By: Kaitlyn Joines
As my time in Indonesia continues, I fall more in love with this country! The first week at the center was awesome and bonding with the staff was definitely my favorite part. They were so excited for us to go on our excursion and gave us a lot of great tips for visiting the island.
The excursion was completely incredible and I felt like I got to experience so many different things in such a short time. On Friday we flew into Jogjakarta where we went straight to the Prambanan Temple which was incredible. The temple was huge and there were a lot of different stories on the carvings of each level. Our tour guide was very knowledgeable and was very passionate about this temple which made it interesting to learn about.
After the temple we went to our new hotel that was closer to the Borobudur Temple. At 4 AM we got up and went to the temple for a sunrise tour. I cannot but into word she how amazing that experience was. Borobudur is the highest Buddhist temple in the world at at the top you could see Mt. Merapi in the distance. Our tour guide grew up playing hide and seek in the temple and has been doing tours for thirty years so needless to say, we learned a lot from him.
Next we went on a three hour bike tour through the local villages. We stopped to watch how the locals create their pottery and visited with the children. We also stopped at the Batik shop where we learned the art of creating Batik fabric. This type of design is created by decorating with hot honey wax, dying the fabric and then peeling the wax off. I wasn’t very good at it but it did give me a new appreciation for the art.
After the bike tour, we had an hour to rest before the Jeep tour of Mt. Merapi. That was super cool! The volcano was spewing so we weren’t able to go up very far but we got see all of the different villages on the way up. Many of these villages were ruined in the last volcanic eruption about nine years ago. The museum in the village showed the depth of the ruins and it was very surreal to be exploring a village that was once covered in lava.
A relaxing night at hotel was much needed after the jam packed day of sight seeing! We had to move to a hotel that was more out of the city (and closer to the airport) because the presidential inauguration which was sure to cause traffic. The best part though was being able to sleep in the following morning.
Sunday we had a lazy morning and then we went to the Palace of the Sultan for a tour. That night we flew back to Jakarta and returned to our original hotel. Monday was a hard day because we were all so exhausted from the several days of nonstop activities but we powered through! I have began to build friendships with the staff and I want to come back and visit them someday. They really are great people aside from the wonderful behavioral therapy they provide.
I feel like these two weeks have flown by and I can’t believe we only have two days left here. We are going to Karaoke with the staff tonight and I’m sure we will have a blast. Tomorrow we are having a going away party at the center with the staff and then heading to a hotel closer to the airport. I will cherish these friendships I have formed and hope to stay in contact after I leave – the people are just amazing.