Unfortunately, age and inconsistent power sources in Brooklyn and abroad has taken it's tole on my computer causing it to fizzle out. I assumed that I would need to get a new one soon, but I was hoping it would make it to June, but I suppose these things happen. Fortunately, the advent of the netbook enabled me to regain some form of connectivity recently!
Another reason for relative silence this past month has been the amount of time I have spent away from Jakarta. Every other weekend I have left town, and most recently I visited the islands of Lombok and Gili Meno. I'm continually blown away by the natural beauty of Indonesia and being on an island without any motorized form of internal travel (Gili Meno) was one of the more relaxing experiences I've ever had in my life. Also, taking a 'speed boat' to Gili Meno that required I jump out into the shallows when we came ashore was a fun experience :)
I found that the majority of the population on Gili Meno were able to communicate in English, but they loved when I tried to use my limited knowledge of Bhasa Indonesian. The more I use the language, the more I want to study it because my deficiencies are all the more apparent and it is a great joy to communicate with people in the native tongue.
Also while out in the Gili Islands, I met some interesting foreigners. The first group were three Frenchmen out on their vacation, but one of them lived in Boston but had quit his job as an investment banker to travel for 8 months. I was struck by the sense of balance he had and for the amount of courage that took to do at age 28. The four of us ended up spending a decent amount of time together that day and the other group that I talked with for a while was a Dutch couple and we ended up sharing dinner together. Both experiences made a lasting impression as to how travel brings people universally closer together, but to give myself a little breather, I'm only taking one more trip before my family comes out over spring break.
I hope everyone has been doing well! I miss you all very much!