Be Awesome

Look, our forefathers died for the "pursuit of happiness," okay? Not for the "sit around and wait of happiness." Now if you want, we can go to the same bar, drink the same beer, talk to the same people every day or you can lick the Liberty Bell. You can grab life by the crack and lick the crap out of it.
--Barney (HIMYM)

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Immersion Day - Food!

This week, the Indonesian class took an immersion trip to the Indonesian DCM's (Deputy Chief of Mission) home to learn about Indonesian food and cooking.  This experience was to allow us the opportunity to gain vocabulary on food and cooking.  That afternoon, we also had a music lesson with the traditional instrument, anklung.

Before where each team had to present the ingredients they were going to use and how to prepare their dish.

The after shot.

Our fried rice wins for style.

Lunch prepared by the Indonesian DCM's staff.

This is an angklung.  Each angklung plays a single note so many are needed to play a song.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

CFO/OAA Conference

Last week, I was able to make it out for bit to the CFO/OAA joint conference.  Much of the conference was in regard to implementing procurement reform and the USAID Forward initiatives.  It was a very good conference and I was excited to see the initiative still very much alive and progressing.  Many sessions dealt with best practices for implementation as well as brain-storming/sharing sessions on lessons learned in the field and understanding the challenges and roadblocks.

One of the best parts about the conference was the opportunity to meet many of the FSO's from the Missions overseas as well as reunite with colleagues from my DLI class who are already at post.  I had the opportunity to meet colleagues and supervisors whom I will be working with in my onward assignments which is invaluable IMO to be able to meet people in person.

Not sure if another conference will be able to be held next year due to the many government budgetary pressures which is a shame since I think it was so useful.

In other news, a State colleague picked up some fun lapel pins for me from Main State.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Fundraiser Event

On Saturday, I attended a fundraiser event held by one of the Indonesian teachers.  This event was put on to raise funds for a Catholic group in Flores, Indonesia.

It was a fun event with great Indonesian food and fun exposure to Indonesian music.  All food was prepared by the hosts of the event rather than catered out and it was all very impressive.

These fried shrimp chips are called "kerupuk".  The same types of chips are found in many Chinese banquets and weddings.

The buffet!

This was just my first plate.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Indonesian Class Holiday Party

The setup the teachers used for their skits.
Today, my class had a holiday party instead of our typical class schedule (2 hours language, 1 hour lab, and another 2 hours language).  This was a fun break from the routine and was a fun time to practice Indonesian outside of the classroom context.

Each class group prepared presentations or skits for the day and the teachers performed skits with the objective for students to practice understanding the situations and the subjects of their conversations.

The food spread was also very nice.  Everyone brought in various dishes potluck style and the teachers purchased a traditional Indonesian dish which is composed of a mountain of rice surrounded by various side dishes.
The dish to the left is "nasi tumpeng".  The crock pot has meatballs and soup for the dish "bakso".
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