I had originally planned on catching a flight directly from Yogyakarta to Bali, but during my stay in Yogyakarta, I met someone who told me about an opportunity to teach English in the village of Pare in east Java. I made a spontaneous decision, and ditched my flight to Bali in lieu of a train to Pare. I am SO happy that I made that decision, because I absolutely fell in love with this place and these people!
I taught classes beginning at 5:30am and ending at 8:00pm each day, which a long break in between. Mid-day I would explore the village, sometimes volunteering in other English school's classes. Read more about my experience teaching English in Pare here.
One of my coworkers and two students took me caving one day after our morning classes. I'd never been before, but I assumed it'd be like what I'd seen of people in pictures with tour guides - special suits, boots, helmets, harnesses, etc... but no, this was "real Indonesian style." Fully dressed in regular street clothes, barefoot, holding hands to pull each other up instead of using ropes... and neck deep in water!
Before heading back to afternoon class (soaking wet!), we visited the Surowono temple and ate some street food from a nearby vendor.
Simpang Lima Gumul
This is a famous monument in the nearby city of Kediri. All of my students kept telling me that it was "just like" the Arc de Triomphe in Paris, France!
I became friends with a teacher from another school in the same village, and she took me to the market one day to get fruit. Then we head back to her kitchen to prepare a special spicy sauce to eat the fruit with.
"Makanan" means "food" in Indonesian. Oh, how I loved all the food here! I had so much fun trying new dishes and cooking with friends here.
I made so many amazing friends in this little town! See more from Indonesia here.
-- The best stories are found between the pages of a passport --