First week in Batam

Hey guys! I hope things are going well. I finally made it to Batam and this week has been incredible.

I landed safely in Batam just yesterday. It’s pretty neat here and also VERY DIFFERENT. I don’t know if it’s just me but everything is so fancy (and obviously much more expensive Frowning face)! I’ve got my own private room with air-con and a super nice bathroom, not to mention a proper work/study space. Well, I used to stay in a room full of rats and bugs in Cambodia for such a long time, sometimes with no water and electricity so I’m sort of having a ‘culture shock’. I’m not gonna lie but this was so unexpected! So, Elder Monson, I don’t mean to make you jealous again but just in case if I did, sorry, man 😉 Continue reading “First week in Batam”

Numpanc ning sach kow

That’s Khmer for ‘bread and beef’. and yep, we had Khmer sandwich for dinner this week.

Starting Monday, I didn’t teach at part-time centre anymore because the country director wants me to focus more on developing and improving all the 5 websites and get those websites done by the end of this month. I know it sounds ridiculously impossible because never in my life have I ever done a project involving the development of a single website for less than two months, let alone five of them so this is going to be super challenging! Continue reading “Numpanc ning sach kow”

Week of gratitude

Such a long week. I don’t know where to start off.

New week, new class, but same students. The Education Board asked me to teach the newly structured conversation module to my old students. It was so exciting! The fact that I will be spending most of the time with those talented young people makes me even more eager to do it. All of them confirmed to continue studying at SOLS, which means they will still have about one more month before they completely leave this school. Continue reading “Week of gratitude”

Farewell party, the church and a one-day trip

This week has been quite a tiring, yet super amazing one. Yesterday was my last day of teaching English Motivation class in SOLS part-time centre, so instead of spending 3 hours studying, we agreed to make a farewell party!

Promptly at 2 o’clock we gathered in our beloved classroom and discussed about what we were going to eat and drink. I also invited my super cool friend Abdoulaye from Senegal, who is also a volunteer, to join the party. It would be great to have him join us as the students could practise their English (and French?) with him. He said YES! The party went incredibly well and we had tons of fun. FYI, two of my students are of Vietnamese descent so we had some Vietnamese veggie rolls with prawns and rice noodle inside called ‘koong’ / ‘kueng’ or whatever its name is, which was also tempting, and obviously lots of equally mouthwatering Cambodian treats. What a lovely day! Continue reading “Farewell party, the church and a one-day trip”

Sophomore year

Today marks 2 years since I started this blog. I am officially finished my sophomore year with Frankenasian. Well, like I said a year ago on my freshman year post, blogging is not a new thing for me. I started blogging in 2008, which means I have actually been blogging for about 6 years, even though I did not produce so many writings. Yep, I am a complete bastard when it comes to procrastinating.

I don’t know what to say plus I’m not really in the mood to write a 600-word post. Thanks for being there for me for the past two years, when I did not have someone else to talk to. Thanks for helping me through Philip’s suicide, which until now I still can’t deal with. You have witnessed my extraordinarily bizarre adventure of volunteering in Cambodia – from getting my phone and wallet stolen to eating the oh-so-tasty, deep-fried frogs – and you’ll soon will witness that of Batam and East Timor in the next couple of months.

Happy birthday, Frankenasian! I look forward to the following subsequent years with you. Anyway, I kind of miss Dublin and its hustle and bustle.

With love,
Deny Setiyadi

Eating insects in Southeast Asia

Whilst most of us would consider eating these little critters as off-putting and something you wouldn’t catch up doing in a million years, in all over Southeast Asia, deep fried frogs, crickets, locusts and many more are considered being more than just a tasty treat. They are highly nutritious and not the sort of thing you eat every day. They are well and truly classed as special food and gobbled on for many a special occasion. In my time travelling in Southeast Asia I have indulged in scorpions on sticks, crispy fried frogs and curiously crunchy crickets. I have got to say they are delicious and I have been converted. Continue reading “Eating insects in Southeast Asia”

No retreat, no surrender

Did you watch Glee’s The Quarterback episode last night? The episode featured the death of Finn Hudson, and a tribute to actor Cory Monteith who portrayed Finn starting with the show’s pilot, and who died on July 13, 2013. Monteith has influenced me in so many ways. He’s been my role model, the person I’ve looked up to for the past years. I’ve been watching Glee since the beginning, accidentally. There was something about the show when I first watched it that made me feel so closely related to the characters and this episode is in particular. Continue reading “No retreat, no surrender”