Thursday, September 29, 2011

School | Free Time

Since the specials teachers are on the high school service trips today, we had some free time when my kids would have normally been in music. They asked if they could take some pictures and I figured that music is creative, photography is creative, therefore it was ok. Here's what happened:

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Street Legal!

I am officially a legal driver. As of Friday, I have a driver's license and license plates. 

During the time that my kids were in specials on Friday, I went to the police station and got my picture taken and my fingerprints scanned for my drivers license. In the two months that I have been here, I have had my fingerprints taken more than I have in the rest of my 22 years of life!

I've had the license plates for about a week but they came without holes or any way to attach them to my bike. So Friday after school, Ellie and I drove down a little side street to a sketchy little shack to get them fitted to my bike. It went like this:

The whole process took about an hour. While we were waiting, the friendly neighborhood rat was kind enough to entertain us by running back and forth along the wall outside the back door.

I went to Semarang again on Saturday because the nearest Apple retailer is in one of the malls there. Early last week, I managed to kill my iPhone. It wasn't pretty...

Fortunately, it still works. Unfortunately, each time I've dropped it since then (yes, it has happened) a small shard has fallen out. The guys at the Apple place hooked me up with a super-thick screen protector and so far, so good!

I took a bit of video while I was driving back so that you could see what the traffic is like here. The internet isn't quite fast enough to upload it from my house so I'll see what I can do from school tomorrow. For those of you who thought that I was a bad driver in America, wait till you see what I can do in Indonesia. But for tonight, I'll leave you with this picture that I took while I was on a drive this afternoon:

I still can't believe that I live here :)

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Service Week

This past week was Service Week at Mountainview. For our service project, my 5th graders decided to pair up with the 3rd grade and the 6th grade and put on a carnival for the children of our national (Indonesian) staff. The turnout was outstanding and it was great to see so many smiling faces. Here are a few of the highlights:

The kids split into pairs and each made a pinata for a booth at the carnival. We had a chicken, an owl, a dragon coming out of an egg and an M&M...they got so creative!

These guys were super prepared. They even set up a tent over their booth!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Living In A Land Of Wonder

Saturday, we hopped on our bikes and drove to the Indonesian countryside to find this waterfall. It was pretty awesome. Unfortunately, the water was ice cold!

This was the jungle we walked through to get the waterfall...

And this is it:

Good times with new friends

Monday, September 12, 2011

Packages Are The Best

Sorry the updates have been so sporadic lately. Between the break and getting everyone caught back up, it's been a little crazy here. I promise to get back in the routine soon! In the meantine, many of you have asked where/ how to send packages here (American goodies area always appreciated :), so to let you know, I asked my friend to help me out:

If you can't read that, it's:

Sekolah Internasional Mountainview
JL. Nakula Sadewa Raya #55
Salatiga Jateng Indonesia
Attn: Lauren Irons

Basically, anything can get through customs, just make sure to label it as a "gift" because I've read that things can sometimes get taxed at 100% of the value, once they get here, yikes!

Things are going well here, just very busy. I went out for a ride on my bike on Saturday, without a specific destination in mind and ended up riding all the way to Semarang. Here's a map to put that in perspective (thanks Google Maps):

Don't worry, I have been there on at least 3 occasions, as it is one of the closest major cities to where I live and the highway goes straight there, so there wasn't much chance of getting lost. Despite a few buses that tried to run down every biker in their path, I made it back in one piece, as a very dark shade of red.

I also just wanted to say thanks to all of you who have sent messages and emails and who have taken the time for a skype date, it means a lot and I love to hear how things are going back in the States!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Bali | Indonesia

After spending the previous weekend in Jakarta, I had the opportunity to bounce over to Bali and check out the island. Unfortunately, I only had two days to explore. Although Bali is part of the same country that I currently live in, it was crazy to see how different it was culturally. Between the beauty and mystery of the island, I definitely plan on visiting again.

This was the volcano I flew over on the way. Pretty awesome.

Below are some pictures from the monkey sanctuary in a town called Ubud. Man, were these critters crafty. 

Our driver took us through a cool market on the way back to the hotel. I had a flashback to the silk scarf stalls in Paris, that were always lined up in rainbow order. 

Our last stop was a little temple on the side of the road. It was about to close for the evening. With the Indonesian sunset in the background, it was simply gorgeous.