My name is Sultan Stover, and I’m an
English Language Fellow in Indonesia. My post is Ambon, Indonesia. It’s the capital of the Maluku province, which is a series of islands far, far to the east and that makes me the easternmost English Language Fellow in Indonesia. I’ve spoken to other Fellows and, you know, there’s just a lot of diversity in regards to your day as a Fellow, and I think each one provides a very, very unique experience.
For example, Indonesia, you know, it has large cities and has places like Ambon, that are more rural and more natural, and I feel very, very lucky to be here. A typical day for me living in Ambon is maybe sometimes my counterpart will come before class and we’ll talk about the day. He’ll try to help me with my Bahasa, and that’s usually what will happen in the morning. Then, either together or alone, I’ll get on a
motorcycle, which is actually a very new experience for me. It’s actually a lot of fun riding a motorcycle through the city. I actually live on the opposite side of the island from where most of my classes are, and so I take the motorcycle, I take a
ferry across the Bay of Ambon to the other
side of the island where most of my classes are. Usually there’s a lot of traffic on my way there but when I get there, I just begin and teach my classes. Universitas Pattimura has about 20,000 students. Most of the students are from the Maluku Province. They come from all of the surrounding islands. The students of Unpatti are actually very different from the students that I taught in New York. There’s extreme eagerness to learn the language, as the understanding is that the greater your English capacity and the more English you know, the better your chances are at finding work and actually improving your social status so, we actually have a great time. We go together in groups to sometimes have classes on the beach. Sometimes we go touring and they show me all the different wonderful places of Indonesia, and so not only have I developed a a very fun relationship in regards to teaching, but also I’ve been able to have some great opportunities to get to know them. After teaching my classes at the campus, I usually stop for lunch at one of my favorite restaurants, which is the Room 88. You have this big white cooler, they open
it and there’s fresh fish caught just that morning and you actually get to choose which fish you want, and they will grill it up for you and serve it with a couple of sides and it’s actually really, really cheap
and it’s actually really, really good. So, I also work with American Corners and American Corners is a library/event and presentation space in the University, and it’s sponsored by the US Embassy. There, I do at least two presentations a month basically on American culture, anything from holidays to music, anything that we feel is an important theme that the greater community would benefit from. In my spare time there’s actually a lot to do. One of the things I really enjoy doing is exploring the island. Usually after all my classes, after my day is done, the beaches are so close that I can just mosey on over and just sit and watch the sunset, relax, take a breather, and usually tell myself how lucky I am. I really have to say that this program is, I would say, the pinnacle for English language professionals. I
can’t imagine any other opportunity where you would have this much opportunity for professional development, this much actual hands-on classroom experience, this much time to actually create what it is that you would like to accomplish. I enjoyed it so much that I’ve actually decided to renew. I was offered an opportunity to stay for another year and I have accepted. So, I will be staying in Ambon.