Monday afternoon in Jakarta

Day 1 sore Jakarta SMKN 29
Just before we headed home, I joined in on a class studying citizenship. The teacher who led this class did a great job. I was so impressed with her teaching style and her professionalism. I also learnt about Indonesian elections and how they differ from referendums. Many of the abbreviations I had no idea about but what I really enjoyed observing was her teaching style. Sitting in front of me was a boy who talked the entire time and constantly disrupted 2 boys sitting nearby. She totally ignored him and the boys who were distracted and focused instead on those who were conscientious and making an effort. When the noise level got too loud, it was the students who turned around and shh’d him and his friends! Her rapport with her students was clear to see.
Unfortunately she like most of the teachers here has a very long name and I keep having to ask Bu Valentina for her name. I can only remember one teacher’s name here (other than Valentina & Asep) and that is Ibu Haji. For some reason that name has sunk in; probably because I already know the word ‘haj’ from where she gets her name! (‘Haj’ means she has been to Mecca)

20130604-143617.jpgthe amazing Bu Solainim

20130604-144534.jpg The Hilarious Bu Haji
Home yesterday via a shopping mall by taxi to catch up with 2 other teachers (Ibu Haji & Ibu ?) from school and also to top up my pulsa on the ipad. For some reason ever since being in Jakarta, I cannot access the internet with 3G, I have to use wifi. I have no idea what the problem is. The fellow in the shop tried for ages to work out the problem with no success and we finished thinking maybe the problem is with Telkomsel, my provider, but as it is still not working, it must be something else. I am wondering if I have reached my download limit and maybe need to top up more than just RP50,000. Bu Valentina says there is a shop closer to her house that we can try next but I am thinking I will probably have to wait till I get to my next school where lots of people use ipads (very wealthy private school) before I find someone who knows about ipads specifically.

We got home about 7pm and even though we had eaten at the mall, Bu Valentina cooked dinner with the veggies we had bought from a small market on our way home. It was terrific at the market. People shopping from their motorbikes!

Halfway through cooking pepes jamur dan tempeh (steamed mushroom and tempeh parcels) for dinner, the gas (lpg) ran out, so Bu Valentina put her jilbab back on and we went for a walk to find someone who could supply a new gas bottle. No luck so she planned to try further afield when Bu Valentina received a phone call from a very worried student. He had rung to confess that he had been coerced to steal another student’s helmet. One of the first questions BU Valentina asked him was how many points was he on. His answer was 97. For each misdemeanor, students ‘earn’ points. If you are late to school that is worth 1 point, if you are away that is 3 points, stealing is 50 points. These points all add up and once you reach 1000, you are immediately expelled. Once you have been expelled, the only school that will accept you are the cheaper private schools, so being expelled is very serious. I asked Bu Valentina’s Mum why the student had contacted Bu Valentina and not his parents. She said it was because the student felt safer telling the school! I then asked Bu Valentina why he had rung her and not his parents and she explained that probably his parents were still commuting and wouldn’t be home till late, so it was easier to talk to one of the vice principals. I think too, he thought he had the best chance with her onside as Bu Valentina is such a sweetie and if he was truly coerced, then she would argue his case. She repeatedly told him, “if you aren’t telling me the truth, then I won’t hesitate to expel you!” I hope for his sake he was telling the truth because if he is expelled he won’t be able to sit the exams today and he will have nothing to show for his year here.Poor Ibu Valentina was really upset by this understandably.
Once dinner was cooked, we ate and then went straight to bed! I love staying with someone who appreciates the benefits of early nights! It was a very long day but a very interesting one. So much happened!

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