Volunteering Information: Drew “The Moose” Yerkes

His "I want to sell you a Batik" face.

His “I want to sell you a Batik” face.

This is my 201st post and to memorialize this wondrous occasion, I’ve decided to pick up where I left off with Joe Jr. and interview my good pal, Drew Yerkes.  He’s a man of many faces…literally; I’ve never seen such expressions.  He’s also an ‘artist’ of rare talent, though you’ll never hear about it from him, as he isn’t fond of boasting.  In fact, let me do a little shameless plug for him and let you in on a little secret…his appalling, infamous play, “The Meat Whistler” has just been picked up by a very suspect “producer” and a terribly offensive B movie is said to be in the works!

 

Now, let us meet the man behind the ‘Moose!’

1)  You were a budding Archaeologist in your pre-Peace Corps life.  Where is the one place you would most like to dig up in Indonesia?

A)  Honestly Joe, the first place that I would like to dig if I had the opportunity would be your brain. I have the nagging suspicion that at one point in history there was an advanced civilization that inhabited it, but now only its broken down ruins remain. I would love to investigate why those advanced peoples decided to get out of dodge and flee for the hills, if you will.

No but seriously, I think that there are endless amounts of interesting sites here in Indonesia, but like in the US, lots of people aren’t necessarily interested in learning about their own history enough to preserve it. Unfortunately that means not much funding for projects/curation. To be honest, I wouldn’t be the biggest fan of doing actual fieldwork here in Indonesia. I mean geez, its incredibly hot, humid and wet. I’ve had my fill of hiking around the hot, swampy, mosquito infested forests of Wisconsin, and I can only imagine the conditions here on Java might be more challenging.

2)  We’ve had some memorable trips together early on.  Does any particular place/moment stick out for you?

A)  We sure have taken some memorable trips together. I think. I mean I’m not sure exactly where we went, to be honest. It all kind of turned into a sort of fog, I mean you can’t expect me to remember everything, right? Wow. There was that one time with that German girl in Jogja that you had a crush on or something, and then that one time on Silly T when you jumped into a pool late at night, but outside of general trends in your travel patterns I can’t really recall what I enjoyed. Didn’t we take a spaceship to the moon? Was that a dream? I have no idea.

I think living in my village has sort of destroyed my sense of reality, so its kind of hard to make out what has happened in the past. There was that one time though where you found that secret entrance into the huge vault of dirty pictures at Borobudur. Sometimes you remind me of Indiana Jones with your antics.

3)  What has been the most challenging aspect of your experience thus far?  And what obstacles do you anticipate in the foreseeable future?

A)  Most challenging aspect of my experience thus far? I feel that everything, even the small things, are made more difficult due to new languages, places, and people who are totally surprised and creeped out that I live close to them. While I don’t have any big complaints, I feel that the thought of spending another 1.5 years here is daunting, but doable. I wouldn’t give up this experience for the world, but man, its definitely strange to be here.

As far as obstacles I see in the near future, I honestly think that the basic day to day routine will become easier and with the more connections I make my experience here will be more meaningful. Its honestly hard to put a finger on what is so challenging about this experience, but there’s no doubt in my mind that its a huge undertaking. But day to day its relaxing and easy. Does that make sense? Come to my site and I’ll explain, with pictures.

4.  It’s common knowledge that you aren’t thrilled with the nickname “Moose.”  If an alternate universe existed, one that would allow you to choose your own nickname, what might you call yourself?

A)  Is it such common knowledge that I don’t like that nickname? Who told you? Honestly I don’t mind any nickname, but at least give me some status. I’d prefer Mr. Moose, at least. And please, roll your Rs when you call me Mr. Moose. Ex. Misterrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr Moose, ya?

Ok, well I’m glad I got that out of the way. Wow, you are quite the inquisitor, eh??

The Moose with his "I wonder how long this food will take?" face and me.

The Moose with his “I wonder how long this food will take?” face and me.

*I’d like to thank Mr. Yerkes for his cooperation and I look forward to joining him on adventures henceforth.  This concludes our interview….Barbara Streisand!

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