Visit to Pesantren Pabelan

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  **I apologize to those following along and noting the absence of recent updates.  Updating a website without internet access proved beyond my wizardly abilities.  Thank you for your patience and support.  And comments always make my day.** ________________________________________________________________ A two-hour bus ride away fellow ETA and friend, Max B., lives in a little village called Pabelan.  During our two-weak orientation Max and I hit it off splendidly.  With ETAs placed all over Indonesia it…

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Gunung Merapi & Kaliurang

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  Gunung Merapi (Mount Merapi) is an active volcano hovering over the town of Kaliurang.  The town is about 25 minutes north of Yogyakarta, a lush and beautiful drive up to the base of the mountain.  I was invited to attend a conference with some of the other teachers in the town, but found myself quite incapable of participating due to my fledgling Indonesian language skills. I decided to take the day exploring the town.…

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Getting To Indonesia: An Exercise in Patience

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  I hoped the plane rides would draw on painfully like a Padres baseball game.  I hoped the jet-lag would prepare me for the undead lifestyle for when the apocalypse comes. I hoped the culture shock would leave me feeling like Wilson - deflated, bloody, wearing a smirk of indecipherable emotion. There is something to be said for low expectations and their effect on perception.  Just read this HuffPost article about why us Gen Y…

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Prep for Departure – Destination Indonesia

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With only five days 24 hours until I depart for Indonesia, the race is on to boil, synthesize and pare my life down into two suitcases.  This process is surreal and curious as I comb through collections of items from the last 6 years of "where I live": San Diego, Berkeley, Nashville.  Soon, Yogyakarta can claim a spot on that list.  Until then, I will share the packing process, a few important things to consider, and…

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Summit Outside or: Friendship, Connection, and the Art of Making No Small Plans

A week and a half ago I ventured up into the mountains of Eden, Utah, to begin a journey.  I am not the same as when I left. Attending a Summit event appears to be a turning point in people's lives.  It is an experience of deep personal introspection that screams, "imagine your perfect life and go live it!"  Think business conference/music festival/personal development lecture series combined and you begin to scratch the surface of…

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Fulbright Fellowship: Day 1 (Nashville, TN)

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On Friday, I received what I assumed to be a routine email from the Fulbright Commission. Walking the halls at JT Moore I opened the email fully expecting a form letter reminding me that I had applied, a notification that they hadn't forgotten about me.  If I ever want to mercilessly drown someone in shattered dreams I will be sure to make the first word of their letter of denial "Congratulations!" The few friends who have…

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Documenting Day 1

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The term "documentation" may be a curse of the worker, or it may be a human curse finally granted a name once the brutality of the real-world makes itself known.  While in university, the extent of my knowledge of documentation was to never put anything disparaging in writing that could be dug up and reproduced in the future, photo albums & scrapbooks, and Facebook photos.  The term has taken on new meaning as a full-time…

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