Tag Archives: birthday

Twenty-five and feelin’ alive

25 Mar

Last Sunday was my birthday. I spent most of it on a bus returning to my site after an amazing two weeks that included conferences and some traveling around Central Java and Bali once more.

That doesn’t mean it was a dull one or went without celebration. The night before a dream of mine was realized…


…to have Mexican food and margaritas!

And after returning, since my birthday is exactly 20 years and three days before this little one…


…my host family being as adorable and awesome as they are, decided to have a birthday party for us.


So attending my birthday party was a gaggle of pre-schoolers and neighbors that endearingly call me “Tanta Nicole” or “Aunty Nicole.”


My birthday was splendid on all accounts.

I still have roughly 10 weeks before I am officially done. I know it’s going to be difficult to leave this experience behind because of the amazing people here both in my Indonesian community and among the PCV community. However, I’m truly excited for the possibilities as I prepare for the next chapter in my life. Essentially as I enter twenty-five I feel fortunate and enthused.

I just wanted to give a quick update being that this has been my longest absence without a post (nearly two months) since I started this blog. The reason for that is simply there’s a lot going on.

In addition to preparations to leave here and plans following that, a few other things that have been occupying my time and mental energy were/are:

My host sister’s wedding

The sustainability conference and the closing of service conference. (It’s an essential piece to ensuring my work is continued once I’m gone. Also one of the last opportunities to be with the complete group of volunteers I arrived with.)

and iGLOW, iGLOW, iGLOW!

Glow logo

iGLOW stands for Indonesian Girls Leading Our World, and it’s a leadership camp for young women. We’ve been preparing for it for months now, and just yesterday we had our training of trainers workshop. It was a success, and I’m delighted to see all of this hard work come to fruition in just a few days.

So you can expect more updates soon thereafter with more on that. Thanks for staying tuned!

Turning 24, technology and St. Patrick’s Day

18 Mar

Reminder: scroll over photos for captions. Also here’s a dorky video message from me.

I love my birthday, if for nothing else than the fact that everyone wears my favorite color! My birthday is St. Patrick’s Day.

Yesterday was St. Patrick’s day in Indonesia (it’s unsurprisingly not celebrated here.) I was still rubbing the sleep from my eyes as my host family, tipped off by the sound of my door opening, rushed to salam (greet) me. For reasons we shall not reiterate, after breakfast my host mother handed me a basket with my clean, folded clothes. As I began hanging them, I found a box hidden amongst them. My host family gave me a surprise present! (I’m wearing one of those gifts in the video I linked to above.) Though my favorite part was the handwritten note in broken English wishing me a good day despite being away from my friends and family and more warm wishes from my new family.  Cue the “awwww….”

Teachers and students both wished me happy birthday in person and via text. Some knew it was my birthday, others were informed after logging into Facebook. It was a nice and simple birthday. Oddly enough, I preferred to spend much of it alone. I’ve been doing a great deal of reflecting these past few months as I approach my one year in-country and 24th birthday. The outcomes of these ruminations I’ll be sharing soon…

Back home, family and friends are currently celebrating St. Patrick’s Day and my birthday due to the time difference. So in a way I’m still celebrating. First I “met up” with my dear friend Rachael. We had an exclusive (there were three of us) international teleconnected dance party, and she serenaded me an improvised 24th birthday song.

Then I “visited” my family, who had cake and ice cream in my honor. They sang happy birthday, I “blew out” the candles, and while they enjoyed my birthday cake, I ate saltines. My one complaint: they got the ice cream wrong. They got coffee and I like vanilla : )

Otherwise it was great. It was great to celebrate here. It was great to celebrate there. And it’s amazing that I was able to do that because of technology, specifically speaking– skype. In sync with all my reflecting, I’ve been thinking a lot about how dramatically technology is changing our lives. Not just for my birthday celebration, but in general and given this context.  My students here are addicted to Facebook and Twitter and have better phones than I currently have yet, many of their homes lack washing machines or other modern conveniences that would be considered commonplace back home. It baffles me. This experience could not have been the same just a few years ago…and again, these are thoughts I may choose to elaborate on another time.

…And speaking of technology, I’m experimenting with Storify so I’ll leave you with some fun stuff on St. Patrick’s Day. Enjoy: View the story “Happy St. Patrick’s Day!” on Storify
or just check it out here:

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