I met Agel on the street at 9am and we walked for 45 minutes to reach his senior high school, where I was introduced to the headmaster and led upstairs to a classroom. The school focuses on teaching tourism. Most students aspire to becoming a tourist guide working out of Labuan Bajo. I spoke to two classes about my trip and explained, from my point of view, what makes a good guide. I encouraged them to become good at English, develop in-depth knowledge about their country and culture, and be passionate about teaching foreigners. After I spoke to the classes I went to the boarding house where Agel lives. Most students have to leave their villages to study in the bigger towns, where they generally live in boarding houses. Agel’s room looked like a prison cell. It was a tiny concrete box with a thin mattress down one side, a huge bag of rice in one corner, and a rice cooker in the other. He has lived there for two years. The students have to look after themselves – there are no adults around to check on them – which makes them super admirable, especially considering some of them are only fourteen years old. I had lunch with Agel and his friends: plain white rice and mie goreng noodles (the same ones we can buy at home). One guy said this was what they eat every day, for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Very occasionally they might have enough money to purchase some fish or vegetables to add to it. I hung out with them into the early afternoon, before returning home. I have just wandered down the street for dinner and was joined on my walk by three young students wanting to practise their English. When I returned home I chatted with another group of students who similarly wanted to develop their language skills. I realised that local students tend to hand around MBC to meet foreigners so they can practise their English.

Day 309 (pic)

Meeting keen students

Accommodation $ Convent
Distance ridden today 0km
Total distance ridden 9,460km