Thursday, August 28, 2014


Last night I got frantic calls from my fiancé asking me about lice. She had found a little bug in her hair and was freaking out. As it was late I was already asleep I didn't really think much about it and assumed some bug had just found its way into her huge mop of hair. She then called me again today and explained that she had found larvae and had spent all night combing her hair free of the bugs...

Most likely she had her hair brushed by a stylist that was already infested with the larvae.. As far as I know I don't have any as I haven't seen Jackie since before she found out. I'm freaked out that I might. I've never had lice before and am really grossed out about the possiblilty of little bugs growing and crawling around on my head! As soon as I get home I will buy some lice shampoo. This is some serious 3rd world problems....

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Dragging along

Its been a long drawn out day. I have been in the office all day working on grading, preparing for a presentation, and researching my lectures for tomorrow. I'm trying to think of anything interesting to say but I can't really. Its a slow boring day, such is life. 

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Catch a break when you can

Every weekday since I started working has been stressful ball of hard work and early rising... however that is real life and so its hard to really complain. Unfortunately the past few weeks my weekends have also been so packed and lacking of sleep. I hadn't realised how stressed I was until this last saturday when I was finally able to take a break. I relaxed and hung out by my pool laying in the sun and not replying to emails.

I'm back at work now and stressed at all the things I have to do but I can look forward to this coming weekend...

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Surprising calm

On thursday schools were dismissed early, businesses closed early, and people stayed home anxiously... All due to the perceived threat of riots. There was to be a judicial decree that presidential hopeful Probowo's case would be struck down.

There was a large presence of demonstrators around the constitutional court in anticipation. The whole business district was on lockdown. However the courts did a very smart thing... They read out nearly 300 pages of the documents over the course of 6 hours. The demonstrators wanted a quick answer, yes so they could celebrate... no so they could riot. The court took its time and slowly ever so slowly they gave the news that they would uphold the election and that Jokowi had in won leaving Probowo nothing but regret. The crowds just slowly dispersed and it was all over. The end!

Thursday, August 21, 2014

A test of Democracy

Today is another big day in the unfolding democratic legacy of Indonesia.

 After the July 9 Elections Jokowi has been declared the winner and next president of Indonesia. However his rival Probowo who left the election moments before the announcement in "protest" has been contesting the election ever since. He has hired more than 1000 lawyers to show that he was robbed of the election claiming massive fraud. All evidence has been to the contrary and has only shown that in fact it was he Probowo who had tried to steal the election by bribing anyone and everyone he could with the money he and his brother gained by being involved in the corrupt former government of Suharto. There has been a laughable case brought before the court including false witnesses being outed as his supporters, documents that were cut and pasted as well as some data just left blank, as well as ample evidence of Probowo's defeat...

After all the hullabaloo the courts decision will finally be announced this afternoon. Probowo's team has been shipping in young men since yesterday, feeding them and preparing them to riot if he were to lose. There is great fear that once again Jakarta will be thrust into unrest and demonstrations once it is once and for all determined that Probowo has lost (as he has for the last 4 elections).

All that being the case school will be released early so I should be home sometime around lunch time!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Time to observe

I will begin observing teachers today... I'm not going to lie when I say that stresses me out a bit. I have been hired to be more than just a teacher and that "more" begins now... I will evaluate the teaching staff and make suggestions when and where I can. Many of the teachers will require little to no help at all. My fear is how to deal with the teachers who do need lots of help. Will I be any help to them at all or will I create strife?

I didn't sleep too well last night and 5 am came too quickly so I am struggling this morning. I will try to be productive but my brain just wants me to stare blankly at BBC news and the like.

In an unrelated note... I really miss quality Mexican food. 

Monday, August 18, 2014

Weekends are never long enough

This past weekend I finally had a chance to slow down and relax a bit. I hardly did anything and finally took advantage of my new apartments pool. It was well needed but unfortunately the one thing that would have made it better would have been to have spent that weekend with my fiancé... Unfortunately she has finally started working properly. She finds out about most of her gigs the night before so we make plans only to have them dashed. I work all week in the early morning until early afternoon and she has been working in the afternoons and all weekend. Hopefully next weekend we can spend some more time together...

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Stumbling through

I had to give a morning devotion to the high school today followed immediately by a two hour lecture.

Unfortunately I was not on my best form and it felt a little discombobulated and disjointed. I stumbled through both lessons and am more than glad to be finished with them. It happens to every teacher be it from lack of sleep or lack of preparation there are just some times when you know you don't teach well. Thankfully they are often followed by the days when you know you have taught well but the days when you are teaching poorly often seem to never end...

I have 3 meetings today as soon as finish my regular classes. Then a long day tomorrow followed by a proper weekend.

