10 THINGS MOST AMERICANS DON’T KNOW ABOUT AMERICA

by Seth

First, read this blog post about 10 Things Most Americans Don’t Know About America.

I felt this belongs here, he has my sentiments exactly… you may not realize how much is true about this, but in my eyes, this guys nails it. Well, exemption given to Asian hospitals. They are just awful here, but Indonesia is not Asia as a whole.

In more words, this is the story of America and what it looks like when your home country is like an alcoholic brother.

Thoughts?

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Anak Krakatau

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We joined a tour and traveled via ferry to Sumatra late Friday night. The travel was long and exhausting and consisted of several boats and cars to finally get to our homestay on a remote island near the volcano Anak Krakatau.

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We were on this boat more than on land throughout the weekend. We sat on top or napped inside between island travel.

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Eliana snorkeled and got to see some amazing blue acrapora coral and star fish, sea cucumbers and a ton of beautiful tropical fish.

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Bananas anyone?

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Our homestay.

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Nap, snorkel, nap, snorkel….

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The base of Anak Krakatau. The vegetation was so strange and included pine trees!

 

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20130429-092116.jpg About half way up…. it was like walking on coffee grounds.

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The top! Or at least the highest point we were allowed to reach. You could see red rock from the eruption only two days earlier…

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We made it! I think Ellie may have been the youngest kid to have hiked the volcano. She had a pretty big cheering squad towards the end.

If you don’t build your dream, someone will hire you to help build theirs.

“If you don’t build your dream, someone will hire you to help build theirs.”  -Tony Gaskins

Some fantastic, thought-provoking spoken word videos from Suli Breaks. Looking forward to opening my ESL classes with these. The timing is great, as we are in the midst of International Cambridge Exams. But let’s just hope I don’t start a revolution…

Totem

I really love this photo series Totem by Alain Delorme. The images are of Shanghai migrant workers carrying large loads of goods. The images are photoshopped to exaggerate the loads and to illustrate the idea of what “Made in China” could and should mean when reflected upon. So brilliant.

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p.s.

These may be exaggerated, but I can vouch experience driving behind tiny trucks with loads 4x their size on the freeway around Asia.

It’s terrifying.

Flower hoarder v.2

I come home to a bouquet of flowers pretty much daily because Eliana likes to pick flowers on her way home from school. She can turn a 15 minute walk into an hour with the determination to pick the right flowers for her bouquet. Thank god our pembantu is patient.

This flower has been dedicated to Savta and Aunt Lila.

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Two steps forward, one step back

As I’m writing this, lightning claps the skies in Bogor and rain is pouring. Eliana is at a friends playing because I feel too ill to really give her the attention she wants right now. This is frustrating.

I’m sick of feeling sick all the damn time. This isn’t exactly a fun topic, but I feel it’s necessary to be honest on this blog, especially for those readers who are currently or who are planning to expatriate. The thing is… It’s not all travel wanderlust. It’s popping Imodium and Panadol and vitamins all the time hoping to feel normal for a while. Because I can’t remember what that feels like.

We have been feeling pretty home sick these last few weeks, Seth and I. Ellie? I don’t know. She’s really involved with her friends and school. She loves to give gifts to new friends and she really listens to them. This can be good and bad, especially when they’re critical, such as saying her peanut butter and jelly sandwich smells. (Naturally her lunches are a bit different than theirs and she gets a bit of flack about it.) So the next day she says she hates sandwiches.

What?

The good thing is that I caught her class BFF sounding out words to her from a book. Whoa wait a minute, you’re reading?? Ellie was stunned. Me, thrilled. This was the perfect motivator to get her started. And it’s working!

Anyway, I suppose my point is this. Eliana is continuing to adapt amazing well here. This positive growth keeps us sane, but I’m not sure it’s enough to keep us here too much longer.

August can’t come soon enough.

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Miscellanea

Hey there,

I tend to update this blog infrequently and on-the-go, which may seem a bit random. Most of the time I access the dashboard and upload photos directly from my iphone. This is part of the reason why the photos aren’t the highest of quality, but also keep in mind that the internet in Indonesia is incredibly slow, like 1997 slow, and I upload whatever it’ll let me in the small window of patience that I have.

Fortunately my friend Jen brought her fancy camera (and her excellent photography skills) to Thailand with us and shared some pictures with me today. If you’re interested, I’ll throw some up here. It may give you a new perspective of our trip. Even more, me out from behind the camera.

What’s next? You might ask. Well, we are in the middle of booking some more flights! We will be meeting some friends in Bali in June (and celebrating Seth’s birthday while we’re there), and then we will fly back to Portland for Lila’s wedding in August. We are beyond excited for these trips! Really, these trips are what keeps me chugging along on this journey. Enjoy.

Love,

Jennifer

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