Learning How to Ride a Bicycle

Last Indonesian Mother’s day, 22th of December 2018, there was a lovely gift from my first son. He was learning to ride a bicycle and then he was able to cycle by his own! Without any extra side wheels. It was my husband who led him to practice cycling.

The days before, he tried to ride his bicycle. It was his own initiative to take the bicycle after a long time he never tried cycling again. He stopped cycling since the extra wheels for his bike was taken out. Looking Kalki was trying to ride his bicycle, my husband then helped him to learn.

Kalki took 3 days to learn cycling until he became confident to ride on his own. He learned cycling at our front yard. When my husband no longer held the bicycle for the first balance, Kalki got on his bicycle by the help of our terrace step. Then he could make it, cycling around.

It was a perfect present for me on the mother’s day. As a mother of course I felt proud to Kalki. Kalki was 5 years old 7 month and he has been able to ride a bicycle… I am very happy everytime I see him cycling. He feels happy too that he can ride a bicycle! Because our front your doesn’t have enough space for him cycling, we went to his kindergarten’s yard so he could practice at a wide yard.

Once I ran with Kalki riding his bicycle. It was fun and challenging because our village is hilly and the road is either going up or down. Going uphill is hard, on the other hand going downhill is dangerous. On the uphill and downhill roads I asked Kalki to walk but on some downhills I let him to ride his bicycle and use the brakes. It was difficult to maintain the brakes during sliding through the downhills so Kalki bumped to a house’s wall, haha don’t worry he was fine. He enjoys the experience and he wants more! He asked me, “mama, when are you going to run again? Because I want to join you by riding my bicycle.” Well, his bike’s brake and chain are broken now so he cannot join me.

I also would like to share my childhood story. I think this one will be interesting to tell.

When I was young, I always wanted to learn how to ride a bicycle. I was a very young kid. Maybe about 5 years old. At that time my parents already bought me a small bicycle but there were two extra wheels to keep my balance. Next stage, my parents taught me how to ride a bicycle without any extra wheels. At first, my father tried to give only one extra wheel. He handled my bicycle and let me try to paddle on my own until I could get my balance.

I kept practicing how to ride a bicycle until I was confident enough and my parents thought that I would be able to paddle a bicycle without an extra wheel. So again, my father took off the remaining extra wheel on my bike. He was always there to help me while I practiced riding a bicycle. He handed my bike for the first time and when I could paddle with balance, he let me go riding away. We repeated this way until I could handle my bike in the beginning for myself.

I felt so excited when I could ride a bicycle by myself. It was almost felt like I was flying and free. When a small kid eventually could ride a bicycle on her own she became addicted to riding her bicycle again, and again and again. I rode my bicycle around my house in the neighborhoods. Sometimes I went quite far so that my mother worried about me because it took a long time for me to come back home. Later on, my parents allowed me to ride my bicycle to school in elementary school. I really enjoyed it. I even gave a ride to my little brother when I went to school by bike because we went to the same school. We went to school together by bike, my little brother sat on the back as my passenger.

♥️ Intan Rastini

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Swimming at Lovina Beach

I and my husband have been invited three times to come to Singaraja. The invitations were for a wedding ceremonies and a blessing ceremony for the newborn baby. Those were the wedding of my husband’s cousins in Singaraja, they are brothers. The first wedding was held for the younger brother then the ceremony for the newborn baby, and next was a wedding for the older brother.

The wedding was held in Balinese tradition and it was a sacred ceremony in a lifetime. We wished our cousin and his bride to be happy and to have a long-lasting marriage. I also would never forget the moment when I was married to my husband so I believed for everybody, a wedding ceremony would be a tearful yet full of happiness moment.

Because of the wedding was held in Singaraja, it took us about 2 hours to get there by motorbike. When we arrived at Singaraja, I didn’t want to miss the chance to swim at the Lovina beach as well. The journey made us pass the hills from Tabanan and then arrive at the northern seashore of Bali. Bali beaches on the north are very calm with small waves, unlike the southern beaches. So I was brave enough to swim there. It was a great moment to swim at the calm sea without being afraid of the big waves. Of course, you had to be able to swim if you wanted to swim in the sea. I even tried to dive from the dock.

