I am serving in Indonesia as a secondary education English co-teacher and teacher-trainer. That means that I work closely with Indonesian English teachers to help high school students improve their ability to express themselves and communicate with others in English. I live with a host family, share a classroom, and try to do what Volunteers set out to do.
The Peace Corps has a three-part mission:
To help the people of interested countries in meeting their need for trained men and women.
To help promote a better understanding of Americans on the part of the peoples served.
To help promote a better understanding of other peoples on the part of Americans.
This blog is an attempt to jump into part three. Didn’t know where Indonesia was before you got here? No shame. Let’s learn a few things together.
Indonesia at a Glance
Who? 264 million people. Indonesia is the world’s fourth most populous nation, following China, India, and the U.S. Indonesia is a nation of 17 thousand islands. More than half of the nation’s residents live on the island of Java, making Java the most populous island in the world.
Indonesia recognizes 6 official religions: Islam, Hinduism, Catholicism, Protestantism, Buddhism, and Confucianism. Indonesia is the world’s largest Muslim-majority nation.
Where? Indonesia is an archipelago of 17 thousand islands in South East Asia. The nation is located within the Ring of Fire, a region of the Pacific Ocean that is prone to eruptions and earthquakes. Bali is just one island in Indonesia, a ferry ride’s distance from East Java.
When? Indonesia won independence in 1945. Following 300+ years of Dutch colonialism and Japanese occupation during World War II, Indonesia became an independent nation with its first president, Sukarno. Today, President Joko Widodo is Indonesia’s seventh president.