Our 11th high school talk, now in Tomohon!

We’re halfway through our high school talks, and the response from the students and teachers have been really positive and encouraging! Read what Caroline has to say about the talk at SMA Negeri 1 Tomohon!

Sosialisasi di SMA-SMA sudah setengah jalan, dan respon dari para siswa dan guru sangat positif dan mendukung! Mari baca pendapat Caroline mengenai sosialisasi di SMA Negeri 1 Tomohon!

DSC_0483My day started much earlier than usual. Today, Yunita and I were heading up to Tomohon for another exciting round of high school talks, and we had to hit the road by 8 AM if we wanted to reach the schools on time. Usually we need no more than 45 minutes to reach Tomohon, through the winding but reasonably comfortable main road that connects Manado and Tomohon. However, in light of recent events, that road has been shut down for an unknown period of time, and we had to take an alternative road through the little villages nestled between the hills and forests of Minahasa and Tomohon. The road was narrow and wound even tighter than the (now unpassable) main road, was rather uneven and dipped in and out of valleys between the villages. It requires at least an hour to reach Tomohon via this road.

Thirza, introducing herself and explaining about the education program. | Thirza memperkenalkan diri dan menjelaskan sedikit mengenai program pendidikan kami.

Thirza, introducing herself and explaining about the education program. | Thirza memperkenalkan diri dan menjelaskan sedikit mengenai program pendidikan kami.

Kegiatan hari ini mulai lebih pagi dari biasanya. Hari ini, saya dan Yunita akan pergi ke Tomohon untuk sesi-sesi sosialisasi yang seru, dan kami harus berangkat pukul 8 pagi jika ingin tiba di sekolah tepat waktu. Biasanya perjalanan ke Tomohon menghabiskan waktu paling lama 45 menit, melalui jalan yang berkelok-kelok namun cukup nyaman. Akan tetapi, karena bencana yang terjadi belum lama ini, jalan ini ditutup untuk waktu yang belum ditentukan, dan kami harus mengikuti jalan alternatif yang melalui desa-desa kecil di antara pegunungan dan hutan-hutan Tomohon dan Minahasa. Jalan ini sempit dan lebih berkelok-kelok daripada jalan utama (yang kini tidak bisa dilalui), agak berlubang dan naik turun melintasi lembah dan gunung di antara desa-desa. Perlu waktu minimal 1 jam untuk mencapai Tomohon melalui jalan ini.

Today’s trip was slightly different – we have a couple of guests visiting! Aside from Yunita and me, we were joined by Thirza and Mark and Anna, two of our friends from Great Britain. They’re going to be in Manado for a fortnight and they came along today to visit the schools!

Perjalanan hari ini agak berbeda – ada beberapa tamu yang berkunjung! Selain saya dan Yunita, Thirza turut bergabung dengan kami, juga Mark dan Anna, dua orang teman dari Inggris. Mereka akan tinggal di Manado selama dua minggu dan hari ini mereka ikut berkunjung ke sekolah-sekolah!

Mark, introducing himself and Anna (who took the picture). | Mark memperkenalkan dirinya dan Anna (yang mengambil foto).

Mark, introducing himself and Anna (who took the picture). | Mark memperkenalkan dirinya dan Anna (yang mengambil foto).

We spent little over an hour on the road before entering Tomohon and we headed straight for SMA Negeri 1 Tomohon, the 11th high school we visited. We were warmly welcomed by the principal and teachers, and after a short chat in the principal’s office, we were shown to the hall, where the students were already assembling. After the usual introductions, I told the students that there was going to be a quiz at the end of the talk, and the winner will represent the school in our upcoming Yaki Youth Camp. The students were visibly interested, but still hesitant when I asked who wanted to join. Well, let’s see if I can change that reaction, shall we?

The hall was packed with students, and some teachers joined in as well. | Aula dipenuhi siswa, dan beberapa guru juga turut mendengarkan.

The hall was packed with students, and some teachers joined in as well. | Aula dipenuhi siswa, dan beberapa guru juga turut mendengarkan.

Kami menghabiskan waktu sejam lebih sedikit di perjalanan menuju Tomohon dan kami segera menuju SMA Negeri 1 Tomohon, sekolah kesebelas yang kami kunjungi. Kami disambut hangat oleh kepala sekolah dan para guru, dan setelah mengobrol singkat di ruang kepala sekolah, kami diantar ke aula, di mana para siswa sudah mulai berkumpul. Setelah perkenalan, saya mengatakan pada para siswa bahwa akan ada quiz di akhir materi, dan pemenangnya akan mewakili sekolah mereka di Yaki Youth Camp. Para siswa tampak tertarik, namun masih ragu-ragu ketika saya bertanya siapa yang ingin ikut. Semangat saya tidak surut melihat reaksi yang biasa-biasa ini – setelah saya selesai menyampaikan materi, reaksi mereka pasti lebih heboh!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI proceeded to explain why Sulawesi is important, biodiversity-wise, and why the yaki needs to be protected, followed by information on our Selamatkan Yaki programme. The students seemed fascinated when they learned about the biodiversity of Sulawesi, and were properly concerned when they learned of the yaki’s worrying population decline. By the time the Yaki Youth Camp was brought up again, their interest was much more pronounced! They also asked some very good questions that would not have been out of place in a biodiversity class for college seniors!

