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    [post_content] => The last 2 weeks I have gone from paddling a hollowed out tree canoe in the rain over colorful coral reefs to spending a night in a tree 100 feet off the grounds, jeez. It's been spectalular, the people in Masihulan have something to learn from. Three of the days we spent in jungle camp. And the experience began on the boat ride over there, first we encountered huge trees blocking our way through the narrow river which Papa Ois chain-sawed through, then we casually passed a 9 foot crocodile. Then we hiked an hour in to jungle camp, its set on a stream in the middle of green, moist swampy, lushness. And its home to all sorts of animals: cassawary, deer, cus cus, pythons, and all sorts of birds. During our time there we learned how to survive in the wild: make a shelter to keep dry, and traps to catch food. One night we went hunting for river shrimp: first you spot them with your headlamp and without hesitation give a wack with a machete. Its not as easy as it sounds, our guide Soni caught 95 percent of them. And the last night after the regular afternoon rain, we ascended 100 feet up to a platform atop the jungle canopy(we took the ropes up, but our guide Pace climbed the vines to the top, gila). That's where all the life of the jungle is. All the birds reminded me of a pet store, we woke up to salmon crested cockatoos only found on Seram, red and green lorikeets, hornbills, huge bats, the list is neverending. Between the people and the jungle, it was unreal.
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Indonesia Semester, Fall 2012

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Jungle Camp

Scout Vernon,Indonesia Semester, Fall 2012

Description

The last 2 weeks I have gone from paddling a hollowed out tree canoe in the rain over colorful coral reefs to spending a night in a tree 100 feet off the grounds, jeez. It’s been spectalular, the people in Masihulan have something to learn from. Three of the days we spent in jungle camp. […]

Posted On

11/1/12

Author

Scout Vernon

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    [post_content] => We've just left our ten day homestay in Masihulan on the island of Seram. Although living in the village gave us insight into the social culture of Masihulan, in order to really understand the culture we needed to spend a few nights in the jungle to gain a closer look at the one resource that Masihulan depends on most. A few of our guides, including Pache and Soni, are family men back in the village, always willing to sit with you and break out the ukelele. But before following them through the jungle, I had no idea of their expertise and skills - they are truly masters of the land. Watching Pache scale a 100+ foot tree, in the rain, in bare feet, was both highly astounding and terrifying. I kept wondering to myself what his training was in order to be able to have the sort of confidence to climb like that- how many years of school he must have gone through in order to feel secure enough to be able to get to the top. Soni showed us how to make traps using only a machete and the surrounding trees and vines, after teaching us which plants have healing potential and how to find clean, drinkable water within the most unsuspecting branch. I wondered who taught him about the geometry of setting a trap like that, what degree angle he must chop in order for the spear to make contact. I realized how silly these expectations were, and it became so clear to me that I expect learning to take place in an academic setting, and usually see it as a privilige, not nessecarily for survival.

The base layer of what Masihulan taught me is that despite all of our differences, we are able to be a part of the same family and same community with genuine love for one another. Although I can't walk in the jungle without wearing shoes, and Soni may have never been in an airplane or sent an email, he is by far one of the most influential people I have met in my life in terms of his capacity to love, his patience, and his contagious joy.

But Masihulan taught me much, much more than merely that we can be a family of juxtaposed individuals. The next layer of learning that I gained in just ten days with Masihulan is how powerful our ability to value each other can be. Depending on who you ask, you will get a very different account of Pache, Soni and the island. The Indonesian government might consider Masihulan and the majority of Seram largely uneducated and poor- it's distance from Java vast enough to geographically marginalize whole villages that might otherwise get support. At first glance, Soni and Pache might be written off in the same way. However, after watching Soni and Pache construct impromptu ladders and bridges with just a machete, I know there is no way I could ever see them as uneducated. Our entire group has been in a stupefied state of awe at the feats our guides accomplish with ease. Sarah pointed out it would be like someone watching you make mac and cheese and being dumbfounded with your abilities.

