Start Here

In June 2011, freshly graduated from college, I got on a plane flying to Yogyakarta, Indonesia as an Oberlin Shansi fellow. My main task was to teach English, with a secondary goal to interact with the community as much as possible.

My first semester in Indonesia, I ended up joining UKJGS, a student group focusing on Solo-style dance and gamelan. Thus began a slow process of learning a new dance form, trying to get a new form of music to talk to me, and making friends.

My fellowship ended in June 2013. After visiting home for two months, I moved to Solo as part of the Darmasiswa program. I’ll be spending the upcoming year studying dance full time.


Tourist Attractions
Climbing Merapi Again
So far, I’ve climbed Merapi–the volcano just outside of the city–twice, once when I first got here and once when my friend Sophia visited. I plan to go back, as long as it doesn’t look like it’s going to erupt…which is always a possibility.

Dance
A summary of the Ramayana ballet as I perceive it, watching in between helping with costume changes
UKJGS regularly performs the Ramayana Ballet at Prambanan. As a result, I am constantly referencing it whether or not people understand or care.
Gender, Sexuality, Race and Religion
Seven Thoughts on Gender and Sexuality in Indonesia
I heard the raucous bells before I saw the people shaking them, so I admit that my first reaction was vague annoyance. I just wanted to eat my vegan, fake meat in peace.

Indonesia, World War II, Hitler, and the Holocaust
I realized we were going to need to get more specific. What about Hitler? Yes, they’d heard of him. Hitler had been the leader of Germany. They stopped there.


Bits of Life
the bright, clear line
I stare at the two foreigners, demonstrating my ability to rubberneck and drive at the same time, as long as there are no other vehicles on the road.

Like Anywhere
You show up to one of your friends’ theater rehearsals to give him a copy of the latest Ramayana video, because for some reason you’re one of the only people who’s copied it so far and no one else is free.

Steps to Somewhere
Dance class, Tesla coil songs, grad school applications: this is my life these days. But for the language I use when I step out of my room, I could be anywhere in the world. I feel untethered. Floating.

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