“The Problem is English”

Surabaya- On Sunday morning (17/1), I visited the community study room in Gunungsari. It has been about a month since I last went there to paint the walls. Gunungsari used to be one of the neighborhood in Surabaya with poorest living conditions, which is why Tunas Hijau paved the street for the residents and continuously pays attention to their welfare. I didn’t know that Tunas Hijau’s work goes outside the realm of environment, but I realized connecting with the locals really is an effective way to deliver our message because it makes us sound more convincing and reliable.

Education toward them has been successful, they reuse what could be trash and don’t throw garbage in the river anymore. Judging by the number of the kids showed up at the study session with me, Tunas Hijau surely has gained big reputation around the neighborhood. Although they varied a lot in age and level of understanding, I taught them English and played some games together. It turned out quite fun, for kids and for me too.

As for today (18/1), I gave presentations about climate change in Korea in SD Petemon 13 and SMP Negeri 33 Surabaya. They went okay just as usual, except that there was no one to interpret my words in both schools. Even though in SD Petemon 13 an English teacher was present in the classroom as an interpreter, – I’m sorry – it really didn’t help. So I had to substitute the presentation for the pictures of Korean food and traditional costume. Since I still had a lot of time given, I came up with a Korean traditional game and it was a hit! That kind of made up for our boring time.

In SMPN 33 however, I felt like maybe I did the whole presentation in vain. It was good connecting with the students, talking about myself, but once I began the explanation about climate change, few of them were actually with me. I must say I’m a little bit disappointed… just a little.