Wednesday, July 13, 2011

There are four days left in my Kudus experience.
I'm bad at goodbyes because I end up leaving mentally before I leave physically and then I end up just frustrated and cranky and not patient. I'm not a sentimental goodbye-er.
I'm trying to be here, to be present, to enjoy the moments and it's working... when I'm with people. But when I'm alone I end up getting super lethargic and worry about getting a job when I get home, and antsy to just leave. I want to enjoy Kudus these last days. I've found a couple potential job openings, so I'm going to stick them in my internet favorites and not touch them until I get to Portugal. Hopefully they'll keep my mind at rest. At least the part of my mind that's worrying about going through being unemployed for months on end again.

The past three weeks have been filled with travel, hanging out with people, goodbye parties, packing, and last minute shopping. So much food, too... I'm trying to not care about what I eat as far as food special to Indonesia goes. I have only a week left to enjoy Indonesian fried rice, grilled fish, fresh fruit juice, noodles and chicken... Oh, good stuff.

I'm liking not having to teach right now. My time is spent with people- talking, eating, traveling... There's an agenda when you teach, and it's getting info into people's brains. Sometimes it's hard for me to feel like I'm getting to know people when I'm so preoccupied with if they're understanding material and if I'm doing it all right. There's no pressure when you hang out with people. It's just letting yourselves connect and sharing experiences. Much more enjoyable to me than teaching.

And... Sleeping. I know my host parents think I'm the laziest person ever... But I get my second wind at about 10pm and the packing just come easier then. The packing, the laundry, the reading, the watching movies... And since I don't have classes at 7am anymore, why not go to sleep at 2am?

I'm reading an incredible book called "Waging Peace on Islam" by Christine Mallouhi. It's reminding me about what I'm passionate about and what gets me riled up. There wasn't a lot in this past year that dealt with injustice or other issues that make me mad and ready to make change. It wasn't a boring year... I know I blessed and served people here and no regrets with my decision to take the assignment last minute! But it's not want I want to do forever- I wouldn't want to do this year every year. What I do want to do every year that was part of this year was work with people who adhere to the Muslim religion. Wow, what kindness they showed me. And how very misunderstood the religion is in the west!
But specifically I love this book because of how much she talks about the Palestinian/Israeli conflict and her up close and personal involvement in it. She is teaching me history through stories and I love it- it's how I learn best. It brings back my semester in Egypt and the travelling I did around Israel. I'm excited to be applying for an internship in Palestine and while it might not work out and I might be around the US for a while, I know I will end up the in Middle East at some point or another.

I'll try to update again before I'm of to Akron, PA for re-entry. If not, next time I update I'll either be in the US or Portugal (visiting Sao Miguel for a week right after re-entry)!!