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Teaching High School Students in Blayney, NSW, Australia

As an Australia Awards Scholar, I had an opportunity to be involved in Indonesian Language Learning Ambassadors (ILLA) program. I decided to be a volunteer in this program. I thought it will be a good experience for me to teach high school students in Australia.

Blayney, is a rural town in New South Wales (NSW), about 4.5 hours by train from Sydney. It is a small town, only 3000 population, not so many people can be seen on the street. I went there last Sunday, 16 September 2018, with my volunteer friend, Steven. We took the train in the morning from Sydney, at 07.19 am and reached Blayney at 11.40 am. We walked from the train station to the hotel provided by the school. It took us only 10 minutes to walk to the hotel.

Sydney Central Station

Blayney train station

After checking in (which is an easy process, only one receptionist, and only 12 hotels room available), we walked around Blayney. So quiet, streets are wide, pedestrian space is big and empty. It seems like a ghost town. The great thing that I would not expect before is there are many cherry blossoms trees in Blayney. They were blooming beautifully during our visit that time.

Exghange Hotel Blayney

Cherry Blossoms in Blayney

Beautiful Cherry Blossoms

 

We stopped by at Hang Sing Chinese restaurant, the only restaurant I can find in this town. Our next itinerary was surveying Blayney High School before we teach the next day. It was quite easy to find the school, just a couple block from the restaurant. In fact, everyplace in Blayney is reachable by walking.

Blayney High School

After visiting the school, we came back to hotel and took some rest before continue exploring the town again. We walk around and then see Heritage Park in Blayney. The only tourism spot in the town.

Heritage Park Blayney

Me playing in the mouse house

I felt so grateful to be able to visit rural NSW, a rare opportunity given to an ordinary person like me. Who am I anyway can reach this part of Sydney. It was such a great blessing again from God. I can even watch so many stars at night, because it was so dark, not many lights, and it was quiet and peace at that time.

The next day, Monday, 17 September 2018, we came early at 08 am in the morning before the school start. We met all the teachers in the school before we entered our class, year 7 in this high school. In total, there are 6 sessions, but we only taught for 5 sessions. One session before the last one, we used for recess. The students were excited, a bit shy at the beginning, but felt curious and excited towards the end. Steven and I shared Indonesian geography, the islands, the language, daily conversation, and presented videos and photos of Jakarta and Surabaya, biggest cities in Indonesia. We also gave quizzes and give souvenirs to the students. In addition to that, I also brought Indonesian traditional clothing, batik and kebaya, and put them on students who want to try.

With Year 7 High School Students in Blayney

Under Cherry Blossoms tree in Blayney High School NSW

It was a very precious experience for us, and we are thankful also to Australia Awards and Asia Education Foundation to provide this opportunity.

First time carrying a baby lamb in Blayney

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Posted by on October 1, 2018 in A Sydneysider, AAS

 

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CTBUH (Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat) Sydney Walking Tour 2018

This year CTBUH Walking Tour in Sydney took place on Thursday, 02 August 2018.

Walking tour started at 3 pm from The Goods Line, followed by Darling Harbour, Darling Quarter, International Towers Barangaroo, International House Barangaroo and ended at R7 Rooftop Bar about 6 pm.

The tour theme for this year is walking by the water. It was quite interesting to learn how the public space were designed, the transition between public space, low rise building, and high-rise building (Darling Harbour – Darling Quarter), also the connecting space between China Town to Darling Harbour (The Goods Line), the building and landscape for ICC, timber blind façade in front of Tumbalong Park, and the controversial Barangaroo.

I would definitely recommend architects, urban designer and urban planner to join this event next year.

The Goods Line

ICC Sydney

Relaxing at the Park

Timber Blind Facade

 

Napoleon Bridge

 

International Towers Barangaroo

 

R7

Sunset at Darling Harbour

 

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New Year New Resolution – 2018

Happy New Year… that means another year in my life begin. I can still clearly remember my last year resolution: study more, travel often, pray always… and it’s true, if you believe in something, you will finally achieve that. I am now doing a PhD, something that I have never expected before. I thought doing Master was already a big achievement for me, as I am no body. Not even from a rich family who can send their children to study abroad. But yes, I can pursue to a higher degree again. Many thanks to my scholarship provider, the Australia Awards Indonesia, who give such training and preparation to the candidates. I found that I am more prepared, than my previous experience in doing my Master.

