Just Another Day In Indonesia…


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What Sarah Said

It’s HUB day so I’m in Malang, cramming my head full of information and getting loads of shots. I don’t have much that’s super exciting to share, but here’s the highlights from the last few days:

–       I’m now halfway through my 6 weeks of Bahasa Indonesia language class. I’m FAAAR from fluent but it’s pretty amazing to think about how much we’ve covered in such a short amount of time. The amount of words I learn every day should explain why I’m so exhausted all the time!

–       I’ve eaten more fried food and tempeh/tofu in the last three weeks than in all the years of my life combined…and there’s much, much more of this to come.

–       I’ve been telling my ibu (host mom) that I want to learn to cook and I finally got in the kitchen and got to help fry tempeh and dadar jugung (fried…

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What Sarah Said

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I made it in the paper!

As I type this I’m sitting at home listening to the rain pounding on my roof. I couldn’t figure out what the sound was until I went outside to see that this was definitely a tropical rain shower – when it rains, it pours! We arrived at the very end of the rainy season so today is actually the first rain I’ve seen since I’ve been in Batu. In Indonesia there are two seasons: the hot season and the rainy season. Don’t be deceived by the name – both seasons are hot! The rain does cut the heat a little bit, though, and there tend to be less bugs in the rainy season.

The bad news for me is that mosquito season is right around the corner. While there are mosquitoes here year-round, there are more during the hot season. I can testify to this…

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Dua Minggu

It’s the second week (dua minggu) here, and I realized I’ve hardly blogged! Despite the plethora of internet cafes here, I haven’t had much time in between class and studying and hanging out with my family and sleeping. I have been trying to upload photos of a jalan-jalan (walk) I took this weekend, but the internet here is slow and my photo files are large, so alas…not now.

Things are going really well here! The scenery is beautiful and the climate is really comfortable. So far, I’ve only gotten two mosquito bites and there aren’t nearly as many bugs or insects here as there are in other parts of East Java because right now we’re in the mountains (yay). I don’t want to move. 🙂

My family is pretty cool. There’s a large extended family that all lives in my house…either on the next floor up or next door…so there’s usually lots of people coming and going. I enjoy having lots of people around and I’m sure I won’t get lonely or bored! I have two host brothers. One is 14 and the other is 5. It’s the same age gap as between Hannah and me. But in addition to my two brothers there are tons of cousins running around so there’s usually at least 4 or 5 kids in the house. My host mom and dad are really nice and I have an 88-year-old grandfather who is so cool. Eighty-eight is really old here but he’s doing great! He’s really independent and he does chores around the house and pretty much just does his own thing. He was a soldier for years and years and during his career as a soldier in WWII he learned to speak Japanese. The whole family is very proud of the fact that he was a soldier (there’s a picture of him in uniform in the front room by the door) and the fact that he speaks Japanese.

Other fun facts:

– I’ve had 5 shots so far…and many more to come.

– I now have a cell phone, which only cost $15 USD, although I accidentally told my family here that it cost $115…oops. Luckily I caught that mistake. I discovered today that it’s free to receive incoming calls so if any of you want to call from the States (maybe via skype or a calling card to bring down the cost for you), I’ll let you know my number!

– If you don’t eat rice with a meal here then it isn’t considered a meal. So you can eat food all day long but you never had breakfast, lunch, and dinner if you didn’t have rice. Needless to say, I’m consuming a lot of rice.

– Guava juice and coconut biscuits are now two of my favorite things.

– My next goal is to find and drink jus apokat dengan susu coklat (avocado juice with chocolate milk). It sounds weird but delicious.

That’s it for now – selamat sore!