My brain is still kinda swimming here, but I'm starting to settle a bit. So far we've just been doing orientation about what AMINEF does and some basic health and security tips. To be honest, the info has not been particularly helpful or relevant, but I think starting tomorrow we'll be getting more applicable info, and then when we go to Bandung (Friday) we'll start doing the language and teaching classes. Basically, we're just having to hang in Jakarta until the immigration stuff gets taken care of.
So far I've been less than impressed with Jakarta. It seems to be a huge city, but without much to see and pretty dirty/smoggy. And while things are certainly cheaper than the US, it's apparently quite a bit more expensive than the rest of the country. I basically just don't like the vibe I get here, and I'll be ready to leave for Bandung when we do. One highlight (well kinda) today was riding a taxi bike. That was interesting at time, but since we survived it was fun!
Here is a link to the hotel we've been staying at in Jakarta: http://www.astonmarinaancol.com/default.asp
What has been a highlight is getting to meet all of the other Fulbrighters. We seem to have a really good group here (32 in total), though people seem to already be splitting off in cliques a bit (I'm doing my usual thing of bouncing between both/several).
I did get some more info on where I'll be located. I think the map I linked to earlier is correct as I am about 1 hour inland from Parepare. I knew I was in deep when the guy that is in charge of the Fulbright committee here in Indonesia described my location as ‘one of the most remote’. Apparently the school is only boys and goes from elementary age to the high school age boys I will be teaching; the two people I spoke with about the school both noted how young the high school age boys looked, and the head guy said I will likely be the 2nd American they have ever seen (he was the first). My living conditions will probably be pretty basic, as they had to make some additions just to get to the standards that AMINEF requires. There is Internet in the school however, but I’m guessing it will be VERY slow. These are all things I can deal with and in a way look forward to (nothing like a challenge!), but what has me kinda concerned is that it is fairly likely that the people I will be working with not only will not speak English, but may not even speak Indonesian; instead speaking a local dialect. The other concern I have is getting money, as Sidrap likely doesn't have an ATM; apparently I'll need to go the 1 hour to Parepare to get to an ATM (and any inkling of civilization! Ok that's an exaggeration). So in sum, it looks like I'm headed for even more of an adventure than I thought I might be getting.
Ok time for some sleep to try to get my body on schedule!