And yes, 2017, I travelled a lot. I visited Hong Kong for holiday, departed to Australia for my study. I even have time in between to go to Bandung, Yogyakarta, Lawang.. so much travel, but I like it. What I like the most in my travel time is I get new experience by seeing new place, meeting new people, trying different things, and these experience are useful for me as an architect and a lecturer.

I need to pray more, set Jesus as a centre of my life, than playing around in my social media. I felt so guilty for not fully putting my trust in Him. I worry a lot, of my study, my accommodation, my safety, my future, and everything. Yes, I am worrisome. I know that God will protect, will provide, and take care of me. Thus, I should leave all my worries behind. Romans 11:36, “For from Him and through Him and for Him are all things.” Nothing is eternal, all I have is from God.

Therefore, in this 2018, I want to consider this also for a new year’s resolution. First, I want to lean to God more, and not count on myself. Second, I want to give more to other people surround me. Third, I want to spend less time for my social media. I think I start getting addicted and I don’t want to. Hopefully, this year I have many travels like last year.. as I always love to explore new places. I plan to visit all beaches in Sydney within 4 years, believe me I will. I am crazy about beaches.

Well, that’s for now.. I promise I will write more, when I am free. I must keep on writing to enhance my writing skills (definitely needed for a PhD student).

 

 
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Posted by on January 29, 2018 in A Sydneysider, AAS

 

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Almost end of 2017

I have been here in Sydney, Australia for almost 7 months. Time flies and now the year 2017 will end soon, year 2018 is awaiting.

For some months here in Sydney, these what surprise me most:

  1. Sydney has winter in June to August, by contrast, Sydney has summer in December. That makes my Christmas no longer white Christmas.. but Hot Christmas instead. Christmas here is still merry, merrier than the one I used to have to. I like it when they have Christmas display, songs in shopping malls. Love Christmas always..George Street SydXmas
  2. Still about Christmas, here in Sydney, Christmas trees are everywhere. Not only in malls, but you can find them, at the street corner, at big squares, or wherever there is a park, there will be a Christmas tree, at different range from small to big size. Even more, there are Christmas lighting on streets and houses. Some streets have their houses decorated for Christmas. People can donate money, since the decoration is privately managed by the house owner.Christmas lighting eastern suburbs
  3. There are so many Chinese, Indonesian and Iranian in Sydney. Overall, Sydney is a diverse and multi-culture city. But since Chinese and Indonesian are so many, especially in Kingsford, there are so many Asian restaurants, from Chinese, Korean, Thai, to Indonesian restaurants. I don’t have any difficulties to find Indonesian food (nasi padang, martabak, bakso, pempek, indomie), but the price is of course more expensive than the one you can have in Indonesia. For example, one portion of Nasi Padang is AUD 11, though the portion is big enough for me, enough for twice of eating.
  4. Sydney has so manyyyyyy beaches.. I mean really really a lot of nice beaches. Along the eastern Suburbs of Sydney there are Bondi Beach, Bronte Beach, Tamarama Beach, Coogee Beach, Malabar Beach, Maroubra Beach, Little Bay, Congwong Beach. There are also Watson Bay, Parsley Bay, Rose Bay, between eastern Sydney and North Sydney. At Northern Sydney, there are Manly Beach, Shelly Beach, Mona Vale, Dee Why Beach, Avalon Beach, Whale Beach, and Palm Beach. There are still many small beaches which I can’t mention, and the good thing is, I can just go to those beaches within short time. The closest one would probably Coogee Beach, only 15 mins away from my home. Love loveeee those beaches, and I am so happy to live surrounded by beaches. They are so clean and have white sand beach (well almost all). I always collected small shells from every beach I visited (also from Indonesian beaches), just to hope that they would bring me back to the place.Palm Beach
  5. Sydney has traffic jam during peak hours (when people go to and back from office or after school). The light rail to Eastern Suburbs are now under construction, and hopefully by 2020 it will have operated. The mode of transportation in Sydney are varies: Bus, Ferry, Light Rail, and Train, but Sydney doesn’t have MRT like UBahn in Germany or Singapore MRT.Sydney Opera House
  6. Sydneysiders like other Australian, like to shorten many words.. and when they say it’s fine.. it will be “no worries”..”Hi how are you” are common when people greet you. And here you will just call your lecturer by name, only name, no title Professor, Mr., Sir. Etc.
  7. Sydney has up and down terrain like a hilly area. It is not flat or low land. That’s why my university has lower campus and upper campus, cause one is down below, and other part is reachable by stairs… lots of stairs..haha right now I get used to it. At first, it was very tiring and took me lots of time to reach the edge of upper campus from the lower campus. Now, in 10-15 minutes I can reach the tip. My campus is famous for “a thousand stairs campus” lol.UNSW

I guessed those are 7 things I can mention now about Sydney. I am planning to spend my New Year’s eve watching the biggest fireworks event and see how they light the Sydney Harbourbridge  and Opera House.

