Photo of the Week
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Selamat Malam (Good Evening)!

Several of you had questions about gifts for home-stay families. Probably the best gift that you can give to your home-stay families would be a photo of yourself or a photo of you with your family. We recommend bringing a long 5-10 copies of these photos to give away. Also, we recommend that you bring along several photos of your home, family, friends, etc. to show to your home-stay families. They'll no doubt find these photos fascinating and this can be a great way to break the ice and start making connections.

Also, we recommend making a mix CD or two of your favorite music to bring along. This will make those long car rides MUCH more enjoyable and there may even be opportunities to share your tunes with the locals.

Indonesians LOVE to sing, play music and dance! Connecting with the locals through music is tons of fun. It can really melt away that pesky language barrier. So, if you play a musical instrument that comes in a travel-friendly size, we encourage you to bring it along! And, if you like to sing or dance, you're in luck!

Be Well,

Katie

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Indonesia Semester, Spring 2011

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Gifts for Home-stay Families

Katie Hagel,Indonesia Semester, Spring 2011

Description

Selamat Malam (Good Evening)! Several of you had questions about gifts for home-stay families. Probably the best gift that you can give to your home-stay families would be a photo of yourself or a photo of you with your family. We recommend bringing a long 5-10 copies of these photos to give away. Also, we […]

Posted On

02/2/11

Author

Katie Hagel

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Selamat Pagi! (Good Morning!)

I just arrived in Bali a couple of days ago and I’m getting really excited for our adventure! I’ve been going for long walks amongst beautiful rice fields, learning as much Indonesian as I can and sampling some delicious local foods. My favorite meal so far has been spicy fish steamed in banana leaves, green beans with coconut and saffron rice. Yum! I’ve also been enjoying tropical fruits such as snake fruit, dragon fruit and mangosteen. The markets and the landscapes here are SO colorful. I can’t wait for you to get here so that you can start exploring!

Last night, I went to visit Jamie, our Program Director, who lives in the lovely Balinese village where we will enjoy our first home-stay. A gigantic double rainbow welcomed me into the village and I took it as an auspicious sign. Perhaps I’m just getting a bit carried away now that I’m on Bali, “The Island of the Gods,” but it really does feel as though the gods are smiling on us and sending their blessings to our program. Since arriving in Bali, I’ve received nothing but warm welcomes and friendly smiles from the local people, who have been very patient and encouraging as I practice my Indonesian and finish my last-minute errands . And, as we prepare for your arrival in Indonesia, it truly feels as though everything is falling into place. This is shaping up to be the adventure of a lifetime. . . I can’t wait for you to get here so that we can begin it!

Be Well,

Katie

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Indonesia Semester, Spring 2011

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Selamat Pagi!

Katie Hagel,Indonesia Semester, Spring 2011

Description

Selamat Pagi! (Good Morning!) I just arrived in Bali a couple of days ago and I’m getting really excited for our adventure! I’ve been going for long walks amongst beautiful rice fields, learning as much Indonesian as I can and sampling some delicious local foods. My favorite meal so far has been spicy fish steamed […]

Posted On

02/1/11

Author

Katie Hagel

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Selamat Pagi!

I hope this note finds you well and I hope that you are getting excited for our adventure. I wanted to post a note about Independent Study Projects in order to give you a better sense of this Program Component and how it can enhance your Indonesia Semester experience.

Independent Study Projects (ISPs) are a great opportunity for you to pick a topic that interests you that you’d like to explore in depth during our travels. Although your instructors will set expectations and hold you accountable, this is NOT like one of your classes at school. There are no grades and it’s OK to take a risk and choose something that you don’t know much about or aren’t sure you’ll be good at. The ISP is for YOU. It’s meant to be enjoyable and it’s meant to enrich and enliven your Indonesia experience. It’s a great opportunity for you to get out and explore the country and interacting with local people. Your instructors will do their best to provide you with the resources and guidance that you’ll need to have an awesome ISP experience. But, ultimately, as will just about everything on this program, this will be YOUR experience. What you put into this is what you’ll get out of it. So, think big and get ready to DIVE IN!