Well, I really enjoy swimming in the northern Bali sea. To me it’s a precious moment. However, before I got married, when I was still in relationship with my husband, we also reached to the north Bali, to Git Git Twin Waterfall then Lovina beach. Yeah we had swum there once before we got married. It is because my husband who told me that he used to swim there when he was on the job training at Pizza House Restaurant.

Between swimming in the sea and in the swimming pool, I think I like it swimming in the sea better than in the pool. But to get access to the calm sea in the north is such an effort. There are some other foreign tourists who swim in the sea besides me. Most local people don’t swim at Lovina beach. Maybe Indonesian people prefer swimming in the pool and when they go to the beach they play on the seashore with the sand and the waves.

Always bring your bento and drinking bottle to the beach

Happy holiday!

And I feel terribly sorry for some Indonesians who underwent a natural disaster Tsunami in Anyer, Banten and Lampung. May God always be with us. Keep being strong.

❤️ Intan Rastini

Matching Vocab Words with Picture for Young English Learners

Last October I had a vocabulary game with my students. With the help of a volunteer from the Netherlands, Isabelle, we remade a kindergarten worksheet from Education.com into vocabulary cards. It was a Fun Matching List with Images Worksheet with twelve words and twelve pictures. The vocabulary list on the left side consisted of ‘cap’, ‘dig’, ‘hat’, ‘sun’, ‘web’, ‘lip’, ‘tub’, ‘ant’, ‘mop’, ‘jam’, ‘bat’, ‘fox’. While on the right side there were random pictures that depicted each vocabulary word. The kids shall match each word with the correct picture.

If we just used that printed worksheet, the kids could make a line to connect a word to the correct picture. Just as simple as that. However, we didn’t do like that. Isabelle helped me making twelve cards from the vocabulary words, she wrote the words on a piece of paper card with colorful pens. Next, she cut each picture from the worksheet and then every picture was attached on the blank cards. We had four sets of vocabulary list and four sets of pictures from four printed worksheets.

How we did it in the class was we split our young students into four groups consisted of 6-8 children. We had set the tables and chairs into four-group position so they could discuss together. After that, we gave each group with a set of cards that included a list of vocabulary and a list of pictures. Every group worked together as a team to match each vocab word with the correct pictures.

It was interesting to see how far my English students knew the vocabulary. My students were about 9-12 years old and they were learning English as a foreign language for beginner level. They made a few mistakes while matching the vocab with the picture, but their enthusiasm and teamwork were really valuable to see. It didn’t matter that they made some mistakes, they were still learning and they would make an improvement. It was getting easy as they remembered the meaning of the vocab words or remembered the pairs. When they finished a set, we scrambled the cards and they redid it again.

You can check more worksheets on Education.com for your children at home or for your students. My kindergarten sons, for instance, they like the maze worksheets and always enjoy solving different types of the maze (you can read the story here).

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I also have tried giving my son with the word tracer worksheet but he wasn’t as interested as doing the maze worksheets. I thought that Crawlies Word Tracer would really suit my 5-year-old son to learn how to write alphabets. Still, he enjoyed the maze worksheets the most!

♡ Intan Rastini

Free Spirited American Volunteers

I always love to have volunteers from the United States of America because I adore the country, the freedom, and liberty. So when American volunteers come, it is very delightful to me to ask them about anything related to their country. The first American volunteer that I got at the learning center is Ian Alfaro from Hawai, but his family is from Mexico so he is also a Mexican. He is a surfer anyway and he brought his surfboard to our learning center, he did surf at Balian Beach.

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Next, I met a couple from Washington, USA. They are Lisa Beck and Daniel Kirkpatrick. They are married with three children, their oldest son is in the same as me. I also asked them to be my American parents, and they said yes. They are very nice and kind. Once they asked me about teaching my sons English then I said that my sons had a speech delay, they cheered me up and Daniel told me a story about some different animal, for example, a rabbit, a snake, a chicken, a bird, a fish, a frog who are taught to swim, to fly and to walk. In the swimming lesson, none of them can swim except fish and frog. Next, in the flying lesson, none of them can fly except a bird, even the chicken is hardly fly. At last in the walking lesson, none of them can walk except a chicken, the rabbit jumps and the snake slithers.

