The Blog is Back

Following an eight month hiatus, I am back to Carpen-Diem.  This is because, in case you haven’t heard, I am now jetting off to Indonesia for the next three months… for free.  The Indonesian Ministry of Foreign Affairs hosts a yearly scholarship to bring representatives from around the world (this year they expanded it to over 50) to study the country’s traditional arts. The scholarship is a kind of diplomatic project, hoping to improve relations with citizens between Indonesia and the participating countries as well as among all of those countries.
They choose one person from every country, and I somehow became the United States representative.
I found this through my Pencak Silat (Indonesian martial arts) class. After the instructors passed along the application and told us to apply, I did so without expecting to get it. Then three weeks ago I received a phone call from the embassy that I’d be flying out to Jakarta. I am now starting thirty six hours of traveling to make my way to Indonesia.

Unlike my preparations for Chile, I had very little time to organize and see everyone. My mom helped me move out of my apartment in DC only four days ago, and now I am back on a train to the District. Tomorrow morning (Monday), I’ll take a 13 hour flight to Dubai, and then 8 more hours to Jakarta, finally arriving late Tuesday night. A lot of flying, but it will be worth it.

Since beginning Silat at AU, I have dreamed of visiting Indonesia. I had planned on flying out to do a month of classes at some undetermined future point, but now I have secured the perfect opportunity to do more for even longer. Of course there is some level of nervousness, especially considering I don’t even know where I will be after the first week, and it would have been nice to have more time with friends and family before disappearing. However, these are the opportunities that one must seize, and do so zealously. The unknown and unexpected are the essence of life. This plays directly into these sentiments.

I am in for a true adventure, wandering into something entirely different from what I’ve experienced before. Also, despite the fact that I am on my way to the program, I still don’t have a clear idea about what I’ll be doing. That’s what’s most exciting about it. My favorite band, Ozomatli, approaches this concept perfectly: Embrace the Chaos. When you do, it will open more doors for you than you knew existed. 

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