Because we’ll be on the move a lot, we encourage you to choose topics that “travel well” and aren’t dependent on a particular teacher or place. Our course area is quite diverse and involved explorations of radically different cultures and environments. The ISP can function as a unifying thread that will help you integrate your experiences. For example, comparing and contrasting gender roles in various home-stay villages or eco-tourism initiatives in various communities can be a great way for you to look closely at local conditions and consider how they fit into the bigger picture. In addition to comparative ISPs, creative ISPs such as photo essays, writing projects and art projects work really well on this program because you can work on them wherever you are.

We encourage you take some time to look over your course preparation materials and post a Yak with your thoughts on ISP topics that you might like to pursue. If you can’t think of anything, perhaps look some of your hobbies and consider how you might explore them in Indonesia. You might also think about what attracted you to this program in the first place and think about turning whatever it was that sparked your interest into an ISP. If still nothing comes to mind, don’t worry. We’ll be talking about ISPs during our student orientation and you don’t have to choose your topic before you arrive. After you arrive in Indonesia and learn more about the local culture, you’ll surely find something that interests you. I hope that we will ALL discover some new interests and passions this Semester!

To help you get started, here is a list of ISP topics from last fall’s Indonesia Semester students:

Western influence in Indonesia, specifically in regards to medical information and access

The current state of coral reefs both globally and in Indonesia and the efforts being taken to protect and restore their health.

Comparative study of eco-tourism projects and broader effects in Bali, Hoga, and Masihulan.

Comparative study of fishing practices in local Indonesian communities.

Problematic effects of trash disposal in Indonesia, especially the environmental hazards of burning plastics.

A study of trash: consumerism, disposal, responsibility, and possible solutions.

Gender roles in Indonesia and how they manifested in different communities, with a specific focus on the role of the head scarf in the public domain.

Representation of the relationship between the natural and spiritual world in different communities through narratives, symbols, and interviews

I hope this helps! Please feel free to contact me with any questions, or even just to chat.

Selamat tinggal (goodbye),

Katie


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Indonesia Semester, Spring 2011

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Independent Study Projects

Katie Hagel,Indonesia Semester, Spring 2011

Description

Selamat Pagi! I hope this note finds you well and I hope that you are getting excited for our adventure. I wanted to post a note about Independent Study Projects in order to give you a better sense of this Program Component and how it can enhance your Indonesia Semester experience. Independent Study Projects (ISPs) […]

Posted On

02/1/11

Author

Katie Hagel

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Hi everyone!

Wow I have been looking forward to this for a long time! So here I am, attempting to writing to you about who I am and what I want and what I am nervous about and excited for and there is so much to say I am certian that I could not fit it into one post, and yet I can't find the right place to start. So I will start with right now: I am sitting in an internet cafe in South Africa, on one of my last nights on this amazing continent that I have been exploring for the past few months. And I amfilled with excitement and butterflies and questions and anxiety, but mostly a hunger for what is next. I can't wait to get started, to meet all of you, to jump into this adventure and push myself out of my comfort zone and what I know and experience all there is to experience, to learn and to grow. There is so much about this that I am excited for, that appealed to me when deciding where to go. Mostly it was an impluse and a calling,and now I am getting ready to leave Africa and transition into home just in time to leave for Indonesia. It feels a little overwhelming at times in all honesty.

Okay, I haven't even gotten any useful information about myself out yet. I am 18, from Berkeley, California, and taking a year off because I never spent high school working toward college and firmly believe that learning is best done through human interactions and real life experience rather than text books and lectures. And because why would I choose a classroom over Indonesia?

Can't wait to meet you all!!

Marjorie

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Indonesia Semester, Spring 2011

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Hey hey!!

Marjorie Isaacs,Indonesia Semester, Spring 2011

Description

Hi everyone! Wow I have been looking forward to this for a long time! So here I am, attempting to writing to you about who I am and what I want and what I am nervous about and excited for and there is so much to say I am certian that I could not fit […]

Posted On

01/26/11

Author

Marjorie Isaacs

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Hi,

My name is Alexandra, but you can call me Alex. I'm 17 and just graduated high school early from my boarding school, which is what brought me here. With 9 months between my graduation and the start of college I needed something productive, interesting, and fun to do, so I'm coming with you.

