Bali, Jakarta and Some News!

27 Nov

Time has been moving so quickly and I feel like I’ve been in so many places since my last post, so here’s my attempt at catching up (no photos this time either, internet is too slow):

PEDULI ANAK NEWS: Samsul is getting glasses! He’s about 9 (though this varies according to which report/who you ask) and has trouble counting and reading, but LOVES to sing. Hopefully the glasses, which are coming in about a week, will help him in class! I miss this place so much and am definitely coming back (I also still need to write my volunteer testimonial, oops!)

BALI: I saw a lot of fantastic temples and places: Tanah Lot, a temple by the water; Bedugul, a temple (featured on the Rp 50,000 bill) in the mountains on a beautiful lake; Ubud (mainly just the Monkey Forest because we didn’t have much time); Padang-Padang Beach (as featured in “Eat Pray Love” when Julia Roberts almost goes to bed with the Australian dude, I believe). There was a TON of traffic because the ASEAN conference was going on, which Obama attended (I also passed very close to Air Force One (or Two or Seven, no idea) when I took off for Jakarta!) I also got to hang out with my friends Emily and Max and met these British travelers (Sophie and Dan) who are coming to Boston after New Years! Hopefully I’ll get to show them around.

JAKARTA: I hung out my friend from Holland that I met at Peduli Anak and her boyfriend last week, and had a great time. Last weekend we went to hang out with the Baduy tribe (what I know of them is explained below) for two nights, and watched the semi-finals of the Junior football teams of Thailand and Indonesia play each other (Indonesia won, yay!) for the SEA Games (not at the Baduy tribe site, they don’t have TVs!) We ran around around eating amazing Western food and buying oleh-oleh (gifts you buy when you travel to remind the people at home you haven’t forgotten them) for Gorontalo people and checking out her neighborhood (and catching up on much-needed sleep). For my last night in town, we went to see Zee Avi (a Malaysian artist) concert.

SURABAYA: I ate an amazing Thanksgiving lunch with Emily, Colin (her family friend who was visiting), and some of her friends from Surabaya, then went to the Consulate General’s house for MORE food. I met some more of the new ETAs this year who are all really amazing and nice. I also got to see Rachel and Heather, who I am going to miss so much when I leave here. That night really made me realize how important the web of support and friendship that I have here has been to me – I’ll be really sad to leave that behind.

Which brings me to…MY NEWS: After lots of work and help and love and support and lack of sleep and 2 essays, 1 resume, 4 recommendations and an interview and about 10 late night phone conversations, I am officially going to be working at Jagori Grameen as a Shansi Fellow from August 2012-June 2014! I’ve been working on this endeavor since I got back from Indonesia, and I’m so happy and excited to be embarking on yet another amazing journey (after spending some much-needed quality time at home). As of now, it’s a little up in the air as to what exactly I’ll be doing at JG, but in the next few months I’ll be talking with JG and the Shansi staff to create a great project. It looks like my skills in health education could be useful in being a health counselor that works with doctors and patients to address the health needs of the community around JG, which sounds fantastic to me. I also have some other ideas up my sleeve. This means I will be in Oberlin for Winter Term for orientation (January 4th-January 29th or so) then heading to probably University of Wisconsin-Madison to take some Hindi classes in June, then heading to India from August 2012-June 2014. This also (hopefully) means I’ll be able to come back to Indonesia at least once during my time as a Shansi Fellow, as they give annual In-Asia Travel Grants to each Fellow once a year (this is my current understanding). So excited! Please come visit (I’m telling you all early so you’ll have time to plan/save money :))

BADUY INFO: The Baduy (pronounced “bah-doo-ee) number less than 10,000, and are the only indigenous tribe left on the island of Java that still maintain their lifestyle despite modernity closing in all around them. There is a division of the Baduy into two groups: the inner and outer Baduy. The inner Baduy have maintained their tribal lifestyle – they walk barefoot, wear very plain clothing (usually black and white, with the men wearing white cloth tied around their head), only travel by walking (including to Jakarta), and live off the land (for example, they don’t use soap – they make their own cleaning solution out of ground up leaves). Non-Indonesians are not allowed to enter the territory of the inner Baduy. The outer Baduy are larger in number and wear more colorful clothing, usually blue (especially the women). They often walk barefoot, but sometimes wear sandals or shoes. They do not own motorized vehicles, but they take public transportation over long distances. All of the Baduy have their own tribal religion, which is based on a belief in the power of nature and ancestors. There is one Muslim village in the outer Baduy, which the elders of the community permitted for the first and last time. The village we went to was so organized and clean – it made me think we’ve complicated our lives to the point where we’ve forgotten we don’t need as much as we have.

GORONTALO: I have about six days left here, and I have so much to do! Yesterday I went to MAN Insan Cendekia to see Trisna, Cica and Marjorie. I visited Yunus at his training center (he’s having orientation to go teach in Nusa Tenggara Timur in south-east Indonesia, so proud of him!) and then spent the night at Cendekia. I really want to go to the beach one last time, go to my school, hang out with students, and generally say goodbye to as many people as I can, until (hopefully) two years from now. I’ll miss my second home so much, but I know I’ll be back.

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3 Responses to “Bali, Jakarta and Some News!”

  1. Tammela November 27, 2011 at 9:14 am #

    Christina, congratulations again on Shansi! A bummer we’ll miss each other, but I am so excited to follow your next adventures.

  2. lori November 27, 2011 at 9:18 am #

    So wonderful to read about your adventures….Maybe I’ll save my pennies for a trip to India? Looking forward to seeing you in January in good ole’ Obieland….Safe travels and happy holidays, Christina!

  3. Mom November 27, 2011 at 12:44 pm #

    I just read your recent blog, so many adventures packed into your short second visit to Indonesia — you certainly know how to make the best of this life. So very proud of you for following your passions — like you said, being excited to get up every morning is everything. You are maturing into a thoughtful and powerful young woman who knows what she wants and creates the way to do it. We support you in all your endeavors, but will miss. Perhaps Love is calling me to India? Looking forward to spending the Holidays with you at home. Love you sooooo MOM

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