Coconuts Anyone?
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Knock off time means catch a ride.

Knock it off

Climbing trees and de-husking coconuts may be fun, but doing it all day is tiring.

That is why Romi's favorite part of the day is when he knocks off work.

Romi jumps onto the back of a friend's scooter for a ride back to his village.

It takes about five minutes for him to reach his village, Galang Batang. His friends in the neighborhood come by for a game of soccer. He usually plays soccer for about an hour, and then it is time for him to think about dinner.

For Romi, dinner usually means a good home-cooked meal. Romi's mother, who works in a tourist resort on the island, is a great cook.

But that doesn't mean that Romi leaves it all to her. He and a few friends wade out to sea to gather some shellfish to bring home.

Home sweet home

2532r 160 Click to see Romi and his mom.
Home for Romi is a brick and mortar house amidst rubber trees.

Romi is lucky. Unlike most of his friends, who have to share a room with their siblings, Romi gets a room all to himself.

He is an only child.

"It is great. I get to post pictures of my favorite movie stars on the wall, play my guitar and even study without being disturbed," he says.

Like most other children in other countries like the United States of America, Romi spends a lot of time studying. His parents pay 400,000 Rupiah, or $37.70 US, a month for his school fees.

At school, a 20-minute drive away, he attends English, Bahasa Indonesia, History and Religious lessons. His favorite subject: Mathematics.

2532l 160

Romi knows what's cooking.

Put the kettle on

After putting the shellfish in the kitchen, Romi starts to help his mother to cook. The first thing he needs? Clean water.

Most households in the United States have clean water readily available on tap. It's not like this in Romi's house.

Here, there is no running water. Romi has to draw water from a well at the back of the house.

The water from this well is used for bathing. When boiled, it will also be safe for drinking and cooking.

When it comes to preparing meals, Romi's glad to help.

His favorite kind of food? The local fare of course! Nasi Padang is chicken curry with a unique Padang flavor and style of eating.

"You eat a bit of everything. It's the best!" says Romi, smiling.

True or False: Benjamin Franklin was also known as Polly Baker, Silence Dogood, Busy Body, and Alice Addertongue. Click Ben's head for the answer.
TRUE: All of these were pen names that Franklin assumed at one time.

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"Ill take 10 "
1with_CHEESE, 20, Naperville, IL

"This story is packed with details! It goes through the normal day in the life of a teenager in a completely different setting. Since I am also a teenager, this is especially interesting. It makes me think of the many things that I take for granted and don't really appreciate. It was enjoyable comparing my life to Romi's."
Juice, 16, West Palm Beach, Fl

"I loved how informational this story was. It is very important for American children to realize how privileged they are to be able to go to school for free (unless they go to a private school) and not have to work until they are 16, 18, or later. American children have many privileges that other children do not and this story explains how a non-American works, gets water, and makes dinner. These activities are much different from the American ways, which makes the story a great eye-opener for children (and even some adults). My favorite item included in the story was the amount paid for working on a coconut and how much Romi's parents pay for him to go to school (and the conversion to American money really helped me understand how little or how much it really was). I did feel that some of the sentences written did not fit the mood of an educational and informational story. They would seem to fit better in a children's book story. Overall, a terrific story! Fantastic job, Jodie!"
busybee123, 15, Stafford, VA

"Awesome story! This really opens my eyes to the other kinds of jobs teenagers can have all over the world. It also suprises me that they have to pay for their education. WOW."
KevO, 17, San Marcos, TX

"I really enjoyed your story. I found it very educational but also enjoyable to read. I learned quite a bit from your story. Alex M. 13 fort Myers Fl"
moloko528, 13, fort myers, fl

"Awesome story! This opens my eyes to all other kinds of jobs and lives that teenagers have around the world! loved it. "
KevO, 17, San Marcos, TX

"This is a very interesting story here about coconuts. I exspecially liked the part about him saying first he climb the tree like a monkey then drop the cococnuts on the ground. That sounds like fun to me. I would say that you could add more advenerous things about growing cococnuts so that more people could get involved into to this."
JaneaP, 16, Tallahassee, FL

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