I thought this morning was going to be a ‘business as usual’ Saturday, but it turned out to be a special day, the purpose of which, eight hours later, I still haven’t sussed out. As soon as I stepped foot into the teacher’s lounge I was interrogated by the event’s coordinator as to why I wasn’t wearing the new, black and fluorescent, long sleeve shirt we were issued a week ago. I explained that, 1) the shirt I was given didn’t fit, so I gave it back that very same day and 2) I hadn’t the foggiest I was supposed to be wearing it today!? All was forgiven when they located an XL in the back room. Unfortunately, the sleeves on that shirt didn’t quite make it down my freakishly (by Indonesian standards) long arms. I’ll probably wind up cutting the sleeves off anyway.
After being dressed, it was time to go for “a walk in the street,” which didn’t sound too appealing to me right then, as I had injured my foot two days prior trying to break my jump rope record. When I got downstairs, all of the kids were decked out in their flashy threads, which puzzled me since we were about go do this walk thing in the hot sun, but alright. I must admit that it was refreshing to see students in something other than their uniforms and they really seemed to be enjoying being able to express themselves.
Luckily, the walk was only around the boarding schools on campus, so it didn’t take but twenty minutes or so. Wonderful, I thought, now I can go back and get the water I had put in the freezer before we left (despite the short duration, I was already drenched in sweat and covered in dust), but there were many more activities awaiting. First up was balloon releasing, which I quite enjoyed. The fact that the balloons will most likely end up choking some poor, oblivious sea turtle doesn’t escape me, but I still found the scene enchanting.
There were a number of performances and competitions that followed. I personally was the judge of the ‘graffiti wall contest’ (I’m known for my “tagging” in certain circles) and the ‘great wonders of the world replica contest.’ It was brutally hot, but I actually found the events entertaining. At some point, I reached the point of saturation, or more accurately, dehydration, and threw in the towel. I’m glad I stuck around as long as I did though. I believe I’ve finally reached the point where I feel some attachment to these kids and it makes me smile to see them happy and having a good time. So even though I have no idea what just happened, or why, I’m happy I was there to see it.