About Our Group

We are a group of 12 students and 2 professors from Calvin College venturing to Indonesia for three weeks. While in Indonesia, we will visit schools and businesses, along with seeing the sights! We fly out from GRR on January 2 and arrive back in Grand Rapids on January 23.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Indonesian Culture

While we're in Indonesia we will be fully immersed in the culture.  Indonesia has five official religions, and while we're there we will visit different religious buildings including going to the service at GRII English Service Church Kemayoran and visiting Istiqlal Mosque, Jakarta Cathedral, and more.

We will be observing classrooms in many schools as well as visiting local businesses to get a glimpse of how their schools and businesses run compared to ours in America.

We'll get to see cultural shows including a bamboo show, Ramayana ballet, and Kecak dance.  And we'll be eating at local restaurants for our meals, which, as a picky eater makes me a bit nervous, but I'm preparing myself to get adventurous and try some new food!

There are many customs we're not used to, and will need to keep in mind, specifically:
  • Do not use your left hand to pass things to another person.
  • Do not raise your feet on tables or chairs, and tables are also not for sitting on.
  • Be aware never to point at anything with your feet.
  • When talking with elderly local people, pointing with the forefinger is impolite. Please use your thumb (twisted to hand open).
  • When entering someone's house please remove your shoes at the door.
  • Hands on your waist is considered snobby/impolite, especially when you are talking with elderly local people.
In our three weeks we will definitely get to experience a lot of the Indonesian culture.  It will be quite an adjustment, but it will be an amazing experience!


Friday, December 28, 2012


In five days we will board a plane and begin the long trip to Indonesia!  It has been crazy getting ready.  From getting vaccines and malaria pills, to buying sunscreen and bug spray, it's started to set in that we're actually going to Indonesia!  And as the snow is currently falling outside, I can't wait to spend some time in the sun.

Our schedule might change a bit, but here are some of the main details:

We leave on January 2nd and fly:
  • from Grand Rapids to Chicago (leave at 11:55am and arrive at 11:55am) 
  • from Chicago to Hong Kong (leave at 2pm and arrive at 7:55pm on the 3rd) a 15.5 hour flight! 
  • we have a 13.5 hour layover in Hong Kong so we’ll get to do some sightseeing there :) 
  • from Hong Kong to Jakarta, Indonesia (leave at 9:30am and arrive at 1:20pm 

We spend a few days in Jakarta (circles in red) and leave for Bandung (circled in purple) on the 7th (a two hour bus ride). On the 11th we fly to Yogyakarta (circles in yellow). Then on the 14th we fly back to Jakarta (circled in red) and fly to Manado (circled in orange), which is about a five hour flight. On the 17th we fly from Manado (circled in orange) to Denpasar, Bali (circled in black), which is about a four hour flight. On the 21st we fly back to Jakarta (circled in red).

There's a lot of exciting stuff we'll get to do including seeing a bamboo show, making batik (a dyed fabric), snorkeling, hiking, and a bike tour. That doesn't even do justice to all the amazing things that are planned!

Late on the 22nd we fly:
  • from Jakarta to Hong Kong (leave at 11:55pm and arrive at 5:40am on the 23rd)
  • from Hong Kong to Chicago (leave at 11:50am and arrive at 12:10 pm)
  • from Chicago to Grand Rapids (leave at 2:25pm and arrive at 4:10pm)

We'll try to update the blog as often as we can, but we're not sure how often we'll be able to use the wifi. Please pray for safe travels as we travel to Indonesia, and once we're there, please pray specifically for our health; we can't drink the water because it's not clean enough, but even as we try to avoid it by drinking bottled water, it's very likely we'll all get sick at some point on the trip, but it'll be worth it ;)