Thanksgiving, a lizard in the library, the Ambassadors house, and “Skadel”

To celebrate the week of Thanksgiving, in class, the students participated in the traditional activity, drawing hand turkeys! On the feathers of the bird, the students wrote about what they are thankful for.  We also discussed the complicated history of American colonization and how Thanksgiving is not a happy day for everyone in the United States. We read an excerpt from a speech by a member of the Wampanoag tribe in Massachusetts who explains why Thanksgiving commemorates tragedy, as well. Here are some photos of the students with their hand turkeys: IMG_5381IMG_5443IMG_5419

 

On November 25th, we were in the library with a class of students and all of a sudden, everyone started screaming. Several people jumped up on chairs… I thought a rat was on the loose! It turns out it wasn’t a rat, but rather a Biawak lizard. The Biawak is a relative of the Komodo dragon, and while the one found in the library was just a baby, it was still pretty big for a lizard! The picture below shows Pak Dewi, the math teacher who wrangled the lizard out of the library. The lizard had fairly large teeth as it is a carnivorous animal. In the photo, Pak Dewi is demonstrating to me how to properly handle the lizard, and then I gave it a try! IMG_5468IMG_5472

 

The weekend following Thanksgiving, I made a trip to Jakarta along with several members of my Fulbright cohort for a Thanksgiving supper at Robert Blake’s home, the U.S. Ambassador to Indonesia. We were very well-fed and thrilled to reunite with each other and swap stories about the first portion of our Fulbright grants. Here we are post feast on a couch at the Ambassador’s house:IMG_5527

The next day, I flew to Makassar, Indonesia, the largest city of Sulawesi and eastern Indonesia. I was able to teach with a fellow Fulbright English Teaching Assistant, Michael, at his school, SMK8 in Makassar (nickname: “Skadel”). The Makassar school is very different from my school. I teach at a Muslim boarding school in a rural area, and Michael teaches at a non-secular, vocational school, in a big, bustling city. His school specializes in professions related to tourism, such as hotel management, and his students are 95% female. I had a great time meeting his students and hearing about their fields of study, cooking, beauty and fashion, hotels, administration, and laundry. We were greeted with tons of energy and enthusiasm in each class that we taught together. Here are photos of us after two different classes, along with Ibu Kasma, one of Michael’s co-teachers:IMG_5578 (1)IMG_5559 (1) It was delightful to spend the day at his school and also share meals with the other teachers at his school, Ibu Mala, Ibu Dinarwati, and Ibu Kasma. They introduced me to several Sulawesi cuisines that I had not yet experienced, Sop ubi and Kapurung. Sop ubi is a meatball soup with noodles, peanuts, limes, cassava (like a potato), and crab rangoon and kapurung is a vegetable soup with tapioca balls, the balls are quite slurpy. Here are pictures of Sop ubi and kapurung, respectively: IMG_0910FullSizeRender (8)

Boalemo trip, class field trip to Desa Bajo

On November 13th, I tagged along on another field trip, this time with my 11th grade social science students. The field trip was to the Boalemo district of the Gorontalo province. The students were researching the Bajo people who live in villages along the southern coast in this district of Gorontalo.

Upon arriving in Boalemo, we were invited to meet the mayor at the local government office and then, after meeting the mayor, we were welcomed to the Bajo village by the leader of the Bajo people. It was incredible. Their culture is based entirely around the water, and the first thing we saw were young boys (maybe age 6) swimming and paddling wooden boats. I’ve never seen such fluidity in the water. The kids didn’t know swimming strokes, but their comfort in the water was second nature to a striking degree. Here are some photographs of the boys swimming and paddling the boats:IMG_4680IMG_4658There was extreme poverty in this village, and they don’t have a consistent source of drinking and bathing water nor any sort of plumbing. Here are some of my students outside homes in the village (my students are wearing the blue hijabs):IMG_4707

The Bajo community was overwhelmingly welcoming. We were invited into many homes, and I got to listen to my students conduct interviews. We could communicate, sort of, in Bahasa Indonesia, but they primarily speak Bahasa Bajo; they don’t speak Bahasa Gorontalo, which is the regional language throughout most of the Gorontalo province, which several of my students can speak. Being inside their homes was eye-opening, there wasn’t any furniture, no beds either, only occasionally plastic chairs. They were especially curious about me as I was the first “bule” (pronounced: boo-lay; foreigner) they had ever met. Here I am talking with some of the kids after they gave me a tour of one of their homes:FullSizeRender (8.7)

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Skyping the U.S., a birthday party, circumcision parties, and weddings!

