Josh and I are leaving in about an hour for the Chicago airport. Two ten-hour flights, a two-hour flight, and ten hours in various airports is pretty much all that separates us from Jakarta. We’re going to be soooo tired by the time we arrive on Saturday night! Since I don’t have time to make a real post, I thought I would make a short post to introduce Indonesia for those who don’t know much about it.

1. Location

IndonesiaIt’s right there in the red. The equator runs right through this nation that is composed of more than 17,000 islands. It’s a fairly short plane ride away from Australia or mainland Southeast Asia. (Thanks, Google Maps!)

2. Language

Most of this nation’s citizens speak Bahasa Indonesia, which literally means “language of Indonesia.” There are so many regions throughout the country, though, which means that there are varied dialects and many other languages that are spoken in addition to or instead of Bahasa Indonesia. And no, I don’t know any of the language other than a few key words, but I plan to start learning as soon as I arrive!

3. History

In recent history, Indonesia was under Dutch control until 1945, when it gained its independence. The Dutch influence can still be seen in many parts of the country, from architecture to the language. There are also influences from many other cultures and countries, such as centuries-old Buddhist and Hindu temples. Indonesia’s motto reflects this, as it translates to “Unity in Diversity.” Nature thrives in this region of the world, which means that the natural history is also impressive–diverse rain forests, active volcanoes, the only Komodo dragons in the world, and the site of the first hominid fossil that was ever discovered.

These are just a few of the things that I thought were worth sharing for now. We’ve done a lot of research about Indonesia, so hopefully that helps us understand the culture and the people as we start to settle in there. I hope to write on a more regular schedule to share my observations about the country and tales of teaching.

Love, Elizabeth