I wish 2018 will go smoothly as well.. and lots of travel 😊. I wish everybody will achieve their dreams.

All the best to you, my readers.

 

 
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Posted by on December 29, 2017 in A Sydneysider, PhD life

 

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Read and Write

After more than 3 months here, I think I am quite settled down, doing what I need to do. People might think that studying here in Australia, my job would be easy. They may thought from my IG account that I am having so much fun here. Yes, it’s true. I want to study well, but I also want to make the most of my time here in Sydney. So, I don’t want to be bothered with my PhD life and get suffered. I spend most of my weekends enjoying my life. Even just by walking 20 minutes to go to church, smelling fresh air, looking at flowers on my way, I’ m happy enough.

I know that a PhD student should read and write down his or her thoughts, but I never expect that it would be this hard. Everyday what I do is, listing what I have to do, read probably 2 or sometimes 3 to 4 journal article or even a book. I can read fast, but my problem is I also forget it fast. Therefore, I need to write and take notes, at least to know that I have read.. and if I forget anything about the book or journal, I just read my notes.

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This is my desk look like when I am busy at my PhD office

Well.. to those who want to know about my PhD life… it is not easy at all. I am overwhelmed with books and all my reading materials, but I tried to make it as normal to a PhD student. I hope to be able to always making a progress every week in my research. But still… can’t ever resist going out and roaming around as I want to travel more and more.. and want to balance my life 🙂

 
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Posted by on October 7, 2017 in PhD life, Uncategorized

 

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Yay I’m now in Aussieland

For some times I haven;t written something in my blog. I was totally busy with one month introductory course. Another reason is because I have a new website, it is on my google site, where I got my personal English-learning recorded.

Well June and July passed so quickly. I have been through the o-week time, and got lots of freebies :). I got pen, cap, coffee cup, notes, post it, and many things. I finally settled in (at least until next February) in this place. My home right now is near to my uni, a very quiet and peaceful area, though at night it is a bit scary, since the street is dark. But, I tried not to go out late at night, especially alone. The good thing about my UNI, it provides security escorts for students. So, I can always ask the security guard to accompany me walk home. Another good thing also which I have found, is the library. It is so modern, so comfy for students. They have rest, sleeping area, student lounge, even a pod to rest during afternoon. I like the library so much. Evenmore, you just have to swipe your wanted book to borrow or return. It is so simple, just by tapping your student ID and swipe the book.. voila the book is borrowed. Also, there are free stationery in the UNI, where students actually can donate their ‘no longer needed’ stuffs, and new students like me can get them easily. I got a book holder, trays, and also pen case from there. Cool right? So many new stuffs.

Place where I will study

I have been through some places in the past 1,5 months: Rose Bay, Royal Botanic Garden, Museum of Contemporary Art NSW, Manly, and the famous Bondi beach, of course with the beaches nearby, like Coogee Beach, Tamarama Beach, and Bronte Beach. I did that coastal walk today (will write more another time).

Many things I need to do before settling in for my phD life. Hope that I can manage it though (finger crossed).

Place where I live

My room sweet room

 
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Posted by on July 29, 2017 in AAS

 

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Almost time for Aussie Land

Gosh.. time flies and it’s been almost one semester after my PDT training finished. This means my deferral period has ended and time for me to prepare everything for my departure. I am nervous, tensed and a bit worried of everything.

I received my visa on May 9th, and my ticket on May 12th from the Australia Awards office, exactly one month prior my departure date. At first, I did not worry too much about accommodation, but it turns out to be hard not as I expected.

My proposed campus provides temporary accommodation but with a very high price (ca 450-550 AUD). I had to change plan and search for a temporary accommodation myself. I used some references, like realestate, domain, even Facebook group, and also the students group. Lucky me to have friends there who I can ask with. Headache, searching for a place from internet was not that easy.  I hope to be able to find a place to settle down soon. I imagine carrying my heavy luggage and having to move from one place to another can be stressful. I wish I find suitable one soon.. please SYD be easy on me.

 
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Posted by on May 20, 2017 in AAS

 

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