|Your 2013-2014 YES Abroad Indonesia Girls! From left to right, Carly, Sarah, Me, Emily W, Izzy, Emily R, Ellen, and Bree|
The second we sat down at our round table, I knew that our Indonesia group was a match made in heaven! We have the largest group, and it's all girls. Can you say girl power? After an incredibly long day, it was time for bed. Well, let's be honest, my room didn't fall asleep until around 2:00 AM. But you know, that's another story. The next day was FANTASTIC. After breakfast, we boarded a bus to the State Department, where we then hopped on another bus with the YES Indonesia inbound students who were just finishing their years in the US. Together, we rode over to the Indonesian Embassy. To say it was a party would be an understatement. I first connected with a girl named Ade who, go figure, was hosted in Great Falls, Montana! We instantly bonded.
|Ade and I after arriving at the Embassy|
Click here to hear the Indonesian Ambassador's speech!
Here's a funny story. After the speech, the ambassador came right up to me and asked if I wanted to take a selfie. Yes, a selfie. So, of course I did.
|My selfie with Mr. Ambassador. Word.|
After the speech, it was time for food. I couldn't tell you everything we ate but, it was pretty good. There was rice, (of course,) satai, and other things that I can't pronounce. It was all very, very good.
|A little bit of the food I tasted|
The rest of our time at the embassy was spent talking with the inbounds, singing songs around the piano, and dancing. At the end of our visit, some students wanted to show us their traditional dance. Apparently all Indonesians are blessed with amazing dance abilities. So, they got up there and did there thing. Of course, me being Mallory, I had to get up there and try dancing along with them. Now, I usually consider myself a fairly great dancer but, I was put in my place. I ended up looking quite silly but, you know, when in Rome.
In the few hours I spent at the Embassy, I fell in love with the Indonesian students. Every single one of them was welcoming, friendly, humble, and grounded. All apprehensions I had about spending a year amongst kids I didn't know were quickly put to rest.
|Indo girls in front of the Embassy|
|Indonesian statue outside of the Embassy|
|Party at the Indonesian Embassy!|
|Sarah and her newfound friends|
|Izzy and I making our best Indonesian faces|
|It was so beautiful inside!|
When it was finally time to leave, we said our goodbyes and hopped on a bus to the Department of State. After going through security, our YES country groups were lead into a large conference room. We were then addressed by Rick Ruth, Senior Advisor at the Bureau of Cultural and Education Affairs. He gave us some very inspiring words, and discussed his goals for us and our upcoming years. Following that, we then had a Q&A with a panel of State Department employees who represented our countries. The panel was incredible, many of them having multiple degrees and perfect SAT vocabulary. Myself and the other YES kids posed great questions, and overall the session was a success.
|In front of the State Department|
Following our time at the Department of State, we then walked to the Lincoln Memorial where we were given time to explore and take lots of pictures.
|Looking super professional with my favorite Floridian, Christian|
|Indo girls at the Lincoln Monument!|
From there, we headed back to the 4-H center. The next day was spent having multiple workshops on religion, digital storytelling, health and safety, and my personal favorite, "not good, not bad, just different." Of course, in the midst of all these workshops the Indo girls had more bonding time and took even more pictures.
|Attempting our best Indonesian poses|
|Indo dinner date!|
Until next time,
You know who