 

One week in November, I had each of my classes Skype with one of my friends from back home. It was a great experience for the students to have a chance to speak with another foreigner, and I think my friends really got a kick out of meeting my students in Gorontalo, Indonesia.

The time difference was the first hurdle to overcome because it made scheduling the Skype sessions tricky. Gorontalo was 13 hours ahead of my friends on the east coast and 15 hours ahead of those in Arizona. To participate, my friends would need to be available at night. For an afternoon class in Gorontalo it could be after midnight in the U.S.

Another surprise for my friends was that each one of them was put on the spot to sing. I’ve found that this seems to be a recurring social theme in Indonesian culture to ask visitors/guests/foreigners to sing… as I have been asked to sing on many occasions. My friends offered a range of different styles and types of songs. Drake sang “Little Teapot” and Sami, who is studying music, gave the students a full performance, singing while accompanying herself on keyboard. My students were wowed! We got some modern pop hits from Tinsley and Caroline, “Sorry” by Justin Bieber and “Blank Space” by Taylor swift. A big thank you to Caroline, Ellen, Tinsley, Drake, Sami, Richie, Liz, Logan, and Steph for spending time with my students.

The conversations ranged from languages: Mandarin Chinese, Javanese, Sundanese, Bahasa Gorontalo, Bahasa Indonesia, Spanish, French, etc, to popular culture such as American football and American slang, and interest in educational opportunities such as Med school/graduate school advice along with studying languages and arts at the university level. Here are some snapshots of my students Skyping with my friends:

IMG_4526 (1)Steph introduced the students to her cat, Lana!

There’s drake either singing “Little Teapot” or speaking in Madarin Chinese:IMG_4542

Here’s Tinsley post vocal performance:IMG_4560

There’s Caroline, talking with the students about tacos and bakso (Indonesian meatball soup:IMG_4580

IMG_4489Above is Liz, talking to the students about being a college athlete. And lastly, the students photographed below are Skyping Logan and asking her questions about med school!IMG_4493

November 10th was Ibu Trisna’s birthday! Ibu Trisna is my counterpart and one of my coteachers. She and I have gotten especially close throughout the year. On her birthday, we surprised her with a cake, balloons, and gifts at 5:30 in the morning! Several students showed up for the surprise as they had written her birthday cards. Here is a picture of Ibu Trisna and Ibu Cica; they are best friends:IMG_4903

IMG_4912Above Ibu Cica is serving cake for the students who came for the birthday surprise, along with Ibu Trisna’s family and a few other teachers who came to surprise the birthday girl.

Weddings, circumcision parties, and family gatherings have been a big part of my first few months in Gorontalo. It became clear from the beginning that Gorontalo is an inclusive, community-oriented city, and I was invited along to all the events and ceremonies immediately.

At traditional weddings, the whole community gathers and the bride and groom sit on stage, with their parents, under a festive tent throughout the ceremony. There are singing performances, prayers, and speeches by people who are close to the couple. After the ceremony, the bride and groom are greeted on stage by friends and family and then everyone engages in a hardy dinner. Here are some photos from weddings I’ve attended in Gorontalo:

IMG_3430That’s Ibu Cica, leading the way to our seats!IMG_3432Above is the decorative tent, the bride and groom are in the middle, with their parents on the far left and far right of the group. The three men not clad in pink are friends of the couple. Below are members of the bridal party from a different wedding. They are chatting outside after the ceremony.

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And lastly is a photo of Ibu Dhe, Ibu Sartini, Pak Harry and me after a wedding ceremony. All four of us teach at MAN Insan Cendekia:IMG_5181 (1)

Circumcision parties are similar to traditional weddings in Gorontalo. The young boy sits in a decorative tent and his community comes to celebrate him. After the ceremony, he is greeted by friends and family members on stage and then everyone feasts! Unfortunately, in the photos below, the young lad doesn’t appear to be all that thrilled with the festivities:IMG_5221IMG_5231

Satu Muharram and a class field trip!