The inherent power we hold as white travelers from America may give where we place our value an extra boost of importance. If Soni and Pache gain even the slighest twinge of pride from our exclamations at their skills, I can breathe a little easier for the weight of gratitude I have for them and all of Masihulan would feel a bit more bearable. Through this exchange of cultural awe, I've been inspired to consider what I place value on in my life back home; why is it important for me to go to college? Do I get use out of all my material possesions? Do they help me stay connected to my family and friends, or just serve as distractions from what really makes me happy? Do I enjoy the pace of my life at home, stacked with agendas, short term and long term goals, or can I thrive without all that structure as I have in Masihulan?

There were so many moments in Masihulan where I was moved to appreciate their way of life deeply, and other moments where I was humbled by how much I appreciate my life back home. Perhaps the incentive to value what I have, and to value the incredible people around me, is the greatest lesson Masihulan taught me.
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Indonesia Semester, Fall 2012, Homestay, Survey of Development Issues

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Thank you, Masihulan

Naya Herman,Indonesia Semester, Fall 2012, Homestay, Survey of Development Issues

Description

We’ve just left our ten day homestay in Masihulan on the island of Seram. Although living in the village gave us insight into the social culture of Masihulan, in order to really understand the culture we needed to spend a few nights in the jungle to gain a closer look at the one resource that […]

Posted On

11/1/12

Author

Naya Herman

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It was one o clock in the morning on the second night of our Masihulan homestay. It was October the 23rd, my birthday, and by fantastic coincidence the birthday of my 25 year old host sister. I couldn't sleep. There was a palm-sized black spider hanging over my bug net and, more importantly, a scraping sound in the rafters of the house. Suddenly, something fell from the ceiling several feet away from my head- a six-inch long, furry brown something which I could not identify before it scrambled onto the windowsill, behind the curtain. I leapt out of bed and into the common space outside. The window was closed, so I knew the thing must still be in there. For what seemed like ages I paced and panicked and deliberated and finally heard my sister moving around. I called her, and with my dictionary in my hand tried to explain what had happened. I didn't do a very good job, but she saw my face, left, and came back holding a flashlight and a bible. She searched all around the room and evidently the thing had gone. By this time I was crying and so was my little nephew in his room, calling for his mother. My sister ignored him and looked me straight in the eye. I was trying to apologize for waking her, but she wouldn't hear it. She told me then to lay back down and go to sleep, and that she was going to pray for me. Overcome, I lay down and she knelt by my bed with her bible. For minutes she whispered, then swept the book down my body three times and told me I was safe.

After that, nothing fell from my rafters, but I still heard the scufflings of animals late into the night. There was also a mysterious hole under my bed, full of small stones which every morning would be scattered across the floor as if something dug through them each night. Finally on the second to last day of the homestay I brought our amazing and bilingual guide, Naldo, over to my house to translate the problem. After a few minutes of cheerful conversation with my family he explained that the sound in the rafters was a paniki, a kind of small superfast bat which would make noise but not hurt me. "Great," I said, relieved, "What about the hole?"Naldo spoke again to my family, laughed, and said, "That's a rat." Apparently the rat had made the hole on that second night when I couldn't sleep, and had dug back through it every subsequent night. My dismay must have registered on my face because Naldo then asked if I was afraid of rats. The idea of a rat under my bed was sending shivers down my spine but I felt a bizarre need to defend myself to Naldo and my family, who all seemed totally unconcerned. I tried to explain that I wasn't afraid of rats as a rule, that nobody in America likes them, but Naldo cut me off. "Your family needs to know," he said, "Say this: Saya takut tikus."

"Saya takut tikus," I repeated, "What does that mean?"

"It means: I'm afraid of rats."

