Bye Bye Banda! Things I've Learned this Past Year

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October 22nd 2006
Published: October 22nd 2006
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This is my last entry from Banda Aceh, Indonesia. I am at totally different extremes emotionally - so happy to be starting a new position in East sad to be leaving my friends here in Aceh. My heart is getting a workout these days.

I haven't had time to reflect back on my time here this year...but I wanted to jot down some thoughts on things I’ve learned about myself before heading off:

1. the moment you force religion or authority is the moment it starts to weaken because it drives out the creative thinkers, leaving those that only know how to follow rules.

2. if an Acehnese person catches enough fish by Tuesday, he will take the rest of the week off. if an American catches enough fish by Tuesday, he will work the rest of the week and pocket the profit. who says which way is better?

3. if i could have one superpower in the world, it would be to never have to go to sleep.

4. watching “intense” movies about drug addicts and surfers is ridiculous when you’re sitting next to a person that survived a tsunami.

5. sometimes you
Aceh Glam Sqaud!Aceh Glam Sqaud!Aceh Glam Sqaud!

Afternoon tea party with my glamorous expat girlfriends. Who says NGO workers don't have style?!?
have to stick up for what you believe is right - but in the end, the boss is the boss.

6. praying 5 times a day, no matter how “busy” you are, is a good way to keep life in perspective.

7. my biggest concern is maintaining my relationships at home, despite the distance.

8. job hunting suuuuuuucks!

9. The American method of dating puts a lot of pressure on a new and fragile relationship. Getting to know a person first around friends is a nice alternative. even better, with friends who have motorbikes.

10. Aceh has huge oil reserves.

11. ALL lightbulbs and new toilets in Aceh are energy-saving.

12. your boyfriend will do the things you’ve nagged him to do for years (buy motorbike, get new clothes, take time off from work)...right after you break-up.

13. there should be no talking on airplanes. asshole.

14. it’s time we start understanding islam by teaching arabic in american highschools - now.

15. i am a libertarian and, as such, appreciate the lack of rules in the third world.

16. men in sarongs are HOT!!!

okay, not exactly deep
It's the weather stupid!It's the weather stupid!It's the weather stupid!

I am scientific proof that people who don't exercise because it's "too cold" would actually be active if only it was summer all year long.
thoughts, but that's all i'm capable of since i haven't slept in 2 days and am sick with an infection. my next entry will be from africa.


22nd October 2006

great thoughts, great blog - be safe
22nd October 2006

I love sleep
love all yours thoughts 'cept "3. if i could have one superpower in the world, it would be to never have to go to sleep. " I love sleep to much, my super power would be that I dont age while I sleep :)
22nd October 2006

For a person that hadn´t sleep in two days , is not bad!... You go girl!.....Imagine how much of these expierences are waiting for you in Africa!!!...and in South America...and in ...oh well, so many places! You have a special soul that drives people around you to enjoy life, be happy and learn salsa!!...I miss our Salsa social on miercole s´night!
23rd October 2006

...suddenly I'm feeling a little envy of your experience. I love your list. Makes me wish I'd gotten to Aceh, instead of just meeting you in Vietnam. On to the next great adventure, and I'll see you there! (Or somewhere in the general vicinity.) Can't wait to see you at Christmas time!! xo
29th November 2006

Good Luck!
Hi Erica, I am pretty sure that you are the girl who responded my email for salsa class :) You ended up in Calang and we never met. I learn that you will leave Aceh soon and head to Africa Good luck!! Your blog is very good. Missed a chance to meet you personally. Take care--Diella
6th December 2006

libertarian erica
you should write a book about your 12 month in aceh. your list should be listed everywhere. mind if i post in in my blog?

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