Saya pun menjelaskan mengapa Sulawesi penting dari segi keanekaragaman hayati, dan mengapa yaki perlu dilindungi, diikuti informasi mengenai program Selamatkan Yaki. Para siswa tampak kagum ketika mereka melihat betapa kayanya keanekaragaman hayati Sulawesi, dan sangat prihatin ketika mereka tahu mengenai penurunan populasi yaki yang mengkhawatirkan. Ketika tiba saatnya saya menerangkan lebih jauh mengenai Yaki Youth Camp, ketertarikan dan semangat mereka terlihat jelas! Mereka juga menanyakan beberapa pertanyaan yang sangat bagus, yang selevel dengan pertanyaan mahasiswa tingkat empat!

The winner of the first question. | Pemenang pertanyaan pertama.

The winner of the first question. | Pemenang pertanyaan pertama.

After the students asked us questions, it was my turn to ask them questions! There was a sharp swing in the volume when I clicked my pointer (the question was to be shown on the screen) – and hands shot up immediately! Fortunately I managed to spot the very first hand in the air… and he answered correctly! I handed him his prize before starting on the second question. The same thing happened at the second question – hands shot up, but not before I pointed to the first hand in the air and called him up. His answer was spot on! Now it was time for the third question, the “Golden Ticket” question, of which the winner will participate in our Yaki Youth Camp, representing their school. You could hear the anticipation in the air. A brief silence when the question popped up, and – hands in the air! The third question demanded a longer answer, and was not so easy to get right. Four different students had a go, but none gave the complete explanation we were looking for. Finally, the fifth student struck gold! Congratulations to Angelika who will represent SMA Negeri 1 Tomohon at our Yaki Youth Camp!

I had to pay close attention to the answers for the third question. We will only settle for the best! | Saya harus benar-benar memperhatikan jawaban-jawaban pertanyaan ketiga. Kami mencari jawaban terbaik!

I had to pay close attention to the answers for the third question. We will only settle for the best! | Saya harus benar-benar memperhatikan jawaban-jawaban pertanyaan ketiga. Kami mencari jawaban terbaik!

Setelah para siswa bertanya, giliran saya untuk bertanya pada mereka! Aula tiba-tiba hening ketika saya menekan tombol pointer (pertanyaan ditampilkan di presentasi) – dan tangan-tangan langsung teracung! Untungnya saya berhasil melihat siapa yang pertama mengangkat tangan… dan dia menjawab dengan benar! Saya memberikan hadiahnya sebelum masuk pada pertanyaan kedua. Hal yang sama terjadi di pertanyaan kedua – banyak yang mengangkat tangan, tapi saya berhasil melihat siapa pemilik tangan pertama dan memanggilnya ke depan. Jawabannya sangat tepat! Kini saatnya pertanyaan ketiga, pertanyaan “Golden Ticket”, di mana pemenangnya akan menjadi peserta Yaki Youth Camp, mewakili sekolahnya. Suasana terasa sangat tegang. Hening beberapa saat setelah pertanyaan tampil, dan – banyak tangan teracung! Pertanyaan ketiga perlu dijawab dengan lengkap, dan tidak mudah menjawabnya dengan benar. Empat siswa mencoba menjawab, namun tidak ada jawaban yang lengkap dan sesuai harapan kami. Akhirnya, siswa kelima berhasil! Selamat kepada Angelika yang akan mewakili SMA Negeri 1 Tomohon di Yaki Youth Camp!

Thank you for your support, SMA Negeri 1 Tomohon! | Terima kasih untuk dukungannya, SMA Negeri 1 Tomohon!

Thank you for your support, SMA Negeri 1 Tomohon! | Terima kasih untuk dukungannya, SMA Negeri 1 Tomohon!

It was a great talk, and we are very grateful for the support showed by the school.  The students’ enthusiasm also made us feel even more motivated than before. Thank you very much, SMA Negeri 1 Tomohon – you are all yaki ambassadors and thank you for helping us spread the word!

Sosialisasi ini sangat menyenangkan, dan kami sangat berterima kasih atas dukungan dari pihak sekolah. Semangat para siswa juga semakin memotivasi kami. Terima kasih banyak, SMA Negeri 1 Tomohon – kalian semua duta yaki kami dan terima kasih sudah membantu kami menyebarkan pesan kami!

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