I just fell off Leslie and Degung’s porch. It was a good 2-3 foot drop, no big deal. I’m fine, but embarrassed. Pictures of the drop will follow when it’s daytime.
So much has happened over the past few days. On Friday I ventured out on my own to Yayasan Kerti Praja. Finding the building was, in and of itself, an adventure. This was my first experience traveling on my own outside of the immediate area surrounding Taman 65, and, needless to say, I got lost. And flustered. And a little bit sunburned. So, by the time I arrived at YKP (half an hour late), my meeting with Ayu and Emily (another project coordinator) about my interests and research goals for the summer only furthered my tardiness-induced anxieties.
The complexities of negotiating insider versus outsider status in terms of ethnographic research is both a common anthropological trope as well as a topic we often discuss during research and methodology class. However, in spite of this familiarity, I was discouraged to hear about some of the difficult cultural barriers I would have to navigate over such a short period of time, and began to worry if my project was at all feasible.
So I trekked back to Taman 65, discouraged but excited for our afternoon class with Dédé Oetomo (the preeminent academic and advocate on gender and sexuality and HIV/AIDS in Indonesia). As expected, the class was great. AND Dédé invited me to work with him in Surabaya for his organization Gaya Nusantara. Surabaya is the unofficial “prostitution capital of South East Asia.” For more information, google it, and pay special attention to “Dolly” (the brothel’s name).
I’m really excited to go, and also very nervous! I’m not sure if I will have a research partner or if I’ll just be working with Gaya Nusantara, but I know it’ll be a great opportunity.
The picture below was taken by Maddie when Dédé took us to the gay clubs last weekend. More to come!