Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Kembali Jakarta

A few days ago I returned to Jakarta after having spent a year away. I arrived with my fiancé for a year in the second most populated city in the world. We arrived a few hours late because we flew through Japan and had to avoid a typhoon so we arrived at 1am. The first few days was mostly just relaxed and recovered while I showed Jackie around a few places in Jakarta. I haven't been paid yet so its been a little tough but such is life in a 3rd world country.

We should each have our apartments within the next few days which we are both really looking forward to. Almost a week living out of a suitcase is getting old fast.

In other news the Indonesian elections have taken place (the day we arrived) and are being hotly contested. The results won't be calculated until the 22nd which is when my school had planned to go to camp. Due to fears of unrest they have decided to postpone the camp.

The two main candidates Jokowi and Probowo could not be more different:

 Probowo represents Indonesia's past, he is a wealthy former general and son in law of the former dictator of Indonesia. He has been convicted of human rights violations by the UN and is blatently corrupt. He wants to build up Indonesia by pouring money into the  army to show the "power" of Indonesia. He is against human rights and free speech. He will also make things very difficult for the religious minorities.

Jokowi represents Indonesia's future, he comes from nothing and has worked his way up by hard work and being honest. He became mayor of Jakarta and immediately began tackling the country's crippling corruption. He wants to build up Indonesia through diplomacy and trade programs. He is very pro democracy and transparency.

As of right now Jokowi is expected to win with the quick exit polls showing him in the lead although there have been signs of tampering of the votes. There are blatant signs that supporters of Probowo has destroyed the votes for Jokowi so there is still fear that Probowo could use his influence to change the outcome.

Only time will tell...

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Home for real this time

I arrived back in the united states two days ago after an epic journey across the pacific. Somehow I have almost completely avoided jet lag. I am going to bed at a good time and waking up early but I feel fine throughout the day. I haven't had the chance to see many people and my drivers license is expired so I need to renew it before I can do any driving.

What really matters is that I won't just be home for a few weeks this time. I will actually be able to settle for a bit. I still can't believe it...

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Fare thee well

My flight is tomorrow. I am in the middle of packing up and getting rid of everything right now. I've said all my goodbyes. This is it.

Fare thee well Indonesia.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

What a feeling

I am now finished with everything. I turned in my grades and submitted everything to the students and parents. I am done. Wow... what a feeling! Its the same feeling as a student when you finish your last exam. Your brain hurts but all you have in front of you is a long summer holiday.

I just finished having a small appreciation party for me by some of my students and their parents. I am still doing well but I'm sure I will get emotional in time. It really just hasn't hit me yet that I really am leaving...

Soon. very soon.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

dead tired

I've been non stop grading for the last few days with little respite. My eyes are tired, my hand is tired, and my brain is shot. I feel dumb my brain is so useless right now. I just came back from dinner and found myself almost incapable of speaking bahasa. When you live in another country you have good days and bad days with the language but for the last two days I have been nearly mute with inability to speak the language a sure sign of mental fatigue.

My company is also making a huge push to try to convince me to stay here for another year. I am torn between the opportunity they are offering me and the massive desire to return home as well as the knowledge of my own faults and inabilities. Its not an easy time right now.

Also I will be back in Tennessee in 14 days!

Monday, June 3, 2013

Hold your horses

School is over and done with... well almost at least. All classes are finished and exams are complete. However, we still have to finish grading and submitting the results as well as sports week. So its done but not yet not just yet.

I am sitting in my office looking forlorn at the large stack of 7 different exams yet to be graded. Also in the back of my head are all the goodbye dinners and farewell parties I have to attend this week as well as arrangements I still have to make... Moving is never fun, moving across the globe extra un fun. 

Friday, May 31, 2013

Last finals

Today is the last day of finals or of school for that matter. Next week will be filled with grading and sports week. One week from today and I will officially be done for the summer and finished with my time in MSA.

