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Keeping Cool in Malang


By Avery W., YES Abroad 2017-18, Indonesia

I am settling into a routine here in Indonesia after being here for almost two months. I live in a city called Malang, which is in between four mountains in East Java. Earlier this month the power went out at my school for the first (and only) time since I have been here. I honestly didn’t even notice until several hours into the power outage, since my host school is designed not to rely on electricity very much: every classroom has big windows that let large amounts of sunlight into the room and minimize the need for electric lighting. Although there are still lights, they are not often used. The reason I noticed the power was out was because it was starting to get hot, and I asked my classmates why the fans weren’t on. These fans are everyone’s saving grace, because, despite being in the mountains, the temperature can still climb over 90 degrees Fahrenheit, which proves very hot while wearing the school uniforms, which are floor-length cotton skirts and button-up shirts.

To cool ourselves down, my friends and I decided to get milk tea from the cafeteria during break time. On the way we walked through the hallway outside of the counselors’ office. This hallway is one of the only areas in my entire school that does not have a window, which meant it was really dark. But wherever I go in Indonesia there always seems to be people who can brighten anything. That day, in the dark hallway, one of the counselors sat in a black corner and made spooky ghost noises as my friends and I walked past her. This playful act made me laugh more than I should have, and made me realize how much I love my new friends and my host school. It also really highlighted to me how relaxed and easy going the Indonesian culture is!