My homestay in Masihulan was much more than its sleepless nights, but this story illustrates best what Dragons students learn every day: that it's the things that surpise us that tell us the most about ourselves and our culture. I never thought of myself as someone who's afraid of rats, but I am, and what's more I come from a whole country of people afraid of rats.

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Indonesia Semester, Fall 2012

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I’m afraid of rats

Lyda Langford,Indonesia Semester, Fall 2012

Description

It was one o clock in the morning on the second night of our Masihulan homestay. It was October the 23rd, my birthday, and by fantastic coincidence the birthday of my 25 year old host sister. I couldn’t sleep. There was a palm-sized black spider hanging over my bug net and, more importantly, a scraping […]

Posted On

10/31/12

Author

Lyda Langford

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The Island of Seram is amazing. I have been moved by the people of Masihulan and am not ready to articulate just how much or what this experiencemeant to me. The only thing I can say that I feel gives at least a small window into my experience here are several snapshots from these last two weeks that have stuck with me. On my first day in Seram, just as I was getting my bearings and gaining a feeling of where I was, I looked up and saw an enormous bat, larger than an eagle, flying into a rainbow and I realized that I was about to step into fairyland, or king kong land to be more exact. I watched a man walk (yes i did say walk) up a 30 meeter tree in the rain with no shoes as if he were climbing stairs. I held a girl in my arms whom I hardly knew, while she cried at my leaving. I sang love songs with the three most badass men I have ever met and probably will ever meet. And I fell in love with a community so different from anything that I have known, that didn't share my language, but that will stay with me forever.

I am entirly immersed in my time here and have nothing futher to say except to express gratitue to the people that made this possible for me.

This is what I came here for.

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Indonesia Semester, Fall 2012

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no news is good news

Eliza Culhane,Indonesia Semester, Fall 2012

Description

The Island of Seram is amazing. I have been moved by the people of Masihulan and am not ready to articulate just how much or what this experiencemeant to me. The only thing I can say that I feel gives at least a small window into my experience here are several snapshots from these last […]

Posted On

10/31/12

Author

Eliza Culhane

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    [post_content] => One skill that I have learned in Masehulan is being content doing  absolutely nothing. In the beginning of the trip, it was hard to adjust  to the slow pace of life after growing up in America, but now i'm able  to spend a whole afternoon just sitting with my host family. Little  activities, such as washing my cloths, eating, working out or walking to  Scout or Pete's house to sit in one of their plastic chairs, have now  become the big events of my day. Back home this would have felt like a  boring day, but now i'm starting to have trouble fitting all these  activities in. I have adjusted to the relaxed and stress free  environment that the Masehulan people live. 
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Indonesia Semester, Fall 2012

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Slowing my pace of life

Will Brokaw,Indonesia Semester, Fall 2012

Description

One skill that I have learned in Masehulan is being content doing absolutely nothing. In the beginning of the trip, it was hard to adjust to the slow pace of life after growing up in America, but now i’m able to spend a whole afternoon just sitting with my host family. Little activities, such as […]

Posted On

10/31/12

Author

Will Brokaw

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This week marks a major transition in the group’s experience as the students travel from the island of Java, Indonesia’s economic and political center, to one of the outer edges of the archipelago – the eastern islands of Maluku. As the students move from the environment of the majority – the majority religion (Islam), and the majority ethnic group (Javanese), they take with them a host of experiences that define life in a modern Asian democracy. They also move into the next phase of the trip armed with new knowledge of themselves as Americans, as youth, and as citizens of the world.

