HELP THE CHILDREN IN INDONESIA - YOU CAN HELP
-- The Masterplan --
What: In September of this year I’m going to volunteer in Labuan Pandan, East-Lombok, Indonesia. I will help at the elementary school - teaching the children English, giving them sports lessons, helping with practical courses, handing out clothes, and generally assisting where I can.
Why this post: I would really love to give the people something more permanent - something which will still be useful after I leave.
Most people do not have electricity, phones or an internet connection. Therefore it is hard for them to learn and practice English, although they are super eager to learn! If we could at least make sure that they can listen to proper English, it would improve and speed up their learning process a lot.
That's why I want to buy/collect MP3 players and fill them with English audiobooks and lessons! I’m also planning to put music on them because I believe that music will make everyone’s life a bit more beautiful. :)
Don't worry about practical details: Yes, the children can charge their MP3 players, at school.
How to contribute: now I am calling for your help! You could help me buy an MP3 player by donating 12€ via this link <imagine a link here which does not work anymore>.
With every donation, I can buy one more!
Or, maybe you have a working MP3 player which you do not use anymore, why not send it to me!
I already have a lot of ideas, but if you have any good ideas of things to add, please share your thoughts. :)
Please donate before the 4th of August so I still have time to order the MP3 players. Sending in old MP3 players and ideas is possible until the beginning of September.
Thanks for reading and let's see how far we can get!
A bit more backstory:
“What are your holiday plans this year?”
That's what someone asked me some months ago. The idea of going on a volunteering holiday had already been stuck in my head for the past couple of years, but finding a suitable organisation to volunteer for was not that easy: most of them are big / commercial / you-have-to-pay-a-lot-to-help. But then I found "Stichting Anak-Anak Lombok Timur", and I even already visited the Dutch couple that founded it.
In 2008, the Dutch couple went to Lombok for a cycling holiday and came across Labuan Pandan where they stayed at a homestay. As a tourist, you normally would not go to Labuan Pandan, as it does not offer anything extraordinary. The people in Labuan Pandan are very poor. When the couple first visited in 2008, toilet facilities were not present at all, and some people couldn’t even afford clothes.
During their stay, the couple formed a strong connection with the people of Labuan Pandan. Moved by what they had heard and seen, they founded a small organization to help the village.
To date, they have built toilet facilities, constructed houses, dug water wells and even built an elementary school!
For more details about the organization and what they have accomplished go to https://www.children-of-arai-village.nl/ or give me a call, because I can talk about it for hours. :)
If you would ever want to travel with 45 mp3 players, 3 speakers and 3 charging hubs; you will have to carry them in your hand lugage.
Took me only 20min to get through customs, mostly waiting ofc. Explaining what I am going to do only took 30sec. :)
Leaving Dutch grounds in 7min, on my way to the first stop: Frankfurt!
Raising your heartbeat for 15min is not a bad thing before going on a flight of 12h20min, I guess. (Note the boarding time for the 2nd plane: BEFORE I landed with the 1st one.) #running#sweating#made it
Took a scooter in the morning to Bengsal, joined a public boat to Gili Trawangan and went for snorkling. The sea is amazing, fish, the water, coral, fish, fish, turtles, just.. wauw. People are amazing as well talked to so many strangers already, Dutch, German, American, Brazilian, Indonesian (ofc). Then saya pergi ke pulang, where Alin was waiting for me; she loves my card tricks. :)
#nofarbverstärkung #lovethesea #lovepeople
Today I left Putu's home together with him at 6AM (omg I am on a holiday whyyyy). We picked up Sylvia and Imke, who are here to visit projects from small organizations like Anak-Anak. Ghey will fly to Flores today so we dropped them at the airport. After that we headed towards Selong Belanak, a nice place for me to start surfing! On the road we saw a lot of tobacco fields, which is a huge bussinness here. A pack of cigarettes is here around 24.000 Indonesian Rupia, which is at this moment 1.54eu. So it's cheap and a lot of people smoke. But, okay. The day was amazing, I could stand on the board, it felt good, the waves were small, but I had fun. Chilled with the whole crew from the surfing school / bar, had amazing 'Singapore noodles' and build bottle cap pyramides with a little kid. However, the day had a big but in the end.. One guy from the surfing school was stalking me and I felt really uncomfortable and even unsafe at some point. I went back to the homestay place which is super close to the beach and he followed me (don't worry mom just read till the end). There were 4 people from the homestay sitting directly at the entrance and one of the ladies speaks English quite ok. You are reading this so I guess you know me a bit, so you also know that when I am not okay, you can immediately tell. So all the people from the homestay did not leave me alone anymore and protected me. The rest of the evening I locked myself in my room, which was ok, I was awake already for way too long anyway. I am super thankful for the woman for making me feel safe and I will not leave before thanking her again. :) So yeah, not everything can be perfect, but for the one creepy guy walking around there were at least 5 good people to help me. Tomorrow Putu will pick me up for a scooter tour along some more beaches! (So mom, I am good and safe and know when something isn't right, but still.. maybe don't tell grandma.)
