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

Homestay by the Ocean

A little excerpt from my journal a few days ago:

4/7/19 7:34 am – Musa Homestay, Lamboya, Sumba

What a beautiful flow here. To wake when my body tells me to, to read under my mosquito net canopy of roses. To waft between the ocean and the beach and the bamboo porch. To be washed so often by the rain and salt water that I have no shower routines and can’t remember the last time I shampooed my hair. For my body to be constantly decorated with flecks of sand like jewellery, no matter how hard I try to scrub them off. To hear the ever-present background noise of gentle waves that matches the movements of the swaying pieces of grass from my straw roof. To have the ocean always there, always available for me to tune into.

To lay on the sand with my dearest group under the most electric and poignant stars, where the conversation just naturally, as if by the guiding pull of the black ink sky, turns to deep things. Don’t you also find it impossible to not be reflective as you lay under the night sky? It’s like nature’s way of pulling us back into the moment, a unified feeling of vastness.

I feel like I’m living more in harmony with nature than I ever have. Lizards crawl all around my room, and ants make their way across tables of food without anyone squishing them. I’ve come to think of it as sharing the space – they don’t bother me, I don’t bother them. In Javanese culture not having ants in your house is seen as a bad sign.

There is no running water, no mirrors to make me doubt anything about myself. I’ve had no advertisements or beauty ideals except those of mother nature – the rippling beach at low tide and the curvaceous palm trees.

Feeling so lucky 🙂