Sunday, June 3, 2012

To Be Continued...

One week to go before the sun sets on year two in Indonesia, and I feel...exhausted. Physically, my body needs a good break from training; mentally, I need to catch and put to rest all those flittering work thoughts; and emotionally/spiritually, I'm on E. These are a few of the reasons this week can't go fast enough. I'd be lying if I said this cycle wasn't tough. But then takes me one minute to look over pictures from these past 10 months and remember all that went right.

Pasha and I shared finish line glory

First off, I am a triathlete...or at least on my way to being one. I finished the sprint distance of the Bintan triathlon in Indonesia, second in my age group. The race was an incredible rush in which I constantly thought about how to make it better the next time. The feeling of crossing the finish line was immense, but it feels small compared to the amazing friendships that got me there. There is not a doubt in my mind that I could not have done it without the incredible athletes and friends I made throughout the ten months who supported and pushed me to the finish line.
Top L - Bottom R: Me, Om Wailan, Karesna, Chadir, Jason, Peter, Tabitha, Mira, Silvia, Harki, Donny, Tanya

L - R: Anna, Me, Forie, Lina, Chadir, Bertha, Robby

Sprint Champions

One of our many post-practice feasts!

My bike and I should be under surveillance at all times. Thanks Albert. 

Crew off to Bintan
I had no idea what I was doing when I first signed up to do a triathlon, but once a week (sometimes twice), I could count on these guys to whip me into shape. Special thanks to Miranda for hauling my butt and bike everywhere, to Donny for being in charge, to Harki for being an amazing coach, and to all others for the support and laughs. I don't know what I would have done without those weekend workouts. I don't even know what was being said half the time, but I always felt welcome. Chalk it up the endless generosity and friendliness that all Indonesians seem born with.

I also managed to get in some great sights during trail runs, hikes, and travels across the country. I've already posted about most of my trips. Here are a few photos from some recent trail runs (Thanks to Chadir and Om Wailan for setting these up):

Finally, my site still continued to provide great camaraderie with coworkers, laughter with students, and cool, cool side projects. I got to meet and network with so many other professionals working in the field of English for uniformed forces. Hearing about their successes and learning about their projects was endlessly fascinating for me. And then there were always random happenings like this terrorist bomb simulation, that kept me from ever getting bored:

Last year was all new adventures in living abroad and teaching English for Police. This year, I still had plenty of adventures, but my salvation was in the friendships that carried me through. I didn't even mention the great American friends I made along the way or sustained from last year, but they are numerous. I really long for my support system back home in Ohio and PA, but I am endlessly grateful for the roots I've made here as well.

It was not an easy decision to stay in Indonesia a third year because of what I knew I was giving up back home. I am unsure about what a third year will bring, but I can say with certainty that I won't be alone.