Drum roll please…!!
It’s official – I accepted the offer this week… I’ll be returning to Indonesia next year as a second year Fulbrighter!
I’ve been contemplating for awhile now what I want to do next year and I knew I wasn’t ready to leave Indonesia. A year ago, when I first started this journey, I met the three returning Fulbrighters who would be joining our cohort as Returning ETAs and our mentors. I knew pretty early on that I would want to apply for a second year, particularly after having had such a bizarre start to my grant this year (see this, and this, and this, and this).
I want a second chance. I want to experience a “normal” nine months at one school, to improve my teaching skills, to build on the lesson plans I’ve already created, and make them better for next year. I want to explore a new part of Indonesia (TBD!), to continue learning Bahasa Indonesia, to experience more of this culture, and perhaps most importantly, to mentor the incoming cohort. I’ve always been a leader and a mentor and not having a formal leadership role this year has been somewhat odd… I feel like something is missing and I know that’s what it is. A substantial part of my role next year, in addition to my teaching and school responsibilities, will be assisting and mentoring the incoming cohort, as they adjust to life in Indonesia. I couldn’t be more excited to meet the incoming group and go on this journey for a second time.
A few logistics you must be thinking to yourself…
– Will she come home?! Yes, of course! I’ll come home to Seattle June 4th and plan to travel a bit (hoping for St. Louis, DC, Spokane, and LA – let me know if you’re there!) and then I’ll leave mid-August.
– How long is this grant? 9 months plus two weeks at the beginning where the Returners will come early to help plan orientation
– Same city? Nope! New! I don’t yet know where I’ll be placed but somewhere new! I’m desperately hoping to be near water and absolutely refuse to be anywhere near smoke.
– Can I come visit her? OF COURSE! Now that I’ve got a year under my belt I have a much better idea of good times to visit and places we can travel to 😀 So please hop across the ocean and come visit the land of 17,000 islands! I’m sure we can find you one that will suit your fancy 😀
There’s a few things that sealed the deal for me to come back. It’s crazy days getting bear-hugged by my mud covered kids… It’s living in the midst of a military school where my kids come over at every odd hour for every odd reason (I had four girls come over about 10 minutes ago to stash chicken in my freezer…). It’s spending the day at a waterpark with a few of my students and holding their hand as they go down the big slide for the first time… And it’s watching them give speeches in English in front of 100 of their classmates and absolutely knocking it out of the ballpark, that make me absolutely have to come back.