This Year in Books 2014

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This Year in Books 2014 Living in Indonesia was good for my reading. With time being so loosely approached, I often found myself sitting and waiting, sometimes for a few hours. We’re going to the immigration office? Let me get my book. You’re inviting me to come to a conference with you that I can’t participate in? Let me get my book. Dinner is soon? Let me get my book. Fortunately, I enjoy reading, and…

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[NSFA] Daging Anjing: Culinary Exploration of Man’s Best Friend

*Warning: Not Safe For Appetites* I live around the corner from a warung, a local street-food stand that is famous for serving one specific dish. At jam 3 sore, three in the afternoon, they start building the tented structure that soon becomes a mini roadside restaurant. By 8pm they are usually sold out and have begun putting away the rusted poles, tarps and benches. They make a killing. The warung is by far the most…

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What is Durian?

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King of Fruits, the true test of a fruitphile, a delicacy, Durian is an assault on the claim of all other fruits to their categorization, and it only grows in Southeast Asia. The fruit is most notable for its pungent smell that has been compared to rotting flesh, and heaven. The odor is so abrasive it is banned from confined public spaces like airplanes and hotels. Traveling through Lombok with my German friends, I had…

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Island Paradise: Trip to the Gili Islands

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If I ever fall off the face of the Earth and you really need to get hold of me, I’ll be basking in a bungalow on Gili Air. Dig through the archives to find this post, and come search for me. The only flaw in your plan will be you mysteriously forget why it was so imperative to find me and will instead join me. You’ll get stuck, just like I did. During another round…

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Mom Vision: Indonesia from a mother’s lens.

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I pondered over Jared’s request to write about our trip from my perspective. Thousands of memories, images, and thoughts flooded my brain. This left me paralyzed as to how to fulfill this request without leaving anything out, yet being able to convey in an article the magnificence of our trip, without writing a novel. I could have chosen to write about all the places we visited but our photo album will speak for itself. After…

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Living in a Disaster Prone Area: Mt. Kelud Eruption

Two weeks ago Mt. Kelud, a volcano roughly five hours away from my home in Yogyakarta erupted spewing ash hundreds of miles. Wind carried the ash all the way to Yogyajakarta where it shut down roads due to visibility issues and laid down a layer 4 centimeters thick. At the time I was in Bali with my family celebrating my quarter-century birthday. Friends still in the city said my lungs would thank me. The eruption…

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Family Visit To Indonesia!

My parents and I meeting my headmaster. Batik school uniforms FTW! For my quarter-century celebration my family came to visit me in Indonesia. My parents came first to live for two days in the asrama (dormitory), my aunt and cousin from South Africa met us in Bali, where my brother Max showed up as well. Showing my family the life I lead was a surprisingly pleasant experience. Each had their own difficulty adapting to life…

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Padi Scuba Certification and Swimming with Manta Rays

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On our trip to Labujan Bajo, a city on the island of Flores Max and I went through the four day process of getting our Padi Scuba certification.  The photo above is of the descent during our first open-water dive. The first day of the course is spent in the classroom going through all of the need-to-know information about scuba from what causes "the bends" to appropriate hand signals and emergency situations.  After passing the…

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Dragons are Real: Komodo Dragons on Rinca Island

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A few weeks ago I travelled to a city called Labujan Bajo on the island of Flores.  It’s a lazy harbor kind of town with one main street reminiscent of the deadwood towns of the wild west.  The only difference is instead of guns and saloons you see cameras and SCUBA diving centers. Right off the coast is a series of islands constituting the Komodo National Park.  There is only one Komodo Island, but others,…

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