Photo of the Week
Photo Title


WP_Post Object
(
    [ID] => 39277
    [post_author] => 39
    [post_date] => 2012-12-17 00:00:00
    [post_date_gmt] => 1970-01-01 00:00:00
    [post_content] =>   

As I am able to grasp more completely how my reality is no longer scoping crowded street vendors for fried tempeh or relying on my water bottle every time I need to brush my teeth, and instead is driving a car by myself or shoveling snow from the driveway, I am realizing this: no Toto, we're not in Indonesia anymore.

This thought has an undercurrent of fear, because I can't help but worry that as I engage fully in the world I'm in now, I'll loose touch with the world I just left. That with the passing of time, I won't be able to remember the details of the trip that felt and feel so important to me. For example, my homestay mother's name and face, and how tightly she held me before we said goodbye. Sarah's tears as she spoke to the community of Masihulan on our last night, thanking them for everything they gave us and attempting to illuminate the scope of their pull on our hearts. The view from the top of Mt. Merapi at the beginning of the trip, with so much potential before us and the well earned knowledge that yes, we can DO this, we can do anything, even though it felt impossible.

Like so many of my ibus in Indonesia, my American ibu offered some help when I felt overwhelmed by living in a home that feels foreign. She likened our relationship with memory to a tree; when you first plant it, you can feel its vitality and its life in your hands. As you grow, it grows with you, and soon you have to step back in order to see its full presence looming above. One day, it's strong enough to bare your weight, and you can climb it so you are standing taller than ever before.

Right now, my memory of the trip still feels like a freshly planted tree; I can literally feel the memories in my body- the smell of fish sitting in the sun on porches in Sampela, the call to prayer in the evenings in Sawaii, the hugs and shoulder squeezes from all of you- my best friends and traveling companions. Soon, we'll be able to step back and see this trip more objectively, and therefore able to witness its magnitude and rooted presence in our lives. Eventually, we will use what we took from this trip as a foundation to climb higher than before, seeing a view that will always be shaded by our experiences in that unforgettable country.

"Unforgettable" is not a word I use lightly, and I do believe that although I'm afraid of forgetting sometimes, it's not really possible. I miss you all more than I can say, even though I feel joy knowing we are tending to our own trees right now. You'll always have a place in mine.

[post_title] => a solid memory [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => a-solid-memory [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2012-12-17 00:00:00 [post_modified_gmt] => 1970-01-01 00:00:00 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://yakyak.chandigarhsoftware.com/?p=39277 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [categories] => Array ( [0] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 284 [name] => Indonesia Semester, Fall 2012 [slug] => indonesia-semester-fall-2012 [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 284 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 243 [count] => 96 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 14.1 [cat_ID] => 284 [category_count] => 96 [category_description] => [cat_name] => Indonesia Semester, Fall 2012 [category_nicename] => indonesia-semester-fall-2012 [category_parent] => 243 [link] => https://my.wheretherebedragons.com/category/fall-2012/indonesia-semester-fall-2012/ ) ) [category_links] => Indonesia Semester, Fall 2012 )

Indonesia Semester, Fall 2012

View post

a solid memory

Naya Herman,Indonesia Semester, Fall 2012

Description

As I am able to grasp more completely how my reality is no longer scoping crowded street vendors for fried tempeh or relying on my water bottle every time I need to brush my teeth, and instead is driving a car by myself or shoveling snow from the driveway, I am realizing this: no Toto, […]

Posted On

12/17/12

Author

Naya Herman

WP_Post Object
(
    [ID] => 39297
    [post_author] => 39
    [post_date] => 2012-12-08 00:00:00
    [post_date_gmt] => 1970-01-01 00:00:00
    [post_content] => 

Dear Parents,

Now that your children are safely aboard their international flight, we would like to take a moment to express our sincerest gratitude for entrusting us with the well-being of one of the most precious components of your lives over the past 3 months. We have all grown very close, a bonding process accelerated and deepened by the challenges and achievements involved in exploring Indonesia together. As instructors, we feel so fortunate to just begin to glimpse into the bottomless well of love you hold for your children and from which Naya, Alyssa, Scout, Will, Olivia, Lyda, Pete, Eliza, Emily, Cassidy, and Lauren have repeatedly drawn inspiration for their interactions with each other, us, and Indonesia. We hope they return to you with a deeper awareness of the world and their own unique potential. We also know that the transition back home will take time and patience. They have all been through a unique experience that does not immediately lend itself to words. Please be patient with them and allow the space for their stories to unfold organically.