Satu Muharram is Islamic New Years! On the morning of Satu Muharram, there was a parade in Kota Gorontalo (the city of Gorontalo). Here are some photos from the parade: IMG_3229IMG_3245IMG_3223 I celebrated Satu Muharram (this year it fell on the evening of October 13th through the evening of October 14th) with one of the teachers at my school, Bu Dhe, and her husband Pak Akram, who is a professor at UNG (University Negeri Gorontalo). We went snorkeling first thing in the morning on October 14th! Here Bu Dhe and I are, on the beach, post snorkeling. IMG_3257IMG_3250 After snorkeling, we went for lunch in a little roadside Warung (café) and ate fresh fish! Here’s a chef in the back of the warung:IMG_3261

He is cutting up daging (meat). Here’s another chef grilling sate (meat on skewers/kabob) at the front of the restaurant.IMG_3262 After lunch, we visited a rice paddy plantation, where I got to rake rice and watch the process of refining rice! IMG_3292IMG_3279Here is rice in the final stage of the refining process:IMG_3362IMG_3364 Photographed above are sacks of dry rice after the refining process. After the rice paddy plantation we went to feed fish in Bu Dhe and Pak Akram’s fishpond! The setting surrounding the ponds was breathtaking and we enjoyed the view while munching on watermelon and es kelapa muda (iced coconut drink)IMG_3332IMG_3356IMG_3352

On October 31st, I tagged along on a field trip with all of my 10th students! It was a very sweaty adventure and a great way to get to know some of the students more personally, in addition to seeing and understanding more of the Gorontalo area. We loaded up in the MAN Insan Cendekia school bus at 8 AM on Saturday morning and hauled out for a day of jalan jalan (travel) IMG_4889IMG_4644Here we are on the bus:IMG_4198 (1)Our first stop was the gravesite of Nani Wartabone, the Gorontalo hero. We unloaded the bus on the side of the road and trekked up countless flights of steep rocky steps. From the top, we were able to overlook the port of Gorontalo along with the desas (villages) that lined the water. Here’s a photo of us hiking on the way up and a view from the top: IMG_4204 (1)IMG_4212 Next we ventured to the oldest mosque in the Gorontalo province. Here are a couple of photos of the students and me inside! IMG_4289IMG_4316Lastly, we visited Benteng Otanaha, a Dutch fort that was built while the Dutch still occupied Gorontalo. Here are a couple of photos of us before we started the hike up the stairs: IMG_4320IMG_4345IMG_4321 And here are a couple of groups of the stragglers on the way up, opting for photo ops over speed:

IMG_4354 IMG_4357. Benteng Otanaha provides spectacularly picturesque views of Gorontalo, which we enjoyed while eating lunch way at the top of this look-out fort. IMG_4366Here’s class 10iis at the top in orange pants:

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Here I am with another class (class 10mia3) at the top of the fort:IMG_4411

30 watermelons later…

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During the week leading up to October 31st, we celebrated Halloween at Insan Cendekia! For all of the grade 10 and grade 11 classes, I put together a Halloween slideshow to discuss the history and culture of Halloween, as well as contrasting how the Holiday has changed over time and place.

After the slideshow, the students designed Halloween costumes, while we played Halloween music like, “Thriller,” “Monster Mash,” “Ghost Busters,” etc. One of the coolest parts about sharing Halloween at Insan Cendekia (IC) was that the students brought their own culture to the holiday! Many of their costumes represented Indonesian culture, such as the Pocong, an Indonesian ghost. In Indonesia, traditional funerals last for forty days. The deceased is wrapped throughout this forty day period and if he/she is not unwrapped after the funeral, his/her soul will haunt the earth for all eternity. The Pocong is a ghost because he was never unwrapped and thus haunts the earth! Here are some of the students’ drawings of Pocong:

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There is also Kuntilanak, who is a female ghost. She hangs in a tree and screams. She lurks around looking for the hearts of children to eat. She has long black hair and pale skill. Here is an illustration of Kuntilanak:

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After we designed Halloween costumes, we had the students go outside the classroom and one by one or in small groups, Trick or Treat. They would knock on the classroom door and often times prepare a scary dance or chant and then holler, “trick or treat!” Bu Silva, Bu Trisna, and I would hand them candy. We gave them Indonesian candy, but also Tootsie Rolls (thanks to my parents for the foreign export service!)

After the Trick or Treating, we went outside to carve watermelons into jack o’ lanterns! Over the course of the week, the students of Insan Cendekia carved 30 watermelons! The students were highly skilled in carving, take a look at some of their creations:

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I am so thrilled to have been able to celebrate Halloween with the students at IC. A big thanks to my co teachers, Ibu Trisna and Ibu Silva, for allowing me to bring Halloween into their school’s community!

