It’s Not Going Well All The Time

by Pasquelle van der Jagt

After 2,5 weeks in Indonesia I had my first bad experience at one of the schools. So it seems to be that the schools and its students are not always motivated and interested in the environment, Tunas Hijau and our projects.

Happily we started our day very good. Today it was for the first time that Mandy and I did an activity at one of our schools in the coastal area. We went to SMPN 31 and did tree planting with them. Last week we already gave them our presentation about global warming and greenhouse gasses, to teach them why tree planting is good against the global warming. Trees make oxygen from CO2 (photosynthesis) and in this way they reduce the amount of CO2 in the air (lesser greenhouse gasses). We planted around 20 trees in the school’s area. Now the kids have to take care for the trees and in the next period we (or Tunas Hijau) will visit the school often to check of everything is going well with the trees. So hopefully in the future this school will have 20 new big trees in their area.

In the afternoon we went to another school in the coastal area, SMAN 19 Surabaya. This school supposed to work with Mandy and me in our project for the schools in the coastal area. So for today we gave them our introduction presentation and also our presentation about global warming and water pollution. The English teacher told us that the students could speak and understand English very well. So for the first time Mandy and I gave our presentations in English without the translation of Dani. We asked them frequently if they understood us and they kept telling us that they did.

Though the students chatted a lot with each other and were not interested in our story. So Dani spoke to them quite powerful, because we wanted to make the children aware. We wanted them to be motivated and interested in our project and our activities. But thing worked out a bit different; afterwards it seems to be that the children didn’t understand a word of what Mandy or I told them, so they were angry with us that they couldn’t understand us and they didn’t want to join our project. Things got so worse that one girl ran out of the classroom crying. We had a talk with the head master and the English teacher and it seemed that there were a few misunderstandings.

At first they thought that we would be there at 10 AM, but we had the appointment at 12.30 PM. Secondly, the children couldn’t speak and understand English that well, so that was why they were so distracted. And thirdly they just were not that into our projects and activities, even not the teacher. So now we don’t have a third school that joins our project, that’s a pity! We can try to find another school near the beach to join our projects. Though, now we have 2 very enthusiastic schools that are very willingly to join our projects. That’s more important than the amount of schools that’ll join the project in total.