Last night I met with some parents and members of the board about me possibly returning to Jakarta. Regardless of what happens I am settled on returning to the United States for at least a year. I need to spend time with my family and friends.

I am taking the boys from my small group out to a movie and the arcade after their exams today  but it will be very sad to be saying goodbye to them all...

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

facing reality

Its finally starting to hit me that my time here in Indonesia is coming to a close. I gave my 4 big finals today and will spend the next few days grading and grading and grading. After the exams I went to lunch at a nearby mall only to be greeted by about a dozen students. As I was talking to them and taking pictures I slowly began to actually think about the fact that I am leaving and for the first time it felt real.

I have gone through this process many times now.. the knowledge that I am about to leave and must therefor say goodbye to many people perhaps for the last time but usually I put up some sort of mental block that keeps me from fully grasping the severity of the situation until I have already left. This time I am all too aware. I guess it is possible I will return, they really want me to and I will always keep in the back of my head the prospect of a good job here in Asia. However, I have learned from my previous travels that I seldom return. Not for lack of want but lack of means. I really do hope I can come back here someday. 

Okay, enough procrastinating... time to get back to grading. I can enjoy my last few weeks here much better if I am done with all of my grading...

Monday, May 27, 2013

Not goodbye... yet

I had a great weekend topped off with an adventure with my grade 6 class. We went to play paintball and I really wasn't sure what to expect. We all gathered after church and set out in a large group to north west Jakarta near Tangerang. Just as we arrived it started to rain so we were all quite worried but thankfully it stopped by the time we started playing. We split into two teams and were given different camouflage to differentiate. The other teams plan was to attack me and me alone but very quickly all was forgotten as they just began to run around shooting each other as best as they were able. Somehow I was able to avoid being hit the entire day. I did manage to hit just about everyone though sometimes more than once which was just about as fun as it sounds. I couldn't stop laughing the whole day.

Friday, May 24, 2013

wait for it...

Last night I went through the majority of my stuff to determine what I will keep and what I will get rid of. It didn't take me all that long but it was still a big chore and came with some big decisions. I can only take two items of luggage home with me. So 3 years of stuff has to be reduced to two pieces of luggage... This will not be easy.

I gave a lot of useful teaching tools and books that I have been hoarding to the other teachers today and have been helping other teachers prepare for next year as well. I am judging the schools debate in half an hour and then thats it. Nothing left but giving exams and then grading exams... Time has gone at record speed.

This weekend I will be taking a bunch of my students to play paintball in Bogor. Its about an hour drive down and will probably be a good 2-3 hours back due to traffic but it will be so much fun. What teacher hasn't dreamed of being able to shoot a paintball gun at their students? Or a student getting to shoot their teacher? I think its going to be a blast though as the biggest target physically I think I will be the biggest target mentally as well. It going to be some good fun. Although come monday when I am covered in welts I might think differently....

Thursday, May 23, 2013


For the most part yesterday and all of today was filled with cleaning things up and getting ready to leave. I'm cleaning out my desk and preparing for the inevitable...

It feels so strange to be emptying out boxes and things. 3 years can in many ways be a very long time. I am throwing away all sorts of odds and ends given to me by students. Little things like notes, pencils, and other nick nacks that kids give to their teachers. I am finding so many funny and strange things.

When I pack up my apartment I'm sure it will be even more so as there are many things I haven't gone through at all in 3 years. Many donations and gifts will be made in the next few weeks.

23 days 23 hours and 30 minutes... but who's counting?

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

waiting game

Today marks the start of the frustrating waiting game for me... I have finished all my preparation work, submitted my exams, and completed my reviews. I will have an enormous pile of grading to do in the next few days but for now I have not much of anything to do. I still have to be at the office from 7-3 but I really don't have much to do at all. In a few days I will be incredibly stressed out and my brain will hurt.. but not yet not yet.

