Monday, July 30, 2012

Final Moments in J-Kart

It is nearly time to end this experience in Indonesia.  We depart from our hotel before 5:00 AM so as to get across Jakarta to the airport.  Here are some final images from my time in this city.

Inside the top of the closet is this sign to indicate the direction of Mecca.
The hotel is in a Muslim majority country and has a lot of Muslim guests.

Signage for Ramadan over the entrace to hotel's restaurant

Restaurant for our final meal together

I ordered the Nasi Kapau from the Padang Sumatera region of Indonesia

I'm was not able to finish eating all of it, but it was wonderful!

Debrief Session

All of the morning and much of the afternoon for our final day in Indonesia, the eleven TGC teachers were guided by a representative from IREX (organization which facilitates the TGC program for the US Dept. of State) in a session to debrief on our time here.  While I felt as much of the session could have (and probably should have) been facilitated at a later date and once we were back home in the United States, there was one portion of the session that I found rather meaningful.

We created a "T-chart" for some of our experiences while in Indonesia.  In the narrow left-hand column we listed a one or two word emotion or thought as a theme and then in the right-hand column we placed several bullet points with detail of an event during our time "in country" which relates to that theme.  While Blogger makes it difficult to replicate the T-chart here, I'll do my best to present a few of my take-aways:

  • mysterious harmony of a least seven different simultaneous calls to prayer from a variety of local mosques
  • store racks filled with Batik clothing filled with vibrant colors
  • "Lady Gaga" horse at the volcano near Bandung
  • students "animal club" at Krida with owls, hawks, and snakes
  • being constantly saluted by students at Krida
  • long drives EVERYWHERE even when distance was close
  • being told "it's closed because of Ramadan"

It's always good to provide appropriate reflection on the experiences that we have.  Roaming the roads of lands remote does not come without its challenges, but the encounters are often filled with amazing opportunities.  Reflection on such allows us to let our experiences become a deeper and more meaningful part of our lives and to help us grow and mature into our future.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Return to J-Kart

We rose early and left Krida and Bandung around 7:30 AM.  We then made the 150 km trip in just over two hours which included a pit stop for "the facilities" and a morning pick-me-up at Dunkin Donuts.  Each Betty, Daniel, and I selected to tasty eats and a coffee drink.  Betty had pre-cleared it with our driver for us to eat in the car as we continued on to Jakarta; our driver was, like most Indonesian Muslims, fasting as part of Ramadan but was ok with us eating in the car.

We arrived at the Park Hotel shortly before 10:00.  The original schedule which TGC had given us called for all of our pairs to be at the hotel by 1:00 and then we would continue with events as a collective group.  Somehow a message had been circulated amongst the host teachers to arrive earlier and then have more city site-seeing time.  However this message was not clearly received by one pair and they ended up not being with us for most of the afternoon.

We went to the old colonial capitol building in Jakarta which has now been turned into a museum.  This area of J-Kart is called "the old city" and there have been some attempts to spruce it up as a tourist attraction.  Some sprucing might have occurred a decade ago but I'm not sure how many tourists were actually informed.

Following our time in the museum we were hungry and found a place to grab a small lunch.  The "chicken sate" that I ordered...and even photographed before eating...wasn't exactly what I thought I was getting.  It was cold and far from tender and upon closer examination the collective conclusion was that it was intestine (possibly from a bird) but NOT anything close to what any of us had come to know as chicken sate.  Let's just say the "mystery meat" was a bit too far outside of my comfort zone.
David, Jodi, Daniel, Susanna, Heather, Jeanne, and Cora

My described above...was NOT enjoyed or finished

Monkey in the restaurant.  I gave him a lime to eat; he seemed to like it.
After lunch, the old town square in front of the old capitol (now museum) was bustling with activity.  People from a select "counter-culture" within Jakarta had gathered for a concert by the music group Slank.  We people watched for a while.

Yep, that's me in this gang of young ruffians

Oh, Susanna is now a Slank fan
Our group finally returned to the hotel at which point we were finally reunited with the final pair in our collective delegation.  After getting settled in to the hotel, most of us departed for some shopping at a gem market and a Batik store before finally catching a late dinner.  Tomorrow will be a time for our cohort to debrief as a team on our experiences at our host schools.  I think their could be some interesting stores (some have already been shared).

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Out and About in Bandung

Here are some images of being out about in Bandung, Indonesia over the past week.
Ramadan food specials for the non-fasting hours (dark)

motorcycles EVERYWHERE

scarves and head hijabs for the ladies
Batik prints for the men

for the faithful and fashion conscious girls

helmet fashion

a taste of home

the shops on "Jeans Street"

Dim Sum

Ramadan movie and snack package at the theater

Ramadan gift baskets

if you see this traffic sign BE VERY AFRAID

variety of bananas

dragan fruit