A local farmer involved in a reforestation effort once told me that the most important part of planting a tree was the genuine love and affection transmitted to the earth in the process. He said without that intention, the trees would fail to grow straight and strong. Your children’s paths to becoming compassionate, authentic, and socially conscious adults are an ever evolving testament to the love you have, and will continue, to give them. Thank you for allowing us, and Indonesia, to provide some sunshine and rain along the way. We hope the fruits of this experience will continue to spread seeds of appreciation, affection, and positive action back home.

With Love,

Aaron, Sarah, Stew, and Kelli

[post_title] => Coming Home [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => coming-home [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2012-12-08 00:00:00 [post_modified_gmt] => 1970-01-01 00:00:00 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://yakyak.chandigarhsoftware.com/?p=39297 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [categories] => Array ( [0] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 284 [name] => Indonesia Semester, Fall 2012 [slug] => indonesia-semester-fall-2012 [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 284 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 243 [count] => 96 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 14.1 [cat_ID] => 284 [category_count] => 96 [category_description] => [cat_name] => Indonesia Semester, Fall 2012 [category_nicename] => indonesia-semester-fall-2012 [category_parent] => 243 [link] => https://my.wheretherebedragons.com/category/fall-2012/indonesia-semester-fall-2012/ ) ) [category_links] => Indonesia Semester, Fall 2012 )

Indonesia Semester, Fall 2012

View post

Coming Home

Instructors,Indonesia Semester, Fall 2012

Description

Dear Parents, Now that your children are safely aboard their international flight, we would like to take a moment to express our sincerest gratitude for entrusting us with the well-being of one of the most precious components of your lives over the past 3 months. We have all grown very close, a bonding process accelerated […]

Posted On

12/8/12

Author

Instructors

WP_Post Object
(
    [ID] => 39375
    [post_author] => 39
    [post_date] => 2012-11-29 00:00:00
    [post_date_gmt] => 1970-01-01 00:00:00
    [post_content] => 

Quick Author's Note: I fully realize that my "Three Amigos" yaks didn't quite go as planned and I apologize for this. Hopefully you can instead enjoy this recent excerpt from my journal I've been writing in throughout the trip.

Day 74, 11/24/12

Last day of homestays for this entire trip. Pretty crazy they're suddenly over. It was an unforgettable last day too. Today we witnessed a famed Torajan buffalo sacrifice. Along with the hike up Mt. Merapi and our last day in Sampela, the sacrifice is easily in my top three most impactful moments. The buffalo sacrifice is a crucial part of Torajan ceremonies; buffaloes are highly important animals (it's said that Torajan men love their buffalo more than their own kids), and when a person dies, buffalo are killed so they can guide the deceased to the "second life". We showed up at the funeral around noon and waited in shade along with the hundreds of other people in attendance. The anticipation and tension in the air were palpable. One by one, buffaloes were led into the middle of the crowd. Our group was seemingly well aware what was coming. These buffalo would get their throats slit and we had been mentally prepping ourselves for what was to come.

Impatience settled in and then finally some dude said a prayer or ritual for about 15 minutes. When he finished, two men nailed wood stakes in the ground and tied the first buffalo up. Without any more sort of warning, one of them took out a knife, lifted the buffalo's head by the nose, and swung at the neck. It made this meaty "thunk" sound I'll never forget. The crowd was so silent for that one second that you could probably hear that sound a village away. All the mental preparation turned out to not be enough. The whole thing was pretty gut-wrenching. The buffalo bucked and thrashed, the foot long gash in it's throat pouring out blood. It tripped on the rope around it's ankle, fell, and began writhing on the ground. This was especially tough to watch. You could see the life spilling out of it, and yet its will to live was so great. While on the ground, the buffalo would sometimes pick up its head and slam its horns in the ground. I kept hoping it would just die and stop struggling in its death throes. This whole time, the buffalo never made any noise except for a few small gurgling sounds. Most people were pretty quiet too, aside from some laughing men. Not sure how they thought it was funny, that got some of us a little pissed off.

This same thing happened 8 more times. As the bodies piled up, they would trip over the rope and each other, and a huge pool of blood formed in the center. The very last kill was the craziest. The buffalo was cut, fell for a few seconds, and then got up andactuallystarted walking again. The butcher grabbed the buffalo by its nose and literally had his knife in the things chest slicing away as it stood there. It finally fell over and that was it. Nine bloated bodies strewn across the grass, gushing blood and attracting tons of flies. Our mouths were gaped open, but every else reallydidn'tseem to notice too much.