Monday, May 20, 2013


I just finished writing my last exam.. All I have left is to finish this review week and then grading the exams themselves. Unfortunately that will take an herculean effort as I will have to finish them in just a few short days while saying my goodbyes to everyone and packing up as well.. selling off of my things ect. Its that lovely calm before the storm right now. Things are about to get real hectic real quick...

Friday, May 17, 2013

Oh beautiful fridays

This is the last real school week of the year. Next week is review week and then suddenly it will be exam time while the school production is this Saturday. It is all at an end. I leave for the states in exactly 30 days. That means I have exactly one month left in Indonesia... I really can't even begin to comprehend that statement. I am organising events and trying to find time to spend with my students as well as preparing for my leave... I have so much to do and have no idea where to start. I need to sell my motorcycle among other things as well as donate a lot of clothing. I need to start deciding what I will be taking with me and what will have to stay behind. You never really realise how much stuff you have until you have to go through it and get rid of some of it. Oh mercy

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

sudah cukup...

I gave my last quizzes today after having given my last lectures yesterday. So this is it... no more real classes, lectures, preparation, or teaching. All that is left is review and then the final exams themselves.

I have also officially booked my ticket home. The end of every school year always speeds up time but this year doubly so as it is my last year. I can't believe I am basically done teaching here! Its crazy I really can't believe I have spent 3 years here. I need to get so many things in order before I go... wow. I'm not even as excited as I usually am about going home. Normally at this point in time I am chomping at the bit but right now I am actually thinking more about how much I will miss this place...

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Moving right along...

Yesterday I gave the first of my many finals to my elementary students.. My Last time teaching some of the kids I have gotten to know over the last 3 years. I can't even believe that right now...

Last weekend I went to see one of my favourite bands Sigur Ros play live here in Jakarta which was absolutely amazing. I have now seen them 3 times in 3 countries and 3 continents.

I'm preparing now for my last lectures for my high schoolers and then to prepare them for their final exams. The end is nigh and fast approaching. Its all downhill from here and will be a mad rush. I really don't think I will ever quite wrap my head around the concept that I will be leaving very soon.

These last 3 years have gone by so fast if I really think about it.. But on the other side of the coin I have grown more and matured more in these last 3 years that I could have possibly imagined. I am not the same man I was when I first arrived that much is sure.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Maybe I am old..

Yesterday was a holiday which has made this week a breeze... I don't have any classes today as well so I am just sitting in the office catching up on some correspondence and some old grading. Next week starts the elementary finals with the high school following in just a few weeks. This school year is rapidly coming to a conclusion. Its hard to believe and I will never truly wrap my head around that concept even when I return home I think.

Also because I had Thursday off I went out with some friends to a club on Wednesday night... It was so loud and so crowded. I just don't know what people see in those places. Maybe I'm just old.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

tiptoe along..

Today I continued teaching my students about world war two specifically focusing on the war in the pacific. One of my students is Japanese, I also have a Korean, and multiple Chinese so the possibility to offend was great. I explained from all angles and answered many tough questions but I think it went well.

I read this morning about the latest protests in Russia against Putin. I have always been a bit cautious when it comes to commenting on Russian politics. There are few things I understand less than post soviet governments. They just don't think like I do so I shouldn't make assumptions. But with all of the laws rushed through by Putin regarding treason and inciting riots it really is remarkable to see the reaction taking place throughout Russia. I hope some change at least to the law takes place. I just don't see an end to the power of Putin. The last think I would want would be a revolution and all the damage that causes but something has to change...

Monday, May 6, 2013

Older... yes. wiser...?

Over the weekend I celebrated my 30th birthday and my last in Indonesia. I prepared a Texan food feast for all of the teachers at my school so the night before I was cooking like a mad man. My students,  coworkers, and friends bought me cake after cake and I was overwhelmed by all the generosity shown to me. I didn't end up going anywhere or doing much due to my schedule but I will have plenty of time to relax and celebrate in about a month when I leave. Hard to grasp that concept even as I write those words... I will be leaving in about a month... wow.