One of the more common projects Peace Corps Indonesia volunteers put together is an English Camp. Camps can differ significantly but they usually last for one or two days and include a series of short, focused English lessons. The weekend of January 21st I helped with an English camp organized by ID9 Lisa in neighboring district Majalengka.
The Javanese word for please is monggo. In Sundanese people say mangga. In both Indonesian and Javanese mangga means mango. So to say mango in Sundanese people say buah manggah, which literally means mango fruit. Explaining this somewhat trivial difference in language was always one of the first things people in Kediri would do when I told them I would be moving to West Java.
This past Wednesday, the first of June, my Peace Corps class concluded pre-service training and was sworn in as official Peace Corps Volunteers (PCVs). The start of our two years of service officially began. We received our Peace Corps pins, and most of us said goodbye to Kediri, our first home in Indonesia.
As I write this I am sitting on a bus on my way to Bandung to catch a plane that will whisk me and thirty other volunteers back to Surabaya where we will get on yet another bus to take back to Kediri to continue our PST training. Normally Peace Corps doesn’t fly volunteers when traveling at post; but because of our delayed start to PST, and this weekend being a holiday weekend, West Java volunteers will be flown back to East Java.
As I write this it is Saturday just after 11 PM somewhere near the border of East Java and Central Java. I am on a train headed to Bandung, West Java with about twenty other Peace Corps trainees. We landed in Surabaya one month ago and we will be sworn in as Peace Corps Volunteers in one month. It is amazing to think how much I have learned this past month and daunting to think of how much more is left to do. PST has been exhausting while simultaneously exhilarating. This past week in particular has been challenging because it was our first week of teaching practicum. I have woken up at 4:30 or earlier each morning this week and often don’t make it to bed until 9:00 in the evening. Despite how grueling this week seemed there was a special motivation to trudge onward. Site announcement and site visit.