Some of the most important lessons learned through the first phase of this course were not the kind that get transmitted through explicit lessons or activities, but represent the kind of learning that percolates through lived experiences. A unique aspects of Dragon’s courses is the focus on living with local families as one of the central aspects of learning about the realities and issues of a host country. The students have been introduced to the major issues facing Indonesian society directly from as members of an Indonesian family in the city of Yogyakarta. Inherent in many of those lessons were a new recognition of the perceptions and assumptions we carry as Americans. As Eliza said while reflecting on her day to day life with a family who practices Islam, “this may sound naïve, but I never thought that living with Muslims would feel so normal”. Instead of finding the exotic strangeness of a radically different culture, they’ve been challenged with understanding how the familiar forms of Western commerce that touch all corners of the world take on different meaning in a new cultural context. Whether through sharing in youth culture by hanging out at a bar that serves only milk, a favorite hang-out of Muslim host brothers and sisters who don’t drink alcohol, or joining a street artist’s collective where graffiti artists are dedicated to being responsible citizens and improving the lives of the people in their community, the students have experienced not so much the radical difference of others, but a challenge to their perception of how different their lives are from other youth around the globe. The most interesting lesson, perhaps, was not how different we are from each other, but how forces like the media makes it seem as if our lives are radically opposed.

The learning has not been restricted to our students, but also extended to our local host families, many who have never before hosted an American student. As Naya’s host mother shared with me through her tears at her adopted daughter’s impending departure, here was someone who was not foreign, but a person “who shared my daughter’s bed and ate anything I cooked for her”. Just like our students were shocked to learn that many Indonesians wonder if life is really like the movie “American Pie”, our host families were surprised that American students would want to learn about their lives, their faith, their hopes for themselves and their children. At the party that the students organized to thank their host families, the instructor team was struck by the transformation that had been wrought by the simple act of people willing to put aside their perceptions and fears and open themselves to getting to know each other. Nervous introductions (from both sides) had been replaced by affection and a palpable sense of gratitude for getting a chance to be part of each other’s lives. As Naya and Cassidy wrote enumerated in their yak this week, everyone has moved into a “new normal” one where the students know a little more about themselves, and one where their selves can’t live without rice on their plates, as their host families taught them!

Whether playing soccer with the local farmer’s kids in the Dieng plateau or learning the silversmithing trade like Scout, Pete and Will, and Eliza, or going to the movies with your host sisters after a few hours painting with wax to make batik in the same way its been done for hundreds of years like Lyda, Olivia and Cassidy, the students have seen exactly how the modern and the ancient don’t have to cancel each other out. Culture isn’t a phenomena restricted to picturesque postcards or people denied access to the technologies of the modern world by poverty. Like the leather puppet based on a centuries-old religious text that Emily learned to make under the tutelage of a renowned wayang (shadow puppet) master, the traditions of the past live on in modern stories still performed for modern people. We are connected to tradition in our perception about how our bodies are related to our beliefs about human nature, and the ever-evolving relationship between the genders, as Alyssa experienced through the ancient art of jamu-making. The value of community wisdom and the importance of tradition are reincarnated in art that breathes new life into public space, and reminds us that the past lives on in the present, as Naya and Lauren documented in their work with the city’s street art collectives.

Off on a fresh set of adventures, the students are primed to take their “new normal” and their new sense of self out of the center and to the edges of Western influence, to those places where it may seem on the surface that the world they are encountering is different than anything they’ve imagined. But they take with them a sense that difference is more a way of seeing then an impediment to the humanity that makes us all “relative” so to speak, all one community on this shared territory of an earth who have many things to learn from each other. For the next two weeks, the students will be visiting a community on the island of Seram that has limited access to technologies like internet connection, so we ask for your patience in awaiting the next round of communication and the next installment of tales from this unfolding adventure.

Salam,

the Indo Instructor Team

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Indonesia Semester, Fall 2012

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From the Center to the Edge

Instructor Team ,Indonesia Semester, Fall 2012

Description

This week marks a major transition in the group’s experience as the students travel from the island of Java, Indonesia’s economic and political center, to one of the outer edges of the archipelago – the eastern islands of Maluku. As the students move from the environment of the majority – the majority religion (Islam), and […]

Posted On

10/19/12

Author

Instructor Team

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    [post_content] => You know you're becoming an Indo Dragon when...

