While Abroad

The first emotions I experienced after arriving in Bali, Indonesia were excited, but also quite nervous. Arriving at midnight, taking a cab in an unfamiliar city, and concluding that I might die on the seemingly unregulated roads left me feeling terrified as well. When the sun rose the next day, I felt

more at ease and happy to finally be at my destination. I met more of my fellow students and my host family, and explored the city of Ubud—my home for the next month. My favorite thing about Ubud, Bali is the Monkey Forest—our field site. I also love that we can walk everywhere, like shops and restaurants, I love our home cooked meals made by the Mawar family, and I love the locals. The Balinese are so kind, and also super helpful! The women are very good at selling stuff, and I’ve learned a lot about bargaining from them. They’ve also taught me several Indonesian words, which is the common language spoken here, along with Balinese and some English. Most of the Balinese know fairly well English; in fact, the largest language barrier I have is with the tourists at the Monkey Forest. As far as classes go, we have done something different each week; the first week was focused on learning primatological data collection methods, the second was on ethnographic data collection, during the third week we developed our personal projects and collected our own data, and the fourth week is about putting together our projects and presenting them. Although we have all worked hard, we also have done several fun things, such as visiting temples, attending Balinese dances, experiencing a cremation ceremony, relaxing on the beach, and shopping at the Ubud market! My time here has been a life changing experience, and now it’s time to go home; I would definitely describe it as bitter-sweet. As I pack my bags, I will not forget my souvenirs—wooden hanging monkeys and mugs from the Monkey Forest, a print of a Balinese drawing in a wood carved ftame, several sarongs, and more. A few students have left already, and I know the process will be sad; I am also feeling nervous to travel back alone.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Author: Jennifer F

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