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Jakarta Day 4: Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Banner at school

A banner welcoming us to MAN 4 Jakarta, a madrasah (Islamic) high school on the outskirts of the city.

After returning to the hotel, we had an hour’s break to freshen up then we boarded the bus on our way to our first school visit. This is the school of Novianti, our Jakarta consultant, who will be the host teacher for Mike and Ursula. It is called MAN 4 Jakarta (Madrasah Aliyah Negeri) and is an Islamic or madrasah school on the outskirts of Jakarta. It took us about 45 minutes of travel through local streets and expressways to get there, and the bus pulled in to a slightly muddy open field next to the school that served as a parking lot. We exited the bus, and discovered a large banner unfurled at the entrance to the school in our honor.

Nikki-Matt-Doug with Headmaster

Nikki, Matt, and Doug with the headmaster at MAN 4 Jakarta.

We were met by the headmaster (principal), who walked us through the school to a small auditorium room (but all on one level) with a low stage at the front. On the way there we passed through two inner courtyards with plants, flowers, and vegetables growing. It was quite a beautiful setting. This school (and most others we saw) is built with an inner courtyard with several levels (lantai) that have walkways rimming the central court that enter into classrooms arranged on the outside, the entire building in a U shape, or in this case, a double-U shape.

Singers

High school singing group with traditional instruments.

The headmaster said a few remarks, and Sarah presented him with a certificate. The school had chosen two students with good English (they probably had a contest to determine this) as the Masters of Ceremony, and they announced the program. A group of girls in costume danced a traditional dance, students sang songs with percussion instruments, and a boy and girl sang with guitar and electric piano. They had practiced a long time. After the program, we had a question and answer session where the students prepared questions and read them to us in English, and teachers volunteered to answer. Most of them were fairly expected, except the one about what we think of President Trump. Mariya, the Director of ILEP, gave a carefully neutral, politically correct answer to that one.

Dancers 2

A traditional dance done by the students of MAN 4 Jakarta.

While the program was going on, they fed us snacks and plastic cups covered in plastic film with water in them. After the program, the students had prepared a meal at the back of the room. It was bakso, a kind of meatball soup. The meatballs can be either beef or chicken, and they are boiled and served with broth, rice noodles, green onions, and other ingredients. Often some sambal sauce is added to give it an extra kick, but the soup is tasty enough without it. It was very good, and has become one of my favorite foods in Indonesia. When Pres. Obama visited Indonesia, he was asked what his favorite food was and he replied, “Bakso!”

David with dancers

David Black posing with the dancers after the program.

After the program we talked with the students and took photos. One student asked me questions about this blog site (elementsunearthed.com) and our STEAM it Up dye labs. The students here are certainly well prepared, if they are reading our blogs to get ready for our visit. After saying goodbye to the students, we were shown around the school and then walked back to the bus. After boarding, we drove back to the hotel. I have to say, I was very impressed with the warm welcome and student preparation for our visit. It was a fun trip, and I am looking forward even more to teaching in Kalimantan next week.

Ursula and Mike learn dancing

Ursula and Mike learn some dance steps. This was to be their host school next week.

Masters of Ceremony

Two students chosen to be the Masters of Ceremony.

Bakso

Bakso soup, made from beef meatballs, spinach, noodles, green onions, etc. I added some red sambal sauce, which gave it quite a kick. Very tasty!

Casual group shot

Freestyle shot of the Teachers for Global Classrooms group with the headmaster and teachers of MAN 4 Jakarta, a madrasah high school.

MAN 4 Jakarta article

Official photo of our visit on the MAN 4 Jakarta website. The students shown here were part of a question and answer session we held as part of the program. I like that we are referred to as American gurus (their word for teacher).

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