1.) When presented a meal without rice you immediately ask 'ada nasi?'

2.) Everything important is ranked on a scale from 1 to Celine Dion.

3.) You take at least two bucket showers per day.

4.) Your idea of a soccer mom is Aaron Slosberg.

5.) You casually mention that you've climbed Mt. Merapi, it's the largest volcano in Indonesia. No big deal...

6.) When something extraordinary things happen you know it was Judy.

7.) You're tight with all the hipster street artists in Yogja.

8.) You're not afraid of feedback.

9.) You learn traditional Indonesian songs from Taxi drivers.

10.) Exposed shoulders seem scandalous. [post_title] => You Know You're Becoming an Indo Dragon When [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => you-know-youre-becoming-an-indo-dragon-when [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2012-10-17 00:00:00 [post_modified_gmt] => 1970-01-01 00:00:00 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://yakyak.chandigarhsoftware.com/?p=39683 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [categories] => Array ( [0] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 284 [name] => Indonesia Semester, Fall 2012 [slug] => indonesia-semester-fall-2012 [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 284 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 243 [count] => 96 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 14.1 [cat_ID] => 284 [category_count] => 96 [category_description] => [cat_name] => Indonesia Semester, Fall 2012 [category_nicename] => indonesia-semester-fall-2012 [category_parent] => 243 [link] => https://my.wheretherebedragons.com/category/fall-2012/indonesia-semester-fall-2012/ ) ) [category_links] => Indonesia Semester, Fall 2012 )

Indonesia Semester, Fall 2012

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You Know You’re Becoming an Indo Dragon When

Naya and Cassidy,Indonesia Semester, Fall 2012

Description

You know you’re becoming an Indo Dragon when… 1.) When presented a meal without rice you immediately ask ‘ada nasi?’ 2.) Everything important is ranked on a scale from 1 to Celine Dion. 3.) You take at least two bucket showers per day. 4.) Your idea of a soccer mom is Aaron Slosberg. 5.) You […]

Posted On

10/17/12

Author

Naya and Cassidy

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    [post_date] => 2012-10-17 00:00:00
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As I thought about writing this yak, I've gone through my mind trying to find a specific experience I've had in the past couple weeks to write about. Trouble was, there are just too many. I could talk about walking around lakes colored turquoise with sulfur, or pits of boiling, belching mud. I could write about how I saw rolling green hills covered from crown to base with lines and lines of agriculture that looked like a patchwork quilt that streached for miles. I could write about saying goodbye to the family I have spent the last month with and how dear to me they have become. I could even write about waking up at three in the morning to hike to the top of a mountain where I watched the sun rise yet again, but this time with Mt. Marapi in the foreground instead of beneath me. I could write about all these things, but it seems to me that I couldn't possibly be conveying anything close to these past weeks by just focusing on one thing that I did. Instead, it makes much more sense to me to write of the many little things that have stuck with me in the corners of my mind that will become the stories I tell of my time here.

There was a moment where I was standing on a corner and was suddenly enveloped in a cloud of swirling feathers...I caught one and was wondering what wonderful thing had just happened when I realized a man riding a bike covered in dead chickens had just streamed passed me on his way to work. Another moment: My two Ibus hugging me for the first time with such affection we all three were startled almost into tears. Me sitting on top of a mountain at 5 in the morning watching the sun rise and buying a cup of instant coffee from a man who had hiked up after us with a large backpack full of warm goodies to sell. That coffee was incredible. (and thats saying a lot considering I'm from seattle).


I have realized over the passed weeks here, that its the many little things that create your understanding of a place and the feeling you get when you think about it. Picking up the details in life is something I have always done, but now I am seeing the first positive repercussions of it. I am now making a point to memorize the smell of a certain dish, or the feel of a foreign tree or the color of that vast patchwork quilt of farms. Ill remember the way myfamily laughed at dinner and the way this city moves like a thousand schools of fish, delicately twining between each other always moving and always floating along with effortless grace.
So its the many little things I will be looking for, and collecting in the corners of my mind. And its the many little things that I will bring back with me, ready to spread out in the minds of the people surrounding me.

