Well the end of the term is here… at least for me. The university continues for a couple of weeks and then has finals. I made sure to finish my classes by this week and am already giving finals. I couldn't imagine still having to work on Christmas Day, it is so ingrained in me that this entire week should be off that this was one unexpected surprise to me. Of course an Islamic University wouldn't celebrate Christmas! Not that I expected them to but somehow I just expected the academic calendar to follow an American one. It is a weird feeling, like a small tickly itch and you can't quite figure out where to scratch to relieve the discomfort.
There hasn't been much show for the Christmas holiday season here. On TV there are plenty of commercials telling you how you can download a Christmas ringtone, and some TV announcements of something going on in Jakarta but locally, not really anything. I was surprised with a small thrill of joy and comfort when I saw a small amount of Christmas decorations adorning the local mall. It does get dark here early and with the rainy season, it feels like the season for light festivals is due for us. My internal clock seems to know its Christmas.
I won't be home for Christmas. I am sad about that but I will celebrate in style. Those of us ELFs who are staying behind are going to do it up properly with a party on Christmas Eve in Yogyakarta hosted by ELF Ben. On the 27th I will fly from there to Bali and meet mon amour, Jacques. I haven't seen him since my departure at SFO. Even though we make it a point to talk to each other every week, it's not the same. He's going to be my Santa too bringing me tons of goodies I've requested from the U.S. (mostly food from Trader Joes!), and then we'll travel around together. Highlights to look for in my future blog posts will be a deeper look into Bali's art and temple culture, a trip to see the orangutan in Kalilmantan, puppets in Yogyakarta… I'll don't know when I'll be able to post the photos nor my next blog post but I will keep the stories coming so definitely check in after the New Year!
Happy Christmas, New Year, Yule, Hanukah… See you next year!