Sunday, August 19, 2007
Meet Lumos -- the newest addition to my Singapore home. He's a 4 year old male cat, although as playful as a kitten. His name is from Harry Potter. Wizards say "Lumos" when they want their wand to become a light. He really reminds of light with his ginger coat, big lanteru-like eyes and light-hearted personality. He's also a true Asian cat. His tail ends in a ball rather than tapering like most Western cats.
For the past several years I have felt like I was camping in my various apartments. I always knew that I'd be moving on in a year or two. Singapore is the first place where I have felt at home. Lumos's purr is a confirmation of that.
Sunday, August 5, 2007
Here are the pictures from my trip to Bali last May/June. Follow the link at the bottom to see them all.
Teaching the children there was an entirely different experience. They were motivated to learn English because they wanted to communicate in it with people that spoke that languge. Most people say they want to learn English for that reason, but their more immediate goal is to score high on an exam, enter a prestigious school or get a promotin at work. English lessons are usually centered around a topic that assumes the students know about the world outside the their immediate experience or have free time. So a lesson might be about current events, favorite books, cultural differences, dream vacations, hobbies or pets. The school children in East Bali knew only about life in their village. They might have only once been to the district center. The district center would be conidered a village by most people in the world. They spent most of their time helping their families survive. Everyday they would haul drinking water, collect grass for the cow, weed the garden, collect firewood, mind younger children, etc. They didn't have the free time that most young people have. They don't really have their own possessions; they share everything with their brothers and sisters. They don't have the time to devote to a hobby. All the animals in their homes have a utilitarian purpose. Most available materials aren't suitable because they assume the children know who are Shakespeare and Gandhi, about being in a cafe, have bought something in a department store, etc. This made an interesting challenge to build the lessons and materials around a topic that would be relevant to them and not require too much explanation from the teacher.