All the buffalo were skinned and butchered to distribute meat to the community, and I had a good while reflect on what we just saw. This has really got me thinking about my views of meat and how I consume it, e.g. a steak is part of an animal that was killed, not simply a filet and nothing more. It was usually easy for me to lose sight of that. I won;'t stop eating and enjoying meat, but as a faithful carnivore, I think this was really important to see. My homestay family and I ate some buffalo for dinner tonight, and since a major reason for those buffaloes' deaths was for eating, andbecauseI had no say on how or if they were killed, I feel the one honor I could do them was consumption. The viewing of the sacrifice was gruesome and tough to stomach, I feel fulfilled andenlightened. This was an incredibly unique opportunity, one that nobody I know has had. The Torajan sacrifice ritual comes across as slightlyprimitive, or too casual, or maybe just superfluous. At the end of the day, I'm realizing it's a special tradition and benefits its community. Plus, it's given me perspective on my meat-eating ways, which I am very grateful for on thisThanksgivingweekend.

/* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:11.0pt; font-family:"Calibri","sans-serif"; mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;} [post_title] => Toraja Journal Excerpt [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => toraja-journal-excerpt [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2012-11-29 00:00:00 [post_modified_gmt] => 1970-01-01 00:00:00 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://yakyak.chandigarhsoftware.com/?p=39375 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [categories] => Array ( [0] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 284 [name] => Indonesia Semester, Fall 2012 [slug] => indonesia-semester-fall-2012 [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 284 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 243 [count] => 96 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 14.1 [cat_ID] => 284 [category_count] => 96 [category_description] => [cat_name] => Indonesia Semester, Fall 2012 [category_nicename] => indonesia-semester-fall-2012 [category_parent] => 243 [link] => https://my.wheretherebedragons.com/category/fall-2012/indonesia-semester-fall-2012/ ) ) [category_links] => Indonesia Semester, Fall 2012 )

Indonesia Semester, Fall 2012

View post

Toraja Journal Excerpt

Pete Foster,Indonesia Semester, Fall 2012

Description

Quick Author’s Note: I fully realize that my “Three Amigos” yaks didn’t quite go as planned and I apologize for this. Hopefully you can instead enjoy this recent excerpt from my journal I’ve been writing in throughout the trip. Day 74, 11/24/12 Last day of homestays for this entire trip. Pretty crazy they’re suddenly over. […]

Posted On

11/29/12

Author

Pete Foster

WP_Post Object
(
    [ID] => 39382
    [post_author] => 39
    [post_date] => 2012-11-28 00:00:00
    [post_date_gmt] => 1970-01-01 00:00:00
    [post_content] => 

On our last night of homestays, I watched my three Catholic grandmothers hack into a dead buffalo carcass on the kitchen floor. I watched this buffalo die earlier that day, from just one precise slice across it's thick and furry neck. I watched my grandmothers delve into its muscular leg with a small, nanek-sized knife, the same leg that had twitched and jerked for several minutes after falling to the ground. I watched my naneks guide their knives with a simple grace that mirrored the way I observed life leave the massive buffalo; with a silent understanding of the whole. An understanding that death marks the beginning of a journey into the next place, a journey from west to north to east. An understanding that life serves mainly as our chance to prepare for this journey, by dedicating all of our time and money towards raising buffalo who will guide our souls to our final destination.

 

While I watched the buffalo sacrifice in my own silent horror, Stew reminded me to watch the faces of the Torajans around me. There was a mix of both pain and contentment, and I realized that we were actually not even watching the same event. As I saw an animal being killed for the first time, my grandmothers saw a carefully selected buffalo join the entourage of animals that would guide their deceased sister safely to the afterlife. I saw nameless and innocent creatures, they saw buffaloes that someone in their family had worked hard to be able to donate, spending up to $40,000.

 

One of the most striking parts of that day was the silence of the buffalo- they made almost no sound throughout the entire ceremony. As the knife passed through their throat, they did not struggle or cry. Towards the end when there were several carcasses on the ground, and they must have known their own death was immenant, they still remained stoic and silent. Maybe they understood what my grandmothers seemed to know as they cut into the flesh that evening; that death is simply a rite of passage, that it is as much of a beginning as an ending, that we live to serve each other and remain connected through our passing.

