My parents would be so proud! Hey, I’m practicing my Indonesian, though!
This morning, we had one of the most turbulent flights I have ever experienced. For a bit, I honestly thought that Nicole was right, that we were going to be on CNN. We would be on CNN because our frigging plane was going to crash and we were all going to die! Just imagine the headline: “32 American Fulbright Scholars Die in Last Leg Flight to Jakarta.” It would be like Lost, we would end up on some island with the others and polar bears.
Well, thankfully that wasn’t the case. Jenny Z. and I were each other’s support through that awful flight. Just as my knuckles were bleached white from a death grip on the armrests, she asked me if she could hold my hand. She was just as scared as I was! It was definitely a bonding experience for us all. I’m pretty sure we all had our stomachs a little higher in our throats than normal at least twice today.
Once we were in Jakarta, we were taken to our hotel and sat down in the lobby with a stack of paperwork. More visa papers, press release approvals, and more assorted government documents. I was shocked to see that my placement address was different than I had originally thought. Public schools were listed as SMA schools, while the Pesantrens were labeled differently. Well, apparently, this specific Pesantren is labeled as an SMA school in Surabaya.
You’re probably wondering what a Pesantren is. Well, I honestly don’t know a whole lot about them or how they work, but it is an Islamic boarding school. According to my address, I’ll be living at the boarding school. I have nothing against the Islamic faith, but I really would have packed differently had I known my school setting would be different. More long sleeved light shirts, I would have brought my scarves, and I definitely would have brought more pants!
PANTS IN 90 DEGREE WEATHER. Ay.
Seriously though, I must admit that I am a little bit (lotta bit) nervous about working in a Pesantren. We’ll see more, learn more when I get there. I hope that it will be smoother than I’m imagining it. Think positive thoughts!