I am still trying to figure out ways to get involved in my community on a consistent basis. I am also trying to find a yoga or karate class to join, and I would love to pick up a guitar again. In the meantime, I have been saying yes to any opportunity where I can help non-native speakers with their English.
On Saturday 22 September, I helped some students from Universitas Tanjungpura (a university in Pontianak) with a presentation on greetings. We sang songs to a crowded room of seven and eight year-old students at a pesantren.
Some teachers at the pesantren and university students.
A photo with the girls.
A photo with the boys.
A photo with the university students.
Today, Saturday 13 October, I volunteered at the American Corner, located at Universitas Tanjungpura. [An American Corner is an American Space - there are about 400 worldwide (11 in Indonesia) - that is used to promote English and teach people about various aspects of American culture (holidays, sports, food, etc).] Last week, I held the semester's first Speaking Club for university students and other people in the community not affiliated with the university. My presentation from earlier today was about junior high schools in America. I compared and contrasted junior high schools in America to those in Indonesia. I also talked a little bit about my background. The students went wild when they saw pictures of attractions from New York City, and they oo-ed and aahh-ed at the beautiful scenery of upstate New York.
After my presentation, I had a question and answer session. The children are no different from the adults and as usual, I was asked about my religion, relationship status, and where I lived. The students also asked me if I could sing and dance. I responded yes to both and, of course, had to prove it. So, I sang a song by Adele (they sang with me too!) and performed the dance from the Gangnam Style video (watch the video below if you don't already know the dance). The dance brought down the house! I enjoyed the presentation and provided them with my information on Facebook so that they could continue to practice their English with me.
The latest batch of my Facebook friends.