The blog is back! Bali musings and the start of the Fulbright…

I have finally started blogging again and am ready to recap my travels over the past several months and get back on track.   When this world traveling professor last checked in, I was both ready to head back to the US in Dec. 2012, and sad to leave London behind.  I was also eagerly awaiting my interim trip for Lafayette to Bali, Indonesia and to South Korea.

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So what happened?  Well – it was a crazy year and I never had the time to reflect on all of it – until now.  And I’m writing from my flat that is – back in London!  I’ll be here until Christmas Eve 2013!  Back again for another fall!  How did THAT come to pass?  Well – I got that Fulbright award I applied for in August 2012.  I went through several selection rounds and since Fulbright Scholar awards (given to American professors to teach and/or research in other countries) are hard to come by, particularly in English speaking countries, I had very low expectations.  I am on sabbatical this year from Lafayette (starting this past August), so I applied as part of a sabbatical project.  I got the award, which I found out about immediately after I returned from Bali (more on THAT later).   I am teaching a course on American musical theater at the University of Roehampton in London and researching British musicals for a book I am working on.   You can read more about Fulbright and my specific project here:

http://www.lafayette.edu/about/news/2013/08/20/prof-mary-jo-lodge-receives-fulbright-fellowship-to-lecture-and-conduct-research-in-london/

DISCLAIMER: Since I am now a Fulbright, and they are big on blogging, I need to make clear that the views expressed in this blog are mine alone, and do not reflect the views and opinions of Fulbright.

OK, disclaimer over – now – what about Bali?  Well, I DID go to Bali for just shy of 3 weeks  in January 2013.  I took a pretty large group of students with me and my colleague and good friend, Jen Kelly, from Music at Lafayette.   It’s all a blur now, really, but we WERE there.  Let me start by saying the students were very good and the country is gorgeous and the arts there are amazing.  I, however, won’t be going back.  I had a pretty miserable experience in Bali since I got a serious stomach bug (which came immediately after a miserable cold – probably brought on by the 90 degree change in the weather from Korea to Bali!), so I was really quite sick for the bulk of the trip (as was Jen and many of the students).  It took a major course of antibiotics to reverse the problem (and another few weeks after I came home from Bali) and I lost 11 pounds over the threeweeks I was there!  So while the Balinese people are lovely, and there is probably not a more beautiful place on earth, Bali just wasn’t for me.  It took @30 some hours to get there, and the jet lag was killer (and the flight home, when I was really sick, was truly hideous, but I survived!).   I’m not going to post a day by day trip account of Bali, but you can read about the trip here:

http://www.lafayette.edu/about/news/2013/02/08/students-encounter-the-arts-and-spirituality-in-bali/

Here are a few additional pictures of beautiful Bali (And Korea…):

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This young girl, maybe 3 years old, was fascinated by our American group at the temple ceremony. She was wearing her finest clothes. This is favorite of my Bali pictures…

On the beach at Kuta...

On the beach at Kuta…

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View out my hotel room door in Ubud.

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Balinese dancer

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Our cool little friend at the temple awakening ceremony.

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Rice patties – so lush!

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Shadow puppets…

After Bali, I was directing and choreographing a show at Lafayette (“Arabian Nights”) and then experienced quite a scare with a serious illness for my mom.   Those two events occupied most of the rest of the year until the end of August, when I flew BACK to London.

The next entry will start with the trip to London and my first few days here…

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