He said that the moral story was every child has his own skill and ability timing, so I shouldn’t worry about the speech delay happen to my sons. It is a very heart-warming story that ever given to me to cheer me as a mom. In fact, Daniel and Lisa are education consultants. So they work to train people, to train students, to set or design a school program and so on. They also run an international school. Daniel also an Aikido practitioner, so he taught the kids and me about Aikido. It is totally a coincidence because I am truly interested in Aikido since a long time ago I watched an actor who practiced Aikido because it is the only martial art that is used to defend yourself not to “attack”. And yes it is true Aikido is the harmony of energy.

Although Daniel and Lisa are old and ugly (hahaha this was Daniel idea) but they are really fun and adventurous! Then after Daniel and Lisa, there was Shannon Breslin from Chicago. She works at California right now. She was just graduated from university when she came volunteering at our learning center. She has a cheerful and positive attitude. Shannon loves to play soccer, she is really sporty. Once I ran with her in the hills and she could keep going running uphill and downhill faster than me. I told her that she’s got log slim legs like a horse! Haha she is indeed tall. When we ran together she was afraid of the dogs barking at us and she used me to cover her LOL!

Thanks to Hannah Spencer from NZ who took this picture

After Shannon, there was an adult volunteer who works as a speech therapist and as a secondary school teacher (I think it a high school). She is not really American because she is a Russian who moved to the USA. Her name is Laura Kovalenko. She is a yoga enthusiast too! Like me. We have the same interest in exercise and workouts, the difference is just she can do difficult yoga poses while I still can’t hahaha. I have ever consulted about my son speech delay and she advised me very well. She is very open and friendly. The way she taught the kids make me learn how to teach better. I even invited her to come to the English lesson of my private student and we played continuing story with the dice. Laura lives in New York! Yeah, New York my dream city. I want to visit NYC someday, I will just call Laura to pick me up from Ellis Island. Laura said that the statue of Liberty is close to her home. Wow!

Who is going to be the next American volunteer that I would meet at the Learning Center Eka Chita Pradnyan? I don’t know, we’ll see. From them, I got many souvenirs. It is funny because Shannon and Laura gave me the same thing: bracelet. Shannon gave me a brown mosquito repellent bracelet while Laura gave me a white bracelet. And they almost look the same braided bracelet! Just in different colors. Daniel and Lisa gave me the most things that I really like: American Magazine! Besides that, they also gave me a foldable magnifying glass and mechanical flashlight (without battery but using our muscle to turn on the light) for an outdoor activity. Even more, Daniel wrote me a credit as an English teacher! Thanks a lot for the gifts, I will keep them and remember you always in my heart.

💕 Intan Rastini

Eco-Stylish Wooden Sunnies

Have you ever heard about sunglasses made from woods or bamboo? Even, recently I’ve noticed sunglasses made from the recycled skateboard material. Sustainable development* is getting wide-spread. People are thinking about more eco-friendly products nowadays. Something that we can renew, regrow, reuse, recycle is more considerable to make a new trend. In addition, using an eco-friendly product, I believe will make us feel less guilty about polluting our lovely planet Earth.

I think everybody likes a good environment but even better when you can see natural elements make a really amazing fashion.

-Wooden Sunnies

By the end of August, I joined an Instagram giveaway held by the Wooden Sunnies. There were bamboo sunglasses as the prize, so I was really interested to join it. Then I won. Yes, I won the bamboo sunglasses!!!

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I got contacted via a direct message by the owner of Wooden Sunnies. He said that I would be the winner, but because of the bamboo glasses on the giveaway are quite big, he offered me a Lolita, instead. Wanna know which one is the bamboo sunglasses and which one is Lolita?

These are the bamboo sunglasses. Aren’t they cool to make you stand out?

And these sunglasses are Lolita. Oh so stunning!