Idul Adha

Idul Adha

Can you imagine if, on Thanksgiving, we had to track down several turkeys, chase them, catch them, slaughter them, and then prepare the raw meat and gizzards and then, of course, cook the turkey meat and parts? Also, after we cut and divided the raw meat, we gave a large portion of it to people of our community who were less financially fortunate? That is sort of what happens on Idul Adha.

Idul Adha is a Muslim holiday that serves to honor Ibrahim’s adherence to Allah’s order to sacrifice his son Ishmael. Today, this is a day of feast. Communities gather in the morning for prayers and then sacrifice cows or goats. There is a big feast from the animal meat, but a good portion of the meat is given to community members who cannot afford food.

My Idul Adha experience was at my school, Insan Cendekia. At 6 AM on Thursday, September 24th, the entire school was out on the lawn praying, which was followed by an indulgent breakfast, featuring all sorts of food from rendang (spicy meat) to a variety of ikan (fish), along with mie goring (fried noodles), bakso (meatball soup), all sorts of nasi (rice) and several other dishes. After the breakfast, we all trotted over to the lawn and the sacrifices began.

(Below are photos from the praying first thing in the morning. The women are in the back dressed in jilbabs and dresses of all colors. The men are in front wearing their prayer skirts, often times in darker shades)

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Here are more photos of post-prayer, before breakfast. My Ibu Trisna is wearing lime green and there are also a couple of photos of some of the students and me being silly!

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A total of eight cows were sacrificed. Each sacrifice began with a prayer. Then a few men wrangled the animal to the ground, tied the legs together, placed a leafy tree branch over the neck of the animal and sliced the animal’s throat. The throat is cut quickly and deeply, and the contents of the animal’s neck spill out onto the ground. The tree branch helps prevent the blood from spraying. A hole, dug in the ground, acts as a reservoir to collect the blood. The cow has belabored breathing for a few minutes as it dies. Once the cow is dead, the skinning begins. Every part of the animal is taken into account, very little is wasted. The limbs are sectioned off and stripped for meat along with the ribs; the intestines are kept for Coto Makassar stew, and even the cow heads are smoked and that meat is consumed as well. A few of the organs are deemed inedible, such as the four stomachs of a cow.

Here are photographs of the sacrificing process:

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Somewhere between the third and fourth cow sacrifice, a cow wriggled free from being tied up and somehow set another cow loose. The men performing the sacrifices chased the two cows around the schoolyard and all around the buckets of organs, cow parts that were in process of being dismembered, and the sharp objects used to execute the sacrifices. It was a brief period of mayhem and rather exciting as everyone screamed and fled as the two cows charged around.

What I found most impressive about Idul Adha was how every single member of Insan Cendekia’s community was involved in a step of the process. There were even members of Insan Cendekia in charge of supplying edible reprieve throughout the day, pisang goreng (fried bananas), oranges, water, juice, etc.

Below are a few photographs of Bu Trisna and several students making pisang goreng (fried bananas) as part of the refreshment station:

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Above: Bu Trisna with a big heap of banana peels after having made several batches of pisang goreng!

Here is a student on a motor bike with his hands full of knives delivering utensils for the students working to roast and skin the cow heads:

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And here are a couple of cow heads being roasted:

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The largest operation of the day is separating the cow meat. Hundreds of students were involved. The parts of the cow were brought over to the students to strip of fat and separate into smaller chunks of meat to be weighed and placed in a bag to be charitably distributed to the larger community. I got to participate in this step! It was alarming at how fresh the raw meat was, the flesh and fat were still warm, as the animal had been sacrificed only 10 minutes earlier.

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As an American raised in urban/suburban settings, I’ve never been so close to my food. I feel like it’s easy to lose sight of where our food comes from in America. When we receive meat, its either already prepared in a perfectly sized portion, cooked and presented on a plate or purchased at a supermarket or deli all wrapped up. If it is not already cooked or sliced for us, we received it in a refrigerated state, already ground, quartered, or pre-portioned. In both cases, all indicators that the meat was once an animal are removed… skin, feathers, eyes, tails, etc. On Idul Adha, it was impossible to forget that the meat was once a living, breathing cow. As we worked to separate the meat from the fat, other cows wheezed in the background, slowly meeting their end.

