Birthday gifts from my students!

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Well, I had been trying to keep my birthday a secret but quickly discovered that my students remembered me telling them my birth date from LAST SEMESTER!

1 remembered… then 2 knew, then everybody knew! The secret was out!!!

The kids started writing, “HAPPY BIRTHDAY,” all over the white board and all over random pieces of paper. One student made a blue ‘wallet’ and put a note in it (as you can see from the picture above).  One made a heart-shaped paper airplane and showed me how it worked!  One student gave me her pencil with a red diamond stud at the top! Another student gave me his unused #2 pencil!  I told him, “You should keep this!  You can use it to do your school work.”  The student let me know that it was OK for me to have it because he had many pencils and he didn’t want that one anyway. 😉 I also received a lot of chocolate disguised as money! OH! And I can’t forget to mention all of the ‘warm hugs’ I received.

Oh man… those kids are going to see some ‘warm tears’ when I have to say goodbye to them in June.


Macet DONG… lagi! (Traffic Again!)


It’s the rainy season here in Indonesia and that means… Banjir dong (flooding)!

And there has been plenty of extra traffic here because of it! Aduh!  😦

The city of Jakarta alone holds a population of about 10 million people, so you can imagine the traffic on a daily basis. Add a flooding situation to that and you have got a big, almost unbelievable mess!

I put emphasis on the word, “almost” because I have a picture to prove what I am saying! 🙂


Custom and culture in Indonesia is truly totally opposite North American custom and culture.  On (almost) a daily basis, something is being said to me that is offensive, that I usually just have to shrug off.  These things have made me a more resilient person emotionally, but I think it is time that I start sharing these things because :

#1 – This is my diary

#2 – It’s really funny (if you’re not me)

*I was at the mall looking at some dresses for the Chinese New Year, which is just around the corner.  I found a cute dress at a reasonable price, the only problem was the size; it was an extra large!

So, I turned to one of the clothing shop ladies and asked if they had a different size (it looked way too big).

She then turned to me, picked up the dress and said, “Don’t worry, it will stretch!!” She then proceeded to pull on the sides of the dress, showing me exactly how big it could get.