The first official day back in Jakarta! Feasting on an all too familiar exquisite breakfast buffet, we later met as a large group in the hotel conference room for our day’s meeting. The topic of discussion was the International Leaders in Education Program ILEP and working on our independent research goals. Starting off, we wrote on a big sheet of paper our goals. My goal was to find out what the real Indonesia was all about. “What are the first 3 things that come to mind when you think about Indonesia?”, was my question. Everyone went around the room and wrote suggestions on sticky notes for what they could contribute to each other’s questions. The group had several similar themes for what they thought about regarding my question. After the meeting at the hotel, we were supposed to go to Taman Mini. This would have been amazing to see, but unfortunately we weren’t able to visit it. Instead we went shopping for souvenirs at two local malls. To my surprise, 90% of the group didn’t need souvenirs as well. Instead of shopping, we walked through the malls seeing what odds and ends items they had. I was surprised how much cheaper Batik was in Purwokerto. This was primarily due to Purwokerto being the production center for the fabric in the country. After finishing shopping, we headed back to the hotel. Dinner was on our own, so I joined Sarah, Elicia, Kate, Niki, Mike, Craig, and Wendy to a wonderfully fancy and delicious dinner that Sarah recommended in Jakarta. Sarah visited the restaurant I believe two times already since we had arrived, which prompted the wait staff to provide us with tasty appetizers for free. The room was empty besides us, as we dined on the great meal. The best part of the night was when the wait staff generously gave us several amazing desserts for free as well. I believe it was due to Wendy going into the kitchen earlier to thank and appreciate the wait staff. They served out of an ice cube bowl in the shape of a duck’s head a vegan friendly lemon ice. There was also a vegetarian dessert for Kate. In front of Sarah and I they provided what looked like a round chocolate ball, but once they poured a hot liquid onto it, the entire treat melted back, exposing an ice cream core. Thinking this was the end of the meal, they topped it off with two rounds of the best free cotton candy I’ve ever had or seen. It was layered in several different colors. Feeling totally full, we headed back to the hotel for a great night’s sleep.
About Matthew Cottone
Experience the World! This is my creed I bring to my classroom and my life. I'm a World Studies teacher at Van Hoosen Middle School and I have a passion for learning and experiencing the world.