Below is a photo of a student holding up a cow tail:

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And here are some cow parts that were deemed inedible:

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After all eight cows were sacrificed and the meat was divided evenly into hundreds of packages, members of Insan Cendekia went out into the greater area of Gorontalo to deliver the packages to hungry families, as the central theme of this holiday is to honor Ibrahim and also to give to others.

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On Saturday, the holiday continued with different teams of teachers, students, and school staff members cooking a feast out of the Idul Adha meat and then visiting each other’s homes to share in one another’s feasts.

Here is a photo of a group of students preparing the food and then feasting in Bu Cica’s home:

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Above, L to R: Cica, me (Kelsey), and Trisna.

I’m completely in awe of this holiday and the Insan Cendekia community. The early morning prayer combined with community involvement and generosity along with the laborious activity of butchering eight cows and cooking throughout the day to feed one another is a holiday I could never have imagined. It was a truly exceptional experience, and I want to thank Insan Cendekia for letting me participate!

The last three weeks in Indonesia, August 30th-September 21st

After spending a week in Gorontalo, Indonesia at my school, I traveled to West Java for several weeks of orientation. 

Leaving Gorontalo…

All of the Fulbright English Teaching Assistants (ETAs) travelled to Bandung on August 30th to begin orientation. My site mates in Gorontalo are Clare and Grace. The city of Gorontalo has a population of about 100,000 and the entire province has a population of just over 1 million people. Here are my site mates, Clare (on the left) and Grace, at the Gorontalo airport:

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At the Gorontalo airport, you board the plane by walking out of the terminal, straight on the tarmac and directly to the plane. It is a little surreal to be surrounded by mountains and open sky while strolling out to the plane:  IMG_1799

Arriving in Bandung…

From Gorontalo we flew to Makassar and then directly on to Bandung. The trip took about 4 and half hours. In total there were 34 ETAs that gathered for the orientation training. Our time in Bandung was action-packed. Every day we attended sessions at the Sheraton on Jalan Dago (Dago Street) from 8:00 AM until 6:00 PM. The sessions ranged from meeting government officials to safety in a developing world country to teaching methodologies.

All of us are working hard to try to improve our speaking skills in Bahasa Indonesia. I studied for several months before arriving, but it is still difficult to follow conversations. At orientation, we were placed into classes with a Bahasa Indonesia teacher. We were able to learn more about the language and practice using the language; we also performed skits in Bahasa Indonesia in friendly competition with the other classes. On the last day, we each gave a ten-minute presentation speaking entirely in Bahasa Indonesia! Here is a photo of my Bahasa Indonesia class with our teacher Moko! Moko took us to eat at a traditional restaurant. (From L to R: Stevenson, Camille, Kendra, Jared, Hilary, MacKenzie, me- Kelsey, and Moko).

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This crash course in Bahasa Indonesia prepared us for various ventures which we pursued in Bandung, like bargaining at a traditional market, asking for directions, and having (brief) conversations with willing locals.

The traditional market was bustling, lined with booths and packed with crowds of people. There were 7 or more floors of jewelry, clothing, jilbabs, fabric, shoes, etc plus two basements filled with every type of food, dried, frozen or fresh, imaginable. Here is a photograph of the entrance to the market:

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Next here’s a picture of Clare, my site mate, bargaining for scarves at the traditional market. Clare says, “Berapa harganya? Boleh kurang!?” (How much is it? Can it be cheaper!?)

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During our time in Bandung, we also met the US Ambassador to Indonesia, Robert Blake. Below is a photo of our entire ETA cohort group with the US Ambassador to Indonesia (front and center) along with the Executive Director of AMINEF (American Indonesian Exchange Foundation), Alan Feinstein (front right).

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Every evening we explored Bandung, from various eateries to markets to the night scene! We traveled most places in angkots, which someone described as “an aluminum can on wheels.” As you can see in the photos below, safety is not a factor in angkot rides, but it is always exciting to pack as many people as possible into the van as you go rattling down the streets of Bandung.

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Above is a picture of us in an angkot after shopping for batik one evening. From left to right, Mark, Ramon, me- Kelsey, Clare, Grace, Izaak, Shalina, and Kelly.

