Hey guys, I’m back. I know I took almost a two month hiatus from blogging, but hear me out; I was super extremely busy. But even more so, I was extremely exhausted. But I’ll give you a quick little recap of the last month an and half:
April 12: My birthday.
I had amazing village-mates and Language Facilitators who surprised Leandra and I (we have the same birthday, yay birthday twins!!) with cake and food and cards and presents. It was honestly amazing. Then, after class was done for the day, a group of us went out for sushi and donuts and ice cream. It was the best birthday I could have asked for, especially for being away from everyone at home.
April 14: Site Placement.
This is the day we found out where our permanent sites are aka the place we’ll be living for the next two years. It was a crazy, cool experience, with the map of Java (the island I’m on) drawn on the floor of the sports center in STAIN. Then, one-by-one, folders were picked up and names were called. Name and which side of the island you were going to be living on, East or West. With that knowledge you found out if you’d be leaving Saturday or Sunday for a visit, where you were going, who your family was going to be, what type of school you’d be teaching in, etc.
I got West Java, which meant I left the next day, Saturday. I’ll be teaching at an SMA (public high school). I have a family the consists of an Ibu and a Bapak. (And yes, I’m already here and moved in!!!! but we’ll get to that, hang on)
April 15-18: Site Visit.
During this time, I took a 12 hour train ride, met my new family, met everyone at the school, met everyone in my area of the city (basically), and was so tired I could even think. I also had to introduce myself in front of 600+ students (in Indonesian), then proceed to stand in the sun for an extra 45 minutes while students from every grade came up to the microphone and asked my questions. Not all asked my question though, one girl told me that her and her friends think I look like Adele (I’m flattered, and super famous, so I’ll take it lol). I was also asked if I knew Eminem because I am from Michigan (I only wish). Overall, it was overwhelming and exhausting, but an amazing time.
May 1-13: Sundanese class.
Because I was placed in West Java (and passed my LPI), I was placed in a Sundanese class. That started on May 1 and lasted a short two weeks. “Wow, only two weeks, that’s nothing” is probably what you’re thinking, right? Wrong. That was the longest and most exhausting two weeks of my life. If you’ve never used your 3rd language (Indonesian) to learn a 4th language (Sunda), then you have no idea, so just trust me on this. My brain was fried, and I ended up taking an hour nap during each class.
May 1-5: Model School.
So model school is this great thing Peace Corps does to prepare you to start teaching. Instead of just throwing you off the deep end and seeing if you can swim, they set you up with nice little baby steps to help prepare you. Model school is the first step. You’re placed in pairs and given a class that made up of volunteer children in the area. You practice teaching a lesson that lasts 90 minutes, and basically just see where you’re at.
Sadly, my partner was sick in Surabaya, and was medically evacuated from the country, so I had to teach alone. As nervous as I was to do that, it ended up being a very rewarding experience.
May 8-18: Practicum School.
During these two weeks, we taught at an actual school in Kediri. I was put in a middle school and given a counterpart to teach with. This was meant to help prepare us for what teaching would really be like at our permanent sites. We’ll always be teaching with another teacher. I switched between 7th and 8th graders. It was a rocky start, but it ended off amazing.
May 22: Swearing-in Ceremony.
WOO! Today was the day! If you didn’t at the time, you can go to the Peace Corps Indonesia Facebook page and watch the old Facebook live stream. We said our oath, got our pins, and read the core expectations in Indonesian. And because I’m living in West Java, we left for Bandung that night, saying goodbye to all of the PCVs who would be living in East Java for these next two years.
May 23-24: Counterpart/Principal Conference – Bandung.
I feel like this is self explanatory. Met our CPs and Principals at the hotel. Had a conference.
May 25: LEAVING FOR SITE.
This is the day most of us in West Java left for our new homes. Kuningan is about a 4-5 hour drive from Bandung. It was a long exhausting ride (mostly because I was tired and was starting to get sick). My ibu made some homemade pizza that night, and it was a great way to start these next two years.
May 27: Ramadan.
Ramadan started on this day, so I had about a day and a half of living at my new home beforehand. It’s been a nice break (so far), considering how hectic PST was. Although I will admit that sometimes I get a little bored and have no idea what to do with myself.
So I’ve been living here for about a week and a half now. I miss my old family, but I love my new family. We just adopted a new kitten, so I have a little buddy to play with. Although, he did spill my tea yesterday, so he’s a little troublemaker.
I’ve been keeping myself entertained by watching movie/shows on my external hard drive and reading some books. I’ve watched Master of None – Season 2, two seasons of New Girl, The BFG, Kiki’s Delivery Service, Spirited Away, started Assassin’s Creed (never finished it), and there’s probably other movies I can’t remember. I’m reading the Game of Thrones book series; I’m about halfway through the 3rd book right now. I have all the seasons of the show, too. I’m trying to get through all the books and all of the show before the new season comes out in July. Clearly I’m very disciplined by how many other shows/movies I’ve watched instead of finishing the books (Because you have to read the books before you watch the show/movie for something, duh). So basically, I’m really behind in my reading because I keep watching TV shows, so I really need to go and get back to reading.
Now that I’m at site and hate regular access to WiFi, I promise that I will try to keep my blog updated a little bit more.
In case you forgot what I look like, here’s a picture of me in one of my new, cute shirts.