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roaming the world and enjoying the scenery...

2006 Innova V for sale

We are selling our family’s vehicle as we prepare to move from Jakarta. It is an automatic transmission, gas (not diesel), seats 5 comfortably with 2 additional “fold down” type seats in the back area, full AC, power windows/locks, radio/CD/cassette(!) player, and is black. When we bought it, there were 77,000km on it; the mileage after our 4 years is now 92,000km, as we live fairly near school and haven’t used it for much more than going back and forth and shopping.

Asking price is $11,000 $10,000!! Pictures and info below:

Exterior and trunk views

Exterior and trunk views

Interior views, including opometer

Interior views, including opometer

Travesty of Justice

Ferdi and Neil in jailBitter result of our colleagues’ trial this week. Corrupt legal system at the absolute lowest form. No evidence, no plausibility: no matter. She who pays the most wins.

I’ve copied some excerpts from articles that have appeared in the last few days for friends and family around the world who haven’t seen them. A lot of reading, but an important set of reading.

Wall Street Journal Indonesia Realtime Twitter feed (from the day-long verdict reading)

  • 2:07 PM: Three hours so far of judges summing up, and most of it mirrors prosecution arguments.
  • 2:31 PM: judges now going through expert defense witnesses, mostly reject their testimony.
  • 3:12 PM: Chief judge in JIS case launches tirade against media, diplomats. Says letters from supporter of Canadian educator indicate guilt.

Twitter reports from the courtroom

  • While months long trial has been behind closed door and judge imposed gag order, names of victims and parents now being openly read out.
  • Lurid details of child rape testimony now being read publicly after judge previously closed trial to protect victims identity.

The Jakarta Post

The judges dismissed the entire defense statement submitted by the defendants and their legal team, including a medical report issued by a hospital in Singapore in May 2014 stating that there were no signs of sexual assault present in one victim who was examined. The report was certified by the High Court of Singapore in February 2015.

“We disclaim the medical report as well as the Singapore court document because we have no obligation to accept a court ruling issued by another country that is related to a case we examine,” Nuraslam said.

Time

Officials from the country’s Indonesian Children’s Protection Commission had already accused the school’s administrators of fostering an environment that led to the rapes.

During a press conference last year, the head of the commission accused JIS of impropriety by tolerating kissing in public and employing gay teachers. Asrorun Ni’am Sholeh, the commission’s chairman, later added that “homosexuality in such environment could trigger sexual violence against children.”

Sydney Morning Herald (note: this whole article gives a very good overview)

A prosecution witness, “sexologist” Dr Naek L. Tobing gave evidence Bantleman only had sex with his wife once a week, when the “norm” was every day or two to three times a week. As he also did not masturbate he would be seeking sexual outlets, he claimed.

He also did not masturbate according to the well-known Indonesian sexologist.

“There is a question how could he release his sexual desire,” said Chief Judge Nur Aslam Bustaman. “These conditions could create abnormal sexual behaviour.”

Stuff.co.nz

The other evidence — the boys’ testimony — includes allegations from one that he was raped multiple times during the school day in an open, heavily populated administration block with glass walls which teachers call “the aquarium”.

Among his allegations are that there was a secret underground dungeon somewhere at the school, and that Mr Bantleman, who was known as “the boss” clicked his fingers during one attack and reached up to pluck a “magic stone” out of the sky to insert in the boy’s rectum to anaesthetise him before the rape.

Other allegations include a female principal videotaping the attack and supplying a light blue drink to drug the boy.

New York Times

They said that Mr. Bantleman and Mr. Tjiong, as well as the elementary school’s American principal, Elsa Donohue, had drugged and raped the children and other students in the school’s administrative offices, and that they had videotaped the assaults. Ms. Donohue has not been detained or charged with any offense, and no videotapes of the alleged assaults were ever found.

(Dave’s note – not one single US citizen, although there were at least 3 originally named as participants or witnesses, was ever arrested. Most here consider that the result of the US Embassy applying some pretty strong behind-the-scenes pressure, which is why many Canadians are outraged at the hands-off attitude their government has taken)

Reuters UK

“We are very concerned about the impact of this proceeding on the rule of law and legal certainty,” said Lin Neumann, managing director of the American Chamber of Commerce in Jakarta, before the verdict. “Foreign investors, Americans in particular, have been watching very carefully,” he said.

Indonesia’s judicial system is seen as among the least credible and most corrupt institutions in the country, according to Transparency International.

