[More Than Six. Not Quite Seven]

I recently celebrated my six month anniversary of being in Indonesia with a trip to Singapore. Nothing huge, just two days to see the city, go to the zoo, go out to a movie, shall we say, revisit my dinner on the sidewalk, and ride the world’s largest observation wheel (whatever that means) with a couple of British children. Oh, and we renewed our visas too. That was one important thing we did there. It was fun, but I’m still waiting for my rambutan bouquet that I asked Erika to get me for our anniversary. Maybe March will be my lucky month…

In addition to traveling a lot in the month of February, and having the flu while doing so, I have been doing a lot of reflecting on my time here thus far, well, I should say, even more reflecting than usual, which is saying something.

There have been a lot of firsts. Including but not limited to:

Eating dog meat

Sleeping in a tarp on a mountain

Eating durian (sort of a fruit, mostly just weird)

Seeing a dead person (it was at a funeral, nothing crazy)

Being in Asia

Being in Indonesia

Volunteering in an office 9-5


Playing frisbee in Singapore

Thinking that Dunkin Donuts once a month is a rare and special treat

Spending Thanksgiving and Christmas away from my family

Very possibly breaking the law in a foreign country (there’s really no way of knowing for sure)

Making pizza from scratch

Living a mere 2º South of the Equator

Taking up letter writing, like, for serious

Making my own tortillas (desperate times call for desperate measures)

Spending my birthday in a foreign country

Driving a motorbike

Riding a becak (sort of a jungle cat type of animal)

Maybe having typhoid but then deciding it’s just the regular plague

Hearing that the Typhoid vaccine isn’t terribly effective

Sleeping on the floor of a boat for a night

My time here has opened up a lot of really great opportunities. Some are:

Asking good questions that lead to good conversations

Getting rid of my life plan. New plan: stop making plans

Reading a bunch

Learning about new ways of communicating and working


Eating really, really good food

Meeting and getting to know lots of people

Practicing patience

Thinking really evil thoughts about mosquitoes

Exploring as much and as often as possible

Learning a new language

Finding out what life is like without Starbucks (turns out, it does go on)

Getting to devote my time to the things I love (ie, studying gender in my community, mie goreng)

Learning all about Mennonites (my favorite hobby)

Looking forward to the future, appreciating the past, and being very thankful for the present.

All of these things have brought up a variety of feelings and emotions, of course. Such as feeling…

Extremely happy and really excited

The joy of a good cry




Like I’m doing something worthwhile




And one last category for today, there are some things that I have not yet come to pass:

Climbing Merapi (Indonesia’s most active volcano, I’ve heard)

Climbing Puncak Jaya, the tallest mountain in Oceania

Having malaria (I could deal with skipping this one, although my host mom said last week I can’t be Papuan until I’ve had it)

Going to Wamena

Eating snake meat

Eating crocodile meat

Swimming in the Indian Ocean

Getting a rambutan bouquet from Erika

2 Comments on “[More Than Six. Not Quite Seven]”

  1. Annie!!!!!

    I love and miss you tons!

    I just spent about an hour looking through your photos and reading your blogs when I should have been doing Sr. Lead stuff. oops. ;-) I am sooo jealous of the wonderful adventures you’re having. I can’t wait to see you again and to hear all about everything.

    Prayers and hugs galore are being sent your way!



  2. Hi Annie,
    I confess that this is the first time I have read your blog since last September…yikes! Your e-mail reminded me of it and I am so glad to have spent time this morning going through your posts. Your writing is fabulous! And all of your lists are just the kinds of things that make life interesting.

    So here are a few comments from throughout: Your growing map-collection sounds fabulous…I love maps as well :). Forgetting about chick flicks seems like actually a healthy thing to happen for a little while. I mean they are just movies and they will be here whenever you want to re-remember what they are. The book recommendation list is very exciting and I am currently looking for more good books, so your list will be a great starting point. Befriending a penguin sounds like a fabulous idea and I want to join you on your Antarctica trip. YOU ARE AMAZING for all of the biking, triathlon, and marathon adventures you have been on. I am so impressed! And good luck finding the equator with all its bells and whistles…

    Thats all that comes to the top of my head after reading them all. What an adventure. I am really proud of you and excited for the rest of your time abroad! [I’m gonna have wordpress notify me now when you post so I won’t get so far behind]

    Blessings y besos,


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