The CD is launched in Bali!

Ayo! Let’s Go! was officially launched in Bali at two fun-filled events in October 2016. It was so much fun to share the songs in public and see kids laugh, join in with actions and sing along.

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Mita, Reena and Olga in action at the Sunday Market Sanur

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“Took off with the bunch! I missed out on my lunch!” The Ubud Writers & Readers Festival event on Friday 29 October.

The Differences Between Monkeys and Possums was a great warm up and had everyone on their feet. Everyone agreed that monkeys were pretty naughty and could do all the things mentioned in the song. Nasi Putih was fun to do with the fast actions and some kids thought it was funny there was a song about white rice.

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“Monkeys stole my hat” – he he he!

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“Right above my head! The noise could wake the dead!” What an enthusiastic audience at the Sunday Market Sanur.

Children won Ayo! Let’s Go! t-shirts by proving they listened to the words of Bamboozled by Bamboo. They had to remember some of the 20 things mentioned in the song that can be made from bamboo.

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First we were tall and thin like bamboo. Then we were bendy like bamboo.

And some liked The Birthday Party best of all, singing loudly: “satu, dua, tiga, empat, lima”.

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Sing it out strong! “Buah-buahan, Buah-buahan.”

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It’s Komodo! “Look out! Don’t go too slow!”

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“Ayo ke pantai!” with Wisma Dantha on vocals.

 

 

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Afterwards, everyone had a goody bag with activity sheets, colouring in pages, pencils and a sticker.

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Arjuna and Reena. Just as well we had shade as it was very hot at the Sunday Market Sanur.

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The Howarth Family with their CD.

 

Ayo! Let’s Go! now on sale!

ayo-lets-go-cd-coverI want to say I was waiting with baited breath as the DHS delivery guy pulled up in front of my house to deliver the boxes of CDs. But I was away at the coast and the DHS guy had to leave them with my husband who respectfully left me the pleasure of opening up the boxes.

And when I got home, there they were! Sparkling blue and white covers with shiny shrink wrap protecting their gorgeous digipaks with lovely full colour printing and 16-page booklet tucked into the sleeve.

Yep, 16 pages. It was so big I had to contact CD Baby to ask if they could print a booklet that large. They sure could! And after a few short weeks of sending them the artwork by Louise Bell – more beautiful than I could have hoped – they were sending them back to me.

And now I’m making them available to everyone else through a  simple online form or digital downloads. Your choice! Postal orders are for Australia only.

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Ayo! Let’s Go! booklet page

Learning from writers at UWRF

I recently had the pleasure of sitting in on workshops run by amazing writers and performance poets, held during the Ubud Writers & Readers Festival. This was the second year I’ve volunteered for the festival – it’s a great festival – and the first year that I had the responsibility of organising school workshops. It had its ups and downs but the job was worth it to meet the fantastic group of writers who took part.

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I started off spending a few months contacting international schools in Bali and Jakarta (and even Singapore) to encourage schools to book a workshop with a visiting writer. The writers were all coming to Bali for the festival which was held from 28 October to 1 November in 2015. A school workshop meant a great opportunity for schools to have international writers visit, something that doesn’t happen
too often in Indonesia.

A few months out from the festival I had to start contacting the writers to tell them about the workshop and almost all of them were delighted to have a school visit as part of their events during the festival. I was worried to begin with, maybe some writers wouldn’t want to give up a whole morning to visit a school? But almost without exception, they did!

The hardest thing was negotiating with schools about the visits and making sure both the school and the writer were happy with what was organised. Some schools were easy. They booked one writer for one class and the time was up to us. 9.30 to 12.30? Done. All that was left was to give a list of equipment and resources needed.

Other schools were more demanding and wanted the visiting writers to work around their break times or visit the entire primary school in three hours. But, I was amazed to learn, most writers were very amenable and rose to the challenges of multiple groups, or limited time, or larger class numbers.

I also learnt that the writers visiting the festival were very hardworking. Zohab Zee Khan, for example, had seven separate events over four days, including two workshops. Another writer, Porochista Khakpour, still had to give Skype tutorials to her college classes in the US, sometimes at 3.30am, while she was at the festival.

The best thing for me was I got to meet these amazing writers, and then sit in on their workshops. I tried not to waste my time, either, and joined in as many of the writing exercises as I could. Even Sofie Laguna’s writing workshop with Grade 3’s at the Bali Island School.

In total, six schools, four in Bali and two visiting from Jakarta, had workshops with 13 visiting writers, illustrators, journalists, photographers and performance poets. There were 11 workshops in total and, with some of the writers sharing their time among two or three groups, I worked out about 342 students had the chance to be in a workshop with one of the visiting writers.

And it wasn’t just the students who enjoyed the workshops. One of the visiting journalists told me it was by far the best thing he had been involved in at the festival. Not surprisingly, the school he visited, the Australian Intercultural School, was rapt with his visit.

Next post: what I learnt from performance poets.

