I enter as bule and emerge Indonesian

I went to visit the bank in Kuningan and hopped an angkot to head home after a quick and easy trip. I answered the driver and his co-pilot’s curious questions as usual and gritted my teeth as they questioned me about my Sundanese abilities. Before I knew it, we had passed the bus terminal where … Continue reading I enter as bule and emerge Indonesian

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Information that would have been useful MONTHS AGO

I’m enjoying the nightly ritual of watching Anak Jalanan with the family to get me out of my room and into the family’s company. This is generally the time they use to ask me questions, tell me something new, or just ask after every commercial if we have that product in America. Suddenly, my Bapak … Continue reading Information that would have been useful MONTHS AGO

The art of the mandi

 April 2, 2016 is the day my life changed forever. It was the day of my first mandi. I had no idea what I was doing. I made a mess. There was still soap in my hair the following day. Ladies and gentleman who have not yet experienced a mandi, it is an Indonesian version … Continue reading The art of the mandi

First day of school

AKA the first real day of the next two years of my life. After three months of training, one month of Ramadan, and two weeks of holiday, today was finally the first day of my first semester as a Peace Corps teacher. Even so, I won’t be teaching for another week, but I got to … Continue reading First day of school

Yes, I live in Cinyasag. No, I’m not confused.

The absolute most patronizing question to ever be posed of someone in any language across every culture is the: *tilts head* “Are you sure?” On the trip back to my village from visiting a few volunteers in the city, I transferred from an elf to a bus in Kawali, a city about a thirty minutes’ … Continue reading Yes, I live in Cinyasag. No, I’m not confused.

When opposites don’t attract

Today I went in to Ciamis to shop with my counterparts and while waiting for them to finish their afternoon prayer, I was sitting on a bench with her son and two (separate) lovely people struck up conversations with me by asking where I was from. We chatted about how long I have been in … Continue reading When opposites don’t attract

Idul Fitri

Idul Fitri has come and gone in a whirlwind of food and family. The day began with Ibu waking me up at 5:30 to wash for Masjid and then we walked to the village square, where there is a bigger mosque where the entire community gathered for prayer. The entire community. As in hundreds of … Continue reading Idul Fitri

My valiant protectors

When I go out with my counterpart, her son holds my hand. He’s in the same class as Ari, and another one of my little Bosses in Panawangan. Ari has the same habit of taking charge of me when we go out, and I love it so much. I think they like to do so … Continue reading My valiant protectors