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I bet the bamboo sunglasses would fit my husband rather than me because he has a big head, really a big head for an Asian man. I like the bamboo sunglasses because the bamboo material is eco-friendly and regrowable easily yet it is also sustainable. However, I wasn’t disappointed at all when Mr. Joel, the Wooden Sunnies owner, told me that he would send Lolita for me because he believed Lolita suited better for ladies rather than the bamboo ones.

Lolita sunglasses have a transparent plastic frame edge, but the arms are zebra wood. Zebra wood is kind of wood from Africa that has very noticeable stripes of zebra pattern. Mr. Joel told me that he was unsure about the Lolita as it has a plastic edge, but then it becomes favorite! He sells this one more than all others lately. Yes, indeed Lolita really looks great. Lolita sunglasses has surprised Mr. Joel because they are sold out the quickest. These sunnies are perfect for everyone. Fit men and women.

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My Sunnies prize is packed with a bamboo cylindrical container, just like a hollow big bamboo stem. It is also provided with a black fabric pouch and a lens cleaning cloth. As Lolita arrived at my home… My husband tried to put them on but they don’t fit my husband! Wow! His head is really big or Lolita sunnies are quite small? Even my son tried wearing them too and they fit pretty well on him! Hahaha… So actually Lolita fit everyone, except my husband. The head’s width of my husband is big enough for Lolita. So maybe, as I guess, the bamboo sunglasses will suit him better.

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When I get Lolita, I look into its wooden arms, they are engraved with “polarized” on the left side and “handmade” on the right side. Lolita is handmade and it is also equipped with polarized lenses. The front lenses have a mirror finish that reflects images just like a metallic mirror. It is handmade, so it is so special. How about “polarized”? what does it mean? Polarized is a term for the lenses of the sunglasses that help to reduce reflected glare from the water and flat surfaces.

How do polarized lenses work? Light usually scatters in all directions; but when it’s reflected from flat surfaces, it tends to become polarized – meaning it travels in a more uniform (usually horizontal) direction. This creates an annoying and sometimes dangerous intensity of reflected light that causes glare and reduces visibility.

Polarized lenses contain a special filter that blocks this type of intense reflected light, reducing glare. They provide superior glare protection – especially on the water. Polarized lenses also may reduce the visibility of images produced by liquid crystal display (LCDs) or light emitting diode displays (LEDs) such as digital screens. So, with polarized lenses, you may be unable to see your cell phone or GPS device (Reference: http://www.allaboutvision.com – Polarized Sunglasses).

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I have proved it myself, when I was taking pictures at the beach, it was hard to see my phone display with the sunglasses on. The display was totally dark. However, it was really cool to wear Lolita at the beach as it was totally sunny and the sunlight glaring from the sea water. The vision through Lolita lenses are clear but the sunlight is not strikingly bright to my eyes. They are lightweight and now are my best friends in this tropical sunny country. The wooden sunnies are perfect for outdoor activity and to protect my eyes from the sunlight.

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I am lucky I got these cool handmade wooden sunnies as a prize. If you buy these sunnies from Wooden Sunnies, $10 of every sale goes to plasticoceans.org. You are not only purchasing an eco-stylish product but also contributing to the sustainability of marine life too. Well, so many thanks to Wooden Sunnies who had considered kindly the suitable sunnies for me as a perfect gift and moreover for raising awareness to the single-use plastic that pollutes our planet. For a better earth for our children, grandchildren and grand grandchildren.

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Something renewable, regrowable and sustainable. It makes people feel a little bit better about what they’re doing.

– Wooden Sunnies

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If you are interested to seek wooden sunnies and be friends with the sustainable ecosystem, please go and check… http://www.woodensunnies.com they have various styles of sunglasses. Even more, this September Wooden Sunnies has launched a new range called ‘EmDeez’. The new ones are round sunglasses made from dark and light bamboo frame. Aaaww, another adorable bamboo sunnies… What are you waiting for? Let’s check it out!

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*Based on Encarta Dictionary, sustainable development means an economic development without polluting environment: economic development maintained within acceptable levels of global resource depletion and environmental pollution

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💚 Intan Rastini