 

Looking back on all of the homestays we have done on this trip, I am in awe at how diverse a window I have gotten into Indonesian culture. I've stayed in an urban area on arguably the most powerful island in terms of politics and volcanic potential. I've lived on the edge of the jungle with a community of hearts sizeably larger than their desire for economic success. I've slept above the sea in a village of nomads that shared their skills and blessings with me, despite the fact that I look just like all those that discriminate against them daily. And now, I have shared meals of rice and sacrifical buffalo with a family whose world view and entire belief system is drastically different from my own. Throughout all of the homestays, our desire to create the universal shape of a family in our shared space served as the key to transcending the initial otherness. I look back on each family with deep gratitude for their effort to connect with me and make space in their home and their hearts. Considering each moment of struggle and hardship I have faced as I adjusted to their way of life, I can only imagine the sacrifices they made, without the added pleasure of doing so as part of a "gap year adventure program".

 

If I could thank each family another time, I would want to communicate how touched I am by their consistent ability to love fearlessly and unconditionally. They all must have known what the buffaloes knew; that we are all part of the whole, dependent on each other for a safe and peaceful journey.


  /* Style Definitions */  table.MsoNormalTable 	{mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; 	mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; 	mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; 	mso-style-noshow:yes; 	mso-style-priority:99; 	mso-style-parent:""; 	mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; 	mso-para-margin:0in; 	mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; 	mso-pagination:widow-orphan; 	font-size:11.0pt; 	font-family:"Calibri","sans-serif"; 	mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri; 	mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; 	mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri; 	mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;}  
    [post_title] => Buffalo Wisdom
    [post_excerpt] => 
    [post_status] => publish
    [comment_status] => open
    [ping_status] => open
    [post_password] => 
    [post_name] => buffalo-wisdom
    [to_ping] => 
    [pinged] => 
    [post_modified] => 2016-02-08 16:17:15
    [post_modified_gmt] => 2016-02-08 23:17:15
    [post_content_filtered] => 
    [post_parent] => 0
    [guid] => http://yakyak.chandigarhsoftware.com/?p=39382
    [menu_order] => 0
    [post_type] => post
    [post_mime_type] => 
    [comment_count] => 0
    [filter] => raw
    [categories] => Array
        (
            [0] => WP_Term Object
                (
                    [term_id] => 36
                    [name] => Best Notes From The Field
                    [slug] => best-notes-from-the-field
                    [term_group] => 0
                    [term_taxonomy_id] => 36
                    [taxonomy] => category
                    [description] => These pieces of travel writing are reflections by students and instructors traveling all over the world. They exemplify the open-minded spirit of exploration and self-discovery on a Dragons course.
                    [parent] => 0
                    [count] => 504
                    [filter] => raw
                    [term_order] => 0
                    [cat_ID] => 36
                    [category_count] => 504
                    [category_description] => These pieces of travel writing are reflections by students and instructors traveling all over the world. They exemplify the open-minded spirit of exploration and self-discovery on a Dragons course.
                    [cat_name] => Best Notes From The Field
                    [category_nicename] => best-notes-from-the-field
                    [category_parent] => 0
                    [link] => https://my.wheretherebedragons.com/category/best-notes-from-the-field/
                )

            [1] => WP_Term Object
                (
                    [term_id] => 284
                    [name] => Indonesia Semester, Fall 2012
                    [slug] => indonesia-semester-fall-2012
                    [term_group] => 0
                    [term_taxonomy_id] => 284
                    [taxonomy] => category
                    [description] => 
                    [parent] => 243
                    [count] => 96
                    [filter] => raw
                    [term_order] => 14.1
                    [cat_ID] => 284
                    [category_count] => 96
                    [category_description] => 
                    [cat_name] => Indonesia Semester, Fall 2012
                    [category_nicename] => indonesia-semester-fall-2012
                    [category_parent] => 243
                    [link] => https://my.wheretherebedragons.com/category/fall-2012/indonesia-semester-fall-2012/
                )

            [2] => WP_Term Object
                (
                    [term_id] => 51
                    [name] => Homestay
                    [slug] => homestay
                    [term_group] => 0
                    [term_taxonomy_id] => 51
                    [taxonomy] => category
                    [description] => 
                    [parent] => 488
                    [count] => 193
                    [filter] => raw
                    [term_order] => 34.1
                    [cat_ID] => 51
                    [category_count] => 193
                    [category_description] => 
                    [cat_name] => Homestay
                    [category_nicename] => homestay
                    [category_parent] => 488
                )

        )

    [category_links] => Best Notes From The Field, Indonesia Semester, Fall 2012  ... 
)

Best Notes From The Field, Indonesia Semester, