Time to Go Home

Three weeks in Sumbawa, and almost a month away from home. I’m more than ready to get back to Bali.  It’s been different living and working here this time. I live in the cell, and I work in a school that I’m just getting comfortable with. It’s been an adjustment, but I’ve started looking at this entire experience like a long traveling trip. I’ve made up little routines that get me through each day, as travelers often do. Rise, shower, and drop off my computers in my classroom and then off to the mess for breakfast. Once that’s finished,

My cell in Batu Buin

My cell in Batu Buin

I go back to school and take care of business on the internet. My students arrive , and I spend the day teaching. Every day at 4, I leave school and have dinner at the mess. Then back to school to get my computers and back to the cell where I work or write for the rest of the evening until 10 when I turn in for the night. Each day is pretty much the same, variations occur only with the classes that I have to teach each day.

There’s always lessons; as much as I dislike the mantra life-long learning that IB people chant like the religiously impaired, I still am learning. So the lesson from this trip?

This is the last journey as a teacher. Like the aging baseball player who comes back for one more year when the arm is gone or the bat has lost its magic, I’ve realized that I like the life of retirement more than I like the life of teaching. I have a great class and I’m enjoying being with them, but it’s time to get out and do something else with the time that I have left to me be it a few months or 20 years. I have a few things that I want to do that I didn’t get around to on the last retirement and this time I plan on getting to all of them. The most important of those is being with my family. Just two more days.

Next, I’m enjoying getting a chance to talk and work with the Indonesian teachers. I haven’t had much of a chance to do that over the past 19 years of working in Indonesia, and it’s been an interesting and instructive experience. The school is undergoing a big change, and as an anthropologist, it was interesting to watch it from a somewhat distanced view when I was preparing to leave last semester, and now it’s interesting to be involved in working on the change even if it’s as someone who is only here temporarily. The expat population is less than half of what it was when I arrived here five and a half years ago. That in itself is a big change for the students as well as the expat teachers.

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~ by drbrucepk on December 16, 2008.

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