Alumna Blog: On Assignment in Indonesia
by Lauren Ebersole '07
Training in Jakarta is over and we have moved on to Malang, our home for the next three months or so. The push to get to Indonesia so quickly was to originally coincide with President Obama's visit. We were going to have a reception with the First Lady. Hopefully, something can be worked out when he comes in June; we'll just be finishing our three months of training.
We arrived in Malang on Tuesday. I am in a small village called Giri Purno, about 20 minutes from Malang. It is fairly rural and just yesterday we took a walk around all the rice paddies with mountains looming overhead. It is truly beautiful and maybe one of these days I'll send some pictures. I am living with a host family, mother, father, sister, and brother. I will admit that first day I had some reservations while sitting in my room holding my dictionary in an attempt to make conversation. Awkward to say the least. Already things are improving – "sedekit sedekit," "little by little” in Bahasa Indonesian. The family is very nice and patient; lots of smiling and laughing on both ends. The next three months will be pretty intensive training with language in the morning for four hours, followed by technical TEFL training in the afternoons.
It is still hot, although Malang is a little cooler than Jakarta. Not cool enough to stop my sweating however. The food is tasty, although yesterday I bit into a pepper that made the right side of my mouth numb. I also plan to never eat rice again when I return home as it is served three times a day here. Nothing like some rice and fried chicken for breakfast.
The bathroom is another interesting topic. Stop reading if you don't want to know. The toilets are what we affectionately call squatty potties. There is no toilet paper, but there is a tub of water, so use your imagination on that one. Spicy food + squatty potty = a good time.
Well I think I've hit the highlights — I hope everyone is doing well. I think of you all often.
Much love, Lauren
PHOTOS: On Assignment in Indonesia