Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Tuesday in Bandung

This morning, following the roll call assembly with the faculty, Daniel and I wanted to observe Betty in action with teaching her students.

Today, Betty's schedule included four 70 minute session on Civics. These classes are currently studying various theories on the development of political ideologies and then applying them to life within Indonesia. In each class, Daniel and I were invited to add to the discussion. In one session I was asked to give the basic ideology behind American government. While there are many ideas within our framework, I suggested the idea of popular sovereignty as a significant ideology with the U.S. The ultimate source of power is in the hands of the people; the President, the Congress, and the Courts can only use those powers which the people have allowed. In another class, Daniel offered that individual freedoms, like freedom of speech, were important aspects of our political ideology. We compared this idea of freedom of speech between Indonesia and America. While both have the right to speak out or use the press against government leaders, Indonesian culture and law would not allow burning a flag or using unflattering images or effigies of leaders as a form of protest. It was a great morning of exploring ideas.

The afternoon was spent going to a market...on the other side of the city...to look for Batik shirts (traditional Indonesian clothing). The market had MANY shops with Batik for men. The problem was that Indonesian men are rarely found in my size; they are more often than not about 6 inches shorter and much smaller in the torso. Daniel is 6'4" and he towers over the Indonesians; there are giggles heard as we walk by and are especially made in his direction due to his height. I did find one to purchase, but not one in the colors I would have preferred.

On the way back to the Krida campus we stopped at the central mosque in Bandung. Outside of the mosque were all kinds of vendors selling clothing, shoes, toys, and, perhaps the most surprising considering it was still daylight during Ramadan, food and drink. While Betty tried to explain that the food was for when the sun finally set, it still seemed very early to have so much already cooked since it would get cold before sundown.

The evening concluded by joining Betty during her Tuesday dinner duty in the cafeteria with the students. While the teachers on duty sit at a segregated table, it was still nice to be able to interact sum with the students of Krida. While I was away from home and my parents for very short spurts for church camp and then eventually college (my college and dorm were less than two miles from home), it must be very challenging for these students to be so far away from parents for such an extended time during their mid-teen years.

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