Thursday, September 20, 2012

Life as I know it... about to end in just one day. Tomorrow morning I leave my family, friends, and hometown, something that I should be completely overwhelmed by, but that somehow I feel strangely calm about.  Don't get me wrong, I'm psyched to go and sad to say goodbye, but I don't have butterflies thinking about leaving and I don't feel like I'm going to cry when I leave tomorrow. Honestly, it all seems surreal and at the same time I am really comfortable with the idea of leaving. I guess that's the result of me contemplating the journey that is about to begin for the past 6 months, while not knowing what to expect or prepare for. I have no precedent to draw from, and only a small amount of information about what my year may entail. The possibilities with YES are endless.

When you decide to do YES, you don't really know what your signing up for. All you know is that you are going abroad for high school to one of 9 countries for a year, and that could mean so many different things. You could end up teaching English to elementary school students at an Islamic school, volunteering with special needs kids with your host mom, visiting your host family's durian farm, or squirted with water by an elephant at a holy temple (a few things other YES scholars have done this year). Your host family could have 5 kids or none, your school could be in English or the local language, you could have school on Saturdays or classes at different intervals during the day like in college, you could live in a big city or a little town, basically you can expect nothing, and have to be up for anything. That's why even though I've researched Indonesia and talked to my host family and YES alumni about school,culture, and life in general, It's hard for me to even imagine what this year will hold.  I'm excited to experience things one day at a time, until routine sets in and life in Indonesia seems normal.

For now I'm enjoying my last day with my sister who ditched college for the day to spend it with me :) and later tonight with my parents and my best friend. I've been helping my sister make gifts for her 'little (Sorority sister),  and later we're going to the North Georgia State Fair for a ride on the Ferris wheel and some funnel cake (and lots of other junk food). Then out to dinner with the family one last time and then finishing packing and probably unpacking to get my suitcase under the weight limit.

Before I start my posts from Indonesia here a few pictures from my extended summer and last few weeks here at home!
School Trip to Costa Rica! Helping make a basketball court for a school in Dominical.
My high school's Leadership Club in Costa Rica.
Me my sister Catherine and my friend Haffa at a waterfall near my house.
Me and the other YES Abroad students going to Indonesia this year at the Indonesian Embassy in Washington D.C.
Me and my friend Alyssa in Florida visiting her family and enjoying a week of surfing, boogie boarding, fishing, and failed attempts at skin boarding.
Meeting AFS exchange students who are living around Atlanta this year.
Stopping by my high school the first day to see my friends, dress up, and walk to school in the Senior Walk- I had to do one senior tradition before I left!
One last family camping trip to North Carolina. We stopped by this lake so my sister could practice rolling before we went kayaking the next day. You can't see, but there gorgeous blue mountains all around the lake.
Well, I don't wanna make this post too long so I think that's enough pictures.  I just wanted to show a little bit of my life now for the non-American ppl reading the blog, since a huge part of the program is sharing American culture. :) Talk to you when I get to Indonesia! Wish me luck!

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