jakarta after 3 weeks

I am not able to upload the pictures after having wifi for little more than 24 hours at my new place, but to be able to blog from home without having more pressing needs is truly a luxury. Whew, I’m in Jakarta, or more specifically BSD, a suburb.

Lion dancers

Are there mosquitoes? Is it hot? Is the electricity a bit touchy? Is it inconvenient to get around without a car? Are there rats? When you read about these realities from a culture shock book, they seem almost unscalable, possibly anxiety inducing. When encountered in real life, you somehow accept the hurdles and press on.

Part of the reason is that they’re mixed in with unexpected pleasant surprises as well. The people of Indonesia are always ready with a smile. The bedrooms are air conditioned to the point of needing a blanket or comforters which seem to be on every bed where I’ve slept. The school is absolutely gorgeous–the “Peace Park” promised in the video, cannot truly be captured on film. No one seems stressed with less than a week of vacation left. My new place is in a beautiful green (The Green) neighborhood or compound with clusters. I can access podcasts on my iPhone.

Welcome dinner!

I went to church for the first time in Lippo Village which seems like a Disneyland version of an American city. So scrubbed and mall-ish. BSD is grittier. Closer to the way you imagine living in another country might seem.

We were greeted with a Lion Dance on our first day of orientation. We’re spending this week meeting with our departments and planning. I feel like I’ve graduated. Like you’ve stepped into that ideal teaching culture you think you’re planning for in education classes. We’ll see what happens next week when students arrive . . .

Ace Hardware celebrates the holidays

Happy Holidays from Ace Hardware

In the past month, I have become a landlord in America and an employer in Indonesia, as I now have a pembantu, Atik. She’s a sweetheart. I’ve changed money several times, ridden in my first angkot, eaten gado-gado and generally flipped my life upside-down. But it still feels like me, living my life. Not an alternative universe. If that makes sense.

P.S. Posted the images after having wifi for 3 days.

Ramadan fun facts on banners at my new school


About jaclynfre

Tech integration specialist, recipe adventurer, fast walker, sporadic writer, aunt, sister and daughter
This entry was posted in life and culture, transitions and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to jakarta after 3 weeks

  1. Lisa Schra says:

    Jackie – we are praying for the different kinds of adjustments you are making. You are doing a brave, new thing. Sometimes you need some extra courage. Sometimes wonder at it all. We pray that through it all you may feel the constant peace & presence of God’s Holy Spirit who is with you! Much love, Lisa, Jeffrey & the boys

    • jaclynfre says:

      Lisa, Thanks for checking out the blog!! Do you have one? I love love your newsletters with the news from WAX. (c; It’s such an encouragement to hear from friends around the world who have forged the way. I’m sorry I missed your presentation. Bad timing, but maybe we can catch up on Skype. Give my regards to your family. Warmest regards!!!

  2. gwen says:

    Hello, brave woman! Congratulations on your first 3 weeks. I wish you courage and peace and joy…and energy to blog so we get to hear what you’re up to 🙂 Love, Gwen

  3. Deb Larson says:

    Jackie — we brushed lives as a family for two weeks with you in Korea, and miss you so much. You have a special way of seeing, living and sharing.

    Near the end of your last paragraph you said that it still feels like you, living your life. I am not surprised. You are amazing.

    I also think it is very cool that you have a quote from Eleanor Roosevelt. She is one of my favorite people too. I have one of her quotes taped to my computer: “When you have decided what you believe, what you feel must be done, have the courage to stand alone and be counted.”

    Thank you for your blog — we are looking forward to staying in touch! From your Iowa family on the Orange Korean Ties Bus, Deb Larson (Paul, AnnaLee and Kevin too).

    • jaclynfre says:

      What a sweetheart you are!! I will never forget your sweet hugs throughout the day! I’m looking forward to hearing about your travels in Australia as well as the safe arrival of AnnaLee’s drum.

      Your encouragement means so much! Traveling is such a privilege and it’s definitely been a series of “pinch me” moments–so it’s kind of like the feeling of being yourself in a dream that carries you along. You feel like you’re making decisions, but then you wonder if it’s you or the narrative of the dream that is the most powerful.

      Hope you’re enjoying the rest of the summer and keeping cool!! Let’s be sure to keep in touch!!
      Warmest regards,

  4. Jill says:

    Jackie! I am so thrilled that you are embracing life to the fullest. What else could I expect? You are an inspiration! I am glad that you are settling into your new adventure and that the school you will be working at is all that you hoped it to be. Please keep up the blogging. I am going to love reading what you are up to. If you can at some point, let me know your home address…you never know when you’ll need supplies:) By the way, my new home email address is jilldykhuizen@gmail.com, since I don’t know how much longer you and I will have access to zps mail. Please take care of yourself and keep living the dream! Love ya!

    • jaclynfre says:

      Jill, It is not propaganda to say that you and your family would fit right in here. There are positions ranging from athletic directors / trainers to grade level teachers. There is just a vibe that I get that would definitely suit you all–maybe it’s the adventure, the sense of family, the creative problem solving . . . hmmm. Since you just moved, the timing may not be right, but it gives your extended family the opportunity to travel long-distance to visit you. ::smile::

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