Language Training Redux

Well, dear readers, I now have an excuse for not updating this blog as often as I should: bahasa Indonesia!  Yep, I’m back in language training.  The same language training that damn near killed me last time around.  I’m happy to report it’s going better this time.  Something about my head being in a different place, I guess.

I’m enrolled in the FAST course at FSI, a survival-skills language course of sorts.  It’ll give me a basic knowledge of Indonesian, with the capacity to communicate on the most basic level.  It’s an 8-week course, and I’m lucky to be in a class of mostly EFMs.  I’m strongly considering extending that training by 4-6 weeks, as there’s only one FSO who is receiving the full 24 weeks of instruction, and my extending won’t be a burden on the department’s already-strained resources.

Thus far, I’m picking up and retaining things a lot better.  I can form simple sentences, am beginning to understand the roots and affixations (and their purposes and meanings), and more or less get the structure of the language and its syntax.  I also think that I’ve at least picked up some words from my wife and the constant drone of Indonesian TV in the background (my wife watches it all the time) at least has me recognizing some words and getting a feel for the cadence.  I also found some open-source language materials and texts, so I will be using those to further my learning.

In other news, I may actually start working in a kitchen soon.  I’ve been in discussion with a local chef who runs a teaching-oriented restaurant and culinary workshop.  He’s looking for some help in the kitchen both for dinner services and for the cooking workshops.  He’s been impressed enough with my chops (literally, heh) after seeing me work in 2 cooking classes here at Oakwood, that he’s considering offering me some hours.  Sa-weet.  I’m keeping my fingers crossed for this one, as I feel it’s a real foot-in-the-door opportunity for me.  I have always wanted to work in a commercial kitchen, and this is as good a chance as any.

My shoulder is now about 75 percent healed/rehabilitated.  Well, it’s 100 percent healed, but I’m only at about 75 percent mobility and strength.  Most of the deep surgical pain has ceased, the infection seems to have cleared up, and I’m really only left with the muscle pain that comes with trying to regain my full range of motion.  My only setbacks have been when I pull or aggravate something in the joint, but these are just a few minutes of pain and my confidence level with my left arm has soared recently.  I’m pretty much fully capable of everyday activities again, pain-free, and working to get back to sports.  I’d really like to be able to swim and surf in Indonesia, and possibly get back into golf and tennis.  A healthy left shoulder will be helpful in all of these things.

So there’s the update.  We’ve got a lot of work ahead of us before our June departure.  The dog shipping thing is a long, expensive, and painful process, but that’s another post altogether.  Let’s just say that if you’re thinking about a career as a diplomat, you should really reconsider your stance on pets if you have them.  While they’re part of the family and a good source of continuity between moves throughout their lifespans, they’re damn expensive and complicated to move around with you.