Nasi Campur...the c is pronounced ch
Who Knew a Toothbrush Could Make a Kid So Happy

Semablun Lawang and the Live-In Lombok Volunteer Program

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The village in Indonesia where I just spent a spell volunteering (and living with a local family) in was called Sembalun Lawang.  It was a tiny, very remote village on the Muslim island of Lombok and was situated just at the base of Mt. Rinjani, a stunning active volcano.  Though the entire island was incredibly primitive and painfully poor, never in my life have I met more generous and friendly people.  All of my students were so clever and genuinely eager to learn English, it just blew my mind.  I taught middle school and Jr. high school every day and then come night time, I'd teach an adult class.  Sometimes the power all across the valley would go out and the boys would light candles just so we could keep plugging away at basic conversational phrases.  It was tragic for me to leave and I'm already plotting my return to this special place.  If only people knew these opportunities existed, the world might just be a better place.  These lovely folks had absolutely no money (they were simply trying to make a little dinero to meet their daily needs) and they were the happiest lot I've come across in all my travels.  Everything (and I mean everything)  revolved around family, education, and food.  Ah, the glorious, glorious food of Indonesia.  I cannot believe there are no Indonesia restaurants in Chicago...how is that even possible?

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