Time in Banyuwangi | PART 1 : BEGINNING

Bismillah. Assalamualaikum.
Hi. This is a story on how I ended up in Banyuwangi.

Originally, everyone will go on conventional teaching practical in Penang. That was how it usually conducted for decades. However, several years back Prof Kabilan from PPIP (School of Educational Studies) made a different programme by sending his students outside Penang - outside Malaysia! Previously, my seniors had went to Maldives. Then, the program stopped due to some reasons which is not necessarily stated. So, for my batch he decided to give International Teaching Practical (ITP) a second chance.

At the beginning, I hesitated to join. But after having put into deep thinking and series of adult consultations with my parents, I took a big decision to join ITP. So, together with another 11 participants from TESOL major students, I made preparations to teach overseas. Guess where?


Leaving behind families and friends in Malaysia can sometime be a little too hard to do. Not to mention, I will live in a place different than my home. Even Indonesia has same weather as Malaysia, still the people speak different language(s), food will be different, the environment and foremost important - The School. However, when I look at my friends' face, I know this will be a great moment in my life. Friends make you stronger, holding you through thick and thin, help you cross thunder and storm in this bloody teaching practical field and of course they are always present when you need them the most. Why? Because, they feel the same way as I do even they didn't literally said it. 

I guess they too felt nervous, looking forward about Indonesia, anticipating new experiences, worried about people's expectation, worried about performances, sad about leaving behind previous school and many more. But knowing ourselves, we usually take even the most negative matter in a positive way. Having that mentality made us survive this adventurous 7 semesters. Kudos to Allah. 

Even weeks before flying, we had worked for every documents needed. Thanks to Ain (our leader) especially for had she not ready to help settling every needs for ITP, THESE won't happen this smooth. Not only that, every 12 of us had their own contribution as well to make ITP successful (at least until our departure to Banyuwangi ). 

Had passport and ticket from Surabaya to Banyuwangi ready. Taking a bus would be a little bit unpractical as we carry at least 15 kg luggage and traffic is not very convincing. Everyone were very tired since the day before (28 March) as some of us took flight from Penang to KLIA2. I myself drove all the way from Johor with my family. Therefore, I'm so glad we planned to take flight from Surabaya to Banyuwangi. At least, we could sleep in the plane. 

Not much to bring. I just packed my stuff the night before flying the next dawn. Not exceed 20 kg.

Waiting to check in to Banyuwangi from Juanda airport. To get in the plane to Banyuwangi, they prepared a bus. In Garuda plane, you will receive a box containing chicken floss roll cake, a bun and Aqua mineral water. Marvelous! For this, I have to praise. 

Just check in to Banyuwangi. What's wrong with having a picture together right? Joining 12 of us are TESOL lecturers from USM including new dean in the middle wearing a songkok! We purposely choose this spot to include the huge transparent picture behind on the glass wall. Its a picture of Indonesian Military Army. So, metaphorically it means new spirit to achieve a level higher from our present performances as a teacher to be. But I believe the picture had different interpretation depending on individual. As for me, it marks a starting point of becoming a greater person which on her lies a responsibility to glory name of her country in a foreign land, to learn from the Indonesian and to give as much as she can to this nation. I remember seeing a quote during a program I joined last October in Korea; Education knows no colour. I admit, my patriotism spirit rises as I stare at the soldier.

Touch down Blimbing Sari airport, the smallest airport I've ever seen yet still working efficiently. From the sky, I could see carpets of paddy field engulfing this flourishing land of  Indonesian people. Its magnificent! Still waiting for luggage collection and for the time being adapting to a very hot weather. Actually the degree of hotness is almost equal to Malaysia especially in Penang however maybe due to high humidity level, we sweat a lot. Hihi. But the breeze is very strong drying up sweats faster. Shu Qi photoboom at my back. 

Trying out Indonesian cuisine for the first time at lunch hour. This is taken at Bu Daneng restaurant and it cost me IDR 27,000. Quite expensive however Air Jeruk is unbeatable to my taste so I just gave expensive issue out of my concern. Hihi. 

Air Jeruk with no ice yet its cold enough to freshen my dry throat. I guess the lady put in milk in my drink because it taste different yet so invigorating. 

So, that's it for now, To be continued. 

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