Together, we can do more!

By Adela Zakiyatunnisa Abdullah, Indonesia

Tuesday, September 13 2016

This morning we visited Lewis and Clark Elementary school to do cultural presentations. It was 32°F outside and it’s freezing cold! But that didn’t stop us for being excited to meet the students

The principal, Mrs. Susan Anderson, welcomed us and gave brief introduction about the school.

I found out that they teach gamelan Bali which is an Indonesian traditional music instrument in this school. It’s interesting that they bring other cultures to their school to make their students embrace diversity and make them ready to be part of the world. Another thing that catch my eyes is how casually dressed the teachers are! I believe the students don’t feel afraid of the teachers since they looked really fun and approachable. It’s quite different in Indonesia where usually the teachers have to wear uniform every day and I think they look too serious in that. After the introduction and some discussions, we’re divided in groups to go to the class and do presentations.

Ploy showed some pictures about Thailand

The students were so eager to know about our countries. When we showed them pictures of tourism places, animals, and foods in our countries they went “Whooaaa, that’s cool!” I love to see their expressions and hear their questions as well as comments too. There was one girl approached me and said, “You have beautiful necklace.” Aww, that’s just sooo sweet. I see that in U.S. most of the students are active and confident to express their ideas, while in Indonesia it’s pretty rare to find. I also learned how the teachers build sense of togetherness with the students. It’s lovely. As an aspiring teacher, this experience inspired me the most. I do wish we could have longer time to stay in the school to share more about our countries.

Ploy explaining about Mekong river

Four of YSEALI participants; Steven from Myanmar, Ploy from Thailand, Cindi from Singapore, and Shikh from Malaysia gave some insights on how their countries and other southeast Asian countries affected by climate change in YSEALI Panel on Climate Change and Transboundary Collaboration. It’s an eye-opening session where we had chance to share with public about the problems that we face in our countries. Environmental issues are things that we can’t solve alone. I remember Dr. Nicky said that climate change is cross generations and cross countries issue. We need to collaborate with others in order to find the best solution in tackling these issues.

YSEALI participants wearing traditional clothes

We come from different countries and backgrounds yet we have the same goal to make changes for the better future of our communities, countries, and the world. I’m so thankful to be able to learn a lot about environment through this program. It’s indeed a meaningful experience for all of us. I hope we can always keep our friendship strong because by being together, we can always do more! See you at the top, guys!

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