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Photo by Celia Mitchell (2015/16 Semester Photo Contest Entry), Indonesia Semester.


Hi friends! We just returned from our mid-year retreat to Dieng Plateau in the highlands of Central Java! We took some time off our life in Jogja to step back and reflect on our journey thus far, where we’re standing right now in our Bridge Year, and how we want to drive our experiences in the months to come, individually and as a group.

During one of our activities, we reflected upon our most important moments here. We each picked one of those to describe in 30 words. With the guidance of our instructors we condensed those to 20 words, then to 10, and finally to 6! Below we have compiled our most succinct versions, followed by our initial ones. Hopefully these will give you a taste of what we’ve felt…


Asthma, knolls, metamorphosis, ineffability: from God.

Ascending mountain, pre-dawn. Santoz leads me:

Steep, asthma threatens, yet we succeed. Sharp metamorphic blackness greets forever-extending grassy humps. Golden mist illuminating God’s creation.

His work is good.



“Alone in a city,” how cinematic

I’ve watched too many movies
because when I walked ten minutes
I felt the direction, soundtrack, and editing.
“Alone in a city,” I thought. How cinematic,
just grabbing my laundry.



The water runs over my feet.

Standing in the river,
the sun beating down,
the water runs over my feet.

The breeze blows gently,
across a landscape near empty,
a greeting till the next time we meet.​



When Augie won, we felt. Together.

My sniffles exposed my sentimentality early.
But when Augie won and the lights rose, we felt. Together.
Three girls loving in a dark theater full of people.



Freezing, night twisting, nightmare.
Forced breakfast.

Woke up cold, freezing.
Spent the night twisting, turning,
scared, alone.
Malarone nightmare: skeleton, flesh, blood.
Wind outside howling, dogs barking.
Dirt floor, rusty nails.
Forced myself to breakfast.



Family exhausted, brother’s laughs, tears, longing

An incoming call. Nervous, terrified, yet excited. Faces of my mom and dad were different, tired, older, longing for something. Brother’s laugh from afar, my laugh, my tears, my longing.



connected by vulnerability,
strangers becoming friends

Intimacy is strange because even strangers can be intimate.
Connected by something we can’t name, as secrets shake loose and walls are toppled by vulnerability.
Strangers becoming people, people becoming friends.