Tag Archives: U.S. holidays

Snapshots: Making Jack-o-lanterns

2 Dec

Hey! I'm a jack-o-lantern!

We’re a little behind on our holidays. In part because many of my students and English club kids were busy the actual week of Halloween with other extracurriculars and preparing for—

I can’t even remember what it was now.

We did do in-class activities, but I was hoping to make jack-o-lanterns. Then I was away for a variety of reasons: dentist visits, a vacation to the Philippines, Thanksgiving celebrations with other volunteers…

Earlier this week students brought up the jack-o-lanterns again. They asked if we could still make them. Thrilled by the fact that the students were asking me to do this rather than me pushing it, we agreed to meet Sunday. The turnout was low… only four students showed. I was actually anticipating none because I assumed they would forget. Plans such as these always seem a little iffy to me. But lo and behold this morning the students showed up at my house. We went to school, made jack-o-lanterns and it made for a lovely Sunday morning. It was nice having only four students participate, I felt much more relaxed than if there had been more. It also made for much more personal interactions than class time or even English club allow. So here’s a few pics from this morning:

Love candid photos

Pumpkin guts!

Mengukir labu = carving the pumpkin

Lighting the candle for the jack-o-lantern

Take one

Take two

Turning 24, technology and St. Patrick’s Day

18 Mar

Reminder: scroll over photos for captions. Also here’s a dorky video message from me.

I love my birthday, if for nothing else than the fact that everyone wears my favorite color! My birthday is St. Patrick’s Day.

Yesterday was St. Patrick’s day in Indonesia (it’s unsurprisingly not celebrated here.) I was still rubbing the sleep from my eyes as my host family, tipped off by the sound of my door opening, rushed to salam (greet) me. For reasons we shall not reiterate, after breakfast my host mother handed me a basket with my clean, folded clothes. As I began hanging them, I found a box hidden amongst them. My host family gave me a surprise present! (I’m wearing one of those gifts in the video I linked to above.) Though my favorite part was the handwritten note in broken English wishing me a good day despite being away from my friends and family and more warm wishes from my new family.  Cue the “awwww….”

Teachers and students both wished me happy birthday in person and via text. Some knew it was my birthday, others were informed after logging into Facebook. It was a nice and simple birthday. Oddly enough, I preferred to spend much of it alone. I’ve been doing a great deal of reflecting these past few months as I approach my one year in-country and 24th birthday. The outcomes of these ruminations I’ll be sharing soon…

Back home, family and friends are currently celebrating St. Patrick’s Day and my birthday due to the time difference. So in a way I’m still celebrating. First I “met up” with my dear friend Rachael. We had an exclusive (there were three of us) international teleconnected dance party, and she serenaded me an improvised 24th birthday song.

Then I “visited” my family, who had cake and ice cream in my honor. They sang happy birthday, I “blew out” the candles, and while they enjoyed my birthday cake, I ate saltines. My one complaint: they got the ice cream wrong. They got coffee and I like vanilla : )

Otherwise it was great. It was great to celebrate here. It was great to celebrate there. And it’s amazing that I was able to do that because of technology, specifically speaking– skype. In sync with all my reflecting, I’ve been thinking a lot about how dramatically technology is changing our lives. Not just for my birthday celebration, but in general and given this context.  My students here are addicted to Facebook and Twitter and have better phones than I currently have yet, many of their homes lack washing machines or other modern conveniences that would be considered commonplace back home. It baffles me. This experience could not have been the same just a few years ago…and again, these are thoughts I may choose to elaborate on another time.

…And speaking of technology, I’m experimenting with Storify so I’ll leave you with some fun stuff on St. Patrick’s Day. Enjoy: View the story “Happy St. Patrick’s Day!” on Storify
or just check it out here:

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Confession Sunday 2.12.2012

12 Feb

I’m kind of, sort of excited about Valentine’s Day! This is a confession because usually I’m not the biggest fan of Valentine’s Day for the all-too-cliche reason of it just feels so forced and another holiday overrun by hallmark, candy companies, jewelers and the like. And though I won’t be doing much on Valentine’s Day 2012, I’m excited to share a little bit about the holiday with my classes, and I’m dreaming up fun activities for my English club as I type this.

In case you don’t know the origins of Valentine’s Day (or want a refresher), History.com gives a good little overview and some fun facts.

Also while putting together a little presentation on the holiday for my classes I came across these adorable vintage-style Valentine’s Day cards.

Is this one really complimentary?

All adorable Valentine’s cards courtesy of valart2008 via flickr.

Now tell me those don’t make you all warm and fuzzy inside and bring a smile to your face.

In other news I haven’t written a whole lot lately…two reasons I like to keep it interesting and I’ve begun getting into photography a little more lately (or rather just taking pictures more often trying to document my time here). Also sometimes I’m just at a loss for words, and I hope those photos can help in some small way share a little bit of my world with you.

ALSO here’s a fun little video of my class singing Bruno Mars’ “Just the way you are” in class this past week. We were learning about pronouns. Kind of goes along with the lovey dovey theme of this post ; )