corps, (2) a short and funny story about local food and media, and (3) a funny story about my failures to explain where exactly I’m from.

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Saat July—Moments of July (Part I): Reflecting on Peace Corps’s 50th Anniversary and the words of Sargent Shriver

Instead of updating my blog with frequent posts about “I did this today/I did that today” and ending up with a thousand entries by the time things are done, I’m going to instead try to distill each month into one post full of tidbits from my journal, e-mail correspondences, or memory.  I think that this format will (1) be easier to parse through for you, (2) give me a chance to reflect on things before I share them publically, and (3) still provide a comprehensive idea of what my daily life is like in Indonesia.

That being said, I am not prepared to write a Saat July (Moments of July) that encompasses all of my daily habits or important notes.  There are three topics I still want to share with you:  (1) The Anniversary and purpose of Peace Corps, (2) a short and funny story about local food and media, and (3) a funny story about my failures to explain where exactly I’m from.

(more…)