I’m still processing my trip to Indonesia…over 8,000 miles one way is a long distance to travel. Leaving everything that is known, for everything that is unknown, felt terribly unsettling. The 14 hour time change, living in a country that exists around a religion I was very unfamiliar with, and having to think and wonder and guess about nearly every move I made left me feeling worn out and ready for home.
I’d like to say that the trip was easy, that everything went smoothly and all my encounters were pleasant, but that wouldn’t be honest. I’d like to say that every bite I took, every car ride I took, and every breath I took was pleasant, but that wasn’t exactly the way it went.
I wish I could say that I was brave enough to try every food presented to me, that I learned to speak the language, and that I experienced every island and ethnic group in Indonesia, but I didn’t. I did pet a Komodo dragon, cross Jakarta traffic on foot, eat Durian fruit and board a sailing ship via a precarious gangplank over nasty water.
I can say that the plane ride from L.A. to Hong Kong wasn’t nearly as bad as I expected, and that all the teachers and students I worked with were absolutely welcoming and made me feel like a queen. I can also say that Indonesian Starbucks is eerily like California’s, and that nasi goreng might just be one of my new favorite foods.
|from Obama’s elementary school in Jakarta|
But most of all, what carried me through fourteen days of fatigue, over-stimulation, sweat and language barriers was what waited for me at home. Knowing that what I was doing as a global ambassador, teacher and woman was teaching not only me, but my own children, that the world is a much smaller place than we know, and that when they grow up, my small contribution may make a big difference in their lives.
To read more about my day to day adventures, click over to travels with mamawolfe.