Welcome to my blog about my year as an English Language Fellow in Gorontalo, Indonesia! This program is funded by the U.S. Department of State and administered through Georgetown University. I will be teaching for 10 months at Gorontalo State University (aka Universitas Negeri Gorontalo) on the island of Sulawesi.
I was thrilled when I found out I was going to be sent to Indonesia. I hear the people are friendly, the language is easy to learn, the food is good (depending on who you ask) and the town I’ll be working in is supposed to be gorgeous and close to some of the best diving sites in the world!
So what have I done to prepare myself for this big adventure? Well, I’ve been trying to learn some Bahasa Indonesia with Rosetta Stone and the free podcasts on www.learningindonesian.com. I got my PADI open water diver certification so I’ll be all set to go diving when I arrive. And probably most usefully, I’ve been emailing with Jonna, the Fellow who was in Gorontalo last year. I’ve asked her a million questions - everything from what should I wear when I’m teaching to how will I be viewed by the locals as a single, unmarried 31 year-old woman in a country where most women get married by around age 24 or 25. (Thank you Jonna for all of your excellent advice!!).
So, although I know a little bit what to expect, I’m sure that this coming year will be full of new, challenging and interesting experiences. And it is my intention to keep you - my friends, family, former co-workers, professors and all other interested parties – informed about all the funny, unusual, profound, baffling, frustrating and otherwise memorable things that happen this year.