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 So this is old news, I know, and I’m not writing about this because I just found out. I just have not had time to write about it.

Osama died. I’m a big fan of redemption and an eye for an eye. I think he deserved to die. I’m not sure it really did anything for the cause itself, but it certainly helped the morale of a lot of Americans. Should someone have to die to up the morale of a nation? That I’m not too sure about. I’m not too sure about the whole celebrating in the streets either. I read a great article on CNN comparing the American celebrants to protesters burning the US flag in the Middle East, which is valid, we should show some restraint and maturity, but now that I’ve thought about a bit I think that showing patriotism and scorning another country is two different types of reaction to different situations. Anyway, I’m still glad he’s dead because he was just bringing the world backwards with his fundamentalist ideals and that’s that.

Also a congrats to the American people for recognizing that its not the president who should be  declared a hero, but the soldiers and intelligence departments for their bravery and wit.

How this relates to a travel blog. Benny Mac received an e-mail from the Aussie embassy that they have raised the travel alert due to retaliation from extremist groups. My google alerts has also sent me some articles about bombs in Jakarta and reminders of what the Bali Bombings were like. Its all a bit intense, to be honest.

We had a half assed discussion about it all, and of course we’re still going. I’m selfish enough to say I know too much about the country and have planned too many things to cancel the trip. Ignorant/selfish/stupid all these are very good adjectives that apply to that reasoning.

My other “stupid” reason is that I almost want us both to experience this. I had an incident when I was in Honduras with guerrilla soldiers when I was 18 (nothing exciting really, just a guy with a machine guy searching my bag on a bus.) and it brought me out of my little ignorant, privileged, safe, small-town American box. Returning home, I had that awful loss of western social skills that first time travelers (and a lot of time, backpackers, some (but not all) Peace Corps volunteers, and super travelers) often suffer from. You know the type, the kind of reverse cultural elitism where the western travelers scorn their own country because of their materialism and false sense of importance. They feel they have experienced a culture that the citizens back home would never understand and are thus ignorant in every way. It’s not a good thing. It took me at least a year to get over it. I had to combine those realities with the reality I was from a country that warranted me the right and the opportunity to travel and as a woman, get an education and start a career anywhere in the world. I can’t slam my heritage into the ground when they have given me such freedoms.

Anyways, after this growth I think I became a better person. But I’m still not near complete in my understandings of the world. I really don’t think that I’m going to experience that much fundamentalism in Indonesia, but it might at least be enough to give me and Benny Mac a reason to be proud and thankful of the rights we have, and mainly, see first hand things that do need help and need to be changed globally and domestically. To see the bigger picture in a way that is different from seeing it on the news and is not interrupted by the royal wedding. And we’ll be doing it together, which in itself will be growth for me as I’ve only travelled alone prior to this.

That’s it. Like most things, I’ll probably look back on this and think I was ignorant. I hope so! It’ll be a sign I’ve gained something more than just a souviner and a photograph from Indonesia.