Posts Tagged ‘East Java’

I spent the last week in East Java attending the TEFLIN Conference (Teaching English as a Foreign Language-INdonesia). Here are a few highlights.

  • The conference: The highlight of the conference was meeting the 3 big-name plenary speakers who are well-known in ESL circles: Frederica Stoller (reading specialist), William Grabe (reading specialist), and Lyle Bachman (assessment specialist). The rest of the conference was a bit on the disorganized side, but if it was a choice between going and not, I’m glad I went. I also got to catch up with one of my Indonesian classmates from grad school, who lives in East Java and also attended the conference.
  • The conference setting: The hotel and convention center were in the foothills of Batu. Completely gorgeous.  Plus this area is comfortably in the 70s most days, which was a welcome change from the 90s I typically endure in Central Java.  Here are a few pictures that don’t come close to doing it justice.
  • Post-conference weekend: Most of the English Language Fellows stayed in the nearby city of Malang after the conference to further enjoy East Java and each other’s company. This included
    • Scarf shopping at a market. I got some gorgeous pashmina scarves for $2 apiece, but the best part was the conversation I had (in Indonesian) with the 3 boys working the scarf stand:
      Me: Why is it all men working at this place that sells scarves and head coverings?
      Boy (knowingly tapping his finger to his temple): Because it’s all women who shop here.
    • Karaoke: Adam and Maura sang another rousing rendition of that Indonesian classic, “Laskar Pelangi.” You can view a clip of it here.
    • Botanical Gardens: It was nice to walk around some green space for a couple hours. I haven’t found a place to do that in my city, which made me appreciate a tree-filled traffic-less environment all the more.

And a bonus adventure: I returned to my house in Semarang to find a new water stain on my ceiling, meaning a new leak somewhere in my roof. Two days later, we had a torrential downpour in the evening while I was at the gym. When I got home that night, I discovered I no longer had a stain in my ceiling because I no longer had a ceiling. Instead, there was a gaping hole where the stain used to be,

1x2 foot ceiling hole

and large chunks of my ceiling were now on my floor, along with a whole lot of water and grime.   Thankfully, my Indonesian counterpart got a maid and a handyman to take care of it all the very next day.  Since we have just entered the rainy season I’m a little nervous that this may not be the last of my water problems – we shall see.

What you can't see is the layer of water covering my entire floor

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