A day started with banana pancakes with chocolate cannot go wrong, right? ♡
From Selong Belanak via beaches in the south to Koeta and then crossing the island passing tobacco, rice fields and wild monkeys to go back to Senggigi. That coconut was delicious, in Europe we eat them all wrong.
Ps. Alin is going to be a super star!
Preparations for a cremation and the small temple for praying at Tanahembet (small village where Putu lives). Then crossed the island from West to East (~3 hours) to arrive at my new homestay family, in Labuan Pandan. Collected shells on the beach and showed them a video of handball. While and after eating I learned a lot of Bahasa! Tomorrow I will see the school and hopefully I can do something already tomorrow.
Ps. You get 3 chances to guess what Alin wrote. :)
Pps. Omg worst internet connection ever.....
So, I arrived at Labuan Pandan. The internet connection here sometimes makes me want to split my phone in two. At the end of the day yesterday I really didn't feel like posting a new step because the day before it took forever, but today I have new hopes!
The homestay where I live now is owned by Acok, and his wife Emi, they have 3 children Tiara the oldest, Tandrega (a boy) and Zema (also a boy). Tiara knows some English and she was a bit shy the first hours but now she talks to me whenever she or I come(s) home. Zema doesn't talk back to me but we talk in games and built a big house of cards today. :) Tandrega is always either inside the house or somewhere else with friends..
The brother of Acok is called Aris and his family lives a few places further down the road. His family consists of Erna (wife), Ririn (daughter) Titin (daughter and teacher) and Tandrang (girl as well).
Ririn is the best English-speaker of the family because she has been to Bali for work in a hotel so she's my translater. Actually, the next two weeks I will pick her up from home in the morning and we give class "together". Which till now means I prepare the lessons, teach and Ririn sometimes repeats what I am saying in Bahasa Indonesian.
The first day was complete chaos.
Ririn and I went to school, I met the head of the school and some other teachers, ok nice, and then I thought we would watch a bit and maybe say hello to the kids, but.. Apparently one teacher was not present so the head of the school said, ok please just give an English lesson. I was not prepared at all and I had no idea yet about the level. But I am already here for half a week and, from day 1 till now, I am writing down all words I want to remember. I gave a lesson about introducing yourself and colors. I have two classes junior high school and it was great. :) Ok it was chaos, but, nice as well. My hands were completely black after the lessons from the whiteboard which is dirty and does not get cleaner. I played volleybal with the kids during the break. After that I went back to the homestay. I wanted to be prepared for the next day but since the WiFi was crap ofc I went back to school, which was finished for the day, to use the WiFi there and prepare the next lesson. Every day it's around 30 degrees so I sat outside in the shadow and I had a loooot of energy and motivation to create a great lesson. After half an hour some kids came to me to see what I was doing and while continuing with my lesson I was entertaining them by letting them write down the alphabet and some random numbers I was shouting. Yes, not in English. The original language in Lombok is Sasak, apparently all islands have their own language, but Bahasa Indonesian is the national one. At this point I am already pretty proud of my level of Bahasa, I think it's already better than the English of the people and my kids here. Everthing I teach them, I learn in Bahasa as well! It feels a bit like a summer camp here, holiday but also a lot of learning. That all was yesterday.
Today, Tuesday, I had a small breakfast, I especially asked for just some fruit because I have been eating 3 times more, every day, than I usually do at home in the NLs. Then went to school at 7:20, with Ririn ofc. Today the lesson was really good and during class I could already notice that they learned something, which made me super happy. I finished around 12h. In the middle of the day it is too hot to do anything so just like a normal Indonesian person I slept just in my normal clothes somewhere in a public place. At the homestay there is a big table where we sit, chill, eat, talk. ON the table. I just lay down on the table and slept for 1.5h. When I opened my eyes Emi was sleeping next to me on the table as well, haha. Acok, and another guest at the homestay who is here for work joined at the table and I teached them two card games: Blackjack and 31. We played for 2 hours, Ferry was loving it and laughing all the time. He is like a crazy indonesian-chinese guy, super funny. Then Adham (28y, finally someone my age, those are hard to find because they usually leave the island), also family from Acok picked me up with the motor and we drove around to see some rice fields, the beach and the sunset. On the way back we stop at his sister's place who was making snacks and I got some ofcourse. The next stop is the small shop of his mom, where I go everyday to get some water and random other food I do not recognize. And every day she and her daughter give me something extra to try, yesterday it was some kind of fruit (jambu air) , today I got some super delicious sumping walu (pumpkin +coconut +sugar +rice flour, boiled in banana leaves).
It was 19h and I reached home again, while eating (again) I built a house of cards with Tiara and Zema and afterwards I went with Adham and Ferry to one of their friends. We had a guitar and sang songs. Perfect.
What a great day. :)
It took me now almost an hour to write this all down, so I hope the WiFi will not let me down this time!
