Story_Together, We make change!

Meeting at STAIN Malikussaleh

Sharing at STAIN Malikussaleh Lhokseumawe on Oct 5, 2012.

In the early of October, I invited Joshua Yardley, an English Language Fellow who works for RELO (Regional English Language Office), to visit my region in Lhokseumawe-Aceh. Josh bases in Banda Aceh where he is serving for human resource development (LPSDM), a department at Aceh governor office. It takes about 6-8 hours driving by bus to reach Lhokseumawe.

Student welcome Joshua as he step on the school.

Joshua stayed at my boarding school, Ruhul Islam for 3 days (2 nights) from 4-6 October 2012 . Ruhul Islam is a private Islamic boarding school in which combines formal school system (SMP and SMA) with Islamic studies with balance curriculum, this combination so we name it Dayah Terpadu. This such of Islamic boarding school is well-known as Pesantren in Java, Surau in West Sumatra. Ruhul Islam located in Tanah Luas-North Aceh, a rural area that needs about 1.5 hours to reach from Lhokseumawe.

Female Students are listening to Joshua.

Joshua attended 3 meetings within the visit. I took him to STAIN Malikussaleh Lhokseumawe to share his experience in English teaching to the students of English department who are going to be English future teachers. The meeting was about 2 hours on Friday morning. After Jum’at Prayer, I facilitated an informal discussion with the teachers at Ruhul Islam. Finally, on Saturday, Joshua came to Malikussaleh University to observed and shared with the lecturers who were attending an online lecture series hosted by Mr. Eran William (RELO Officer) in Jakarta called Shaping The Way We Teach English.

Malikussaleh University  Meeting.

The meeting with the teachers of RUIS was way to identified capability, skills, problems, and challenges faced by the teacher in the boarding. This discussion might be an early assessment for Joshua and me to make a teacher training in the near future in order to upgrade their capacity.

Discussion with teachers at Ruhul Islam Boarding School.

In addition, Joshua also gave a motivational speech to the students of Ruhul Islam on Friday evening after magrib prayer. The students were totally enthusiastic and interest to listen to Joshua’s speech. A students raced her hand and asked a question “How could I practice my English with native speaker while I am studying at the boarding?”. Joshua gave her and other students a way to participate in Pen Pal system. It is not only helping them to practice their English writing skill but also sharing information and making strong relationship while getting to know each other. At present, I’m currently helping the students to set up email address in order they can use it to penpals than use regular mail system. Joshua is doing his best assistance to link the students with his pals, teachers, and colleagues in United States of America. He had got 7 persons already.

Motivational Speech to students.

Anyway, I also took Joshua to a house of tourist destination, Rumoh Cut Mutia in Matang Kuli-North Aceh who was officially admitted as national heroin from Aceh. Besides, Joshua also tasted Acehnese cuisine, Kuah Pliek U (read; How to cook) for his lunch on Friday, and Rujak in the evening. He also ate Mi Rebus Udang in which currently becomes his daily meal in Banda Aceh.

Joshua is enjoy eating Kuah Pliek U.
I wondered what to prepare for his Lunch.

Joshua was surprised with the warm welcome from the students, teachers and leader at boarding school. Besides cultural reason, the students are never visited by foreigner whose language is English, that’s why they struggled to wait his arrival until 11.30 PM.

Leader welcomes Joshua

I didn’t ask Joshua to leave me any comment or suggestions about the school, but I am totally sure that he was concerned with the students and teachers. He promised that he will return to boarding and conduct a teacher training, he even plan to invite other ELFs along with fellows from other universities to participate. In short, Joshua and I believe that “together, we can make change”. For your information, I am being in contact with Joshua about the training, and we plan to make it on February 2013.

Leader gave a Bungong Jaroe (Gift) to Joshua.

Finally, I am totally thanksfull to Eran William, the officer of RELO at US Embassy in Jakarta who had linked me with Joshua. I knew  Eran when I presented my service project, English Capacity Building, at @america in Jakarta on June 2-3, 2012. The conference presented to Kumunitas Alumni Muda Indonesia (KAMI) and managed by CCE Indonesia and The U.S. Embassy Jakarta, and sponsored by The U. S. Department of State.  On behalf of my school, I do thank to RELO for sending  the materials to my students at the school.

Do you know, what the style is it?
Group picture with students before leaving.

Joshua wrote stories about his visiting experiance. read them HERE !