Sunday, March 14, 2010

Reading Week in Indonesia - The School Visit

This post is the sixth in a series about my reading week in Indonesia.
The previous part was about how we cleaned up the river. If you want, you can also start at the beginning here.
We didn't do manual labour all the time we were there. One of the goals of our project was to educate the local people on the importance of the environment. To that end, we visited a school and, in addition to showcasing our culture (hence the jersey), we educated them on the environment.

The night before, I was busy planning what to do to showcase 'Canadian culture'. I had my hockey jersey, but beside that I didn't really have too much to show the kids. So I came up with the ingenious idea of teaching them about the seasons! In Indonesia, they only have 2 seasons - hot season and wet season. So I dutifully set about drawing typical scenes for each season:
The next day, we headed out early to one of the local schools, all decked out in our cultural attire:
Here's my full get-up:
Not quite as impressive as the Japanese yukata, but it'll do.
Here's the school! (Tegalwaton is the name of the village)
Waiting outside the principal's office before going in:
My lesson plan! (The actions in the middle are part of the banana song, something totally unrelated to the seasons)
After that, I planned an activity where the kids would draw and colour maple leaves.
This group of girls was so bad! They were trying to talk in English, but they only knew the bad words like stupid!
Here's me showing a group of kids what to do:
Ta-da! Every kid got to put his or her leaves on the tree. And yes I know the colours are all wrong, but we only had so many crayons...mmkay?

Then, after a brief talk about the environment, the kids drew their favourite season:
Afterward we posed in front of the school with the principal:
We hung around after and the kids were glad to pose for some pictures!
The Asian peace sign is alive and well:
And a big group shot in front of the school:And that's it! To be honest I was worried about whether our message would get through, but I think our talk had a good mixture of fun, activity and learning so it wasn't too overwhelming. When we finished the mural, the kids understood the message we were trying to convey so I think we got through despite the language barrier. Oh and if you were wondering, I spoke mostly in English (except a few words like hot and cold when describing the weather) and Ta'in the camp co-leader translated.

You can move on to part seven (The Trash Cans and Signs) or go back to part five (The River Cleanup).


  1. Haha I have to say, the Canucks jersey next to the yukatas looks kinda silly :P
    And boy are you tanned! I'm snow white compared to you.

  2. YOU LOOK SILLY. and boy if you thought I was tanned then you'll cringe at how blackinese I am now.

  3. that's an awesome lesson plan!! i love the blue leaves on the tree. too cute. :)

  4. Why the local sports team uniform when you are in other side of the earth?
    Must be hard to represent your homeland when you are there many Asian players in Canadian pro ice hockey team like in American baseball team ?

  5. i was born in this place., Thank's you for visit my village. Tegalwaton is the kind of indonesia. Hopefully you can came again, and we meet to explore the wonderful of tegalwaton nature, culture and anymore about this place.