--edited because of the typos: Thanks Peter, you were right, there were 100000 mistakes in this post. I told my kids today that they do not have to be scared to come to the whiteboard when I ask them because it is not bad to make mistakes as long as you try to practice. Good excuse?--
Today I woke up at 5:45 to see the sunrise at the beach. My natural reflex is to just snooze the alarm when I still want to sleep but I am glad I made myself go. And lucky me, I had one sumping walu left so I had breakfast at the beach! Sunrise and sunset both make me feel calm and relaxed and just.. satisfied. I think more people should sometimes just slow down a bit and just enjoy the small things. I noticed that it's maybe not that easy for everyone, but, as I told my students as well: just practice. ;)
After that I joined some small kids on their way to school, while we were walking in one line on a small path between coconut and banana trees we were together counting to twenty in English. They loved it, and I felt like a real guru.
Again, had a good day at school. Learned them to want / to go / a lot of places, so they can tell now where they are going when they leave.
The rest of the day was chilling at the beach while practicing more Bahasa, again playing guitar, inviting some more people (in Bahasa) for a snorkling trip on Sunday and..
When I came home in the evening the Indo-Chinese Ferry sat at the table with pen and paper practicing English from the notes I made. So even in the evening I continued teaching. :) It makes me feel happy that I can really help people learn something and that people are so grateful for it.
Here everyone says hi to each other, people just enter each others houses, people smile, people are curious and eager to learn. Living conditions are far from perfect but people here at least don't overcomplicate things and the people here are mastering the enjoy-the-little-things-skill.
Had the cute little kids today! Teaching them to count till 20. Look at how focused they are, trying to write everything down as fast as possible (which is sloooow), hihi.
Zema spoke his first word to me today. I asked him 'Hari ini kamu tidak pergi ke sekolah?' (Aren't you going to school today?) And he said 'sakit', in a suuuper sad way. And I thought NOOOO I DON'T KNOW THAT WORD. But now I do, it means sick.
Still every day I eat something I didn't have before, today it was homemade pisang goreng and a fruit of which I ofc forgot the name already. I also had a nice coconut banana smoothie AND because I lost a game I had to drink coffee. Surprise surprise, it was actually tasty. :') About food: Emi prepared take away breakfast for me so i can sleep a bit longer (check the ungu (purple) lunch box).
Finally I also washed my clothes, as you can see from the picture with the nicely designed piece of art to hang everything on to.
Last but not least, I prepared a lesson for tomorrow to teach about playing games and all the words you need for that. So tomorrow there will be a small tournament of gunting, batu, kartas (scissors, stone, paper) with a real medal for the winner!
Selamat pagi! (Good morning)
(I am actually writing this now on Friday so the tournament is today, whoehoeee :).)
So, it is Tuesday (Selasa) today and I know I really have to share some steps with you again!
However, I thought I only missed two days, and I am pretty sure that I wrote about the 27th and 28th already, but the internet here is sooooo terrible that probably something went wrong when uploading those steps.
Therefore, I announce today as catch-up day. :)
Another day for a nice matahari terbit (=sunrise) the beach is calm, the light is orange/yellow/soft and there are ants in my little bag of 'snacks'. I again bought some random 'snacks' in the small shop in the street, but it turns out the 'snacks' are dried beans without any added taste, so when the ants found them (after I had put them down for 1 minute) I didn't even care.
At school the kids teached me the game 'batu lima' (='stone five'), you have to throw, grab and catch little stones and it looks easy but it turns out to be more difficult than I thought. Which is why now after school I practice it at home so maybe in the end of the week I can beat the kids. But for now I already lost 3 days in a row, haha. Also every break there is at least one kid offering me something I do not recognize, so it's always a surprise what new thing I am going to discover today. Today I had a telur puyuh (een kwartel ei), yeah.. it just tasted like a normal egg. Further, I have some friends now over here (Ferry, Adham, Deny, Jaya, Arki and Iwan) and this afternoon I went to Deny. He catched a gecko for me because you hear them al the time here, they make a really weird super loud sound and I told him I never saw one. So, that's why he catched one and put it in a bottle. Deny and his family have a holiday accomodation with a nice beach view and I brought the laptop to prepare my English lesson for the next day. While he was 'working' I practiced some more Bahasa Indonesia and prepared a lesson for the kids about 'What is your favorite hobby?'. After that he showed me how to pick a coconut, so again a first time for something: picking my own coconut! Drinking and eating as well of course. ;) After that I went home again. Did I tell about Ferry already? Ferry is a mix of everything chinese/indonesian/laughing all the time/weird but in a good way/amazing/funny/a lot of hand gestures. It is always fun to have him around and every time when he sees me he tells me with a lot of gestures where he is going, asks if that is ok with me and I say 'okay!', haha. When I got home I saw him, and he says 'I have something for you', so I was already surprised but okay always nice if someone thinks of you when... buying TEN WATERMELONS. HAHAHA, so for some reason, he buys ten watermelons at the pasar (=market), the seller asks 'why??', Ferry says 'to share with friends'. :') :') This guy, you cannot stop laughing. 'Thank you very much Ferry! What do I do with this?'. 'Bring tonight, we will all eat watermelons together.' Hihi. Ferry is here for work, his 'boss' or the guy he works for (Ferry is translater chinese-indonesian) is a chinese guy who looks like a maffia boss and talks to his phone the whole day. The maffia boss cannot speak any Bahasa Indonesian and no English, so this results every day in funny moments. Tonight he did some card magic tricks, Ferry of course was completely amazed and I laughed so hard that I almost choked in some watermelon. After that I went to Deny again because he told me about something that only happens when it's dark. We sat on/in (?) a gazebo close to the beach, where close to the gazebo there were some big holes in the ground. We had to quietly wait, but as he promised I saw something I never saw before. Slowly, one by one, crabs were crawling out of the holes. And not some small ones, really big, big-spider-looking crabs. Walking strange and suuuuuper slow, until you move a bit and they are super super fast, running back to disappear again in their hole. Craziest thing I saw this week. Oh no.. wait.
