Here we are, 49 teachers and some of their children heading towards the beach of Anyer. We were scheduled to leave at 7am and got away just before 7:30 which is actually very impressive for Indonesia! We are on a bus with decorative curtains along the front windscreen complete with hanging decorations and stuck to the outside of the window is the name of the school together with the purpose of our trip;”Gathering”.
The bus has so many seats, the space in between seats is just enough for legs. Bags have to be either put up in the ledge above the seats or on laps. There are also 5 seats across, 2 on the left side of the aisle and 3 seats on the right hand side of the bus.
As we drive along, we have one of teachers roving through the bus taking photos as well as threatening to photograph anyone caught napping throughout the day! We also have 2 teachers on the microphone (which couldn’t possibly be any louder) outlining the program making lots of jokes. Their patter is exactly like warming up a tv audience before a show. They are using very informal language and everyone is laughing, shouting and cheering! It sounds as though we are going to have lots of fun along the way with lots of audience participation!
We are having a break from the jokes and instead are watching karaoke videos on the drop down tv screen at the front of the bus. The microphone hasn’t been turned down yet and is being handed around the bus so teachers can sing along with the lyrics. It is extremely loud! Some of the teachers have absolutely beautiful voices. The first karaoke video was mainly songs from the 70’s and was finally replaced with modern dangdut because some of the singers were complaining the first songs were older than they are! Everyone is ecstatic with the dangdut!
After a quick toilet stop, we are off again. It is nearly 9am. The scenery has changed and while before went from houses to highly industrial, it is now agricultural. Rice fields, green paddocks line the toll road we are on.
Here we are at Anyer. We were welcomed with a kelapa mudah drink
and then sat down under the marquee drinking it while we were welcomed by our 2 m.c.’s, the same 2 people from the bus who had been telling the jokes. Pak Hadi was invited to say a few words, so he began with a muslim prayer before formally welcoming us and encouraging the staff to make the most of the team building that would happen today at Anyer. The microphone is once again here very loud and I had to move behind the speakers so as to be able to cope with the high volume. Pak Hadi then handed the microphone back to the m.c’s who asked us to make groups of 10. I ended up in team dua. Once each team was formed, a male & a female from each team was told to come to the front while the rest of us sat down to watch. They had to move from a starting point to the finish line while holding a balloon between their bodies without using their hands. However the pair that got the most points wasn’t the duo who crossed the line first, it was the pair who had moved in the most entertaining way! It was hilarious. Lots of dangdut style dancing! The next game involved groups of 5 all balancing on a doormat while simultaneously moving the doormat to the finish line! Very hard to do and the only team that didn’t cheat was the one that moved the shortest distance! The third & final game before lunch involved whole the whole team. I did not understand the directions and was puzzled when the women started undoing their kerundungs (scarves over their head) and men removed their belts! Turns out we had to use only what we had to make a line from the starting line to the finish! After headscarves & belts were laid top to tail, shoes were then used to complete the distance! Our team was still short of the finish line, so one of the men took out his shoe lace and that helped us to cross the line!
The buffet lunch was then opened and eveyone helped themselves to lunch while being serenaded by one of the m.c.’s who sang all through lunch. The keyboard then continued on automatic while the keyboardist and singer had their lunch. The noise was finally quietened at midday when everyone headed off for midday prayers. While the adults are praying the children continue playing in the pool!
The games have continued along with the backup keyboard! This game is a variation of one SMKN 29 Jakarta played on their ‘outbound’ outing to Jogya. Containers have to be filled up using a sponge only. Meanwhile another group which arrived shortly after we did are also beginning their team building games. Their first game is to straddle a colourful log and try to knock your opponent off into the water below using a bag of something which hopefully isn’t too hard. Bu Sovia says it is usually a pillow! !
Bu Sovia, Mita, Bu Dina, Pak Yatim
The program wound up shortly after 3pm with the announcement of the winning team and the distribution of prizes. Each team leader was given a huge parcel wrapped in brown paper and in each one were towels! A very clever prize considering all the last activities involved the pool!
While we were all collecting our prizes, Bu Wulan repeated Pak Hadi’s offer of returning to school in the support car instead of the bus so that I could avoid the karaoke singing and other loud uses of the microphone. I felt a real party pooper but just the thought of another 3 hours listening to extremely loud singing and talking made me feel ill. I then felt even worse when it was further decided that Bu Sovia & her 2 children should join me in the car so that we could be driven straight home together because her 2 children were really disappointed to miss the fun and games! However, looking back, we were all relieved we came home by car as the traffic was terrible. As Bu Sovia said, our day trip to Anyer was spent with 8 hours on the road and 3 hours at the beach! So all up the return trip took 5 hours and had we come home on the bus with everyone else, it could have taken up to 6 hours even though we came home via the toll road. Thus is the life for Jakarta residents who head out of this huge sprawling city for a day trip!