ETA Kyra Ghosh has been involved in an after school program recently that provides extra English classes to elementary and middle school students called “ILC” (International Learning Center). She has been involved in several activities with the students, but most recently she and fellow ETA Arshelle Carter planned a Halloween party for the ILC students. They told the students a week in advance about the party and told them that if they already had a costume, they should feel free to wear it.
Upon arrival at the party, both Arshelle and Kyra were greeted by a group of gleaming 6-10 year olds in full faces of makeup and princess, ghost, and butterfly costumes. It was painfully cute to say the least. As more and more students and kids from the community filed in, Arshelle and Kyra showed a PowerPoint presentation of pictures of them in costumes and explained various traditions associated with the holiday like pumpkin carving and trick-or-treating. They then introduced some Halloween vocabulary and played a mini game of charades. To finish the “party” they hosted a mummy wrapping competition and last but not least, a trick or treat activity to satisfy the wide-eyed candy craving children.
This community has become quite special to Kyra over the past few weeks, and although Halloween is not any particularly special holiday for her, the fact that she got to share it with this community was quite meaningful. As her classes at school are quite large, she has felt that the opportunity to work in smaller groups of students has been rewarding. She has also grown fond of many of the children beginning from the first day she introduced herself to the elementary class. She is very accustomed to questions from students in Indonesia, and at this point her answers are rehearsed, as the same questions come up again and again: “where are you from” “do you have a boyfriend” and “what is your opinion of Labuan Bajo”. These 7-year-olds however completely took her by surprise – beginning with adorable questions like “what is your favorite color?” and ending in, “are you a bad girl?” Kyra along with Arshelle plan to create a Community Engagement Project by organizing an event each month centered on an American holiday, making sure to highlight diversity of religion, race, and culture in America. They also hope to involve high school students from their English clubs in these monthly events. Kyra anticipates that this group of enthusiastic and eager kids will play a role in the reason she will thrive this year.
Arshelle Carter is currently teaching at SMK Stella Maris Labuan Bajo, East Nusa Tenggara
Kyra Ghosh is currently teaching at SMAK St. Ignatius Loyola, Labuan Bajo, East Nusa Tenggara
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