Global News

Excerpt from a statement by Tracey Bantleman (wife of the Canadian educator):

It is disturbing to think that people cannot look objectively and critically at the facts; our husbands have been sentenced to years in jail based on allegations and opinions that could not be proven with evidence, even after a lengthy trial. My husband and Ferdi are victims of a malicious make-believe story with a multi-million dollar price tag.

U.S. Ambassador’s Statement on the Verdict of the JIS Case

We have been closely following the case of the JIS teachers.  Any case involving allegations of child abuse is sensitive.  Serious questions have arisen in this case regarding the investigative process and lack of credible evidence against the teachers.

In light of this, we are deeply disappointed with this outcome.  We look forward to the next steps in the legal process in which we hope that all the available facts in the case will be considered. We hope that the legal process as guaranteed by the Indonesian Constitution will be implemented in a fair and impartial manner.

The broad international community is following this case closely.  The outcome of the legal process and what it reveals about the rule of law in Indonesia will have a significant impact on Indonesia’s reputation abroad.

This link is to an overview of the whole series of events written by Chris Crutcher, an author who visited JIS 2 weeks ago (penned before the verdict, however).

Last Diving off Gili Trawangan

Our final spring break in Indonesia, and we went to one of our favorite places for a week of diving and relaxation.

Afternoon at the Museum

We headed downtown on a sunny Sunday to take in the Indonesian National Museum.

Mathcounts in Saigon

Our teams traveled to Vietnam to take part in the regional Mathcounts competition last weekend. Since I started the program at JIS and pushed for an interscholastic tournament, check out the phenomenal growth:

  • 2012 – 18 students from 1 school, school-wide competition in Jakarta
  • 2013 – 49 students from 5 schools, competition in Jakarta
  • 2014 – 72 students from 8 schools, competition in Singapore
  • 2015 – 108 students from 11 schools, competition in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon)

I’d say we’ve gotten things pretty well off the ground!

Travel Pictures Contest Entries

Our annual MS welcome-back party was held last night, and part of the festivities included people’s pictures from the break. Teachers (and spouses) were invited to submit a picture in a number of different categories, and then everyone votes on the winners in each. I’m not sure my entries were as strong as in the past, but it was fun to match up with the different categories! All these shots are from our recent trip to Thailand…

*Update – I noted the winners in the photo caption: I had 4 photos win 1st or 2nd!!

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas to those of you celebrating today! Καλά Χριστούγεννα and Срећан Божић from the tropics.

Thai Christmas decorations

Happy Anniversary!

We’re so busy enjoying the Thai sun and surf that we’ve posted very little during our trip. Here are 4 quick shots from our dives – under stunning cliffs, we saw sharks, rockfish, and Susan finally laid eyes on a real-life seahorse! That makes for a pretty special anniversary present, right honey?

Happy Holidays to all!

We’re getting ready to head to Thailand for the break, and part of my job is to prep all the technology. I was cleaning off the camera card, and saw that I’d never even looked at our “above water” pictures from Bali. One of the last shots of the trip was of this family coming down from a temple ceremony at Rambut Siwi, and I really like it.

Enjoy, and have a wonderful holiday!!

Big smiles in Bali

Middle School Madness

Our end-of-semester fun and games day ended, yet again, with our powerful SALAK team claiming victory!!

Look at those bright colors!

Wayfarin’ to Warsaw!!

Big Stutz family news this morning – Susan and I have accepted jobs at the American School of Warsaw for the 2015-16 school year! Alea will graduate a JIS Dragon, but Breck will be a Warsaw Warrior.

We must have had a premonition, as we’re wearing the school colors of white, red, and black in the holiday photo we took this weekend:

All decked out in red and black batik!

Snoozing on 12/13/14

Breck’s catnap today with Linsea and Dori…

Breck's Catnap

Google for Educators presentation

Google Education Summit in Jakarta

Getting my geek on this weekend: My teaching partner and I are presenting at a Google Summit being held here. Name of our session? Forms As Reflective Tools. We have so much fun with acronyms!

Thanksgiving 2014

We are missing mom, as she’s back in the US for the month, but are grateful to friends here for hosting yet another spectacular Thanksgiving dinner. Dave and the kids were all excited to get dressed up for the occasion!

Thanksgiving 2014

Susan in the States

Suz is in Minnesota for about a month, and got her first taste of snow in years. She made sure we knew all about the fun she was having, so we had to remind her of what she as missing too!

Black and White photos

A friend of ours from Mumbai recently foisted one of those Facebook “challenges” on me the other day to post a black and white photo 5 days in a row.

Now, I do have to make a confession: I think black and white is kinda cheesy and a cop-out. Just let me explain.

