Friday, October 2, 2009

Settling In

This post is not affiliated with AMINEF, Fulbright, etc.

My 6th day in Genteng, and already so much to tell. If you haven't already, check out my Facebook pictures of the house - Mimmie Mysterious, the name of the pink girl on my bedsheets, is probably the highlight of my experience and by far the reason I return at night only to laugh at my improbable days.

For those who have not seen the pictures, I have a two burner gas stove in a huge kitchen/back room, a dining table, a bike, and a refrigerator. At the entrance to the house there is a small living room (the floor of the house is all white tile, by the way) with ornately carved furniture, flanked by two smaller, empty rooms. I have a bathroom with a wash basin and a shower head (you just shower in the middle of the bathroom - all cold water), and a flush toilet (required by AMINEF, great requirement). My room features Mimmie Mysterious (a full sized bed, an air conditioner, and a closet. My neighbors are awesome (as are their little kids), and I have already eaten at 2 of their houses so far (and spoken in broken Indonesian as well). I've also received many gifts to boot - I need to find a way to repay them!

My counterpart, Gugy, has been great, taking me shopping at least once a day since I got here. I have met all the teachers and remember only 10 names, and have had more random/awkward encounters than I can describe. There is no privacy here, so you are liable to get a knock at any time of day and to be approached on the street ("Hello Mister!") randomly. Kids just run in your house to play, and neighbors always stop by to say hello (until just yesterday, when the rainy season started...).

For an example of wierd things, see exhibit A - on Wednesday, my first day of school, I made a speech in front of 750 students and 50 teachers, the largest audience by far that has ever wanted to listen to me speak into a microphone. As many of my fellow ETAs can testify to, there are many moments throughout the day where I say "Is this really my life?" It is, and the culture is relaxed, welcoming, and social. As I go with the flow, everything seems to work out just fine.

Tomorrow is my day off and I'm looking forward to it, although in all honesty I will probably at least stop by the school once before the day is through (it starts at 6:40 and ends at 1:00, and I would like to see some more English classes in action!). So, its time for me to sign off (of my $5 per month internet - for 50 hours???, but don't worry, that will go down to $2 per month in a few months, so its not that expensive).

Tidak apa-apa, saya aman, sehat, dan senang. Saya sayang negera ini!
No worries, I'm safe, healthy, and happy. I love this country!