On Baltimore, Global White Image, and Being a Non-White American in Indonesia

it's still raining here

on a day where I was tol

I lately find myself at the verge of a crossroads. April prepares to roll into May. I’m 25-and-a-half months into a 27-month long Peace Corps volunteer service in East Java, Indonesia. I’m preparing to return to Chicago, the American city I call home. Half my mind remains on all of the much-missed food I’m going to eat when I touch base. Maybe more than half. The weather here has been fickle. Not far from the equator, Indonesia’s heat and humidity are typically suffocative and unrelenting, but the past few weeks I’ve been waking up to a keening call to prayer (normal) and a thick, cool fog weaving its way out from the vast cane fields (less so). It is a precipitous time in my professional and personal life, my emotional state, and, with the death of yet another black American at the hands of the police, also in my home…

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