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Indonesia Semester, Fall 2012

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many little things

eliza culhane,Indonesia Semester, Fall 2012

Description

As I thought about writing this yak, I’ve gone through my mind trying to find a specific experience I’ve had in the past couple weeks to write about. Trouble was, there are just too many. I could talk about walking around lakes colored turquoise with sulfur, or pits of boiling, belching mud. I could write […]

Posted On

10/17/12

Author

eliza culhane

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    [post_author] => 39
    [post_date] => 2012-10-17 00:00:00
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    [post_content] => Hello world,

We have just arrived back from Jogja after a three day group led excursion to Dieng Plateau. This week, I have been the designated story teller, or Pemulung Cherita. What this entails, I am not entirely sure, apart from writing a group yak, but I rolled with it. You know, I told some stories. It’s all good.

Behold, a week in review:

Monday: it was just another manic (or malaria?) monday in Jogya with Bahasssaaaa lessons in the morning, followed by a discussion of our upcoming adventure, and ISP in the afternoon.

Tuesday: We left jogja at 6:15 tuesday morning via party bus for Wonosobo, and once we arrived, we used our language skills to inquire about a bus to the plateau (It was actually pretty straight foward and involved “Where is the bus to Dieng”... but be impressed anyway.) We made good time to Dieng and whipped out our lonely planets and quickly found a hotel within our budget. It was pretty trendy, I mean they even had hot water (the water heater was labeled “Red wine and Beauty”). After we settled in, we ate a lunch. Imagine a cornucopia of mie rebus. And peanut butter. But not at the same time. Later in the afternoon we got down to business, with a group feedback session and discussion of our plans for the rest of our excursion. As a group we have hit the expedition phase, which means the instructor clique has taken a step back and handed over the responsibility of arranging transportation, accomodations, food, budget, etc to us. While this was stressful at times, every member of our group stepped up to their role and we have basically transformed into a power team. Anyway we later dined in downtown dieng and experienced the local beverage, Perwaceng. If gingerbread was a drink, it would be perwaceng. We headed back to the hotel and played some cards and basically basked in our lack of sweat (because Dieng is cold).

Wednesday: On wednesday morning we hiked around Dieng Plateau’s colored lakes which were really bright blues and greens due to the sulfur from the volcanos. Which also meant that the area smelled like sulfer, although I am not entirely convinced that it wasn’t Pete, given that he eats like 8 eggs a day. But anyway it was a really beautiful area, and our hike was such an adventure. We saw hot springs, talked to a potato farmer, saw a hindu temple and Lyda Aaron and Cass pretended to be sloths at one point. On the whole, it was slightly reminiscent of the earth kingdom in avatar (there were cabbage carts and a king boomi slide....). Later everyone had free time to explore Dieng. Pete, Will and Scout played footsal with some of the kids. Lauren, Emily and I met a group of local kids who showed us some dance moves at a hindu temple (Lion slorooooo). I think this really speaks to the power of weird dances, in that although we couldn’t really speak with them, we all had a great afternoon. I would post a video but the yak board doesnt allow for that just yet. The people in Dieng were some of the nicest I have ever met. Everyone was so willing to stumble through english/bahasa with us. That night, Eliza held a fab ceremony for us (With the help of Lyda and Pete) and talked about our time in Jogya as a foundation for the rest of the trip.

