The kids are learning so much here; Littletree has her own budget to work out, which means doing her own haggling and calculating foreign exchange rates, as well as budgeting for her meals, bicycle rental and expenses.
Each day, Littletree gets a budget of 100,000 Rupiah, which is about $10. Her room at the homestay and breakfast are provided, but other than that, she has to budget all of her other expenses, including meals, drinks, snacks, bicycle rental, scuba lessons, tours, snorkelling trips, excursions, souvenirs, trinkets, coconuts…
The life lesson in budgeting and calculating money has been invaluable; she’s not only learning very well her 10,000 times tables, she learned very early on that if she splurges all her money on buying pearls from the hawkers on the beach, then she wont have enough left over to rent her bike the next day – or buy dinner! She’s also learned that she can eat a good meal of local food at local Warungs for only a dollar, and save up for when she wants something special, like a glass-bottom boat tour on the reef.
The kids are learning so much; not just arithmetic and accounting!
They’re climbing trees, and snorkelling and scuba diving; learning about the reef and marine life. Littletree even attended a lecture about conservation on the reef and joined in with a local clean-up project to collect rubbish from the beach and reef.
Learning to speak Bahasa Indonesia, and practising with the locals, making friends with local children and learning about their culture and customs, as well as all the social interactions… I couldn’t possibly imagine a richer learning experience.
And despite all the exciting world out there, I can still hardly keep Littletree’s nose out of her book!
And the girls are all keeping journals and spending a lot of time writing and illustrating their adventures on the island – somehow rather a lot of the daily budget seems to get spent on stationery.