6 Reasons Erica Carlson is awesome!

by Tabitha Kidwell

Erica and I had an amazing trip through Bali and Central Java – we had some kind of fun adventure everyday! I can’t even begin to relate everything amazing that we did, so I will just list some of the many ways that Erica Carlson is amazing!

1. She wanted to work!

Erica quit her job teaching secondary English last year, and now makes way more money working as a children’s entertainer! She makes balloon animals, does story-times, and even does magic tricks! Because of this, she has a flexible schedule and was able to come for almost three weeks. That meant I had a couple of work commitments while I was here, but it wasn’t a problem at all – Erica was totally willing to help! Plus, her M.Ed. and children’s entertainment know-how made her a great asset! As a counselor at an Access Microscholarship English Camp in far flung Kupang, she knocked the kids’ socks off with a ballooning workshop.

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She also helped lead a workshop for elementary school English teachers in Salatiga about maximizing their English use in class. Her presence helped so much – and made me enjoy “working” a lot more!

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2. She’s like the Pied Piper

As if working on her vacation wasn’t enough, Erica also did free-lance children’s entertainment walking down the street. When we rented a television on the sidewalk for an hour of karaoke, the kids came out of the woodwork and Erica charmed them!

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She also gave an impromptu English lesson in the middle of a market to some middle school girls.

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3. She wasn’t afraid to try new things

I’m pretty adapted to life here, and not much grosses me out or scares me anymore, but I will acknowledge that there are many aspects of life here that are distressing or anxiety-inducing, like fish with the heads (and eyeballs) still intact, squat toilets, and motor-biking in traffic.

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Erica was up to any challenge we came accross, even daring to eat gado-gado, mixed-vegetable and peanut sauce dish, at my favorite (but somewhat dirty) roadside stand. I guess she felt like she had to get her money’s worth from that Typhoid vaccine!

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4. She made me try new things

Again, since I’m pretty at home here, sometimes I skip the “touristy” things, but I think I often miss out on fun things because of my “cooler than a tourist” mentality. Having Erica here gave me a great excuse to do touristy things I wouldn’t do
otherwise, like a Balinese cooking class…

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…and a Batik painting class…

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…and making a wish while walking blindfolded through the Banyan trees in the Yogya town square…

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… and getting a fish pedicure!

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She also gave me a great excuse to do adventurous activities that I might not have made time for otherwise, like climbing Mt. Agung in time for sunrise…

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…and scuba diving off the east coast of Bali.

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But, perhaps most importantly, we used our many evenings together to get through the first two seasons of Downton Abbey. Is it sad if that was my favorite part of her trip here? Maybe, but it was amazing! Matthew and Mary! Mr. Bates and Anna! Sybil and the driver! Edith and the weird-face-bandage soldier!

5. She kept her cool in the heat of the moment

Like when there was a cockroach in her suitcase, or when a giant bee was buzzing around us. Or when there was a baby cockroach on her iPhone. Or when the giant toke lizard was in our hotel room in Ubud. Or when a giant spider was hiding on the scoop she was using to pour water over herself to take a shower. Or when there was no water to even take a shower. NBD. She’s tough! Plus, she took care of me when I felt sick and only wanted to do this:

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6. She noticed things I have started to ignore

Erica brought a fresh perspective and reminded me of all the things that make life charmingly wonderful here, like the wildlife…

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…and the funny statues…

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… and the “traditional Balinese Starbucks.”

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… and the amazing sunrises and sunsets.

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All in all, it was am amazing trip! I miss having her here, but I’m comforted that we’ll get to see each other again when I go home in just a few months. Especially since then we can watch Downton Abbey season 3!

Cheers to a great trip!

Cheers to a great trip!

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One Comment to “6 Reasons Erica Carlson is awesome!”

  1. I recognize our favorite restaurant in Seminyak!! Glad you guys had a chance to go there. 🙂

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