The phrase “typical Tuesday,” as immortalized by Taylor Swift’s hit 2009 song You Belong with Me, is somewhat of a fallacy as no individual day can really be an accurate representation of all like-named days. But in as much as any day can be said to be “typical,” I suppose this Tuesday was as good a use of that word as any other day.
The Indonesian rupiah is the currency of Indonesia. Currently, one US dollar is equivalent to a little more than 13,000 rupiah; though in the past twelve months the exchange rate has been as high as Rp 14,500 to one dollar. Needless to say a single rupiah will not buy much. In fact, the smallest denomination in mint now is the one hundred rupiah coin, which is worth less than a single American penny. And the largest Indonesian bank note currently printed is the 100,000 rupiah, worth approximately 7.70 US dollars.
If you come to Indonesia as a Peace Corps volunteer you will not be allowed to drive a car and you can’t use a scooter or motorbike as either a driver or passenger for the entirety of your service. That’s a pretty big limitation considering how over eighty percent of Indonesians cite motorbike as their main mode of transportation.
I like plans, schedules, agendas. Writing out what I’m going to do tomorrow, next week, or next year helps me organize my thoughts, set goals, and plan for contingencies. Peace Corps is not always conducive to these habits. Indonesia laughs at this practice and tosses it aside. I must say, I don’t really mind when things don’t go to plan. It seems the only consistency here, and in life in general I suppose, is inconsistency.
On the eighth, and end of the seventh, week of pre service training we taught at a middle school for eight days. We returned to the same middle school we taught at for our first week of practicum on Friday May 13th and worked at the school until Saturday May 21st on all days except the 15th. I still taught with my teaching partner from the first week of practicum, Sonam, and we continued working with our counterpart from the first week.
The fifth week of PST was centered around attaining experience teaching at an Indonesian school. Each trainee was paired with another trainee to teach in a school around Kediri. Some schools received up to five pairs of trainees. My partner, Sonam, and I were placed at SMP 4 along with Hilary and Abby.