My last posted was on April 1, when I was still in Indonesia. The last two weeks of my trip started to move very quickly and before I knew it, I was home in Arizona, getting used to my life here again. I've often thought what I would want to write here- if I wanted to continue my account of events or reflect on something. Here is a quick look at the last two weeks of my two month research trip to Indonesia:
|The view outside the ICRS building at UGM|
-I continued attending the musholla in Kauman almost daily. I went to two subuh prayers on Sundays (meaning I left my house at 4:00AM!) to hear a female speaker give a sermon. I did interviews in some of the women's homes. I visited a restaurant owned by an Ibu's daughter. On my last day of interviews, I broke fast in the evening with many of the ladies in one of their homes- I brought cakes from a nearby bakery and was served my favorite Indonesian dish, sop buntut (oxtail soup).
-I prepared to give presentations to the Universitas Muhammadiyah Yogyakarta and the Universitas Islam Indonesia. The night before my presentations, I was finishing up my typed notes and my computer mysteriously turned off. When it restarted, all I saw was a file folder with a flashing question mark. My husband, at work in the middle of the day in Arizona, called Apple Support and held the phone up to his cell phone where I was on WhatsApp with him. I talked to Apple Support this way until 3AM in Indonesia. The people who helped me had me try several different things and finally transferred me to a supervisor who told me "You're computer is broken. It can't be fixed. There's nothing we can do. It's broken" and ended the call. I angry cried to Zack for about 3 minutes, reassured myself that I had a backed my computer up before I left and had been saving all of my data in the Cloud, and started to hand write my notes from memory. Luckily I hadn't lost my PowerPoint- I had sent it to Zack and my sister to look over so they just sent it back to me on my phone. I kept my computer, figuring I probably just needed to replace my hard drive, and actually it turned out just to be a wiring problem and I ended up getting it fixed at a repair shop for around $100.
-I was asked to present some of my research at two universities by the organization AIFIS and spent a wonderful day going to both campuses and giving 30 minute presentations. The first university, Universitas Islam Indonesia, had a lovely campus and I was so excited to present for no less than 100 eager students. They had great questions and I even made them laugh a few times as I briefly recounted my journey from my small, Jesuit liberal arts college to doing ethnographic research in Indonesia. The second university was farther north and had a smaller group of students, about forty, and I presented along with a really interesting professor who is working on a great project. Both universities were extremely hospitable and it was an incredible day.
-Around the end of March I started to feel vaguely sick after I ate, right in the top part of my stomach and around to my back. This persisted well through the end of my trip. By the first week of April I was mostly just eating broth because I was in so much pain whenever I ate solid food. I wanted to brave through it and not risk having to stay in Indonesia to get medical treatment. (Now that I'm in the state I've done a ton of tests and still can't figure out why I am getting sick- although the pain is much less frequent now).
|Birthday flowers from the family who|
hosted me. I hope we stay in touch!
|Airport in Tokyo. I'd love to|
actually see the city someday!
|This tasted quite good. Then I threw it up.|
Because this was a last minute flight change, I ended up on the second seat of the middle row of four. Minutes after eating the food I became very sick (my poor aisle seat mate was gracious despite me having to dash to the restroom to vomit three different times) and one of the flight attendants brought me medicine (I didn't know this until now, but flight attendants have access to a big first aid kit with many over the counter meds. I looked at the chart that described the medicines in English and Japanese, picked one kind of at random because I was desperate, and the flight attendant even checked on how I was feeling a couple times.) What saved me during all of this wasn't the medicine (by this point I had taken about three different kinds of nausea and other stomach meds because I found some I had in my backpack) but my FitBit. One of the problems of having an anxiety disorder is when you get sick you become anxious about it which then makes you feel more sick which makes you more anxious...and so on. My FitBit has a "Relax" option where you choose a 2 minute or 5 minute and it guides your breathing. I ran the 5 minute program about 10 times until I felt my anxiety pass and the stomach meds kick in. I didn't sleep a wink that entire flight but mainly just sat there with my eyes closed, my scarf pulled over most of my face, willing myself to survive the ten hour flight.
|How I look after 18 hours of air travel.|
-I arrived in San Diego airport (previously I was supposed to land in LA). I am SO lucky to have ended up at San Diego International Airport for two reasons. First, I am extremely familiar with the airport since I used to live in north county San Diego. Second, my dear friends the Montgomerys drove an hour down from Camp Pendleton just to hang out with me doing my four hour lay over. It was so good to see faces from home! I felt very rejuvenized even though the moment I got on my one hour flight to Phoenix I fell asleep. I arrived in Phoenix and my wonderful, gorgeous, fantastic husband was waiting for me with flowers! If you know us, you know we have a lot of homecomings- one of us always seems to be coming or going- and it never gets old or less exciting seeing him waiting for me at the airport. We got home, grabbed a cheeseburger (I hadn't eaten in 24 hours and was so hungry I didn't even care what the food did to me), snuggled the puppies, and I slept in my own bed for the first time in months.
|My husband is hilarious.|
-On Monday the 16th I turned 31 years old. My whole family gathered at my parents' house to celebrate. By the time we ate dinner (Mexican food!) I was starting to feel pretty anxious and overwhelmed- for some reason being alone in a foreign country caused zero anxiety attacks but being back in America has already resulted in several. The first week back in the US I felt what is apparently called "post-travel depression" where you feel unmotivated, tired, and kind of sad. My computer was broken still so I couldn't do any work, I didn't feel good, I'd gotten used to no cooking or cleaning so I wasn't motivated to do any of that, and I was missing the adventure, busyness, and energy I'd enjoyed the past two months. But, I got over it and have settled in to my life again here.
|This was on the PostSecret website the other day. I can definitely relate.|
Now that I've gotten this recap out of the way, I can write about other things!