  • First of all, who shoots in black and white? In the olden days, when there was only black and white film, that was one thing. But once there was color film – and especially since we now shoot digitally – why, oh why in the world would anyone choose to shoot in black and white? You can always change color to b/w in processing, but if you take a picture without the color information, you can’t get it back. So to my way of thinking, anyone who takes pictures in b/w is just being silly for whatever reason.
  • Secondly, I think it is a lot easier to mess around with a black and white picture, adjusting things here and there, than it is with color. You don’t have to worry about one hue being too garish or not seeing the one little stripe of really pretty pink: there are no colors! Just jack up the contrast or whatever, and voilà – you have a picture. So it seems a far lesser challenge to get a black and white photo ‘right.’
  • And that brings me to the third reason: ANY FREAKING PICTURE YOU PRINT IN BLACK AND WHITE AUTOMATICALLY LOOKS ARTSY!! It doesn’t have to be a good picture – just change it to black and white, blow it up real big, and hang it on the wall as a piece of Serious Art. I guarantee you people will walk up to it, hand on chin, and say “hmmmmm” like it is something by a Renaissance master.

OK – enough of that. Here are the pictures I posted with the story of each:

Eastern Montana grain elevators

Here’s a black and white shot of a sleepy little eastern Montana town, taken during my journey to our Helen cabin this past summer.

Cambodian boat repairer

We came across this old man repairing a boat in the Four Thousand Islands region of Cambodia last year. I thought the lighting was pretty cool.

Rain on upside-down leaf.

From yesterday’s rainstorm, here is black and white photo #3. We had a tree blow down in the back yard, and this is a shot of the water droplets on an overturned leaf.

Women washing in Mumbai.

This is a Thanksgiving-related post for black and white photo #4. In 2008, we lived in Mumbai, and Breck and I planned to use the holiday to explore the new elevated walking path running over some local slums down to the train station. When the news broke of the terrorist attacks downtown, however, all plans changed, and we stayed at home for the next few days.
We didn’t take our walk for more than another year, but during the last week of school in 2010, we finally did. This is a shot from above of some women washing clothes in the offspill from city water pipes.

Omani camel races

You seriously are missing out if you have never attended camel races in Oman. I’d even match them up against the Indonesian Pacu Jawi event.
We were way out in the middle of nowhere, and to see these animals thundering down the dry canal was something else. I love the way the one guy is holding onto his turban! We were the only non-Omanis there, and once again had a pretty special experience as a family.

UN Day 2014

Breck and Alea are all set for their high school UN day. Breck is sporting good ole cowdude duds, while Alea’s got a USA neck kerchief, bangles from India, a Serbian hat, Indonesian skirt, and Honduran scarf/belt – all the places she’s gone to school!

Breck and Alea - UN Day @JIS 2014

Tree down in the back yard!

Alea and I got home from school – after a mongo rain, wind and lightening storm – to find that one of the biggest trees in our yard had broken! While it fell on our roof (and reached almost to the top!), there was no damage inside or outside that we could see. Wow!!

Aunt Nancy’s birthday party

Since Susan is in the USA for a month, she got to crash Aunt Nancy’s 50th birthday party. Looks like a crazy time!

"I mustache you a question..."

Happy holiday colors – Indonesian style!

Our back yard is currently in ‘fruit harvest’ mode, and we are treated to green mangoes and red palm fruit on a daily basis. Alea and I were treated to quite the show of birds zipping around this afternoon, feasting on the fruit flies that enjoy the treats as much as we!

Mangos and red palm fruit - looks yummy!

Team America at JIS UN Day!

'Murica - "heck" yeah!!

Happy Holiday Season!!!

Halloween is finally over – that means the Christmas tree can go up!!

Alea and Breck joyfully (?) show off their handiwork

Working with Indonesian teachers

Spent the day collaborating with local teachers, helping out with a workshop about “Applications of Mathematics in the real world.” Susan set up a whole series of activities revolving around math problem solving strategies, and I was able to lead a couple of small group sessions on gathering data and displaying/interpreting graphs.

Lots of smiles all around, and a reminder to myself that A) Susan and I are really are a pretty awesome team together and B) living around the world affords us some astoundingly unique life opportunities.

International School Partnership morning workshop

Diving in Bali – October 2014

We headed to the tropical paradise of Bali for our autumn break, and spent a few of those days on the north shore diving. We’ve been to this area several times before, but not for diving. While we didn’t see the huge schools of fish that we’ve encountered in other places, we did come across plenty of colorful mini-reef life that kept our eyes occupied and our camera busy.

Bali for October break

(Maybe) our last time in Bali 🙁

Dive pictures coming soon – for now, how about some beautiful breakfast flowers…

Bali flowers