Bonding in Bandung: EL Fellow Orientation

The past week has been a jam-packed collection of Bahasa Indonesia language lessons, sessions about the Indonesian Education system, dinners around town, and other cultural/exploratory outings.  The best part has been getting to know the other fellows, though.  There are 20 of us total, 18 present at the orientation.  We go back to our sites all around Indonesia on the 13th, but will see each other again in November, if not before.  Here are some highlights from the past week:

Padang food– typical in West Java

I had my first experience of Padang food– which is found throughout Indonesia but comes from West Java.  They cook the food about once a day and then leave it in the window and you take what you want. So it’s a buffet: Indonesian style.  Rather frightening not to know what I’m eating, but luckily we had some renewers (fellows who have been here for a year or two already) to help us out.

The EL fellows winning second place in the talent show with a remake of “Call me Maybe” — “Mau ke mana mister?” (Where are you going mister?)

Another highlight was the Talent Show!  So quick background: we got here during the final days of the ETA Fulbright Orientation, so we could meet the 50 English Teaching Assistants scattered around Indonesia (two in Palembang!)  They were having a talent show, so Tabitha (a renewing fellow) put together an awesome version of Call me maybe, but changed the lyrics to apply to Indonesia.  SO the rest of us acted out the lyrics.. (there must be a video somewhere….)  Needless to say, we rocked it.

Some of the group at Kawah Putih– the mist floating around was so cool!

We went on an awesome excursion to Kawah Putih- White Crater– a Volcanic Crater lake about 2ish hours away.  We rented a bus for the 10 of us who took our Sunday off to explore.  The drive up into the mountains was absolutely beautiful! And once we got to the Kawah Putih, we had to ride a little van (with lots of power) further up the mountain to reach the actual crater.  You’re only supposed to stay for 15 ish minutes because of the gases.

Some of the fellows heading up the mountain to see Kawah Putih!

Kawah Putih: volcanic crater

Along the way to Kawah Putih: loads of strawberry plants

Lunch at a Sundanese Restaurant- cross-legged seating around the table, sharing yummy food!

We’ve gone out to several Sundanese restaurants. The Sundanese people are one of the largest ethnic groups in Indonesia and are from West Java (where we are now).  They traditionally eat seated on mats around a table, and the food is tasty… only occasionally makes you tear up from spices.

On our way back from Kawah Putih, we were in the land of strawberries, so we got to pick strawberries after lunch!

Picking strawberries, while representin our great President. Got some Indonesian votes for the man!



About Deirdre Hand

"To my mind, the greatest reward and luxury of travel is to be able to experience everyday things as if for the first time, to be in a position in which almost nothing is so familiar it is taken for granted." Bill Bryson
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4 Responses to Bonding in Bandung: EL Fellow Orientation

  1. Molly Cox says:

    Okay, it’s official. I’m jealous. It all looks amazing.

  2. Ann Hauser says:

    I am so glad you are adventuresome and want to see the world around you. It all looks so cool!

  3. Liz Klein says:

    Where are you going mister?? Hahaha I love it!
    I am also quite jealous of your adventurous life. Sigh.

  4. sophia says:

    namaku sophia! you are so fabulous lady peirdre. it sounds like an adventure worthy of the hand. you have a broccoli growing out of your head. i love you you wonderful being. xx

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