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.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

January 14 & 15: Natural Beauty in Sulawesi

January 14 & 15

Today we flew to Manado!  We had to fly from Jogjakarta to Jakarta before connecting to fly to Sulawesi, so the trip took almost the entire day.

The flight from Jakarta to Manado was fairly empty, so we all got to sit in more than one seat, which was fantastic since domestic flights in Indonesia have significantly less space than both international flights and American domestic flights.

By the time we landed in Manado, it was evening already.

The next morning was spent touring the SDH and SLH schools in Tomohon, a region near Manado.  Originally, both schools were not thriving and approached Lippo Group about taking over the schools. Now, a year and a half later, the schools have been renovated and have gained many more students.

 One of the classrooms we visited
Unlike the SDH and SLH schools in the metro-Jakarta area, schools in Manado are faced with an additional barrier in education.  While most students in a Jakarta school would speak Bahasa Indonesia as their primary home language, students in the Manado area schools would have grown up primarily speaking a regional dialect in their homes.  Because many of the teachers in SDH and SLH schools primarily speak Bahasa Indonesia and English, they need to learn the dialect before they can best teach their students the national language, as well as before they can begin to teach their students English.

SDH School

After school visits, we changed our clothes and walked the Villa de la Rosa, a pathway similar to the stations of the cross.  The path led us up to the top of a large hill, and provided us with an astonishing view of one of Tomohon's volcanoes.

View of the Volcano

Lunch was eaten at Sulawesi's largest lake, a beautiful area surrounded by mountains.  From our spot, we watched the fog and clouds roll over the lake, bringing both a cool breeze and some rain.  At this meal, many of us adventurously tried the baked fish, which is considered to be a regional specialty.  Another regional specialty is bat, as well as dog, but none of us ate any of those "foods." :)

After lunch, we headed to a sulpher lake that shifted colors depending on the time of day. It was raining, so we stayed inside a very small cafe on the shore to drink coffee and  nibble on bangket and fried bananas.

Sulfur Lake

That evening, we toured Siloam Hospital and learned more about the healthcare system in Indonesia, how that impacts the services the hospital can provide, and how the hospital is working towards providing affordable healthcare.

As per usual, the 15th was another day filled to the brim with new experiences.  It's incredible how much information we are provided with daily, and it definitely continues to be an incredible adventure.


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