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

Dear Nenek (Grandmother)

I was going to start off by saying I wish I knew more bahasa Indonesia during my stay in Jogja. It would have allowed for more conversation but I think our limited communication made our relationship that much more special.

We surprised each other. I was initially more focused on making connections with my brothers and parents. The moments I spent with your family were the reasons I came across the world in the first place.

Everyone was so sweet, treating me like I was a sister, daughter, or grand daughter. When I was walking you down the steps of the Hindu Temple in Solo all I could think about was what it meant to be a human.

There we were looking at the incredible view on top of the mountain – I had never seen more surface area of earth in my life. I felt so small and so content while you were holding onto my arm for balance.

We created such a strong bond while completely disregarding race, age, language, backgrounds. My heart is filled with love for you too!