Saturday, May 14, 2011

Five Weeks In

Well, a little more than five weeks in. Here are the links to the last two Videologs I made but didn't link to:

Sounds/Sound Privacy in Indonesia


Speaking Indonesian!

I'm now more than half way through training. The three-week teaching practicum is over, and it was a blast! I really enjoy being in front of a class...feel calm and natural up there, and there weren't any moments feeling overwhelmed. I think I've got a pretty good grasp of the challenges that I'll be facing when I'm actually on the job. Peace Corps staff does a good job of getting us ready. And I'm learning Indonesian as fast as it's possible to learn, I think. My resolution: I will be fluent, and within the first nine months.

I like it a lot here. Each day has some purpose, some need that must be met (and usually is). It's very satisfying. Much better than sitting around in Florida/Europe and thinking about what to do with myself. But yesterday it occurred to me for the first time that returning to the States and/or Europe is going to be difficult. It's going to be tough to relate to some people -- or more specifically, it's going to be hard to feel like people can relate to me. Already, talking to people from back home is a bit strange. On the one hand, it's amazing how close they can seem and how easy it is to talk to people 10,000 miles away. But as easy as it is to communicate, there's also this feeling that there are new barriers separating us. Going back may be more difficult than coming here. Or perhaps the difficult thing would be to go back to my lifestyle the six months before leaving for Peace Corps. Well, it's a long way off, so I'm not worried about it presently.

From time to time I find myself testing myself to see if I can still make sentences in German. It's difficult. Indonesian words pop into my brain. But the other day I listened to a German podcast, and my comprehension was still at a very high level, so that made me feel better. It also made me miss being in Europe. Living with an Indonesian family affords me the opportunity to practice my language skills constantly. I rather wish I had been able to do the same in Switzerland or Germany (sorry Mom, but you and I will always speak English together :D ). Anyway, it has occurred to me a few times that maybe after Peace Corps I'll try to get back to Europe and live in Germany a while, or something. I also miss that differentness/weirdness that characterizes Europeans -- from my American perspective, of course.

Time to go. Hope you all are well!

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