At 5:00am on Tuesday September 18 fourteen students from CTS along with Mr Perriss, Veronica Hickey and I arrived at Tullamarine Airport to check in for our flight to Yogyakarta Indonesia. After many months of preparation the students were ready to go, complete with tour shirts, money belts with passports and money and suitcases full of presents for their hosts families. After an international and domestic flight in Indonesia, we checked in to the Peti Mas Hotel Yogyakarta. We all then braved the short walk up to Malioboro Mall to order our first of many amazing meals. We were lucky enough to watch a street band performing using bamboo instruments on our way back to the hotel and then we settled in for an early night after being awake and on the move for many hours.
The next day saw us head to our sister school SMP 5 Yogyakarta. We were met at the entrance by the students who would be hosting our students and then our school experience began. Over the next three days students took part in basket making, gamelan music lessons and tried lots of new fruits at snack time. Students also stayed with their host families, experiencing life for families in Indonesia. The families made our students feel very welcomed and they all had adventures together. Some students went to the beach, others sang during group karaoke at Happy Puppy and all of them continued to experience new and exciting food. On the weekend the host families took our students to various locations including Borobudur temple, an 850 year old structure near Yogyakarta. Sunday evening was our farewell dinner, held at restaurant overlooking rice fields and Prambanan temple. All of the students had new outfits to wear as their host families had purchased traditional clothing for them to wear. The night included a great
meal, speeches, personal thanks to each of the host families and an awesome all in sing along featuring songs from Indonesia and Australia.
On Monday September 24 we attended the weekly school assembly at 7:00am. Students then had a final tour around the school and we all decided to head to a local mall for lunch before our flight to Bali. On arrival in Denpasar we were met by one of our hosts Mahar and his younger brother Wahyu. We then traveled to Ubud in central Bali for the last section of our Indonesian Tour. We stayed at Griya Kartini with our hosts Agung and Dewi and the place is amazing. Our activities during our five nights there included a visit to Monkey Forest, walks to the local shopping area and markets, watching the Kecak and Fire Dance, cooking, dance and self defense lessons and local sight-seeing tours. These included trips to a hot water spring and temple and a restaurant looking out over Mount Batur. We also visited Taman Nusa, which features houses from all over Indonesia. A trip to Nusa Dua included a visit to the beach and watching the Devdan Show, with various dances and music from all over Indonesia.
The Indonesian tour was an amazing success. The students made the most of the learning opportunities and had a go at all that was on offer. Thanks to Colleen Baynes and Nicole Morris for taking us to Melbourne and bringing us home. Special thanks must go to Mr Perriss and Veronica Hickey for their amazing support and crazy sense of humour.