The most crazy thing was Deny actually catching one of those crabs. He slowly moved to the edge of the gazebo, we made a plan he was going to close the hole of one of the crabs and I was supposed to run to one of the garden tools to try to catch the crab. However, we counted and the moment Deny jumped all crabs (there were around 15) went nuts and started running like crazy so.. in the end, I have no idea what I was doing and I just ran behind him, haha. Completely not according to plan he catched one of the crabs with one of my shoes. What a day, what an evening, what a night.
Everyday I start the day in class with asking my kids "Hari ini hari apa?" (=What day is it today?) and although I prepare my lessons I freestyle the way I am giving them. Sometimes I ask them to repeat after me, make teams and write down full sentences, one by one come to the board to write, and today I let them all write down their favorite hobby. Actually, I am quite creative, but back home in the NLs I notice that with everyday and every week being so predictable and always the same I can (/do?) not release my creativity. And I notice that in my lessons I really enjoy being as creative as possible. It's best when it's new for them as well, otherwise they will not focus for too long. So I try to motivate them every time with new games and new things. Therefore, today we had a rock-paper-scissors tournament! I first gave a lesson including words verbs, and sentences you use when playing games. First I tell them that the person who wins gets a price. As I don't want them to think it is just playing time I set a very important rule: "You can only talk English during the whole tournament. If you break that rule you are kicked out and you cannot become the juara (=champion) anymore. Siap (ready)? Ayo (let's go)! By the way, the price was a medal I made from a piece of coconut which I found on the beach. ;)
The kids actually wear a school uniform everyday, from Monday till Wednesday they have white with blue and from Thursday till Saturday (yes Saturday as well) they have brown, however on Saturday some children wear a special outfit, something with religion. ;) As you can see from the photos my hands and arms and sometimes shirts are black black black after every lesson but I love it. :) Means I worked hard!
After eating lunch Ferry and I walk through the village, it is small and till now I have only seen the main road, but today we walk the small paths between the houses and meet some more people who I never see. There are a lot of half broken houses, stones and trees lying on the 'roads' everywhere, and everywhere are walking chickens and dogs (dogs aren't pets here). We see a birthday of a little girl and congratulate her, we get pisang goreng and a fruit which is not sweet and not tasty at all. We walk back via the pantai (=beach) and see someone renovating a boat. All boats here are handmade by the people themselves (and they trust those to travel to the islands?!). It is very impressive to see someone building his own boat, but then at the same time you see that there are 10 persons needed to lift the boat with a big branch like.. 10 times. I could have been done in once but this is another thing I noticed here. People do not always think first, they do not really make plans, if they want something from the store they go (with the scooter of course) and if they later need more they just go again. After eating homemade sweet banana chips and catching a grasshopper (making Ferry jump from his chair) we went to the pasar malam (=market night, or night market). I didn't know what to expect, but I went in the back of a truck with some more people, it was dark already and there were a lot of stars. I was already enjoying the drive. And then, pasar malam turns out to be a kermis! Haha amazing, a lot of small mini-games, like throwing balls at cans, and trying to make a bottle stand with a rod with in the and a small ring. And one crazy thing I never saw before, a motor driver driving cirkles in a cone of 5 meters high, while we are standing at the rim of the cone, the whole construction is shaking and people are waving with money, and the driver is trying to race up and catching the money. This is really something I think you would never ever see in the NLs, no safety rules AT ALL.
When we drive back I get a dessert which looks like satay sauce, but of course it is (sticky) rice with something to make everything sweet.
Crazy day, I will keep it short - went with a boat (Adham, Deny, Jaya, Arki, Iwan, boatman and me), to some islands closeby. Snorkling, many fish, beautiful coral, lunch from lunchboxes and catching bulu babi (=sea urchins). Apparently you should be really carefull not touching the bulu babi, they are poisonous, but they told me "Don't worry we take medicine.". Sure.. that feels really safe. :') But, since we can sell them to the chinese maffie boss we are going to collect some. The whole day is.. I cannot explain, the sea looks so nice, it is hot hot hot, but in the shadow it is perfect, from the boat you see Lombok with the Rinjani (the volcano) and when going back the sun is setting. It all feels unreal and so so so different from home-home. I really tried to make some photos to give you the same feeling, but I am sorry, it is not going to feel the same.
