The Accident

Exhaustion had finally overcome discomfort, and the rattling of the truck as it trundled through the dark not-so-gently rocked me to sleep. I was on the latter part of a five-hour long return journey to deliver supplies into the forest, including a live chicken stuffed into a box that tried desperately to escape its fate […]

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An Ode to Bacteria

At 3:00 AM, I could feel it coming. Like the thunder in the distance the contractions that woke me from a deep sleep warned me of the approaching storm. I knew what lay ahead, I had been there before: The head-on collision of a first-world stomach with developing-world bacteria. Alone in my misery, I waited. […]

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The Village of the Foreign Lady

Bo Gado translates literally to “foreign lady.” Rumor has it, the village got its name from the long-gone days where  it was close to some sort of water source (the locals claim the ocean, though given its location far inland a large lake or river seems more likely), and the locals rescued a foreign woman […]

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Redefining the Shower

Of all the women who greeted me, Ma Kyu was the only one who didn’t smile. One after another, each one of my temporary companions welcomed me warmly, offering a shy grin and examining me with gentle curiosity. Ma Kyu stood with her hands on her hips, eyes flickering with a subtle disapproval. Ma Kyu […]

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Wahyu’s Forest

“I hope the forest stays forever,” Wahyu said, his trademark grin fading from his face in a rare serious moment. The dense foliage parted where we sat, allowing us to look out over steep hills coated in green. What we were seeing was living history; untouched primary forest that had eluded the human grasp for […]

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A Fly in My Rice

On my second day in Indonesia, I sat down to a late lunch at a small restaurant. As I navigated my way through the foreign objects on my plate, carefully weaving around the chili sauce I had inadvertently asked for, I found it buried neatly beneath a layer of rice: a shriveled, dead fly. I […]

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