I made sure that I was in school by 7am this morning, as I like being able to see my students for as much time as I can. And today, I was bringing some oleh-oleh specifically for certain students. I walked around with my backpack most of the day, trying to find the right time to give the gifts to those particular students. And I was only giving special gifts to students who had asked me to bring them something in particular and who had given me gifts beforehand. I spent the whole school day, from 7am until around noon, walking around and talking to students. I was really happy because I was able to talk to two students who actually wanted extra help with English and had questions related to English that they had wanted to ask, which is exactly what I am here to do. But I also had fun just hanging out with the other students, talking about music, movies, girlfriends/boyfriends, etc. I even watched the movie “Tomorrowland” with my X IPA-4 class on a projector in the classroom, which was fun. I feel bad that they are so bored in classes this week, but I kind of like being able to just walk into any classroom and talk to students at any time.
After school ended, I hitchhiked a ride home with one of my students, Cidik, who saw me walking back to PSBB. And then Fati picked me up, and we headed to a café for lunch with Aima and Yazid. It is always interesting to eat with people here, since Indonesians usually do not talk while they eat. To me, it feels awkward to be completely silent at a restaurant with other people. But to them, it is almost weird/annoying for me to ask them questions. So there was a lot of silence while we were at the café, which I was really hoping was normal for them and not just that way because I was there. I ended up having roti bakar keju susu, which is baked bread mixed with milk and sprinkled with cheese on top. I had no clue what that would taste like, but I was willing to give it a try. And it actually turned out to be pretty good!
About a half hour after Fati had brought me home, I was ready to meet my students in XI IPS-2, who wanted to rent bikes together. I opened the door to see three of the students who had hung out with me last time. I was hoping that there would be more students, but I knew that it would be fun no matter what. As we drove around the corner, I then saw about nine other students waiting for us at the front gate of PSBB. It was so cute! There were so many of them—like 12! That was enough to make me happy already, no matter what.
We rented bikes from a bike place, and it was only $8 for all of us to rent bikes. Of course, I treated. It is funny because I spend most of my money here on other people. But I want to buy things for my students; it makes me feel good. Although they often feel uncomfortable when I do it. We rode bikes for like ten minutes, and the entire time all of them were complaining about how hot they were because it was so sunny. I could not stop laughing at that. I was like, “You all live in this weather every day!” We kept going until we found a drink stand with shade, which was thoroughly enjoyed by all. And then we returned the bikes, after about a half hour. We then wanted to go get Es Kelapa (coconut juice) by the airport, where I was told we could take very good selfies lol. The Es Kelapa was delicious and very refreshing, as always. And then we sped down the airport rode, which is a very long and usually empty road on which many people often learn how to drive. We went sooooo fast, but it was so fun! It was just so refreshing to feel the wind brush against my face like that. This is why I love the motorbikes. But, unfortunately, right when we got off our motorbikes at the end of the road, I witnessed—right in front of my eyes—the wiping out of two young girls who were making a turn on their motorbikes. All of us ran to them, as the girls had completely fallen off their motorbikes. Both of them had many scrapes and cuts, but they were so embarrassed that they just got back on their motorbike and drove off. And then I felt very stupid for letting my students drive that fast literally just minutes beforehand.
On our way back to PSBB, we drove behind the airport on this beautiful little road. I loved it. There were many people pulled over to the side, waiting for the one plane to take off. Our airport here is so small that there are usually only four planes that arrive and take off each day. I told the student who was driving me, Siti, that I have been at this airport too many times, almost in a complaining manner. But I instantly regretted this, as I remembered that most people in Palangkaraya have not and may never be able to go on an airplane. Almost all of my students have never been out of Central and South Kalimantan, let alone taken a plane somewhere. So airplanes here are a luxury and are truly amazing for people to watch, which is why there were so many people pulled over along the fence watching with their loved ones and family. The sun was also starting to set, so it was just a beautiful scene all around. I wish that you all could have been there with me!
After the kids dropped me off, I then met Mackenzie a few minutes later. We haven’t seen each other since before the holidays, so it was about time that we met up. It is so much more convenient now that she has a motorbike, since she can just ride to my house. So, after chatting a bit at PSBB, I trusted her with my life and let her take me on her motorbike to you know what….. good ol’ Pizza Hut—for my third time this week! Lol. But honestly, I love pizza so much that I could probably eat it every day and be satisfied. But we must have been quite a sight, though: two bules driving on a motorbike into the Pizza Hut parking lot lol. I feel embarrassed just thinking about it.
After eating delicious pizza and being dropped off by Mackenzie, I then proceeded to pack for my upcoming three-day camping trip with a 12th grade class (XII IPA-4). Despite my consistent asking, I had received very minimal information on what we would be doing or what types of clothes or things I should pack. So, I just packed what I would expect to wear during three days of camping, and then I mentally prepared to wake up at 4am the next morning (aka, I went immediately to bed).