I am missing my ukelele a bit, but in the evening Deny and I played guitar and I learned some guitar chords. Haha, as I am writing this I think, aaaaaaaah I am practicing something the WHOLE time over here, maybe that's why I am tired and have to sleep everyday 1-2 hours after school. ;)
Today we practiced kata sifat (=adjectives), in Bahasa Indonesia you would say pantai putih (=beach white --> the white beach or the beach is white), I have to teach them that 'beach white' is not correct.. During the breaks at school there are always some people selling food and today I decided to buy some soup and something from egg that looks like poffertjes on a stick but isn't sweet. One of the kids decided before leaving class that it would be fun to do a fancy handshake with me and now they all do this after every lesson. <3 Today is the beginning of my last week, I am going to miss them.. :( Since almost everyone here lives in the same street I just walk everywhere. After school I walked to Jaya, he brought a good camera when we went to the island so I go there to ask if I can get them as well. He is preparing to go to the soccer field, and since I do not have something else to do I join him. Everyday from 17h till 18h a big group of boys play soccer, the field is one big piece of land with only sand. There is this boy Hendra (the brother of one of my kids -Doni- from class), I guess he is maybe 16, he really wants to learn English so while sitting next to the soccer field, waiting for Jaya, I give him the same lesson as I gave my kids this morning. He learns fast and those are the moments I really feel super motivated and useful that I can give them something. In the evening Jaya comes to our homestay and after transferring the photos Tiara, Ferry and I play cards, a lot of laughing and joking. It really feels I made new friends and I don't want to think about leaving yet, but I did.
Al m'n verhalen tot nu toe zijn in het Engels, dus ik hoop dat mama of iemand anders ze voor je vertaald. Iedereen hier is super aardig en ik ben nooit alleen. Als ik zeg 'ik loop wel' zeggen ze 'nee, nee ik breng je wel met de scooter'! Ik heb het lekker druk met m'n engelse lessen en de kindjes zijn super schattig, soms wel een beetje druk, maarja ze vinden het gewoon leuk dat ik er ben. Ik speel ook samen spelletjes met ze in de pauze. :) Verder heb ik al veel rare dingen geproefd maar ik ben nog nergens ziek van geworden dus alles gaat goed! Ben al twee keer wezen snorkelen in de zee en heb super veel vissen, mooi koraal en zelfs schildpadden gezien. :) Video-bellen gaat helaas bijna nooit goed want de internet connectie hier is niet zo goed, maar we kunnen het nog wel een keer proberen! Hoop dat daar ook alles goed gaat! Maak je maar niet teveel zorgen en geniet maar van m'n mooie foto's. :)
I think I found a new method to teach English. :)Today during school I first made the kids write down the full lyrics of Bruno Mars – Just the way you are. (I wrote myself as well of course) After that I asked ‘Who recognizes a word?’. First some are shy, but soon they all started participating. It started with ‘I’ and ‘you’ and ‘and’, but soon they also saw ‘sad’ and ‘beautiful’ and ‘eyes’. All words I teached them. :) I think music is a great way to practice a language, you can write a lyric, listen to the pronunciation (while enjoying some music), start translating word by word, and in the end try to sing along. Writing, listening, reading, it’s win-win-win!
At 20h (jam delapan malam) I gave an English lesson at the school for some older kids, I prepared the whole day for it, even went to a shop to buy pens, paper and a new marker.
I also went ‘shopping’ with Acok, mister mafia and Ferry, they wanted fruit, I just joined and in the end talked with the lady from the shop, my first real conversation in Bahasa Indonesia with someone I don’t know at all. Before leaving I bought some random candy.
The evening lesson was good, a bit more relaxed and chill than the lessons with ‘my’ children because they can be a bit chaotic sometimes, so it was a nice evening! :) After the lesson I had a super long conversation with Iwan, he is one of the young adults here, and he told about how he experienced last year’s earthquake. And, about way more things. Setiap hari.. every day.. something or someone dazzles me. Iwan showed me that one of his friends (they almost call everyone a friend, this was a girl who was here last year to volunteer) send him a video with falling snow, recorded from a high building in China. “I like to have many friends so I don’t need to travel the world because my friends can send me pictures and videos! :)”
Yesterday evening a group with more volunteers, from Australia (also 1 Dutch girl!) arrived here. I did not really talk with them yet, but who knows maybe they will be my new friends.
Back in the NLs I selected a lot of music and files to put on the MP3 players. The first week that I was here it took me a long time to copy all these files from my phone to a laptop and then to the 45 MP3 players. I was a bit paranoid for copyrights etc so I didn’t dare to do it in the NLs and then try to pass customs with them. However, yesterday I figured out that I did not copy everything and that I am missing the music folders K-Z. O M G. But, THANK YOU LISETTE, I gave her the password of my laptop at home and the next day she immediately sent everything I was missing. The files were in my email.. it only took me 2 scooter trips, to find a location where the internet is good enough to download them. After that together with Adham I transferred the missing files to all MP3 players while drinking rice wine and singing karaoke (Indonesian songs as well!). In the evening we went to the pasar malam (kermis) again. Fun, fun, fun.
Oh god.. in the morning I find out that Ririn cannot join me to school (her eye is swollen and it doesn't look good), which means I will have to teach the children without a backup translator. But, hey, give me a challenge now and then, no problem! Look, I don't want to be sombong (=arrogant) here, but I had class 1 and class 2 today and it went pretty ok! :D During the break one of the kids asks me why I am white and he is brown; so cute, what should I tell him?
