So, things have noticeably slowed down on the blog, which reflects our lives right now. I wish it were that we had become so busy that we didn’t have time to write it all down, but that’s not the case.
When we first arrived at site, we were visited by another volunteer who walked us through what our first year might look like. When he got to March/April, his calendar was full of testing days and cancelled classes. Until two weeks ago, it seemed like my school would follow a different approach.
That was until our semester was interrupted by a week of tests for the 10th and 11th graders, followed by a week of testing for the 12th graders (10th and 11th grades are staying home), followed by almost a week of practice tests for the 12th graders to prepare for their national exam. That’s nearly three weeks of testing in which many students (and teachers) have 1-2 weeks free. Following the end of these three weeks, we will have almost three weeks of normal class (surely to be sidelined though by more preparation for the 12th graders) and then another week off for the national exam.
What are Amy and I doing? Not much. Well, actually a lot, but the days have been dragging.
We’ve been cooking—pizza, eggplant parmesan, mexican food and lots of popcorn.
We’ve been reading—I’m halfway through Lord of the Rings, Amy is almost finished with the Hobbit.
We’ve been listening to lots of music—lots of Talking Heads lately, leading us to lament that we didn’t have “This Must Be The Place” in our wedding.
We’ve been watching lots of movies—Inglorious Basterds, King Kong, Bull Durham and the Indiana Jones movies have been this week’s run.
We’ve been exercising—I’m still running, Amy is biking and doing yoga.
We’ve been perfecting our mold-fighting strategy—I swear we’ll have it figured out as soon as rainy season ends…and we don’t need it.
Of course, we haven’t been holed up in our room this whole time. We are still conducting our evening English classes and spending time around the village, its just that things are moving in slow motion right now.
Fortunately, that’s all about to change.
This weekend, Amy’s cousin and her partner are coming to visit us for a week. They’ll spend some time at our site, our schools and travel to visit the area in the mountains where we had training.
In a few weeks, we’ll spend four days in an intensive language class to improve our bahasa Indonesia skills, which is desperately needed. Amy has been pretty good with the language, but I could use some work, especially on my listening skills (there’s probably a joke in there somewhere). My bahasa Indonesia is definitely better than my “French-tucky,” which led Parisians to beg me to quit butchering their language and just speak English, but this course won’t hurt.
After that, we will go to Surabaya to welcome the new group of Peace Corps trainees to Indonesia (crazy to think that in less than a month, we’ll have been here for a year). Then, the next day, we will depart for a week in Australia, spending time in Sydney, Melbourne, and plenty of towns, wineries and beaches in-between—soaking up a taste of fall weather.
After returning from Australia, school will ramp back up and we’ll have just about two months left of school before the semester break. The semester break will bring a visit from Amy’s parents and travels throughout Indonesia.
Needless to say, we are in the calm before the storm right now, but I certainly wouldn’t mind if those storm clouds would approach a little faster.