This one is a two-fer. I went back to Indonesia to do what I said I was gonna do the last time I was there. I was volunteering, teaching English to all the local villagers and I never got the chance to climb Mt. Rinjani. It was closed for the rainy season and even if it wasn't I'm not sure if I could have trekked that mo-fo after back-to-back, and beautifully grueling days of teaching English slang to anyone who would listen.
But, a few months ago, I went back fully intent on scrambling up that mountain AND opening my own little community center in the village of Sembalun. I wanted the amazing locals to have a full time English school, with a real teacher, in a permanent structure--all classes, all the time and always for FREE. So, after I did the so-challengenging-I-almost-cried-when-the-wind-blew Rinjani trek, I scouted out a place for the first 4th World Love community center and paid up a year in advance. **Check out the 4th World Love website for a chance to win a free trip to Indo this spring to volunteer, trek Rinjani and plan Phase 2 of 4WL with me...$100 puts you in the running!
Me and my local buds sorted out a bit of a blueprint for getting the building up to snuff (new paint, clean yard, how much furniture, etc...) and Am (my great local facilitator) started on the mad hunt for teachers (they'd have to full on move to the village for the new job). It all came together so quickly, I knew it was the next thing that was supposed to happen in my life. (Our 4WL community center is the third roof from the left in the above picture).
I can remember being on the plane going home after a month in Indo (and I'd also gotten SCUBA certified) thinking....holy shit, mst~ You just made an investment of the heart and soul and mind into a country you don't know jack crap about. But, I was sooooo, sooooo proud in that moment. So content, so on my right path, and so ready to go back. Lord knows what calls us in the directions that we're called into, you can really only follow the pre-paved path it seems.
When I roll back in March/April, I'm bringin a couple of generously donated MAC computers for the computer room, so we can teach the locals all about the wonders of Apple computers. Now, if we can just figure out a way to get internet to the village. That would be a grand shining moment! And, the next bit of glory would be figuring out a way to have ICE COLD Bintang at the bottom of the volcano near the crater lake...but, when you just wanna keel over and die, I guess warm beer will suffice.