Sunday, April 29, 2007
Reflections about Muddy Friday
It was a cloudy day. Earlier there was some light rain but it thankfully cleared up. So full of bravado were my class of Grade 3 students. So full of theories of how they were going to catch fish with their bare hands and stand in mud to plant rice.
Suddenly, we were all faced with jumping into a smelly, stagnant pond. Yeuch! Mindful that I was the teacher, the example, the ONE who said EVERYONE must get in, I felt I had to TAKE THE PLUNGE.
In I slipped. Into the muddy water. The slimy, smelly muddy pond water. It was slimy on the bottom and it stank like dead fish. Embrace the dirt, Mrs. Jane. Seize the day!
I spied a fish. It was breaking the surface of the pond. Slowly now, I crept towards it. I cringed as I put my hands into the slime to try to catch it. Slowly, slowly my hands felt for the fish body as it went below the surface. Missed it. Hurmp! I spied another fish. So did Gian! He ran towards it splashing muddy water everywhere in the process. The fish took off and disappeared from sight.
I looked around. My class was fully into the game. Water was splashing everywhere. No one cared about the stink, the slime the gross sludge on the bottom. We were fishing. And we were loving it!
I managed to catch a couple of fish. Soon there were none left in the pond. I glanced across to the padi field. Later we would have to go in there too. The padi had mud a foot deep. It looked much harder to deal with than the shallow fish pond.
Next we bathed the docile buffaloes. At last we were ready to go to the padi. Here we had a farmer teach us about how to plant rice seedlings. They had to be in a straight line. Each plant had to be 20 centimetres apart.
I slipped in. The mud was really smelly. It was thick and stuck to our skin. My class was trying very hard to plant their rice whilst keeping as clean as possible. I planted my seedlings dutifully. I looked up to see my class starting to leave.
Suddenly a wave of mud hit me! I wasn't sure where it had come from. "Who wants a mud fight?”, I asked Kalista. She replied by throwing some mud back at me. We were careful not to throw it too high. Unfortunately Joshua got some on his face. Wow was he mad! Later on however, Joshua was very proud to tell everyone in the bus about how great the mud fight was and how it got on his face. He was a true mud warrior and couldn't stop telling all his friends about it!
It was very hard to find a bathroom that was available. There were only 2 indoor showers in the whole place! Most of us ended up using the tap in the toilet! Not very good Taman Buah Mekarsari! There were hundreds of dirty kids there that day and only 2 indoor showers to wash off the mud!
After checking that my students were able to access a place to wash, I went walking with Ibu Shirley and we finally found a toilet with a tap and a bucket. We then scrubbed all the mud off. Afterwards we came back to the group and the mothers had prepared a delicious Sundanese lunch for us. It was so yummy! Thanks to all the Mums for making it.
Finally we had a fun painting activity and then a tour of the place concluded our day.
I hoped that you enjoyed our day out Grade 3. I certainly did!