Internationalisation trip (Surabaya, Indonesia)'12 travel blog

Day 2 (Surabaya trip'2012)

It was 7am, surabaya time and I was queuing up for breakfast. You may think that the food comes in packets and you have to seat on long benches. Well, fortunately it was buffet style so there was a wide variety of food, ranging from rice to omlettes to toast with jam or nutella. We ate in an open air restaurant with the view of greenery everywhere. It was not as hot like Singapore but instead, cooling as if there was a gigantic air conditioner blowing at us, reason being the fact that we were on the mountain.

Once we finished our breakfast, we boarded vans which took us to the village school. During the bus ride, we learnt that these buses were the school buses. However not all students have the privilledge to ride on them. The bus ride was longer but within five minutes of the journey, we could see students walking to the school! I was shocked. Surely, they had to take at least an hour before they could reach their school. Imagine they have to walk to school every day. We have public transport and cars to take us to school yet all we do is complain while most of the children here have walking as their only mode transport.

It was our first day at the village school, named SDN Dayurejo ll and the school compound was really nothing compared to Crescent. The entire school compound was the size of our parade square! I got a reality shock. We were so blessed yet we take it for granted.

When we reached, we received a grand welcome. All the students were dressed in full school uniform, wearing a red and white cap, a white dresshirt, a red skirt/pants and a cute little red tie that was secured with an elastic. They standing in straight lines to greet us. We heard a few speeches and at the end, we gave everyone a handshake. I was so excited!

That day, I was supposed to teach the primary 4 class english. We started by playing some games to break the ice. Then, we taught simple sentences of how to converse in english. Then tested them with sweets as an incentive and finally, more games. It was soon time to leave the school. We bid farewell to students who were swamping to give us handshakes. Honestly, I felt like a celebrity.

When we reached Kaliandra, after hearing an announcement which was the only thing that stood between me and lunch, I rushed to the restaurant. Once all of us filled our tummies, we gathered at the meeting area for further instructions. We played a brain teaser called 'Thinking outside of the box', performed by Romy who was the games IC of Kaliandra. Truely, the name of the game was really what it meant!

Later, we were divided into three groups. My group did batik painting first. We all had a square piece of cloth to deisgn on using pencil. Then, we were introduced to this tool called the tjanting which would be dipped into the boiling wax and used to trace out the design. Once that was done, the cloth was put into three types of liquids and then into boiling water to get rid of the hardened wax.

While waiting for our master pieces to be dried and ready, we went to learn javanese dancing. I was feeling very nervous as my forte was definitely not in dancing. We wore the traditional skirt with a distinct scarf. Then we started learning the steps which luckily was manageable.

Once that was done, we went to learn how to make Gamelan music. We got to choose any instrument we wanted and so I took the gong. We followed a sheet of numbers which was their version of a musical score sheet. The outcome was awesome! It was a totally different way of making music yet it sounded melodious. It was finally time to return back to the hall however we were reluctant.

When we reached, it was time for dinner so all of us went to the restaurant for another savoury meal. The food there was once again beyond our expectations and it seemed as though we were eating at a five star restaurant. After second helpings, I walked to the meeting place. I was curious of what we were going to do. What was NLP programme?

It turns out that it was called Neuro Linguistic Programme, which would be teaching us to have a positive and determined mindset in order to achieve something. There were two experiments. The first one was to try and drop a lightbulb and crack a tile. The other was to use a rolled up newspaper to break a pure metal bar. I was skeptical. I thought that the chance of it working was like believing pigs could fly. A volunteer came up to try this experiment. After a few tries, she finally did it! She cracked the tile without breaking the lightbulb. I was stunned. How could this be? Well, I guess it was successful because the light bulb landed at the correct angle and at the right time.

It was a very enjoyable day. A day where I learnt alot more about culture, dance, music and how to think positively. I am sure that what I have learnt would be of use in the future and I hope that the next day would be fruitful too!

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