After going through another round of security, checking in for my domestic flight, and ANOTHER round of security, I finally made it to my final gate -- the last leg of my journey. The flight from Jakarta to Yogya was short -- about one hour -- and on the other end I was met at the airport by Mas Sapto (one of the guys who works at the language school I'll be teaching at, and who helped coordinate the processing of my visa) along with the guy who will be taking over his job, Pak Mouwlaka. By this time I'd been traveling for about 25 hours, not counting the 12 hours between leaving home in Tucson and departing SFO. It had been almost 48 hours since I had changed my clothes, showered, brushed my teeth, or been able to lie down. Under these conditions I did my best to make conversation and answer questions, but I have no doubt I seemed a mess. Mas Sapto and Pak Mouwlaka ("Mas" and "Pak," by the way, are terms of respectful address for a younger man, literally meaning "big brother," and an older man, shortened from "bapak," respectively) took me to "lunch" (though it was almost 5PM) which was extremely nice of them although I wasn't really hungry and all I wanted to do was go to sleep in a bed. The meal was good, though the most exciting part was that the restaurant was situated around a square fish pond with spigots coming off the fence at various intervals, which, I soon learned, were meant to serve as sinks -- as there were no utensils, we ate with our hands, and proceeded to wash them afterwards under the spigots which emptied into the fish pond. I guess that way you feed the fish and the people. Two birds with one stone?
And then, finally finally, I made it my final destination -- the house where the PiA fellows have been living for the past few years, which I now share with three other young women who are language teachers like myself. Queenie is from Taiwan and teaches Chinese, Mabel is from Colombia and teaches Spanish, and Emma is from the States, originally from western Mass and a friend of a friend (small world, like always) and teaches English. My first night here I basically dragged my stuff up to my room and crashed, and in the few days since then I've begun getting settled. I'm mostly unpacked into my cozy, white-tiled upstairs room, my map of the world, rainbow flag, and pictures of my family are up on my wall, and I'm getting the hang of cold bucket showers. There's more to tell, but I'll save that for a separate post, since this one is getting kind of epic. It's definitely been a roller coaster -- I won't pretend that I haven't already had my dark moments of panicked culture shock and acute homesickness, and one or two good cries -- but I know this is just the beginning of a long, huge, spectacular adventure, which is exactly what I came here for. Indo the wild I go!