Category: Indonesia


Woman vs. Rooster

I write this at my own peril. But, alas, perhaps my end shall come anyways. Perhaps the dawn may never come for me again. But no. I cannot give up hope. I cannot give in to the fear. I must tell my story. You must know. I arose before dawn and after the second chorus of the sunrise call to prayer. The world of … Read More Woman vs. Rooster


It seems some days I have few needs; A shower and a snack. Accompanied with a bottle of water— Haven’t had much of that. It seems some days I long for— Yes all I long to manage— The wafting smell of lavender soap And a stomach of bananas. Once my needs are managed And my mind is set at peace, I turn off all … Read More Introvert


Exploding Tourists

My beautiful neighbor Linda took me with her to central Jakarta this weekend to pop around admiring dancing fountains and eating local foods and shaking hands with tropical flora. We met up with her friend Franny and her cousin, and after spending Saturday night on the 23rd floor of Linda’s central Jakarta apartment—me snuggled against a huge wall of windows getting to watch the … Read More Exploding Tourists


Nesting Process

When I first begin a different sort of life in a different sort of place, I write in my notebooks, or plane tickets, or coffee receipts Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs pyramid. Big and bold, the steps of the pyramid:   I come off the airplane, become immediately sticky and sweaty in the tropical midnight heat, locate the university students who agreed to pick up … Read More Nesting Process


The Indonesian Parent Trap

I have met my twin, lost at birth. When I first saw her, sitting in the corner of our Math/English teachers room with the other math teachers, I thought to myself: That is who I would be if I were to have been a Math teacher. Without a doubt. I could tell she was thinking the same thing after our first conversation. Can you … Read More The Indonesian Parent Trap


What’s it Like Teaching in Indonesia?

*disclaimer: I do not assume that, because I now have a smidgeon experience teaching here, that I know what teaching is like in Indonesia. Every school is vastly different; different curriculum standards (IB, Cambridge, New Zealand, etc.) different administrations, different teachers, different sets of kids with different economic backgrounds. This is, after week one, my experience at one particular school in a suburb of Jakarta. *  *  … Read More What’s it Like Teaching in Indonesia?

Being Aware

Before coming to Indonesia, so many people told me: “Josie, you need to make sure you are aware of your surroundings at ALL times. Be safe.” To honor those who told me this, I would like to give proof that I am following their advice.   Peace and blessings, Josie



I don’t have internet at my cave of wonders, only at International school, or the little street-side Internet cafes if I so choose. While for the first couple of days this was terribly burdensome and made me feel quite unsteady—especially since I had no way of getting ahold of my Indonesian contact who was to meet me on my first day of school—I have … Read More Disconnected


When It Comes to Replacing Fear

When you move to another country, especially one with a culture so different from your own, it is easy to be swept away by that which scares you. It is easy to get overwhelmed by how much you feel you stand out; how everyone dresses differently than you do and how they live at a different pace than you and aren’t you just the … Read More When It Comes to Replacing Fear

Unlocking Cages

Indonesia seems, to me, to be very similar to Morocco. Perhaps this is my Western mind not able to discern non-Western cultures individually and simply lumping them all together, so perhaps this is the cultural ignorance speaking. Like how I cannot discern from which Asian country my teaching colleagues come (Laos from Cambodia from Philippines from Malaysia), when it is tremendously obvious to them. … Read More Unlocking Cages


Taking My Name Seriously

  I often assume a persona when I am gathering myself to go into new situations. I think, today I am going to be Robin Williams in The Dead Poet’s Society, as I enter into the high school classroom and meet the students I will be teaching for a semester. Or Julia Robert’s character in Mona Lisa Smiles. This removes fear or other hindering … Read More Taking My Name Seriously

My World is an Escalator

  The man above me on this escalator Is wearing a hat that matches The purple flashing walls which Soar around us. He looks nervous, Almost, His expression reads, “My backpack is too tight on my arms And everybody around me can see” But that’s not what I notice About this hatted man– That’s not what I see. I glance at the ticket clutched … Read More My World is an Escalator