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Students in a long tail boat in Indonesia. Photo by Aaron Slosberg, Indonesia Semester.

Thought #4

My brain feels like it has been encased in seran wrap. I am sitting outside on my host family’s terrace drinking coffee, staring across the courtyard at a large, white building. The building has no windows and was crudely painted an egg white shade some years ago. A thick black wire hangs in front of it, dividing the building into two oddly portioned slabs of cement. I’m listening to the fast-paced and loud chatter of my neighbors. The roosters seem especially angry today.

As I sit here in the shade, I am beginning to come to terms with the idea that this place, this little community, my home, my walk, my routine, will cease to exist starting tomorrow. It has been a beyond incredible experience. Three weeks ago, I was airdropped into a family I did not know, that spoke a language I knew very little of, and even from that, I found immense love and happiness. When we were traveling in Mount Bromo a week ago, I found myself saying, “I want to go home.” In this case, what I meant by home was back in my host family’s house. I missed it in its absence and longed to be back there. I found comfort and stability in something I had known for only a few weeks. That is a marker of a home.

I will miss this magical, odd little place. All good things must come to an end, I suppose. Or did whoever make up that line just need an excuse for the termination of a good thing? Nevertheless, my time here in Jogjakarta has been lovely, and I wouldn’t change a second of it if I could.