Love in Indonesia

love-in-indonesiaAs I started my journey to teach overseas, my eyes looked toward familiar destinations – Japan and Korea. After interviewing with a few districts in Japan, I was ready to start teaching after receiving a confirmation from one of the schools. While waiting for a call, I sent a “curiosity” email to a school described simply as CitaHati Surabaya. Once Ms. Donna Scharpf responded to my email, a phone interview was set and then I was headed to Indonesia.

I have travelled to many countries, so culture shock was not a worry. I have taught for over 15 years, so curriculum and classroom management was of no concern. I was anxious to arrive and begin teaching. Upon arrival, I was enthusiastic to teach and eager to learn. The first few weeks were a smooth transition and I was fully immersed in the CitaHati community.

One day, I was introduced to a few teachers from the Bahasa Indonesia department. I was awe-struck but the simple beauty and sweet disposition of one of the teachers. After some casual conversations and subtle glances, we ended up going on a date…and then another. Weeks passed, as did months. We grew closer in our friendship and realized we shared similar short term and long term goals. Soon, marriage became a topic, a possibility, and then eventually the goal.

This is where the culture shock began. We started the process toward marriage. From paperwork, translations, wedding plans, and finding documents from my past, it was definitely an arduous event. But alas, it was safe to say, all the work and preparation came to fruition and we had a traditional Javanese wedding in Jogja last June.

In short, during this last year, I found a new country, school, group of friends, community, wife, and happiness. Thanks for everything, not only for the opportunity to teach at CitaHati, but more so for a wonderful new life.