Indonesia! Part One – By Sarah

Today I’ve got a really special treat for y’all! One of my siblings is going over to Indonesia for a few weeks. Indonesia also happens to be the country that my really amazing friend, Sarah, lives in. So, I asked Sarah if she would consider guest-posting/being interviewed on Noveltea so she could give us all a little glimpse of what life is like over there. (I’ve always wanted to go there and thought this would be the next best thing!) She did a fabulous job of it and I’m pleased to share with everyone part one of her interesting Indonesian life! 

1. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself? 

Me? What do I say? Um… I was born and grew up in Tennessee. When I was 12 our family moved to Indonesia, where we have lived for 6 years. I am a born again daughter of God. I write poetry as a hobby and a stress reliever. I’m the 9th of 11 siblings, and love it! 

2. Can you tell us a little bit about Indonesia? (The people, population, size, etc…)

Indonesia is a group of about 17,500 islands in Southeast Asia. It’s the 4th most populous country on earth and over half of the population lives on the island of Java, making Java the world’s most populous island. Indonesia is part of the ring of fire, and Java has about 45 volcanic mountains considered to be active. Central Java is where we live, so most of what I am going to say is about this area. 

3. What is the weather like there? 

There are two seasons here, rainy season and dry season. For 4-5 months out of the year it rains almost every day, and the rest of the time it’s dry, sometimes not raining for 2 or 3 months. I like dry season the best because driving motorbike in the rain isn’t a hobby of mine. =)

4. What is the food like? 

Food?! Indonesian food is my favorite! Rice is the main dish. They have a saying here that says “If you haven’t eaten rice, you haven’t eaten.” They love their food spicy, but where we live they often serve this hot sauce separately. A lot of Javanese food is sweet and salty, they are know for putting suger in almost all their food. 

5. What is your favorite part of living there? 

I really enjoy riding motorbike! It’s kind of a hobby, the breeze, the excitement of the traffic, and beautiful scenery all compliment the driving. 

6. Is it more laid back than the USA? 

Yes, a lot more laid back. They always seem to have time to stop and talk or invite you into their house. Rubber time (jam karet) is a rule. 

7. What would you say is the biggest difference between Indonesia and the USA?

There are so many things I could say, but I think the biggest difference is culture. Some strong points would be:
  1. Respect for anyone older (even an older sibling must be respected by saying “kakak” (older sibling) before they’re name).
  2. Hospitality, inviting you into their homes and feeding you well, even offering you a shower if you need it =) Protecting their guest is their responsibility.
  3. Friendliness

Some weak points

  1. Laughing at everything to cover up the real issue or to ignore any unwanted emotions like crying or anger.
  2. Lying. That’s a big one. There’s a song for children that says “children, don’t lie, or a goat will bite you.” 
  3. Pulling down those who try to achieve above average abilities.  
Thanks so much, Sarah! That was really interesting. Stay tuned, y’all, part two coming soon!

What about you? Have you ever been to a country like this? Would you want to go there? What sounds most interesting to you? 

10 thoughts on “Indonesia! Part One – By Sarah

  1. David H says:

    Great Post! thanks Aidyl. And great job Sarah, I like it;)
    And yes, I have been to a country “like this”, 7 years ago I went with an aid organization and helped to rebuild houses after the Tsunami. It was quite the experience, it was good.


  2. David Mabe says:

    It's very nice to learn more about you and your family, Sarah. In earlier posts, I've seen Aidyl refer to you living “halfway around the world.” She wasn't kidding. Indonesia certainly sounds like a neat place to live. I really enjoyed this part of the interview and look forward to reading the second part tomorrow. Thanks for letting her guest post, Aidyl. I hope you both have an awesome day!!!!


  3. Anonymous says:

    Nice to learn about Sarah and Indonesia! It sounds like a very interesting place. I've never been outside the US myself yet, but I always love learning about different countries. Hospitality – a great trait! 🙂



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