Saturday, May 8, 2010

"The Best Weekend of My Life"

The weekend of April 9-11 we had AMINEF's WORDS English Competition in Jakarta. It was a crazy, fun, fast weekend. I think everyone was pleasantly surprised by how interesting and entertaining our students' performances were.
The Jakarta Post wrote an article about the competition that you can read here:
In the early morning on Friday, the school driver took Muhammad Arifudin and me to the airport from school. Arifudin was the student competitor from SMK N1 Magelang from my favorite class, 1MB. He was SO excited for the weekend and at the end he told me that it was "the best weekend of his life."
I don't know about best, but it was certainly a weekend of firsts for Arifudin. It was his first airplane, his first time to Jakarta, his first frozen yogurt, his first time traveling with a bule, his first national English competition, etc. And I caught it all on camera.
Arifudin on his first ever airplane ride. He was a little bit nervous during the takeoff, but after that loved the whole experience. He looked out the window the whole time and kept pointing things out to me.
First stop of the weekend, The Grand Indonesia, the biggest and most crazy beautiful mall I have ever been to. Here are Sarah, Arifudin, and Sarah's student at the entrance to the mall. We didn't buy anything, but we had a lot of fun window-shopping.
None of our students had ever had frozen yogurt so we treated them to a snack in the mall. Their verdict: delicious!
Here we are, the Magelang contingency, right before the start of the competition. Arifudin was very nervous. He was practically shaking with nerves!
On the stage where the presenters stood underneath the competition banner. I'm not sure why he has posed like this.
All of the competitors who came with the ETAs from all over Indonesia. There were only 4 boys at the competition out of 32 participants.
Lolly is the closest ETA to my site since she lives in Yogyakarta. Here Lolly and her student Devie, Arifudin, and I pose after the competition with their certificates of participation.
AMINEF sent out an email about a week before the competition declaring that the ETAs would be in charge of a "workshop" for our students. So what did we do? We taught them to dance. We taught them the Electric Slide, the Cha-Cha Slide, and the YMCA. It was glorious. Can you stop Arifudin in this photo?
We went to MONAs, the national monument of Indonesia. It was hot, it was crowded, and the line was too long to go up to the top of the monument. But it was a special site for the students to see and I think they enjoyed the visit.Some of our kids posing at MONAs.
A human spelling of AMINEF. It's a little difficult to see in the picture, but I promise it was awesome.

Here is Arifudin's presentation:

He was great! I'm not sure if you can tell from the video, but I was working his PowerPoint and I was really screwing it up. The transitions that he had pre-programed into the presentation just did not work for the speed of his presentation. There was nothing I could do about it. He covered the errors marvelously. I was SO proud of him for thinking on his feet. That is one of the hardest things to do when using another language and I thought he did it with skill and humor.
M. Arifudin did not win an award from the competition, but everyone said that if there had been an award for funniest or cutest presentation he definitely would have won. Not winning did not dampen our spirits at all! We both had an excellent time at the competition and Arifudin asks me every week how "our" American friends are and when they will come to visit us in Magelang.

1 comment:

  1. What a wonderful experience for Arifudin and his new Indo and American friends... I enjoyed his presentation, so relaxed and poised in speaking english... How proud you must be, Miss sarah!
    mum xo