Let’s Celebrate: Let there be FIRE.

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Last week kicked off with new student orientation (for grade I, meaning grade 10 students). Grade II and III (11th and 12th grade) students still had vacation. I began giving the teachers English lessons and before I knew it, the entire room was throwing out random English words, and speaking to each other in very broken English (hey, I’m here to fix that). It was hilarious and heartwarming at the same time. They say the funniest things. One of the science teachers asked me in front of all the other teachers how to say the reproductive organs…. before I knew it he was blurting out “Penis! Penis!”…but I also learned that “burung” or bird is Javanese for Penis. So “potong burung” or cut bird, means circumcision.

The week was full of doing lots of curriculum planning and scheduling, but also consisted of a lot of sitting any hanging out. What I thought was going to be a busy week of lesson planning turned into teachers receiving massages from one another in the teacher’s room (a big classroom), chatting, eating, sleeping, clipping their nails, watching a Barbie show, watching soccer games, and some worked! On my way to the restroom, I passed by my host sister (staff member) fixing some other female teacher’s eyebrows in the storage room, with a razor blade. There were about 3 teachers waiting to get their eyebrows fixed, but my host sister said “usually, the line is longer!” I joined them and we ended up having great conversations about the differences between American and Indonesian culture, about Thanksgiving, guns, drinking, marriage. Then proceeded to imitate different sounds animals make in our cultures…dogs in America bark “woof woof” while dogs in Indonesia bark something completely different. We came to the conclusion that all sheep make the same sounds everywhere. So relaxed! Of course all of this was happening while the principal was away.

On Saturday night, to close orientation week, all of the 10th graders camped out at the school. The ceremony/camp out included a MASSIVE bonfire (sans marshmallows, maybe next year)… now I understand why every day, all of the students brought firewood from home. Here are some photos I took from that event. More to come—-

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