While at the Sheraton, we were VERY well fed, food followed us throughout the day, a pop-up buffet everywhere we went. We also enjoyed pool time and even had a chicken fight in the pool one day. We had the day off on Sunday, a week after we arrived, so many of us went on hikes. The group that I hiked with is pictured below along with a couple of photos from the hike (in the group picture from L to R: Jared, Clare, Caitlin, boy Sam, Dalton, Julia, tall Sam, and me- Kelsey). We explored Tebing Keraton in Taman Hutan Raya and walked through caves that were built by the Dutch in 1918. We took an angkot from the Sheraton to get here. Boy Sam (in the red shirt) was an ETA in Bandung last year, so he knows the area well and suggested that we go to see the caves!

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However, THE MOST IMPORTANT part of Orientation had to be the three-yurt/pod basket-like dome-shaped houses positioned next to the pool. They were a favorite of ours. Most of our cohort group logged many hours in what we called “The Pods.” Here is a photo of “The Pods,” and below that, a photo of the hotel at sunset:

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Near the end of our two-week orientation, we welcomed our co-teachers. I was happy to see Trisna again after being away from Gorontalo for 10 days. We had a big welcome dinner together on the night our co-teachers arrived. Here’s a photo of everyone who is going to be on the island of Sulawesi. We have quite a bit of Sulawesi pride!

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Below is a picture of the Gorontalo Girls from the welcome dinner in matching batik!

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Each of us had a chance to practice teaching with our co-teacher at the BPI School in Bandung. It was thrilling to get up in front of a class and to teach together for the first time! Trisna is an exquisite teacher, and I am so excited for this opportunity to learn from her. Here are some photos from BPI:

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Above- Another ETA, Hilary, and me with a group of students.

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Above- Trisna and me after our first class! Below- another photo of Trisna and me.

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As we were on the bus pulling away from the Sheraton in Bandung, the hotel staff all came out to wave goodbye to us (see photo below). They were very kind and patient with us as we looked to them to practice Bahasa Indonesia everyday. They even gave us parting gifts, a lanyard with a USB filled with pictures from the two weeks we spent at the Sheraton in Bandung.

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I would say that the biggest take-away from our time in Bandung was to get to know one another and to develop friendships. The 34 of us will have each other to rely on throughout this year.

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Now that I am back in Gorontalo, I have finally begun teaching at MAN Insan Cendekia! I cannot express how amazing this school is. The respect that the teachers, students, and staff have for each other is inspiring. The kids are incredibly hard working and it is an honor to be part of their learning process. Also, the energy level is high and there is always much laughter in class while we practice English.

I am learning so much from Trisna. She relates to the students on many levels. I feel very fortunate to be able to learn about teaching at one of the top schools in Indonesia. Plus, the community here has embraced me and made me feel like I am part of Insan Cendekia… if you can’t tell, I am super enthusiastic about IC. I am trying to learn the school song!

Here are photos of the students illustrating their interpretation of “Imagine” by John Lennon:

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This past weekend, I spent with Trisna and Cica, two teachers at Insan Cendekia, and Clare and Grace, my site mates! We went to karaoke on Saturday night. Here is the group of us post-Karaoke:

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Then on Sunday, Cica, Trisna and I visited Clare’s site and had breakfast with her counterpart, Ibu Mut. Here is a photograph of Ibu Mut’s daughter and me:

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Next, we stopped by Cica’s Father In-law’s house for some pisang goreng coklat (fried chocolate bananas). Later in the morning, Cica and Trisna took me to a welcome ceremony for the newborn baby of another teacher at Insan Cendekia, Ibu Silva. Here is the photo of the baby with the traditional Gorontalo nose rub:

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After the ceremony we picked jambu fruit! (see the photos below). Jambu is pink, tiny, crunchy and bitter. You don’t need to peel it, and can eat one in one bite! It almost tastes like an apple, but not quite as sweet.

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On Monday, I attended Pak Yopin’s daughter’s 2nd birthday party. Pak Yopin is a staff member at Insan Cendekia and was so kind to invite me to the festivities! There was SO MUCH FOOD and of course, I had to sing… Singing is a big part of Indonesian culture and as a rare “bule” (foreigner) in Gorontalo, I am beginning to realize, that I need to be prepared to sing at any time. I am not usually one to sing in front of a crowd, so I sang a little bit and then decided to drop the mic and dance. Since dancing isn’t as popular as singing in Gorontalo, they found it entertaining to see the “bule” behaving bizarrely. Here is a photo of Pak Yopin, his daughter, and I.

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Sampai nanti! (Until later!)