Thursday: We left our hotel at 3:55 and heading to a mountain for a sunrise hike. We could see merapi in the distance,and not only was the sunrise incredably beautiful, it felt amazing to be able to come full circle reflecting on our time in jogja. We own the sunrise mountain hike thing. Afterwards, Emily and Lauren and I hosted a fashion show, working our sarongs and quick dry pants. We left dieng and headed to a questionable hotspring and dined in Wonosobo. Our group has quickly become addicted to magnum bars. I know that I would do terrible terrible things for one.... Or atleast want to replace meals with them. Either way. This trip to Dieng was an important for our group culture in that we really stepped up and took responsibility for our experience.

Friday: This was our last “normal” day in Jogya and we had bahasa in the morning and said goodbye to our teachers Hengky and Pak Yos and went to our final ISP sesions in the afternoon. After, we moved into our final weekend with our homestay families. Our time in Jogja has functioned to create a foundation for the rest of our trip and seems to have passed so quickly. On the whole, we have become such a power group and have adjusted to indo life under the guidance of our instructor clique. Although it will be sad to say goodbye to Jogja, I am so excited to begin the rest of the trip.

Peace sukkaaahhhhs-
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Indonesia Semester, Fall 2012

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When you’ve been to the moon and back

Olivia Rothberg,Indonesia Semester, Fall 2012

Description

Hello world, We have just arrived back from Jogja after a three day group led excursion to Dieng Plateau. This week, I have been the designated story teller, or Pemulung Cherita. What this entails, I am not entirely sure, apart from writing a group yak, but I rolled with it. You know, I told some […]

Posted On

10/17/12

Author

Olivia Rothberg

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    [post_author] => 39
    [post_date] => 2012-10-17 00:00:00
    [post_date_gmt] => 1970-01-01 00:00:00
    [post_content] => 
If I could write the thank you to my host family in Yogyakarta that expresses exactly what I’ve been the most grateful for. If we spoke the same language and I could write to them without fear of being misunderstood. My thank you letter would look something like this...

To my family,

Thank you to my Ayah for teaching me. For teaching me about the magic your religion holds for you, and thoughtfully listening to my opinions about faith. For explaining to me that for you the Qur’an is not a just book of rules, but a manual to help you be a better person. Thank you for striving to be the best representative of your religion, your culture, and your country for me.

Thank you to my Ibu for making me really feel like part of the family. Thank you for always wanting to know where I am, who I’m with, what I’m doing, and what time I’ll be home. Thank you for being so concerned that I’m always wearing dirty clothes, and always making sure that my feet are clean and my hair dried. Thank you for always adding more food to my plate no matter how much I put on it to begin with. The first night that I stayed in your home you told me that I would eat so much here that I’d get fat... a few days ago you poked my stomach and more or less said, “I told you so”. Thank you for taking the role of my mom so seriously. I’ve complained about it, but it’s felt really good to have a mom always worrying about me and packing me snacks for school.

Thank you to my little brother, Akmal, for sharing your family with me. Thank you to my littlest sister, Naya, for letting me teach you and for letting me learn from you. Thank you for laughing at me when I try to speak Indonesian. I’ve now memorized the lyrics to more Justin Bieber and One Direction songs than I ever thought possible, and have you to thank for that. Thank you to Bella for sharing your room with me. For being so patient with your mom when she volunteers you to translate a novel's worth of things she wants to say to me. For asking me questions about my life and letting me ask about yours.

Thank you to my family for welcoming me into your home. For feeding me, and over-feeding me. For being so generous, and so kind. For laughing with me (and at me), and for teaching me, and for sharing with me. I’ve felt so accepted in your home and I want you to know how much I appreciate that. Thank you for letting me be a part of your family.

Lauren
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Indonesia Semester, Fall 2012

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Leaving Family in Yogya

Lauren Harper,Indonesia Semester, Fall 2012

Description

If I could write the thank you to my host family in Yogyakarta that expresses exactly what I’ve been the most grateful for. If we spoke the same language and I could write to them without fear of being misunderstood. My thank you letter would look something like this… To my family, Thank you to […]

Posted On

10/17/12

Author

Lauren Harper

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