Where I live? Well... I am originally from Burlington, Vermont, but I've spent the last year and a half attending a boarding school in Montana, and after graduation, I decided I loved it so much that I have been continuing to live here past graduation, spending my time working instead of taking classes.

For me, I'm excited that I will soon find myself somewhere new and different, but I am also nervous. My boarding school has become my home, and even though I am excited to leave, I have found a family within the walls it has provided. I am a type of person who, if they could, would keep in touch with every person they come across in their life, and for those I don't, I always hope that I will someday see them again.

I look forward to spending time with all of you and getting to know what the Yak Yak posts do not show.

I'll see you in just a week and a half!

-Alex

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Indonesia Semester, Spring 2011

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You can call me Alex

Alexandra Green,Indonesia Semester, Spring 2011

Description

Hi, My name is Alexandra, but you can call me Alex. I’m 17 and just graduated high school early from my boarding school, which is what brought me here. With 9 months between my graduation and the start of college I needed something productive, interesting, and fun to do, so I’m coming with you. Where […]

Posted On

01/26/11

Author

Alexandra Green

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Dear Indonesia Students,

As you all should be aware, during your program this Spring you will need to extend your Indonesiavisa while in the field.

In order to be able to do this, PLEASE BRING $110 in US Cash with you to cover this extension when you arrive in country.

The money will be collected by your instructors and used to process the visa extension.

All the best,

Dragons Admin

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Indonesia Semester, Spring 2011

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Reminder regarding visa extension during program

Dragons Administration,Indonesia Semester, Spring 2011

Description

Dear Indonesia Students, As you all should be aware, during your program this Spring you will need to extend your Indonesiavisa while in the field. In order to be able to do this, PLEASE BRING $110 in US Cash with you to cover this extension when you arrive in country. The money will be collected […]

Posted On

01/25/11

Author

Dragons Administration

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    [post_content] => Hey everyone,I'd like to start by saying how excited I am to meet all of you! My name is Sara, I am 18 years old. I grew up in and around Chicago. I am pretty relaxed and down-to-earth. I don't like to complain, but don't mind when other people complain to me. I'm open-minded and there aren't many things that make me uncomfortable. I'm very curious and love learning new things. I've always been interested in other places and ideas. Feeling connected to nature is very important to me. My favorite thing is to be outside. I love music, art, drawing, cooking, dancing, and pretty much anything else that provokes my creativity.I don't know how else to describe myself. I am really excited for this trip and I'm hoping it will push me to think and act in new ways. Again, I can't wait to meet everyone in two weeks. Good luck with packing!Sara 
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Indonesia Semester, Spring 2011

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Hello!

Emily Chambers,Indonesia Semester, Spring 2011

Description

Hey everyone,I’d like to start by saying how excited I am to meet all of you! My name is Sara, I am 18 years old. I grew up in and around Chicago. I am pretty relaxed and down-to-earth. I don’t like to complain, but don’t mind when other people complain to me. I’m open-minded and […]

Posted On

01/25/11

Author

Emily Chambers

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Hello all,

My name is Keenan Troll, I was kind of a last-minute addition to this spring's Indonesia semester program, and I am super stoked to meet all of you! I am from Anchorage, Alaska, and I have never traveled nearly as long as I am about to with all of you. I hope to make new friends with all of you and that we all can have a great time together as well as share some profound experiences and sustain a great group effort and attitude regardless of the trials and difficulties we may be faced with. I have a lot of things I am looking forward to sharing with you and I hope you all can say the same.

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Indonesia Semester, Spring 2011

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Can’t wait to meet you guys

Keenan Troll,Indonesia Semester, Spring 2011

Description

Hello all, My name is Keenan Troll, I was kind of a last-minute addition to this spring’s Indonesia semester program, and I am super stoked to meet all of you! I am from Anchorage, Alaska, and I have never traveled nearly as long as I am about to with all of you. I hope to […]

Posted On

01/25/11

Author

Keenan Troll

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    [post_date] => 2011-01-24 00:00:00
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    [post_content] => 

Dear Spring 2O11 Indonesia Semester Students,

It is often in these last weeks before a program starts when students start to get the jitters. At some point, with your gear laid out on the bed ready to cram in a backpack that is seemingly too small, one just might find themselves pondering, “Is this really a good idea?". To get on a plane with a bunch of other folks I don’t know, fly half way around the planet, try living with people who don’t even speak the same language, push myself physically and mentally with treks through a remote rainforest to meet forest dwelling people, hike volcanos and who knows what else? Suddenly, with the clock ticking to takeoff - it might feel just a little crazy!

