the year of greens

These are the days of stepping back, deciding what needs changed, determining a route, and going forth. If we need a year to roll into the next as our excuse to better ourselves, I’ll take it. I’m also going to take this opportunity to write, for that is something I have stepped away from for…

namaste

Rickshaws, trains, motorcycles, crumbling sidewalks (sun blasting it’s favorite song of heat), sitting on top of the bus or inside, or trains, standing squished between staring eyes; they always find a way to let me in with my bags. Once I become a little settled, take in everything around me, I set one bag down,…

lime

I came across this piece of writing that I made back in 2014, after my first ten months in Indonesia. During that time, I was afraid to share it because the thoughts can be seen as a bit critical, but after looking at it again and sharing it with a few Indonesian friends, they encouraged…

the year of no mistakes

These are the days of resolutions. Not just January of our new year, but any time, any day. Anis Mojgani, one of my favorite poets, writes that each year, he and his friends name the year after each other. The year of the Anis, the year of the Rose(s), the year of Nat, etc. Eventually,…

a thimble of gratitude

3 months ago (a quarter of a year), my students and I wrote notes of thanks. They were some of the loveliest words of gratefulness that I’ve seen/read in a long time. I sat down with them and got to work. Later, I tucked it in the back corner of my drawer so I would…

the suka and duka Indo Diary with a dash of American roots

Even on the days when I get the wind kicked outta me, my lungs are reminded how much they appreciate the taste of air. Indonesia has brought every charm of living into light and every single day, I am surrounded by the friendliest people that I have ever come to know. Indonesia has also taught…

underground traveler

Hello! I think of you every day. I think of all that I love and I think of how serendipitously chaotic my life is, in the most fascinating and beautiful way, and I never fail to acknowledge how wonderfully I live. Even though there are times that my favorite things feel so out of reach,…

almost a native

This afternoon, a vendor asked me if I know all of the Bahasa language yet and I told him that pretty soon, he’s not even gonna know that I’m not Indonesian. He said, “wow, mister. I almost didn’t know until you told me not.” They get me! As a way of respect, they shout, “Hello…

Indo Diary: Starting

I wasn’t going to write this post because I have a mission to complete right now. But I’m not sure if I’m going to complete that mission. Perhaps writing it out will help me decide. Since Indonesia is so hot, I keep all of my windows and doors open during the day. At sundown, I…

مقدمة

For 2 years, I told new acquaintances that my name was “Natalia” because it sounds fancier than “Natalie” -but don’t believe that. They’d say, “Oh! Are you Russian, Italian, or Hispanic?” and I’d tell them, “Well, no. I’m Slovak, Irish, and Native American.” The truth is out: My name is Natalie & I’ve made it…