By Jennifer Charlton, A member of the SkillCorps Indonesia Feb. 2017 team

For the past week, the SkillCorps team has been working hard with the staff of Rumah Tiara. Everyone has been observing sessions, providing feedback and trainings on topics that have been agreed upon by both teams. Over the weekend though, we left for Jogjakarta, for a needed break and sightseeing. 

Our first stop was to see Hindu Temples called Prambanan . These temples tower up in a beautiful park that was built by the country. Our tour guide walked us through the biggest temple, explaining stories, the history and the statues of the gods in the temple. We touched one that is meant to keep us young and beautiful–just in case. 

After, we went on a Jeep ride up an active volcano called Mt. Merapi. We piled in to old Jeeps together and held on tight. The ride was filled with amazing views and a lot of history. 

The next day we woke early to see the sunrise at Borobudur. We arrived and met our tour guide who walked us through a beautiful garden. You could see off in the distance a massive structure, but our little flashlights could not illuminate it. We started our climb to the top of the Buddhist Temple. Once at the top, we picked a spot to sit and watch the sunrise. To say it was breath taking would be an understatement. The sky slowly changed from black night to a soft bright pinks and oranges revealing the details of the temple around us. I have never seen anything like it. Once the sun rose, our tour guide brought us around each level of the temple telling us the stories that were expertly carved in to the stone.   

After, we met our awesome driver Budi for a bike tour of Jogjakarta. Budi showed us local sights, brought us to do pottery, and to make local fabric. We biked through rice fields, local villages and saw Mt. Merapi in the distance. 

The last day of our excursion, we took it easy. We shopped for gifts, and went to see the Sultans Palace, where we learned more about local history. 

This excursion was amazing in many ways. We saw amazing sights, learned about history, and importantly relaxed. It’s so easy in any field to forget about how important taking time for yourself is. During this trip, my focus was on being at the center and getting as much work done as possible. This trip reminded me that you can not be effective, if you do not take care of yourself. After this excursion, we all returned rested and ready to get to work again at the center, where the last few days have been more than productive! 

                                       

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