Monday, August 31, 2009
Saturday, August 29, 2009
This gem of a job advertisement caught my eye as I was leafing through The Jakarta Post, the major English language newspaper of Indonesia, on the flight from Hong Kong to Jakarta. After having a good chuckle over the requirement for a "good looking" English teacher, I finally arrived in Jakarta safe and sound after nearly two days of constant travel. The only mishap was that my sassy new magenta luggage tag with the theft-deterring slogan “My clothes won’t look good on you” was stolen. Oh well. It was a small price to pay for having all of my luggage arrive.
On the bright side, I am now a huge fan of Cathay Pacific airlines. Their in-flight entertainment tops everything I’ve seen to date. Not only do you have a personal TV screen at your seat, but you can choose when to start your movies, you can pause them to go to the bathroom and (hold on to your seats) there are over 100 movies to choose from! And to add to the fun, under the “games” option, there is a language learning game from Berlitz that included Indonesian! So, after watching three movies on two different flights, I practiced my numbers, days of the week and mini-conversations by clicking on pictures and zapping space craft. As a language geek, I think this is a great idea and should be available on all international flights.
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Welcome to my blog about my year as an English Language Fellow in Gorontalo, Indonesia! This program is funded by the U.S. Department of State and administered through Georgetown University. I will be teaching for 10 months at Gorontalo State University (aka Universitas Negeri Gorontalo) on the island of Sulawesi.
I was thrilled when I found out I was going to be sent to Indonesia. I hear the people are friendly, the language is easy to learn, the food is good (depending on who you ask) and the town I’ll be working in is supposed to be gorgeous and close to some of the best diving sites in the world!
So what have I done to prepare myself for this big adventure? Well, I’ve been trying to learn some Bahasa Indonesia with Rosetta Stone and the free podcasts on www.learningindonesian.com. I got my PADI open water diver certification so I’ll be all set to go diving when I arrive. And probably most usefully, I’ve been emailing with Jonna, the Fellow who was in Gorontalo last year. I’ve asked her a million questions - everything from what should I wear when I’m teaching to how will I be viewed by the locals as a single, unmarried 31 year-old woman in a country where most women get married by around age 24 or 25. (Thank you Jonna for all of your excellent advice!!).
So, although I know a little bit what to expect, I’m sure that this coming year will be full of new, challenging and interesting experiences. And it is my intention to keep you - my friends, family, former co-workers, professors and all other interested parties – informed about all the funny, unusual, profound, baffling, frustrating and otherwise memorable things that happen this year.