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The PikeStance Experience

Kuningan Indonesia Year 11 Trip

Rating: 5 votes, 1.60 average.
This year I had the pleasure of chaperone the Year 11 (In the British system year 12) on their trip to a small village in the mountains in the Northeast part of Java Island.
The fact I was a former Peace Corps Volunteer helped with being selected for the honor. The trip is also the most service oriented trip of the three, which I am much more keen to be part of.

Both the students and teachers are hosted by local families. Since this is a village, many of the homes do not have wifi/ internet or even cable TV. For our well to do students, this was a huge burden. Some of the homes did not have toilet seats as well, and, of course, the students weren't to please to discover that either.

Accompanying the Year 11 was awkward. I do not teach any of them, but I am the Tutor teacher (Homeroom) for 17 of them. However, i see them for about 10 minutes each morning, so I knew very little about them. The great part of the trip is by the time it was over I knew them very well and their was a bond that has developed. Many of them went from passing me in the hall, to greeting me in the halls. It is always great seeing the students outside the school environment. You often see a very different side of them. It is a similar experience when you coach them as well.

We left school about 9:30 AM and we would arrive in the village early that afternoon (1 Pm ). Below is a picture of took of the community center.
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This is where we would meet each morning before doing the various activities. We were given an Indonesian lunch and then the "families" would pick up the students they will be hosting for the week.

For much of the week the students would spend their mornings "teaching" the students in the local schools of the village.
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The students did a great job. In some cases, they didn't have the class they expected to have, so they had to improvise. Hmm, that sounds familiar. For me, I just needed to circulate and make sure everything was good. The local organizer treated me to a tour of all the schools and gave me insight on the local village. He said the village is a mixture of different religions and that they all get along with complete harmony. I was later told this is why they chose this village. I also had the pleasure of meeting all of the school's principals. I alternated between tea, coffee and water as I politely accepted a drink. The most nerve wrecking was giving a speech thanking the school for allowing our students to "teach." Fortunately, my jokes went over well.

Each evening, the students would engaged in "Cultural Learning." Inthis case, learning traditional Indonesian arts. The group I supervised learned to play some of Indonesia's most interesting instruments. As you can see in the picture below
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They did an incredible job of learning everything in about 4 days. I was impressed, but I was also sick of hearing the same song over and over again.
The activities included, other types of instruments, martial arts, and traditional dances.

The afternoons were mixture of different activities;
Fishing with their bare hands in a muddy unused rice paddy
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They were really hesitant to get into the water, but once they did, they went full bore and made a real mess of themselves.

On another day the students had a flea market for the local people. They were quite the salesman!
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On other days we had a few hours of rest or the students learned to cook different local dishes. Since it was in the individual homes, I did not get any photos.

The last day we spend most of it doing a reforestation activity and then visiting a local waterfall.
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The whole trip ended with one final concert at the end. Here is a photo of one of the other activities the students could had learned; traditional dancing
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What was interesting about this night was I had an opportunity to meet the local Peace Corps Volunteer and the mayor of the village. Because he arrived after the events were over, he had to redo the "best" parts of the performances.

The trip was great on many levels. One I had an opportunity to get to know the students. Two, I had a chance to side of Indonesia most people never get to see. Three what a "perk" of being an expat teacher. I do not see myself ever living in the US again; there is just a world of greatness out there to explore and I have only had a small taste of it. It has been nearly 10 years and I am still hungry for more!

If there is anyone out there who is interested in working overseas, oplease let me know by PM or in comments below. I will be happy to help you get you started on an adventure of a lifetime.


  1. Junaidi83 de Bodemloze's Avatar
    So much of adventure :D
  2. PikeStance's Avatar
    Yes it was. I had a great time interacting and playing with the kids!