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July 20, 2005

School Visit - SD Inpres Patisomba

DAY: 38
LOCATION: Flores Island - NE Coast
LATITUDE : 08 degs,26.85'S
LONGITUDE: 121 degs,57.55'E

Using x360 as an education tool remains one of the core objectives of the project. We're fortunate to be supported on this leg by UNESCO Jakarta and the Indonesian Department of Education in arranging visits to schools en route.

By chance yesterday evening while preparing to camp on the beach we were befriended by Piter, who as well as lending us his Tilley lamp as added security during the night, also invited April and I this morning to the school where he worked - 'SD Inpres Patisomba'.

When we arrived at 8am we were introduced to the English teacher Rina Sadim, who spoke pretty good English and understood the written form even better. After explaining the context in which we were traveling (by kayaks from Dili to Singapore), and a little background information about the larger expedition around the world, we proposed setting up a pen pal communication between her school and a school in the US. Never has there been a more important time we feel to nurturing cross cultural understanding and communication between different countries, especially predominantly muslim countries and western ones like Britain and the US.

April had brought 10 letters from a class which Rina proceeded to translate in front of us to make sure she could undertand the English OK. All seemed to going pretty well until we got to the part about the family of the student in the US. 'I have two brothers and three suspenders'. I looked over the April who had also seen the mistake and looked a little alamed. 'What is this word 'suspenders?'' asked Rina. Good question I thought. I know cross cultural linking is supposed to broaden the horizons of participating students, but the idea of an eleven year old boy prancing around in suspenders might be a little too much too soon.

'They hold up trousers' offers April in the nick of time. 'He meant to say 'sisters''. Close shave.

Posted on July 20, 2005 3:07 PM