Garrett Nicholson on the other side of the world

A 13-hour time difference can sometimes put a damper on trying to connect with friends and family back home. But that 13-hour difference is something junior Garrett Nicholson deals with on a daily, or for him, nightly, basis. Nicholson and his family have recently moved to Malang, Indonesia for Nicholson’s father’s missionary work. Nicholson and his family have traveled back and forth between Indonesia and the United States many times. It’s about a 24-hour flight from New York to Malang, not including layovers in various airports around the world. Despite the day long flight, Nicholson really enjoys the weather in Malang. “It’s 80-degrees year round here,” Nicholson said. Indonesia also has a different school system from America. “I go to an international school that is smaller than Ames High. The classes are a lot more rigorous. We can’t screw around as much as we can at Ames,” Nicholson said. “Another thing that might be surprising is how intertwined religion and life are.” Most people don’t realize that Indonesia has the largest population of Muslims anywhere in the world. “The separation of church and state has a different meaning here than it does in America,” Nicholson said. “It’s a lot more common to talk about your religion in the workplace here than it is in America.” In addition, there are not as many school-sponsored sports in Indonesia. “We only have four sports, unlike Ames,” Nicholson said. “You can choose between basketball, swimming, soccer or cross country.” Garrett said he doesn’t know when he and his family will be moving back to the United States, but he thinks it might be sometime this summer. “While I admit the food is better here,” he said, “I still miss the people back home.”