Monday, 18 January 2010

Conference in Bandung

It's been a long week and quite an adventurous one as well. I guess really the start of the week was pretty low key with just the focus on the job and doing stuff before going off to Bandung for the conference that EF Indonesia was going to hold.
So mainly work I guess. I has to do some stuff at the apartment before I left and that involved running around getting things organized.
I ordered some food from  a restaurant the stuff was delivered within 10 mins of it being ordered, I had barely got inside of the door when a man came a knocking and there it was. So busy and so hungry I guess.
I had news of 2 teachers coming to the school and that they will be arriving on the same day but at different times so I will make good use of the driver and car and spend the time getting him to drive me about the city on the pick up day. Lets hope they both turn up.
My meeting went well with the teachers and I took them through the plan for the academic side of the school for the year. It was a ok.
The workshop on classroom management also was well received and so that left me well chuffed and happy that I managed to get that right. I really dont like workshops as they get me down and leave me stressed as I dont know if the teachers enjoy it, want it or learn from it. I hope they did. I did thats for sure.

Friday was the start of the conference which meant the school was in a mess Thursday as everything needed to be completed by then as there would be no cm or dos (me) to mind the place.
I was to be picked up at Taman Anngrek at 7.30 and then driven to TJD and then take a minibus to Bandung. Now I actually live 10 mins away from both the EF at TJD and Taman Anngrek, the latter by foot.
I did argue that it would be esay for me to get a taxi to TJD and wait with the others, but like the obedient obliging person I am, I took my instructions to wait at the mall and did that.
At 7.20 I got an sms explaining the driver was late and so to be patient and wait. At 7.45 another explaining that soon someone will becoming. At 8.15, I got an sms saying no one was coming but a motorbike will come. I refused that as the roads were wet and therefore covered in shit and mud. At 8.35 I was told to get a taxi to TJD as the driver was stuck in traffic. I was insensed and totally pissed off. I had sat at TA for over an hour, woke up early to be picked up to have to wait and then do something I told everyone I would do.
When I got to TJD I had to wait another 30 mins as the traffic quite rightly was terrible.
The trip to Bandung takes about 2 - 3 hours in a bus and the route is all highway and it is a lovely run out and its up hill as Bandung is a mountain city and so its cool and fresh there.
The weather was good and the views of the mountians and hills were great.
I will one day take a train to bandung as the trip and views are stunningly beautiful, however for now that is all I can say. Also I never took any photos of the trip as the bus windows were very dirty so they would have not come out well.
I travelled with the other DoS members in the bus whilst the CM's were in the other bus.
We had to be there for midday and by 11.55 we were pulling up outside the Ardjuna Boutique hotel just outside of Jakarta.
Bandung is a different kind of city, it is smaller, full of clothes and food and build all over the hills. It cooler, wetter but the traffic is just far worse. However it is worth exploring.

The hotel is really quite nice, it is a big place rather expensive though for what it was (see link) but everyone was very friendly and polite. The rooms were ok, I was sharing in a twin and it was a good size with a big bath and shower area.
The only thing that was concerning was the amount of small steps that were around and so you had to be careful that you did not trip up or down them.
The food was excellent except the last day when the lunch was not the best and it was pretty dry style of food and for some reason there was no evening meal prepared on Saturday night so we all had to defend for ourselves.
Not being to an EF conference before which had all the DoS from the entire country (around 70) it was an eye opener and a chance to meet some extraordinary people who were just fun and full of life and love and all things teaching. Made me feel quite humble lol
The conference was great, lots of training workshops and discussions and involvment in what was happening. Also to meet new people and learn about the most amazing teaching and learning activities for this year was the best. The free beer in the hotel Friday night helped out as well.
That was pretty much it for the conference. It was lots of talking and listening. It was lots of eating and peeing as I drank lots of tea and coffee, it was lots of fun and humour and relaxing.
The trip back on Sunday was quiet and quick as the traffic due to the rain was lighter.

A sound week and a great conference which has left an impact on me and has woke some focus up and fire to go and do some good.
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