Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Songs to sing

We were a rare novelty to the Banda (Indonesia) residents and word gets around. This time we were both invited to a school to talk to students learning English. They not only wanted to know about us and our travels but being proud of their limited learned English, they wanted to practice on us. We were greeted by the faculty as we arrived with our plastic blow-up globe marked with our route travelled so far and a picture book of Vancouver Island.

We talked to 3 or 4 classrooms of about 20 students each. There are 100+ students that attend this school of junior high age. A video was being shot to show parents.

The students had many questions after each of our presentations and their English was praiseworthy although a bit rehearsed. They sang songs to us and 1 class asked us to sing a song for them. So after a blank stare, Jordan wrote on the blackboard the words to "Row Row Row Your Boat" and as soon as we started to sing, they picked up with a commendable chorus. To their delight, Jordan acted out the words so that they would understand the foreign English words. Once was not enough though. We can just see it now, when the next yachtie get invited, guess what song they now have to present?!

Ch-e-e-e-e s e

There were very few Muslims in the classroom. In the above, only 2 girls were wearing the head coverings and only 1 boy wore the cap. Many are either Christian or Catholic.

We were taken to a teacher room where we were served hot tea loaded with sugar and cake topped with sweetened coconut gratings. After a tour of the library, we were on our way back to Sea Turtle with 2 of the teachers giving us a ride of the back of their motorcycles, the mode of transportation in these parts.

As a side note, we have at times had difficulty getting cash from ATMs. Only certain machines coordinate with our Canadian bank systems. So in Banda, we had to solicit a Chinese merchant to exchange some US cash which we keep for this purpose. So far, the best internet was a small shop in Tual, but other than that, it has been poor to non-existent. This is all to be expected though as we so far have really been off the beaten path. So keeping up to date with the blog has been limited!

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