I eat my lunch (with super nice small fried fish) while watching Zema sleep with his feet in the air. The whole day I am already looking forward to tonight: karaoke :). But before we go, I quickly mandi in the sea with Deny and then everyone (Iwan, Ferry, Jaya, Adham, Deny and me) gathers at my homestay and we leave with 3 scooters, or.. the thing from Deny counts as a motor I think, damn that thing looks cool! On our way to Labuan Lombok we see a traditional wedding where the whole party walks from the house from the man to the one from the woman. We eat at the karaoke place and sing random (Indonesian) songs. The karaoke setup here is from 30 years ago, the computer does not even have a keyboard :'). By the way, never choose Sugar - Maroon 5, it's the worst for karaoke. But Ferry and I own Celine Dion! Everyone here loves to sing. :)
My translator is back!! In the morning I had a long talk with the head of the school about everything I collected and how to use everything in the most efficient and useful way. I almost forgot to tell: usually parents pay so their kids can go to school. If you do not have the money, usually, your kid cannot go to school. However, this school is a free school, to give every child a chance on getting education.
Thanks to all of you the school now has 45 MP3 players all with 967 files for educating the kids, 3 speakers, 4 charging hubs and 3.000.000 IDR to spend on other school materials as markers, whiteboard cleaning gear and books. :)
I could not have done this without you. And I never expected that I could give so much. I am sorry that I do not have photos or videos or any other way to really show you how touched the teachers, the kids and all other people who heard the story are. It means a lot to them that we want to help and that they get a chance on better education. So everyone, thank you. You made everyone here, including me, super senang (=happy). :)
Adham arranged that I can give a lesson today at another school, SMA level, which is higher than the SD and SMP I have normally. It was one of my best lessons! Maybe also because the class only consisted of girls: they pay attention. :p The teacher gave me a package of water cups and brownies at the end, as a thank you. :)
Tomorrow there's a wedding and tonight was the ceremony, the whole village went there, it was interesting and fun, but I was tired as well. Actually this afternoon I wrote a letter to give tomorrow to the new couple, thanking them for my personal invitation and wishing them the best of luck.
I asked Tiara what I should wear for the wedding tomorrow. Suddenly, Tiara and Emi are running through the house to find an outfit for me. And we find one! Tiara and I (she calls me sister J) will have matching dresses and Emi wants to do my make-up: super curious to tomorrow!
Last day at school.. bye bye kids you were great. :)
I was only at school from 7-9 because… have to dress up for the wedding! Tiara and Emi did a great job, I looked super awesome. And I really feel part of the family. :) The wedding is interesting, there is a lot of food, there is karaoke and dancing and a lot of people. The last few days I spend some time writing a letter (in bahasa Indonesia) to thank the couple for inviting me for the wedding. When I gave it to them they were genuinely surprised and smiling. Of course I did karaoke with Adham: an Indonesian song ‘Mungkinkah’. We do not stay that long and after 2 hours we go home again with the fam. In the evening I go to school, again. We had a farewell bbq/dinner with all teachers. Everyone asks me the whole day already when I will be coming back.. I don’t know. But I do know that I really liked it here and especially the people were amazing. Sometimes we talk with Google Translate but still, people said some really nice things and I will not forget about it. :) Apparently I am a great teacher and they love my ‘spirit’ (according to Google Translate). It was a great evening, thanks everyone!
Ending this day with playing cards with Ferry and Deny: love your rules Ferry, Deny can only lose, my abs had muscle ache from laughing. :')
Henk & Klaaske asked me for a new interview for Anak-anak, instead of interviewing 1 person i decided to let the whole village participate. I made a loooot of questions, an together with Iwan as my translator I walked through the village asking random people 1 question. We have been busy with our wawancara (=interview) for 4 hours! Next to that I finished a document containing all my English lessons to give to the school. Also I saw Ferry helping Emi in the kitchen, and a lizard!
