Apa kabar, teman-teman? (Hey, friends, how’s it going?)
My name is Becca and I’ll be one of your course instructors with Rita and Olivia. I’m so excited to spend my summer break traveling and learning with you all in Indonesia, a country that captured my heart from the moment I first landed in Jakarta in August 2007. I can’t wait to meet you in a few weeks, to hear about what drew you to the Indonesia program, and to be on this amazing journey of discovery alongside you.
A little bit about me. I was born in Luxembourg, attended an international school, and travelled around Europe a lot as a child. We also took yearly trips to visit family in the States. I believe that my curiosity about and desire to understand different ways of being in and relating to the world stems from my childhood experiences and friendships.
I attended college at University of Michigan where I majored in Theater and Drama at the School of Music, Theatre, and Dance as well as Southeast Asian Studies. My second degree actually snowballed out of a dance requirement for the first. Rather than enrolling in one of the dance courses most frequently taken by theatre majors, I spotted a course called Intro to Javanese Dance. I had no clue where Java was or what the dance might be like, so I decided I should most definitely pursue the class and I’m so glad I did. From the first day I walked into the class, listened to the gamelan, figured out what satu, dua, tiga meant, I was hooked. I also decided I had better start learning Bahasa Indonesia so that I could communicate better with my teachers. One thing lead to another and by the time senior year rolled around, I knew I wanted to go to Indonesia and I wanted my experience to be meaningful. My Indonesian teacher heard that Volunteers in Asia was accepting applications and so it was that in July 2007 I found myself headed to Indonesia to teach English for two years.
I taught English and Cross-Cultural Understanding at Universitas Ronggolawe in Tuban, East Java and 10th grade English at Pondok Pesantren Sunan Pandanaran in Yogyakarta. I also studied Javanese dance and theater through a Darmasiswa Scholarship. After two years, I unearthed my favorite thing about Indonesia: no matter how long you live there, it always feels like you have barely scratched the surface in learning about this beautiful country, the cultures, and people. I couldn’t leave. Over the next ten years I travelled, studied, and taught in Indonesia at different points (and in between got a Master of Social Work focused on International Development). Every time I leave, I find myself drawn back again.
I’m currently finishing up my second year with Teach For America Colorado and will continue teaching third grade at Strive Prep Ruby Hill in the 2018-2019 academic year. When I’m not thinking and talking about education, I enjoy curling up with a good book, climbing, slacklining, watching any Anthony Bourdain shows, Mind of a Chef, or Chef’s Table, singing to my husband’s ukulele-ing, and exploring new cuisines (aka: cooking and trying new restaurants).
Sampai ketemu di LA!
*The photo was taken at Candi Penataran in Blitar, East Java after an amazing two months of collaborating on a dance-drama about environmental sustainability issues with traditional dancers in Malang in 2011.