Tuesday, November 21, 2006

New pad

I'm moving out of the Mercy Corps' guesthouse and into a real house! This friend at Mercy Corps told me about an ad posted on the "bulai" storefront window for a room for rent. So I went over and called the number and talked to this guy who works for the UN and was moving out before the end of his lease and needed someone to take it over.

It's an A/C'ed room with its own western bathroom, even with a shower (no mandi). the backyard has a small patio and lawn, great for chilling out in. The guy (Nick) sounded like a big drinker... well... he messed up his liver from drinking too much less than a year ago -- those Canadians. And best of all, comes with a housekeeper. I kind of feel guilty, this is all new to me, but having a housekeeper is standard here.

The other guy living there, Brad also works for UNDP and is from Denver. The landlords live next door watch over the house while we are gone. I just signed the papers, I move in on the 28th.

house warming party?

Thursday, November 16, 2006

1st day back

We gave up, for the time being at least. Elizabeth text'ed my phone while I was strolling through Little India telling me just to get on the next flight to Medan and on to Banda Aceh and get the "tourist visa on arrival". Which is only good for 30 days. Yep, got to leave the country and come back with in the next month. This visa problem is so annoying.

I was able to fly out of Singapore the next morning and even worked out my connecting Medan-Banda Aceh flight that same day. As the plane descended over Banda Aceh and poked below the clouds, it was apparent that we were in the wet season. A different landscape than it was back in August. The rice paddy fields were full of water; everything was green and dark clouds hanging over the mountains flashing with lightning.

Build Change's driver picked me up at the airport and drove me straight to the office where Cici and Elizabeth came out and greeted me. We then walked over to where I'm staying. It's the guesthouse for Mercy Corp. which is just down the street from the office. It's alright, it's clean — I have the whole mezzanine to myself, but it's a little stuffy. I still have to look for a place for long term, I understand I can only be here for a month.

Monday, November 13, 2006


I just arrived in Singapore. I wasn't able to find a hotel room before leaving San Francisco, and I still can't now. It's three in the morning and I'm stuck at the airport looking online for a room. Something must be going on, how is every f'ing hotel booked full?

Thursday, November 09, 2006


So... I was going to get my visa from the San Francisco consulate, like I did in July. But now they are no longer allowed to issue them. At least the special visa I need. I have to get it from the LA consulate, but it'd take too much time, 3 to 5 days. I leave in two. So, we decided I should go ahead and fly to Singapore, which is on the way to Banda Aceh, and stay a few days and try to get the visa from the Indonesian Embassy there. Lets hope it works!