Yesterday I asked a woman what she was going to do with her wheelbarrow full of coconuts. She told me 'serabi kelapa' at 6 o'clock in the morning. (the whole conversation was in bahasa Indonesia) So yeah, I woke up early to walk for 15min to get her coconut pancakes. :) The rest of our day was about our trip to the waterfalls (=air terjun) in Senaru! Because it's the dry season now there is not that much water (apparently) but the Tiu Kelep waterfall still looks amazing. :) We went with 2 scooters and a motor, i even tried riding the motor with gears and everything, but I let Deny take it over very quickly. We went with a pretty random group, but that's what keeps things interesting! Ferry, Mr. Song, Sarudin, Supian, Deny and me. On our way I try to imagine what this landscape should look like in the rain season, when everything is green instead of brown. I bet it's stunning. Maybe I have to come back once to check. ;) In the evening everyone watched Mr. Song preparing bebek (=duck) and while the duck with beer was on the stove I played with a ball with Zema, Tandrega, a good looking Australian guy from the other volunteers, and Supian. Great day again. :)
Went to get serabi’s again. Some children said ‘hello guru!’. When passing the shop of Adham’s mom I told her I wanted to go snorkeling at the beach with the serabi’s for breakfast and she said ‘oooh going to the beach?! Here! Take some water.’ She has a small shop, and almost every day I go there to buy something. She knows I will buy water there but instead she just gives me a bottle. Already at 6 o’clock in the morning she made my day. I think the people here do not see me as a tourist anymore. :)
After snorkeling I slept for 2 hours at Pondok Siola near the beach, love it, sleeping during the day. I wanted to continue with the wawancara (= interview) so 1 (and later Jaya) joined me as my translator(s) and again I talked with a lot of people. Too much to tell I will write about it in my final story. ;) After dinner I interviewed Acok as well. So, my last real evening here.. with Ferry, Adham, Deny and Jaya we drank a lot of rice wine, played guitar and had a super nice evening, night and.. <check the next post>
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.. morning, because we all slept outside near the beach! Ferry and I woke up Iwan to have serabi lak-lak for breakfast with us. And then, some sleep before going on a new adventure! Deny and I stuffed my big backpack with a tent, sleeping, gear and clothes aaaaand.. ayo! Off with the motor, to Pergasingan hill. The backpack was heavy, it was not really comfortable, but okay, adter some stops to eat and buy food and drinks, we made it. We bought tickets (I do 1not know exactly for what because there were no signs, no stairs, nothing, just the mountain. Maybe it was her mountain :').) First we went the wrong way, so.. +20min. After 3 hours we reached the top, it was heavy, lot of sweating, but somehow we made it WITH the big backpack. The tent was a bit of a challenge, after I ripped it with one of the sticks, we 'repaired' it with blister plasters, it went dark, there was a lot of wind, but we managed to build something stable enough for the night. We played cards and ate our nasi bungkus in the tent.
After eating breakfast (bread with nanas jam) it only took us 2 hours to get back to the motor. By the way, I forgot to tell that Deny has been walking/climbing with a broken shoe since yesterday 30min after take off. :p We drive a different route back which leads us through 'the jungle', the road makes a lot of ups and downs and turns, iy really is a rollercoaster. I am surprised that I didn't see any broken vehicles along the roads yet. We take a break somewhere to get some drink/ice thingy which consists of a lot of jelly things, coconut, fruits, milk and ice. Today is my moms birthday, so as a surprise I video call her on the back of the motor, congratulate her and show my mom and dad the road, the trees, the motor and the view. Haha i see my dad being proud, he cannot hide emotions that well, so, that's where I got that from. Then.. we reach Labuan Pandan again, I know I will see everyone now for the last time and I ask Deny to first pass by the shop of Adham's mom. I thank the ibu and Adham's sister for everything, we hug, and she gives me the last bottle of cold water for my trip. Don't cry, don't cry, good. Then we go to Deny's place, unpack the backpack and I also thank his mom and brother for everything. Bye bye. (A couple of days later I hear that the mom did not understand that I was not coming back and that she regrets not shaking my hand and hugging me. Damn it, I thought my bahasa Indonesia was good. :') ) Finally I reach my homestay. I take a shower and with Tiara and Emi in my room I pack my backpack. I got a gift from Ririn (on behalf of a lot of people), it is a box which is actually pretty big, but I promised not to open it yet. Emi and Acok said 3 times ooooh just open it, it will not fit in your bag. But, like a real engineer, I of course manage to get everything in / hanging onto my bag. From Emi I get a super nice yellow sarong as a gift and pants and Tiara wrote a cute letter, which you will see later. ;) Thank you, I don't need anything but you people always give give give. :) During my stay here I collected a whole museum of shells from the beach, I pick a couple I want to keep and decide to give the rest to Titin. I know she likes making decorations with it. So, I quickly walk to Ririn, Titin, Tandrain, and their mom (to their house is a 1min walk). Saying bye here was very difficult, sorry that I cannot be here at your wedding Ririn.. We hugged 3 times and I start having some tears. But Tandrain is always happy and we do our cool handshake for the last time so I feel good. Thanks all of you, you were so sweet and caring and I will not forget this. I walk back home to Tiara's, and I say bye to the whole family and my friends (can I say friends now?). I will not forget the 'sweet like me', 'never try never know', 'no what what', 'cheap cheap', 'you good people', 'why does everyone like you?', 'kamu bohong' and 'orang gila'. Ferry is not there but we texted a goodbye already. ;) From Adham I get a nice yellow+green bag, definitely going to use this one back in the NLs! Dekas, a friend from Jaya, was here today all the way from Mataram and Jaya arranged that I can drive with him to Putu's place.
Selamat tinggal Labuan Pandan. Terima kasih untuk semua.
The trip to Putu takes us half the day, the backpack is heavy and I am super tired. But together with another friend of Dekas we drink a beer on Senggigi beach. After that I have a deeeeep sleep.
Snorkling at Gili Nanggu with Alin! I cannot express this in words or pictures, the under water world is colorful and breath-taking, just super super beautiful. And: drinking rice wine and singing with a guy who makes this terrible ukelele sound pretty okay.