Jackie has finally started working but unfortunately she is working on a different schedule from me and will be working occasionally on weekends as well so it will be difficult to us to spend as much time together. I am just happy she is working again though as nothing is more frustrating than sitting around doing nothing. 

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Now? No not yet

Today is wednesday which in the coming weeks will be the day set aside to observe teachers in their classrooms. But for now I am frantically preparing for tomorrows morning devotion and then a full day of classes. I am still adjusting to waking up every morning at 5am and have by no means "gotten into the swing of things" but that will come in time.

I am still coming to terms with the death of my Grandmother as well. It seems so far away.. so distant.. another world away...

I'm just waiting for 3pm to occur.. Its been a long day and I'm ready to go home.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014


My Grandmother passed away yesterday, peacefully returning to meet my Grandfather.

It is sad and and I am still wrapping my head around it but I know she did not suffer and that she is in a better place.

Its been a rough couple of days...

Monday, August 11, 2014

Nightmare weekend

This past weekend was a bit of a nightmare.

The visa offices for Indonesia were closed for the month of Ramadan so neither Jackie nor I have been able to receive our working visas. Which means we were forced to leave the country for a day after our 30 day visa expired. When we arrived at the airport we were forced to pay a fee because we had overstayed our visa by 1 day (July has 31 days... duh!). We got to Singapore and while trying to meet a friend were lost for over an hour. We then spent the rest of the day at Ikea while both of us were having stomach problems commonly associated with living in a 3rd world country. After a very long day we made our way to the airport only to find out that we would have difficulty reentering Indonesia due to the fact that we did not have visas. We tried to explain that it was impossible to have visas yet but Singapore and Indonesia are so different. Finally we were able to leave after a lengthy process of both of us having to prove our employment only to have our flight delayed by over an hour. Upon arrival in Indonesia we were forced to pay a "tax" (the special kind reserved for bule) on top of our normal tax to return. Our bags then took almost an hour to arrive as the baggage company had misplaced them. Needless to say it was a rough day and we were both exhausted and frustrated with Indonesian bureaucracy.

On top of all that I also learned that my Grandmother is fighting for her life and has ceased to breath unassisted. She is the last remaining member of my mothers family.. She is a wonderful woman of whom I have many fantastic memories. I am so grateful my fiancé was able to meet her.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

An office day

Last night was a great one. I came home from work and cooked a meal with my fiancé. We had bacon wrapped asparagus, steak and potatoes, and then strawberries.. I felt at home. Later in the evening I had shelves installed, I repaired the hose on the shower which was leaking, had my wifi set up, got my old big TV, and had the cable installed. Shy of a few decorative pieces the apartment is intact so it was a good day.

Today I have been working in the office all day preparing for the coming school year and all that come with it. Tomorrow will begin my first real day of teaching. 

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Day 2

After a long day at work I returned home only to walk straight out the door to purchase some more items in my seemingly never ending quest to supply my apartment with all the accoutrements that make a home a home. It seems like I keep finding new things I need. Oh, a peeler! Oh yeah, a bathmat! Oh, salt and pepper... What is frustrating is that I am purchasing all of these things again after having just relieving myself of the same items not but 1 year ago!

I should have my wifi/cable and TV installed by this afternoon which I embarrassed at how much I am looking forward to.. just in time for the return of Football season!

I am sitting in my office now waiting to have lunch a little bored as the week has yet to gain any real traction and is still introductory. Hurry up and wait. That is the true slogan of Indonesia.

I've been taking taxis to and from work which has worked so far as there are always taxis outside my apartment as well as near to my work but after having had a car for the vast majority of my time in Indonesia it has been a tough transition to not have one again. Hopefully I will get one within the next month or so. If not I will have to buy another motorbike. 

Monday, August 4, 2014

Back to work

I've been in Jakarta now almost a month but today is the first real day back at work. After arriving with Jackie we were immediately faced with Ramadan holiday as well as the Indonesian Lebaran, which is the holiday where everyone returns to their home village. During these holidays the city of Jakarta effectively shuts down. So really after having been in South East Asia for nearly a month we are just now facing reality. 

I moved into my new apartment yesterday at Casablanca mansions which is close to my office and close to where Jackie works as well so I can see her easily. I am also within walking distance of Kota Kasablanca mall so I have a place to go when traffic becomes too hectic. 

I teach my first class today although it is just explaining the class rules and introducing topics to the students... I will begin teacher training next week after evaluations and meeting after meeting. Lots of work to do.

I have to go to Singapore this coming weekend to renew my visa and will do so again next month because the Kitas offices were closed for the holidays... I hope that will all be cleared up quickly but then again... this is Indonesia.

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 and specifically Chinese 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!