Or, you may feel 2OO% ready to jump on that plane, and that is great, but just in case you don’t, I am here to tell you that you are not alone. You are taking a BIG step - one which will surely change your life, and alter the way you see the world. It takes a willingness to create a path that is very different from the one most people choose. It requires openness and flexibility, a willingness to look inside. Most of all, it takes courage.

The Indonesia program is one that will take you to places very few people have been, yet you will be welcomed into these communities like family. You will bask in the beauty of some of this archipelago’s, and this planet's, most stunning natural landscapes, from the pristine azure waters of the Banda Islands, to the rich emerald hillsides of Tana Toraja. Yes, it is a big leap into the unknown, but one that I can assure you is well worth it.

Ayn Rand, a Russian-born American author, wrote the following, which I think speaks so eloquently to those of you who are diving head first into an experience filled with opportunities to learn and grow.

“Do not let your fire go out, spark by irreplaceable spark, in the hopeless swamps of the approximate, the not-quite, the not-yet, the not-at-all. Do not let the hero in your soul perish, in lonely frustration for the life you deserved, but have never been able to reach. Check your road and the nature of your battle. The world you desired can be won. It exists, it is real, it is possible, it is yours.”

In the same spirit, I hope that on every single day of this semester, you find a moment to celebrate everything you have done to get to where you are, to breathe in just a little bit of gratitude, and to share something of yourself with the people around you.

Keep checking the Yak Yak board for more information and updates as we near departure day, and use it as a place to be INSPIRED. I am posting a few photos here to celebrate the pioneering footsteps of the fall semester students (and instructors!), and as a reminder that beyond those brief flashes of nervousness, is a most rewarding and profound journey.

Jamie Woodall

Indonesia Program Director

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Indonesia Semester, Spring 2011

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Looking Forward

Jamie Woodall,Indonesia Semester, Spring 2011

Description

Dear Spring 2O11 Indonesia Semester Students, It is often in these last weeks before a program starts when students start to get the jitters. At some point, with your gear laid out on the bed ready to cram in a backpack that is seemingly too small, one just might find themselves pondering, “Is this really […]

Posted On

01/24/11

Author

Jamie Woodall

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I write to you now with my mind as quiet as I have ever known it to be.

On December 31, my friend and I began our journey down I-95 S, away from Brookline, Massachusetts - our home and our comfort. We found the new year on the highway. Whether it was the excitement of movement or the farm we had not yet met, we agreed, 2011 was going to be a great year.

Brooker, Florida. We set up camp in our two person tent, moved in our four sleeping bags, two pillows and a wool blanket. Over the two weeks (and a bit) that we spent farming, building, cooking, music-ing, adventuring on Finca Mycol, as we liked to call it, I found a new family. We totaled 8: 3 college graduates, 4 college students, and Mycol, the farmer/botanist who made it all possible. They all had so much to share, so much to show me- and I can't wait to exchange these memories with you.

I have returned to electricity now, to running water and hot showers. How strange it is that I am here. That I was there. And somehow time went by.

But to the question of this assignment...What am I most excited for? Let me attempt specificity, since to this point I am not sure that has been written. The world of natural medicine, in short, mesmerizes me. Herbalism, homeopathy, acupuncture, aromatherapy, reflexology...I want to be taught, to learn and to teach. With local healers in Bali and a stay with the Wana, I have only excitement in mind.

Before leaving Finca Mycol I asked the group. How do I explain this? How do I collect these moments in words? One of them turned to me. You live it, he said. And I will live it with you.

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Indonesia Semester, Spring 2011

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Wherever you are, We will soon be together

Kiara Segal,Indonesia Semester, Spring 2011

Description

I write to you now with my mind as quiet as I have ever known it to be. On December 31, my friend and I began our journey down I-95 S, away from Brookline, Massachusetts – our home and our comfort. We found the new year on the highway. Whether it was the excitement of […]

Posted On

01/24/11

Author

Kiara Segal

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