Call me crazy, call me gila, but today I took the scooter in the morning to drive 2 hours to the first geocache. Driving with the scooter is amazing, I listen music and enjoy the view. However, it's soooo panas (=hot) that I stop at a small shop to buy a t-shirt with long sleeves. I find the geocache and it's still early. I decide to go to Gili Trawangan (for the 2nd geocache) and to visit the nephew (Ketut) of Putu who works there. I park the scooter at a parkir and take the puic boat to gili T. Ketut and I drive with a tandem and later with a really cool bike with big wheels. It's crazy hot and the biking is heavy, but, I find the 2nd geocache! Whole Lombok, only has 4 so.. gotta catch 'em all! I decide to stay here for the night, Ketut has friends who have a guesthouse. Together with 2 of his friends I go snorkling to see some scooters under water, again, snorkling is amazing. In the guesthouse I got a crazy fancy room with 3 beds (I had no idea if I had to pay or not but okay, nothing here is reaaaally expensive). In the evening, I eat some food on sticks from the night market and I drink rice wine again, people play guitar, we sing, I meet dutch, german and italian travellers and Dana one of Ketut's friends shows me all his magic tricks. Haha I hate magic tricks... (which means I love them bit I don't get thethI decide to go to a reggae bar, meet a girl from Chili, had a great evening partying with her. And reached bed at 03:00h. First clubbing evening in 4 weeks.
Today, together with Ketut to gili Meno for the 3rd geocache and snorkling for the under water statues. The 3rd geocach is at a turtle sanctuary and I decide to set free 1 turtle. Would not have been here without this cache! Love turtles, omg they are cute! I am carrying the gift box from Ririn and Titin with me now for the 2nd day already, I want to find a noce location to open it, and here on gili Meno I find a nice spot on the beach, close to the statues. I take my time and open it.
Inside, there are hand made photo frames from ice cream sticks with shell decorations, together with tea which I told them I really like, and a letter. I don't know what to say, or do, so I just enjoy the moment. I will give this a nice spot in my room in the NLs.
"Goodbye nona cantik.. don't forget you have family in Lombok. we will miss you... Be careful.."
After that; back with the boat to Bangsal, picking up our motors and driving like two bosses back to Putu's home. On the way back we stop at Senggigi beach for the last geocache. But, omg, so dissapointing I cannot find it and the loggings of other people also say the cache is not there. Breathe, accept it, and.. let go. :p Tonight there is a celebrations party at the temple because of the full moon. The religion in this village is Hinduism, it's very different than the Muslim culture in Labuan Pandan, I remember Tiara telling me not to go out with my tank top, here in Putu's village the girls dance without long sleeves. Again I get dressed up, this time something from Sri, I don't know how, but everything they let me try just fits. At 18h we go to the temple. Omg so many colors, everyone in special clothes, people playing music on weird drums, a lot of offerings and decorations for the gods. The people must have been busy preparing for a week. To get to the temple you first have to walk a long stairs, I help an old woman who is carrying a big box while struggling to walk. Upstairs I ask a small girl if I can make a picture from her, bisa. After that she starts talking to me and shows me around. At some point we all walk in a parade down the stairs for some kind of ritual. After that, back to the temple again. All in a parade again, girls are walking with decorations with a lot of flowers, some men carry boxes accompanied with boys walking next to them with umbrellas. At some point one of the umbrellas gets stuck in the gift box on top of the head of an older woman and a fried chicken is stuck in the umbrella. Hahahaha. Of course this happens just next to me. :') So I give the lady her chicken back. Back upstairs I watch a whole ceremony with a lot of dancing. Everyone is watching, sitting on the ground. With the drumming music on the background. Damn this takes long. And damn this music, at some point you get a bit crazy from it. At some point I am so tired I almost want to go back to my bed, but then suddenly the dancing stops and a praying ritual begins. The people all sit down in rows and we pray using flowers, water and rice. It's an interesting evening. After the praying the party is over and we go back home to eat mie goreng. (@ 12PM) I pack my bag, with Alin lying between my stuff and check in for my flights and sleep.
Monday morning.. last day. I wake up late, Dekas comes and we drive a bit with the scooter to search for souvenirs, we buy some food and get back to Putu's. We eat and he gives me a bag as a gift, didn't expect that! Then Putu arranges a driver for me to Mataram and I say goodbye. I give Alin my last candy and I tell her that she can keep the ukelele. The guy with whom I sang songs while he played on the ukelele is also there and I say goodbye to him as well and joke that the ukelele is also for him. Putu is not here, but I really have to go.. I hug Sri and lift Alin, but.. this, usually super energetic, talkative girl now does not say anything at all. She just looks really sad and I think she tries not to cry. She didn't say goodbye at all so I just gave her a good hug and waved. Bye bye everyone here, and thank you! The driver brings me to the airport. I find a nice spot in a coffee place where I drink ice tea and ice latte while charging all my devices again and writing down the last days of my travel. I leave to gate 4, departure at 19:25h, and I am happy and grateful for the great time I had here and the lovely people I met. But I cannot lie, I am sad as well and don't want to think about working for 8 hours a day again.. However, I am looking forward to see everyone in the NLs again! But first, I will have to travel for X million hours. Ok ok maybe at bit less, but it's crazy long.