S.E. Asia Trip 2008 Update 5

We arrived safely in Jakarta last night. It was great being welcomed at the airport by some old friends like Louisa and Engel and even Yonas. It is hard to believe that I have been to Indonesia enough times that I am beginning to develop a strong relationship with some people.

The team split up that night because several of us were going to Lampung to visit a school. The rest of the team stayed back and checked out Yonas’ company.

Our team got up early in the morning and headed to the airport (again) to catch a flight that would get us to Lampung in a very short flight of about 45 minutes. Louisa reminded me that it is faster to fly into another city than to drive through the traffic jam in the city of Jakarta… oh the ironies of life!

After our short flight, we drove two hours to get to our destination. Lampung is pretty much a small little city, until we reach the compound of the Sugar Group Companies. This conglomerate that owns so many other corporations in Indonesia have their largest sugar cane factory out in Lampung. At first they told me that the property is 100,000 hectare. I was thinking – how many acres is that? I realized that is close to 247,000 acres! It is double the size of the country of Singapore.

It was truly an overwhelming feeling as we drove through the huge compound… and even then, we only went on a small portion of the land. It is literally a small country of its own.

We met up with the principal and the overseeing director. They gave us a tour of the place and allowed us to visit some of the classroom. The secondary school is the state-of-the-art. It was a blessing to hear about the testimonies of this school. Not only is it free for these students but they are given an opportunity to go to various well-known universities in Indonesia. Their motto is: “education is the key that opens the door to your future.”

Then at the last minute, they wanted our team to present something to the whole student body and then open the floor up for some questions and answers. We were taken back because we were not prepared to present anything – it came at the last minute. But we welcomed the opportunity. We shared about how the world is becoming more flat and interconnected, and we also shared about the importance of education and how it is going to open up many doors of opportunities.

We finished off the day with a BBQ with the teachers. It was great getting to know these teachers on a personal level as we ate together and just chilled. I had some good conversation with some of the younger teachers (they just came out of college not so long ago).

Tomorrow after the morning assembly, we will be heading back to Jakarta to join up with the rest of the team. Things are moving fast and God is opening our eyes to so many things.
 
 
 
Greetings from the Students.JPG
 
The students greeted us with an Indonesian greeting by putting our hands on their foreheads or their cheeks
 
 
 
Primary School.JPG
 
This was a primary classroom
 
 
 
Elementary School.JPG
 
This was an elementary classroom
 
 
 
Lampung School Computers.JPG
 
Students are using computers in the library
 
 
 
Google Search.JPG
 
Julie was pleasantly surprised to see that Google is being used globally
 
 
 
Mice Lab.JPG
 
This is why I didn’t like biology
 
 
 
Shoe Rack.JPG
 
In this school even their shoes are provided for – they like the old school Converse
 
 
 
Rachel Playing Xylophone.JPG
 
We stopped by the music room and Rachel revealed something that we did not know about her
 
 
 
Art Gallery.JPG
 
They even had an mini art gallery where the students showcased their work
 
 
 
Getting Ready for Prayer.JPG
 
Since most of the student body are Muslim, the students have opportunities to do their prayer. These students are preparing (cleansing) themselves to go to the prayer room
 
 
 
Guys Praying.JPG
 
The boys pray in the front of the room
 
 
 
Girls in the Back.JPG
 
The girls pray in the back of the room
 
 
 
Student Classes.JPG
 
We ended up doing a make-shift presentation in front of the whole student body about the importance of education
 
 
 
Louisa Fielding Q's.JPG
 
Louisa was fielding some questions about getting into American universities
 
 
 
Primary School Kids.JPG
 
The Indonesian kids love taking pictures
 
 
 
Julie and Drinks.JPG
 
Julie had a hard time choosing her drink – she finally tried one of the local brands
 
 
 
Principal and Team.JPG
 
Principal Purwadi and Nia helped in hosting us – they are doing an incredible job with the school