Sunday, 18 January 2009

Visit and Home Stay in Indonesia

Our second port of call was at the Republic of Indonesia. This was one of my favourite home stay for I got the experience of riding a horse all by myself in a tea garden in Puncak. Unfortunately, I did not take any photos because I was afraid that I'll drop my camera in the midst of all the excitement. Sigh, I have given up hope on watermarking ALL of my photos because they are simply TOO many! *faints*

We started our country programme with an instituitional visit to the House of Parliament. The conference room was impressive. We all felt like we were in some sort of summit or UN meeting!

We visited the ASEAN secretariat building next for a short video clip on how ASEAN works and on how all of us can benefit from this union.

At the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, we learned to play the Angklung from a very beautiful lady. She definitely got ALL of our attention! It was the most enchanting experience ever when I heard all 300 of us played the Angklung together. I was scouring for some shots by the front of the room and the music was truly magical. Truly soul enriching! Now, when will I ever get to hear an Angklung concerto of 300 over players? I got the biggest Angklung. It plays the number one note with a dot on top. Thus, I had another episode of carrying a painting and Angklung back home.

We watched a video about Indonesia and learned about its geography, culture and people at the Imax theatre at Taman Indah.

At the home matching ceremony, we performed a short presentation from each contingent. My favourite has always been the energetic Japanese Soran dance.

Our contingent performed the Joget Prani Daya. (Please click on the link to view the video)

The following series of pictures are of my home stay in Depok. Early in the morning, my foster brother brought us to his son's primary school. The school is a modest one-storey building. In this picture, the principal is trying to get his students to take a photo with him. But, he was too shy.

The principal was so sweet. He even arranged a class to play Angklung for us. I couldn't get enough of the Angklung. It's a simple musical instrument yet, when played together, the sounds were heavenly!

The bell rang and it was time for the morning assembly followed by morning exercises. Before I left, I mustered a speech in my broken Malay, hoping to inspire the little ones to work hard and be sucessful in life, for themselves and for their country. I thought it was the least I could do for the wonderful Angklung music they played.

While I was heading back to our house from the school in an Indonesian "tuk-tuk", students from other schools were doing their morning exercises.

We visited another school the same day. Cakra Buana is a school for the privileged. Facilities and equipment were well-provided for. They even had their own video production going! Two media students were going around for coverage.

Students are encouraged to excel in other areas besides academically. And, what better areas to include than in traditional culture.

Kindergarten students were also doing their morning exercises.

The girls performed the very fascinating Saman dance which uses body percussions of clapping and body-slapping.

We got to see a talk show in production where the other PYs were being interviewed.

A sight of a street when we were going up to Puncak.

Our horse riding session at Puncak. You can see Acai (BPY08 in red) has already mounted on a horse while Hafiz (MAPY in white) just coming towards the horses. Yudi, our Indonesian friend, is looking on to make sure Acai's ok.

This is Puncak with tea-covered slopes.

We had our dinner at a gorgeous villa located at a slope but the view was surprisingly not spectacular. There were houses of corrugated iron at the bottom of the slope and the river was clogged with garbage. The dinner though was great and the villa had this nice pool which was too cold for us to swim in.

As though our day was not full enough of activities, we went shopping for attires to visit the President's resident tomorrow, then visited the Ministry of Youth building and loitered around the National Museum before heading to the National Monument (Monas). And, the picture below is the Monas.

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