Many, Yet One

I'll be based near Ubud.
I’ll be based near Ubud.

Indonesia is a nation made up of many islands –17,508 islands. However, only about 6,000 are inhabited. The country is second only to Brazil in its biodiversity. In short, there’s a lot of potential differences rolled into one country.  This is reflected in the national motto, Bhinneka Tunggal Ika — which translates into “Unity Through Diversity” (or literally, “Many, Yet One”).

Growing up in a large family, I can sort of relate.

My initial reading list.
My initial reading list.

The official language is Bahasa Indonesia. According to my phrasebook, the words amok, cockatoo, and orang-utan are all borrowed from this language. Even the bar up the street from my house in Portland seems to have some relation. It’s called Tiga, which happens to be the number 3 in Indonesian. And –no surprise– there is more than one language spoken in this island country.  There are 700 local languages, including Balinese.

Duapuluh satu days before I arrive- that’s just 21!

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