After living in hotels for five out of the last six weeks, it feels so good to unpack my suitcases and settle in to my new home. I’ve been at site now for a full seven days. I’ve already experienced a number of mati lampus (blackouts), been to hypermart (~Walmart) three times, sweated my way through a zillion classes, and found myself being interviewed on tv. What a week.
While I was in Bandung for orientation, I had asked my school to fix up some of the things in my house… namely, the AC. They ended up putting plastic over the open space above the partition so the cold air stays inside my bedrooms but the light still comes in. It’s definitely made a difference and it’s comfortable now. It’s not super cold, and I often wish I was back in my room in Pky because the AC there was incredible. But it works, and I bought a mini fan that helps too. While I was gone they also fixed the outlets, closed the hole in the ceiling, and bought me a refrigerator! I’m very happy to have that and am now loaded up with fruit and snacks. I also bought a blender and LOVED being able to make smoothies in the morning! That is… until it stopped working this morning 😭TBD I’ll keep you posted.
School has been great this week and I’m excited to be back in the classroom! I really want to learn my student’s names this year (all 300+ of them!) so the first thing I did with every class this week was to pass out sticky notes and have them write 1) their full name 2) their nickname (everyone goes by a nickname that may or may not be close to their real name) and 3) their hobbies. I then took pictures of all the students holding their sticky note so now I can match names to faces! I didn’t do this last year and regretted it the whole year! I also made little seating charts of where they sit in the classroom (usually they always sit in the same place every day) so I can refer to that as well.
In one of my classes we brainstormed words describing personality from A-Z. We made a huge list on the board and then the students used those words to create acrostic poems of their names… Mine looked like:
We also began the visa conversion process this week. It’s really difficult to get work visas in Indonesia and AMINEF can’t get them in time for when we arrive in August. So instead they bring us in on Socio-cultural visas and then we convert them once we have all the paperwork. It’s still a 8-step project even then but at least we’ll be legal in a month or two? Anyways, the first of many visits to immigration occurred on Monday and then the immigration officials showed up at my school to “check” on things and to see my housing…
Kate and I ended the week with dinner here:
It was a great way to celebrate the end of a long, first week!
It’s great being back and being back for the long term. Last year, at this point was when we were evacuated for the first time. It’s crazy to look back at that now and think how long that lasted, when initially we thought it was only going to be for a few days! It’s weird to me to think I’ll be here for several months before I travel again. Last year was so much movement and travel I was rarely at site for more than a month at a time. But this year, I’m in it for good! I’m looking forward to next week and lesson planning with my teachers, continuing to develop routines, and exploring with Kate and Shelby!