Today, April 9th 2014, Peace Corps Indonesia batch 7 celebrates its 1-year anniversary. Over the past year many things have happened but time has seemed to fly by! The year has been filled with many great adventures, amazing friends, awkward cultural misunderstandings, emotional highs, emotional lows, strange sicknesses and most of all it was filled with RICE.
Reflecting on the past year I finally understand why Peace Corps is 27 months long. I have been here for a year and I just started feeling comfortable teaching, beginning secondary projects and living independently in an Indonesian village. I feel the challenges of transition are finally coming to and end and I can begin moving forward and really trying to make an impact over the next year.
For the last few months I have been away from my blog and it would be convenient to blame it on the rainy season, the floods, the earthquake or the volcanic eruption but in reality its because I was lazy and couldn’t find the motivation to write a post. So to recap my adventures from beyond a comfort zone I will try to represent my 1st year here in Indonesia with photos.
First weekend hike to a waterfall with my Tulungrejo Family
Leaving home – April 5, 2013
Excited to be in my Training Village, Batu Malang
On April 5th 2013 I left home for Peace Corps staging in San Francisco. Soon after we arrived in Indonesia I moved to Tulungrejo were I stayed for 10 weeks and trained to become a Peace Corps Volunteer.
My Favorite photo that I have taken this year – Marjie at our English Camp in Batu
Dan and I sharing a Pizza to Celebrate one Month in Indonesia
Peace Corps Trainees and CP SMP N4 Batu – English Camp
During training we had a pack schedule. We had language training 6 days a week, attended teacher workshops and taught at local schools. Pre Service Training was very busy but we always seem to find time for Pizza!
Welcome to my new home Gebang, Indonesia
My CP Tono and His wife Dewi hanging out at the Jetty by my house
Host family and I at Peace Corps swear-in ceremony!
In June I Swore in as a Peace Corps Volunteer and moved to Desa Gebang, Cirebon, West Java.
Spending a Rainy 4th of July with the best the North West has to offer!
Sunday morning bike ride
Me with my NKPI K2 Students
In July I spend the summer exploring my new home, I finally began teaching and I got to celebrate a rainy 4th of July with some crazy PCV’s.
Telling all the cool kids in my neighbor hood about Golden Crust pizza and how awesome Providence is!
Celebrating Idul Fitri with Tono and Dewi
Hanging out with my main man Fajar – my host brother
In August, Ramadan came to an end and I got to take part in many cultural and religious events. I also spent a lot of time getting to knew my community.
ID7 escapes to Bali!
I moved into a new home, now I have my own apartment and my Host parents are amazing!
New Cadet induction ceremony
September was a month of big moves. I moved to a home closer to my school and I was lucky enough to get my own little apartment. I also visited Bali with 30 of my closest friends. We had a blast exploring another one of Indonesia’s many Islands.
Pre-In Service training trip to Karimun Jawa
celebrating halloween with limited resources
Celebrating the World Series with my family from a hospital waiting room!
In October all of ID7 reunited for In Service training. Before training a few friends and I spent a long weekend snorkeling around Karimun Jawa. At training I was happy to see many long lost friends and as a group PCID celebrated Halloween. But the highlight of October was getting to watch the Red Sox win the World Series.
English Club 1st ever field trip! We visit the palaces in Cirebon!
West Java celebrating Thanksgiving with the US Ambassador!
My Surprise 24th Birthday Party with my English Club
In November I spent a lot of time with my English Club. We took our first field trip to the Cirebon Palace and at the end of our trip they surprised me with a small birthday party ! At the end of the month West Java was invited to the Ambassadors house to celebrated Thanksgiving.
Visiting a Volcano with my Host Farther
Christmas in Hawaii
Singapore with Steve
December was the month of Family! At the beginning of the month I got a chance to meet up with my older brother in Singapore. When I got home my host father and I traveled to a near by volcano and at the end of the month I spent Christmas and New Years in Hawaii with my family.
View from behind my school – I really do love the rainy season
Visiting Obama’s Elementary school – thats right Obama lived here when he was a kid!
Visiting Mr. Dans school and helping out with English club!
During the month of January the rainy season was in full swing which made for amazing sunsets! I also had the chance to visit Obamas former elementary school in Jakarta and got to help out with Mr. Dan’s English Club.
Finally dusted off the oven and started cooking for myself. My stove top Cookies make the village go wild!
Cultural Arts Festival in Cirebon
Perks of living in a Fishing Village!
In February it rained so much that the streets flooded almost everyday. This happen so often I could barely leave my house but it was no problem because I finally started cooking at home. Now my homemade chocolate chip cookies are the hit of the village! I also learned how to properly gut a fish and grill it – Desa style!
I had the opportunity to help out at ID8’s arrival and orientation with some awesome people!
I also spent some time visiting other PCV schools and helped out with English clubs – here Inge is teaching her students to square dance!
Had a surprise home coming with my first host family!
In March I was invited to the new trainee orientation as a member of the Peer Support network. At orientation Thai, Emani and myself lead a session on diversity in Indonesia. We also had the chance to hang out with the new trainees and answered all of their burning questions. I also took this time to visit my former host family in Tulungrejo!
My neighborhood friends – these kids have come over almost everyday this month and asked to play AMERICAN football #winning!
Just when I thought the rain was over I got stuck on the side of the road while it poured!
Brie, myself and our Counter Parts working on a Cirebon wide English teacher training!
This April has started off to be a very busy month. My site mate Brie and I are in the process of planning a university training as well as a Cirebon wide teachers workshop.
This year has been an incredible adventure and I’m excited that I still have 15 months here in Indonesia. I’m not ready to go home yet, there are still places to explore and work to be done – Im just getting started!