March 11, 2010

Every other Tuesday a few friends and I teach an English class to a group of Indonesian kids.  This class started out as more of a preschool storytime, but as word got out that we were teaching English, more and more elementary-aged kids started coming.  We now have a group of about 25 regulars who come for singing, games, and crafts.  It's been fun to get to know some of the kids in our neighborhood, as well as their moms who come and sit in the back and learn the Hokey Pokey and other silly English songs with their kids.

A few months ago, when an influx of older kids started attending, I was a little surprised when they all started taking my hand when we were saying goodbye, and touching it to their foreheads.  I have seen Indonesian kids show this sign of respect to their parents when being dropped off at school - and I've even jokingly tried to get Carter and Grace to do it when I drop them at school - but I was unprepared for our English class kids to start doing it to me.

Tegar bids me farewell

Now, here is something I just noticed after looking at this picture closely.  It appears that on Tegar's shirt is a skateboard with an attitude, giving us the middle finger.  It's a bit ironic, isn't it, that Tegar is being so polite (and he is one of our nicest students) while wearing this crazy t-shirt that he probably doesn't even realize could be offensive.

We are very glad to have our friends the Forneys back from their furlough.  Carter and their son Britton are big buds, and they relished the opportunity to dissect a cow bone recently.

Science was never something I was enthusiastic about doing when I was home schooling the kids, so I'm very, very thankful to have our teacher Lynne.  She has been a wonderful teacher for our kids, and we're really going to miss her when she heads home at the end of May.

A few weeks ago Grace and Zoe went to their first dance class.  I never would have imagined they would have the opportunity to take ballet on our little far-flung island.  An Indonesian friend arranged the class with a local aerobics instructor, and while it isn't the kind of ballet class I grew up with, the girls don't know any better and really seem to enjoy it.  Zoe mostly goofs off, as you can see in the picture below.

We are off to the island of Derawan this weekend for a snorkeling trip.  It's a three-hour boat ride away, and I am looking forward to laying on the beach with my book (Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer - it will be hard to imagine the ice and thin air of Mount Everest while relaxing in a tropical paradise - but I'll do my best).

Sampai nanti,