We are currently at t-minus 14 days. Soon, I’ll be touching down on the Jakarta tarmac and beginning a new chapter! I just feel like I'm in a weird state of limbo. Somehow, I am trying to downsize and get rid of everything I own. Yet, I'm still purchasing every sort of essential that I’ll need to take with me. I think the UPS guy is getting throughly sick of me. He had to deliver four packages to the doorstep yesterday.
Before I go, I thought it would be good to answer a few frequently asked questions just to help provide some context. Here are some things people have been asking me.
Where exactly are you going?
I will teaching at Sekolah Pelita Harapan, a group of international schools in Indonesia. All five of the schools are are located in and around Jakarta, Indonesia’s biggest and capital city. I will be teaching at the Sentul City campus which is located farther out of the city in the more mountainous area near Bogor.
Aren't you nervous?
Yes! I'm scared of sticking out like a sore thumb. I recently found out that I am about a foot taller than the average Indonesian woman. Yikes. There is definitely a strong fear of not being able to communicate or committing some awful cultural faux pax.
Things I can't control have never seemed to phase me too much, though. So, if you're asking if scared of tsunamis and terrorism, I guess the answer is "eh, not so much." I guess I seem to lack a healthy caution. Bad things happen can (and do) happen anywhere. Rather than dwell on they hypothetical, I'm trying keep a healthy attitude that is careful and prudent but still excited!
So, you're teaching English. Right?
For some reason, everyone thinks I am teaching English as foreign language, but I am not! SPH is an international school, and English is the language of instruction. I'll be teaching all core subjects in a fourth grade classroom––just like I would be here in the States.
There are over 700 languages spoken in Indonesia with Bahasa Indonesia being the most common. Students also learn Bahasa, but thankfully I won't be having to teach that! I've been trying to practice picking up a few words and phrases and haven't had too much luck yet. Other teachers have told me that it is not a difficult language to learn. I really hope they're right.
How does your family feel about you moving so far away?
I know that I will miss them sorely and I imagine that they feel the same way. They're a good bunch, those Royces. Holidays will be the hardest. Just more reason for them to come visit me even sooner. There are some incredible looking airbnbs in Bali! Really, I think they are excited for me! Fortunately, we've all gotten to spend some quality time together before my departure. Last week, we went out for my birthday, and all the gals saw Les Misérables on tour. It's been a great sendoff.
Pray for safety. Pray for adjustment. Pray for comfort.