My students

What I'll miss in Indonesia #1Warning: lot's of bragging below because my students are the best and I love them Teachers aren't supposed to have favorites, but we all do so whatever. Mine are the students who I am closest to, and the students who keep me motivated and moving. In case it isn't clear, … Continue reading My students


What I'll miss in Indonesia #33 I have heard that since leaving America, y'all have gotten food delivery applications (Uber Eats and company), but I'm here to tell you: those apps are great, but they're no GoJek. I'm biased, of course. Biased because I have not yet tried the apps America has to offer, and … Continue reading GoJek

White Coffee

What I'll miss in Indonesia #42Once upon a time, I lived in Kediri, East Java while training as a TEFL teacher for Peace Corps. During this time,I lived with hava wonderful family who ran a warung out of the front of their house. This warung sold Indonesian fast food dishes like my favorite lontong tahu and served … Continue reading White Coffee

Finally at peace in the Peace Corps

Saying my Peace Corps experience has been a rollercoaster ride is a hilarious understatement and gross cliché. Like most PCVs, I entered my service starry-eyed and squeaky-clean with dreams of changing the lives of my students and goals of connecting with my community members and making an impact. But then Indonesia happened. I’ve spent long, … Continue reading Finally at peace in the Peace Corps

Bahasa Indonesia

What I'll miss in Indonesia #45 I love being able to speak a second language. Throughout my life, I've studied Spanish, Greek, Korean (Hangul), and German, but have never been truly fluent. I've bragged that I "could speak Spanish," but in reality, I know very basic Spanish. I can order in Greek, but cannot hold … Continue reading Bahasa Indonesia


What I'll miss in Indonesia #50I think I've made it clear that Indonesia is a crazy and somewhat terrifying place. Between the noise and harassment, it can be hard to love Indonesia as a whole, and I sometimes find myself making negative, general statements about "Indonesia." In reality, I have grown as a person in … Continue reading Appreciation

Public Transportation

What I'll miss in Indonesia #54Ah yes, another love/hate relationship I have with Indonesia: their public transportation. On the one hand, it's abundant. Getting anywhere is (more or less) simple. Just a matter of sticking your arm out and waiting for one of the many buses/mini buses to come by. On the other hand, as … Continue reading Public Transportation

Helena and the PCV community

What I'll miss in Indonesia #60 Peace Corps Volunteers are unbelievably codependent. It's concerning. We should be studied. There is no privacy whatsoever, gossip is abundant, and group chats are a way of life. (There are group chats for people who love celebrities, for Star Wars fans, for every event that may occur, and for … Continue reading Helena and the PCV community

Hearing Bapak pray

What I'll miss in Indonesia #64 Before my alarm(s) go off, before the living room television begins blaring soap operas or cartoons, before the sun is up, I can hear my Bapak praying. Through the shared wall between our bedrooms, I can hear the song of his rhythmic prayers — the first of five times … Continue reading Hearing Bapak pray

Pak Dodoy

What I'll miss in Indonesia #66 I have a love-hate relationship with this human. One of the vice principals of my school, he constantly chain-smokes, ignoring the “no smoking on school grounds” law, and has a tendency of blowing his smoke in the direction of whomever he is talking to. When it’s me, and I … Continue reading Pak Dodoy