Today we visited the turtle hatchery again. I got to release my own turtle, it’s name is dude. The turtles were really cute and we had to release them one metre from the ocean. We also learned about sustainable tourism from a man we met called Chris Brown. He talked about how he gets local people to work for him so that he knows they will stay instead of people from far away who might leave after a few years of working there. He talked a lot about how if people find turtle eggs or a turtle on the beach they contact him instead of selling them because if you contact them you will get a bigger reward. This is good because some people don’t have a lot of money so they will find turtles or turtles eggs and sell them for money. The turtles we released were leather back turtles, they were so small and cute I didn’t want to let my turtle go. After releasing them you get a certificate with your name, your turtles name and the date you released them. It’s super fun watching them being released because if you are releasing more than one turtle you could race them. You also had to be careful with them because they could get stressed out and not go into the water.
Today marks the last day of our Indonesian journey and what an eye opener it has been! From the heat and humidity shock we all weren’t used to back in Melbourne to the overwhelming joy from the children at our sister school receiving the precious gifts. Reflecting back on the trip, I am truly thankful for this opportunity to not only experience the world but another culture. One that I’m sure none of us will ever forget. Visiting the temples and monuments made us all feel immersed in the amazing culture and feel so small next to the grand scaled, global icons we had only heard about. Seeing these monumental temples really put into perspective how important it is to have traditions and learn the ways in which other people live. Experiencing both the city life of Jogjakarta and the rural village of Pemuteran was significantly diverse and helped us understand how lucky we all really are. We spent seven days in Jogjakarta and experienced a city where something was always happening and food was always available. Spending time in Jogjakarta to visit Mount Merapi along with Borobudur and Taman Sari showcased many cultural differences, and it taught us to embrace differences and further broaden both our horizons and our knowledge of or neighbouring country. Pemuteran was much more relaxed and we could all take it down a few notches. Releasing turtles and learning about a sustainable world was both a wake up call and an experience to never forget! Waking up to the waves each morning gave a sense of ease to the final few days of the trip. I know I have never been more relaxed than at Pemuteran! Overall I appreciate all the effort and planning taken into account to allow us to experience this country and see the sights along with other lifestyles. Special thank you’s to Mrs Lee, Miss Love and Mr Wenger for taking us to a whole different country and guiding us to build more confidence within ourselves and each other.
It feels like just yesterday that we were leaving Australia for Denpasar and our stay in Indonesia had felt like a blur. These last ten days will be fine memories for years to come. Perhaps the best experience on the trip was our journey to Mt Merapi. During our ride up we learnt about the devastation of the 2010 eruption. It was a fascinating place and opened my eyes to the struggles that people go through that we don’t know about in Australia. The trip also encouraged me to interact with and make friends with people that I normally wouldn’t talk to. I will remember this trip for the rest of my life because of how much fun I had and the unforgettable memories forged during this trip.
The past ten days have been an unforgettable time for all involved. We began in Yogyakarta, an extremely cultured place. The locals in Yogyakarta are not used to tourists so we all felt like celebrities when people asked us for photos and called us ‘cantik’. The original seven days were very enlightening because we were able to experience true Indonesian culture. This trip was jam packed with visiting many cultural sites. The Jeep tour was definitely a fan favourite. It was so much fun sliding around in the Jeep and looking at Mt Merapi. Seeing the differences in culture between Bali and Yogyakarta was truly interesting. The sites will be not be the only things we will remember forever, because people from all different year levels have become friends. This trip has been life changing for all.
The Mount Erin Indonesian tour was an overall unforgettable and unique experience that provided all attending students with the opportunity to experience a new culture first hand. Our activities included releasing turtles at the Reef Seen Turtle hatchery, exploring traditional markets and taking Indonesian classes at Alam Bahasa. I particularly enjoyed the Jeep tour at Mt Merapi. The information provided was insightful and the picturesque views were one of a kind. My favourite day included our visit to the sister school located in Pemuteran, Bali. The children were incredibly kind and the amount of English they spoke was impressive. I truly loved this adventure and can’t wait to come back to these beautiful destinations some time in the future.
