13 October 2012

Kamal, Madura

This past weekend, Jordan and I took a working trip to the town of Kamal, located on the island of Madura (East Java). Kamal is very rural and crops cover most of the terrain. Once you are outside, you cannot escape the dry and intense heat.

Walking back to the guesthouse.
The guesthouses.

Madura is known for its kerapan sapi (bull races). 

Jen Kim, the English Language Fellow (ELF) in Kamal, invited us to give presentations to her Cross Cultural Understanding and Speaking (level) III classes. My first presentation was about me, my family, my life in New York City, the city's culture and attractions, life in upstate New York, my time in college in Ithaca, NY, describing the higher education system in America, and scholarships available for Indonesian students and professors to attend American colleges and universities. My second presentation was about the different cultures of Tanzania, Nicaragua, and Haiti, countries where I had worked or studied previously. I presented to about 100 students. Many of the students asked great questions about my motivation for coming to Indonesia to teach English, what differences I saw between Americans and Indonesians, the diversity of New York City, and American culture.

Jordan, me, and Jen at Universitas Trunojoyo. 

Students in Ms. Gita's accounting class.

Everyone wanted a picture with Jordan and me!

Two women pose in my photo of the perpustakaan
(library) on campus. 

A game of Ninja! to get things started.

Words/phrases used in Ninja!

Our last presentation at a pesantren (Islamic boarding school). 

In addition to the depth of Jen's experiences, I was able to provide more perspectives about other cultures of the world that she might not have had a chance to discuss in her classrooms. I learned a great deal about teaching from her as well. The experience allowed me to learn how to speak better to ESL students, deal with disruptive students, pace myself during a presentation, and manage a classroom. I am very happy that I was able to collaborate with Jen; our combined experiences created a richer learning experience for our students and us. So thank you Jen! I returned back to my site in Pontianak excited to teach with the knowledge I had gained.

Dinner at Terang Bulan (Moonlight) restaurant in Bangkalan, the town
north of Kamal and the capital of the regency in west Madura.

Lengthy layover in Jakarta equals playing pool at the Havana Lounge. 


  1. It sounds like a very effective partnership, and exactly the kind of collaboration the State department is hoping to foster. Selamat, semuanya!

    1. Thanks for the comment Jonthon! Yes, it was very effective. The ELF's and ETA's are meeting up again during midyear in November. So, yay! for more collaboration =].

  2. It was a pleasure to have you come visit Madura. Best wishes on this year. :)

    1. Thank you Jen! Have a great year as well. See you in November :).