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.

Friday, February 1, 2013

January 22: Last Day


It wouldn’t be a normal day in the life of a Calvin interim student in Indo if we didn’t wake up early and pack a day as full as possible.  So that’s just what we did. 

UPH, the university close to the Aryaduta Hotel where we were staying, invited us to attend their Tuesday morning chapel.  We had visited before, but that was before classes had begun and the service was mostly in English.  This time, with classes in session, we got to be there with the actual UPH students and not just the faculty and staff.  The service was in Bahasa with an English translator for during the sermon.  All the singing was done in Bahasa, which I really enjoyed.  Bahasa Indonesia is such a beautiful language.  I would love to learn it someday, especially if I ever planned to return to Indonesia. 

After the service the education and business students spilt into two groups.  The business students went to go listen to a presentation and the education students, of whom I am one, had the privilege of meeting with some UPH faculty to learn more about the Teachers College.  Then we sat in on a class in the Teacher College.  The class was in both English and Bahasa.  I found it interesting how they taught and learned in two languages.  I wonder how the students feel about that.  They went to room with some other students to watch a presentation, done by UPH students, on the teachers college and their experience there.  But first they had a student dance a traditional Balinese dance. 

I got the impression that the students are generally happy at UPH and enjoy learning there.  After they get an education there they have to go to a school which UPH assigns them.  They could go anywhere across the country.  They could go to an SPH, SDH, or SLH school.  Most of them are nervous to find out which location they will be assigned  Since Indonesia has different languages in different regions of the countries, teachers will face challenges as they try to teach students in Bahasa, English, and their native language, when they only know Bahasa well and some students don’t know Bahasa yet.  It sounded like the parents of the students were more worried about where they would be placed then the students were. 

After the presentation, Professor Buursma told an interactive story which included me and three other playing a giant potato named Pudge.  We all had a good time with the story and learned from it.  Then we all sat in a circle and just asked each other questions.  We asked and answered sorts of questions about our families, hopes for the future, UPH, our impression of Indonesia, favorite foods, and more.  I loved this discussion!!   We had a little more time at the end to just talk to the students in a casual setting.  Some of them asked for our email addresses or Facebook names so we can stay in touch and practice English with them. 

Lunch at the cafeteria included rice, sate, and other Indo foods.
Back to hotel and time to pack up!  We leave for the airport at 20:00 and get home 16:30 the 23rd. 

We’ve had a good time here in Indonesia. 

Some lessons I have learned or that have been reinforced are:
Don’t judge
Don’t be afraid of anything
Try everything
Don’t favor people

On this trip…
New faces turned into new friendships
New places turned into memorable places
Scary things turned into familiar things

It has been a trip full of thought provoking experiences, fun, and learning.  

January 21: Flying, a School Visit, and Creambaths!

We left the hotel at 5am and drove to the airport, ready to leave Bali for Jakarta.  Our plane was late so we had some time in the airport to relax.  When we arrived in Jakarta, we grabbed our baggage and pulled out some professional clothing, as we were going to stop at a school on our way to Karawaci.

After changing into our professional clothes and buying a few snacks, we got on our bus to head to IPEKA.  When we arrived at IPEKA, we went to a conference room to hear about what their perspective on education is, where exactly their campuses are located, and what they're planning for the future.  Then we split up into two groups and toured the school.  This school was also in a high rise type building, I believe it was 6 stories, although unlike SPH in Karawaci (the other high rise school) they were able to have a pool, tennis courts, and other sports facilities located around the building.  (Growing up in West Michigan I've never seen a school in a high rise, so I'm still trying to get used to this idea.)  We went back to the conference room where they provided us lunch and we talked a bit more while we ate.

 Students in the hallway

 The Canteen (Cafeteria)

Professor Van Der Heide and Professor Buursma
with some of the people from IPEKA

We then left IPEKA to head to our creambath appointments!  We had to go in shifts, so we dropped some off at the salon and some went back to the hotel and went later.  If you are ever in Indonesia, get a creambath!  They wash your hair and put some stuff in it and massage your head, neck, shoulders, and arms.  It felt amazing!  Some of the girls also got manicures and/or pedicures.  Ruwan and Professor Van Der Heide got their hair cut and Rachel got a perm.  We all left the salon feeling wonderful and looking pretty good!

We picked up some people at the hotel and then we all headed out to dinner.  We split up and had dinner wherever we wanted to eat.  We had the rest of the night off and the group I ate with ended up at the mall riding a roller coaster and playing arcade games!  We all enjoyed our free time and some of us made use of the time to write journals or go on the wifi, and then went to bed to prepare for our last day in Indonesia.