Visiting our sister school in Pemuteran was a highlight of our Indonesian tour, as well as an eye opening experience. We were greeted with flowers and dancers by the students when we first arrived, and later enjoyed a lesson in traditional basket making. The baskets we made are made by the locals three times per day to present various offerings to the gods. We also watched an Indonesian flag raising ceremony. The students taught us an Indonesian game which was a lot of fun, and then we engaged in games such as elevens to help the students learn English, and we presented the gifts that we bought from our school. It was exciting to see the students receive the gifts we brought and hold onto them. Through this experience students were able to gain an understanding of the many privileges we have at home. We finished off our visit with more games and photos with the children.
At night, we enjoyed a meal at one of the hotel restaurants whilst enjoying five different dance performances where the dancers wore traditional clothing and bright makeup. Each one performing to the background of a full gamelan orchestra. We really enjoyed the performances and we even got to participate in the final dance. We leave tomorrow morning (Saturday) to start our trip home. We all have enjoyed our time in Indonesia, and are hoping to return here soon!
Our first (and in my opinion) the best activity of today was the releasing of the baby turtles into the ocean. We got to learn about the turtle project which was founded by Chris from Melbourne who had been living in Pemuteran for 30 years. The turtle project has been running since then and will continue to run as long as there are people willing to donate to the cause. It was such an amazing feeling to release the turtles into the ocean and their new life. It is even better to know that the people who are part of this project are so passionate about saving this beloved species.
Later in the afternoon four of us were able to go back to the turtle centre to feed the big turtle. Fortunately, we were able to witness the turtles hatching from their eggs. We were also lucky enough to hold the hatchlings in our hands and place them in the tub. This is definitely a once in a lifetime experience that we will never forget.
By Amelia and Alexis
We left the turtle centre and went on a half hour boat trip around Pemuteran bay. It was a fun and relaxing ride on the water while we looked at the view and took photos. As we went around we passed a pura (Balinese temple) and gazed at the magnificent mountains in the background.
After lunch we went to biorock. Those is a coral conservation project where we learnt about the history and current efforts being made to help save the coral. In the early 2000’s there was an economic depression in Indonesia which meant that fishing became more necessary because of the lack of food. Cyanide fishing and explosives were used in the ocean to catch fish which caused a lot of damage to the reef. For the past 18 years, living architecture had been installed too help grow back the once beautiful coral in Pemuteran bay. The way this architecture works is that it has electricity running through it which causes the coral to grow more quickly. Overall this was very educational and I would love to come back in a few years to see how the coral is growing back.
Our morning began with an early rise so that we could leave for the airport at 6.30am. We caught our 8.25am flight and by 11am Denpasar time we touched down. From here we started the travel that would take the remainder of the day by bus. We traveled all day, stopping for lunch at a restaurant and to have a quick browse of a local market. We arrived at the Adi Assri hotel at 8.30pm and are staying there for the next few days.
The market was a traditional style and we had to bargain for what we wanted to buy. These goods included clothes, jewellery and other souvenirs. Many of these could be acquired by being polite to the seller and making sure you didn’t go past the limits you set for yourself before entering the shop.
This morning we walked along Jalan Malioboro to Pasar Beringharjo. The market was full of clothes, food and souvenirs. Many of us practiced our bargaining skills and came out with many souvenirs for family and friends. We then had lunch in a traditional Indonesian restaurant where we sat around low tables on raised platforms.
After lunch we went back to the language school and learnt some more techniques in Indonesian, for example we learnt how to ask someone what time they had breakfast. We got to say our goodbyes and plaited some games and got some awards. I don’t think I’ll ever forget about going to this school.
We are aware of the Mt Agung eruption last night and are currently seeking advice about our future travel plans. We will let you know if these plans change.
Bali airport remains open and we will continue the trip as per the itinerary.