As Long As There Is Environment Education, The Future Is Bright

At the time we arrived at SMPN 5, most students were gathered around the hall and going wild over the school singing contest. After introducing ourselves to the teachers, Wenjun and I also happened to watch the contest to kill time, because apparently there was nothing we could do when everyone is outside the classroom, singing and dancing.

What was unique about the event was that no one seemed to actually care about finding the best singer. When contestant sang, the audience clapped hands and sang along, just like a huge karaoke session. Tension and competition were nowhere to be found and everyone was enjoying the whole thing. I think the vibe was at its peak when some of the kids pulled us out to the middle of the stage and we danced together.

After 3 hours or so, we could finally get the environment class started. We separated a class of 30 students into 4 groups and had them create a proposition to make cleaner environment. Wenjun and I took 2 groups each and tried to help them with coming up with ideas, but again, language barrier was too high. Somehow, I managed to get some information from my teams which was about “biopori” and people emptying their bowels in the river. I found both topics very interesting because none of those happens in Korea.

Firstly, since garbage trucks always collect domestic garbage on time, we don’t have to worry about food waste. Plus a lot of households and restaurants these days use food waste machines to make the waste much lighter, not smelly, and used as compost right away. But for the time being, it seems hard to introduce the machine to Indonesia due to its price (app. 3.5 ~4.5 million Rupiah).

About the second topic, it’s unimaginable to do so in Korea… but I believe time and education will solve the problem in Indonesia as well. Even though some people do number two in the river now, these students won’t for sure! It was nice to see them having discussions and thinking about solutions by themselves.

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