Sunday, July 22, 2012

Good-Bye J-Kart & Hello Bandung

This morning the TGC Indonesia cohort said our "see you laters" to Jakarta. We are now off in pairs to work with a host teacher and his/her school and community for the next week. I have traveled to Bandung (about 70 miles east and south of Jakarta) with Daniel Jocz from Los Angeles, CA; we are being hosted by Betty Rahmawatti and Krida Nusantara High School.

Krida is a private boarding school located on a mountain side compound on the outskirts of Bandung. It has approximately 600 students as part of its strict behavioral and academically rigorous co-ed program. In that most of the students and faculty members are Muslim and live on the compound, there is a mosque on campus.

After we arrived, Daniel and I settled into our rooms at the school's guest house. We've been able to access a weak wifi connection from one of the classroom buildings, but the connection is not currently strong enough to post pictures of the campus.

After settling in, we walked around some of the campus area. Although it is Sunday, a non-academic day and a day when many students are returning from their extended weekend visits home for the beginning of Ramadan, those on campus were still expected to participate in their daily exercise drills. We saw two large groups (probably separated by grade) doing their routines.

We then found a convenient store located on campus. Imagine the variety of snacks, drinks, toiletries, battery options, etc., from your local 7-11...Krida-Mart has it (or an Indonesian likeness). Daniel and I selected an ice cream treat and then went outside to enjoy them. It was not until later when we realized our Ramadan indiscretion in that we ate right in front of the several students who going in and out of the store. This was a culturally insensitive moment that we will strive not to repeat.

We continued walking and saw the campus's ambulance and small hospital. We then began the return trip to our guest house.

We saw a group of students with some falcons and owls and approached to visit. Upon approaching we noticed they also had no likey, LOL. We visit for quiet a whole with this students visiting about a host of topics from why we were in Indo to the class projects raising the birds and snakes to our thoughts on President Obama to Harley Davidson cycles. The best question was when one young man, upon learning I teach US History, asked if I believes that Abraham Lincoln was really a vampire hunter...we had a great laugh about that!!

Tomorrow we will actually be teaching about life in the United States and I'll be using my Prezi on Oklahoma. After the great afternoon visit with these boys and the fluency of their English, I think the classroom experiences will be wonderful!!

My best remote road roaming experience of the day occurred while typing this entry. While sitting on the porch of the guest house I could hear the evening call to prayer being made from no less than seven different mosques, including the one on campus. I'm not at all used to hear this, much less the quantity of them. While unusual, the multiple voices from various directions provided a mysteriously beautiful melody and harmony into the evening air.

1 comment:

  1. Glad you made it safely and are managing to enjoy yourselves a good.