My host mom is the sponsor of an Islamic boarding school in Bogor. I’ve been there a decent amount this year.
Well, my host mom decided that the students, some of them orphans, should get a brief weekend vacation and paid for them all to go to villas in Puncak. Puncak is a mountain getaway an hour or two outside Bogor.
Naturally, Sabrina and I were invited.
I’ll admit that I was nervous. I had only ever spent an hour or two max with these kids. I didn’t know if it would be awkward. Furthermore, my host mom wanted me to teach them English.
We got there late at night. When I got up the next morning, the kids had already been up for 2.5 hours. Benefits of 4:30 AM prayer.
They were all busy swimming. They didn’t have special swimming clothes to swim in, so they just swam in what they were wearing and changed later.
While they did that, Sabrina, one of the older girls, and I went on a walk.
The rice fields around our villas were already harvested. I’m not quite sure of the harvesting process, but what we saw them doing was pretty cool.
For the first time since coming to Indonesia, I saw water buffalo. That actually might’ve been the reason that we went on the walk in the first place.
It was super cool, though. My only regret is not being able to see them closer.
It was crazy beautiful up there.
After our walk and when the kids were all showered, we started our “learning English session”. Sabrina and I originally planned to just play a couple of games that would teach them basic English vocabulary.
We tried Bunda Bilang, or Simon Says.
The learning English portion was a bit of a fail, however. We tried our best to teach a couple of English words, but ultimately lapsed into Indonesian.
Then we tried a game I was very fond of as an 8 year-old: Seluru Dunia, or Around the World.
Of course, we played it with addition and multiplication, and we tried to play it with English colors that they didn’t know.
And after we were done with our games, they had a rice bag race.
After a nap and lunchtime, we went on a tiny hike…in sandals.
After 8+ months of wearing sandals, tennis or hiking shoes are the last thing on my mind.
The views were amazing, though.
The best part of the hike, however, was going down.
The way was a path of steep mud. I slipped a couple of times. While going down, though, I found it easier to jump and go quickly. Our Indonesian friend did as well.
After our poorly equipped hike, they had an awards ceremony. I didn’t understand very much of it, but I believe that it was awards for Qur’an memorizing.
The ceremony wasn’t interesting for everybody, however.
The ceremony wrapped up as it got dark. And then it was Maghrib, or the 6 PM prayer. I caught the boys going to the mosque while I was putting my stuff in our car.
The children were bussed up to Puncak via angkot, or the public transportation around Bogor. They’re not that comfortable, so I felt a little guilty taking a car.
They took some 22 angkots to and from Puncak.
All the angkot drivers were very surprised to see me and even more surprised that I could speak Indonesian. We took photos, although we only took one with my own camera:
We got a killer sunset as a wonderful conclusion to the quick trip.
Until next time, Al-Falakiyah!