Names not to have in Indonesia

Following on from my last post about words that look the same in Indonesian and English but have different meanings, here is a list of names that look or sound the same in both languages but mean very different things.

Carlie – it is a very pretty name but it sounds like the Indonesian word for stream. Ooh, that sounds pretty too, you think! Maybe not when you see the globby green-slime covered waterway opposite our house that is our local kali.

Dan – what a lot of people called Dan there are in Indonesia! Hang on, it just means ‘and’.

Gorden – curtain (ok, I’m cheating here as the name is usually spelt Gordon, but it’s very close).

Lucky – why is this not a good name? Well, it’s totally fine actually, unless you’re a girl. More one to keep in mind when it comes to naming your dog, as opposed to your children. But even so, it’s worth knowing you’ll sound like you’re calling out ‘boy!’

Mara – an old family friend has this name, not very common I know. But I can’t help wondering when she visits Bali and is introduced, if people look at her twice and wonder … ‘is she really angry? She doesn’t look marah.’

Marie – the French way of saying this name sounds quite like mari, let’s go or go on then. Thus: ‘Mari Marie!’

Sandysandi kata means password so does it mean your name is a secret?

Summer – while not a widely used name anyway, you still need to be wary as it sounds like an exceptionally common word in Indonesian – sama – which means same or likewise. So introducing yourself as Summer could have people thinking you have the same name as them. ‘What a coincidence! Your name is Wayan too?!’

Tanya – in Indonesia, tanya means to ask, so you could enjoy a laugh with an exchange like this one.

Mau ke mana besok? Tanya Tanya.
[Where do you want to go tomorrow? Ask Tanya.]

Tim – which tim are you part of? One of the many words that Indonesian has taken from English, it means team.

I’m sure I’ve missed many many funny examples of names and words that have different meanings in these two languages. What are some you’ve come across?

Why are there so many bottles of air and cat ovens in Indonesia?

Most languages have these accidental cross overs where one word looks exactly the same, or sounds the same, as a word in another language. But the meaning is quite different. Called heteronyms, these are a few of my favourites from Indonesian to English.

Air – just to be confusing this is indeed one of the elements, and something you can’t live without. Do you breathe it? No, of course not. It means water.

Get mind-body-spirit alignment and top up your mobile phone credit at the same time?

Get mind-body-spirit alignment and top up your mobile phone credit at the same time?

Are – a way to measure land, it is a hundredth of a hectare (10m x 10m). [note: I just found out that this word also exists in English. Who knew!?]

Ban – a tyre and one of several car-related words on this list.

Cap – the first word in the ubiquitous stir-fried vegetable dish, cap cay, it comes from Chinese.

Cat Oven (or Cat Open) – despite the images this name conjures, it is not a place where kittens are baked (or opened). It means a place that can redo your car’s paint job.

 

A variation on the baked kitten is the open cat (creative spelling at its best). And what could the Poles Body be all about? The mind boggles.

A variation on the baked cat is the open cat (creative Indonesian spelling at its best). And what could the Poles Body be all about? The mind boggles.

Gang – why are there so many gangs in Bali? They even have their own sign posts. Gang means small street.

Got – we have one of these across from our house. A nice big drain.

Jam – I love strawberry jam, mango jam, guava jam. But in Indonesia it’s a different kind of stickiness, it means hour.

Helm – you don’t actually need one of these if you’re at the helm of a boat or plane. But you sure should wear one on a motor bike on these streets. Yep, it’s the underutilised helmet.

Lima – if you resided in the Peruvian capital a situation might conceivably arise where you have to give your address and confusion ensues. At a stretch. But anyway, lima means five.

Big bags of...? Cement. Obviously.

Big bags of…? Cement. Obviously.

Made – one of the most popular names in Bali, you really can say Made in Bali and it would be accurate each time

REM – yep, kind of cheating here with all capitals but otherwise it wouldn’t have made much sense. Rem is another car part, this time it means brake.

Rad – that’s totally rad, man! No it’s not. In Indonesia it means council.

Resort – why are the police in Indonesia always going to resorts? Signs saying Polis Resort are not uncommon but it only means a local division of police. It doesn’t necessarily mean there aren’t sun lounges and happy hours though…

Sari – it’s a piece of clothing in India but in Indonesia it means essence. This leads to hotel names like Alam Sari (essence of nature), restaurants named Sari Organik and even health foods like Sari Korma (essence of date).

Yoga sign in Bali

Now, those are two words you don’t normally think of together.

Semen – cement, obviously. Hence the big bags of it.

Tang – ooh yes, that pair of pliers has a nice tang to it.

Tas – in Australia this could be the a shortened form of the picturesque state of my birth. But in Indonesia it’s just a bag.

Yoga – Ubud is well known as a place with more yoga mats per square kilometre than anyway else in the world. But why do all these other little shops have signs with Yoga on them? Some of them are even selling mobile phones. Yoga is a name.

There are sure to be many more that I haven’t thought of. What is your favourite?