Sunday, May 30, 2010

Winding Down

Last Saturday was graduation. Not for me. For the seniors, and of course they would be seniors. If they weren't seniors they wouldn't be graduating.
The build-up to the actual event was one of the most hectic yet laid back preparations that I have every experienced. All of the students who were chosen to participate in the event were called out from class somewhere around 9 am every morning, and of course actual practice didn't start until 11:30 or so. So we (a combination of 10th and 11th graders) sat around amusing ourselves in whatever way we could. Guitar, futsal, one kid brought a portable PSP. Then there are the kids who just sleep the time away.
Then the teachers do show up, or are finally prepared to run everyone through rehearsal. The school's music teacher frantically drills the anklung team, choir and traditional instrument team, waving his arms to the rhythm. His face is that of a very stressed man trying to keep water cupped in his hands. He repeatedly makes the students start over at the slightest mistake or error. And while the musicians are being drilled, the rest of us are chowing away in the kantin below. Some days the M.C team (Me and Ayubi) weren't even called to practice. I would sit around, watching the others or help move chairs. Once I was called out of class for a whole day just to try on my traditional Sudanese outfit, then that same afternoon, no one practiced. Someone had decided to play the film Avatar and a projector and everyone sat around watching it, teachers and students. Not that I mind not studying. Playing futsal sure beats an hour and a half of physics in Indonesian.
The actual graduation went pretty smooth except for the occasional burst of obnoxious feedback from the microphones, or the fact that none of the teachers really knew the official schedule for the event. I botched a few words throughout it but apart from that things went okay. Ill have to say though that traditional Sudanese sandals are not the most comfortable things to wear for over three hours.

I find that things and occurrences that would have been strange or unusual during my first few weeks or months here as normal as brushing my teeth at night. Like the incomplete handshake that I was so baffled by back in August. Or running frantically to get to a local security hut to escape the mad downpour of rain threatening to soak the camera and other items shoved in my bag. Like the children singing in the Angkots, hoping to get the equivalent of 50 cents from the passengers. Azan and arabic. Or just the heat and rain itself. The whole environment. Everything.

I looked at a calender the other day with my friend. I realized that I had less than a month left in Indonesia. It frightened me in a way. Most of the month if June is booked with AFS events and school trips. My days here are numbered. There are still are so many people I have to see. Things to do. Where did the time go? I'm not ready to leave. The concept is a little hard to process. I try to put it out of my mind and just live, enjoy myself. There are things here that I take for granted everyday that I realize I will miss the most when I am gone. The Martabak seller in front of my complex. The guys at the local mart not too far away from there. Cimahpar, the futsal court where me and my friends so often play. The folks who sell DVDs and laugh when I slip on wet pavement but help me up at the same time. My class IPA 4 and all the good friends in it. Transpakuan, angkot, the rain, the smiles, the laughter. Indonesia.