Searching for the semangat

He took off his wire-rimmed glasses, drew his hand across his face, and breathed out the Bahasa Indonesia equivalent of “This is horse hockey.” He had left his class in a funk, not so much frustrated as deflated, whoopee cushion-style. As he walked among cracked concrete and posters for field trips long past, he recognized…

Thoughts on Indonesia from an Inevitable Optimist

Since my arrival in Indonesia, I have been pressed with this elusive question: Why did I choose to apply for a Fulbright in this country, out of the dozens of other countries that I could have selected? There was something appealing about this diverse nation, something that has attracted many a traveler before me, but…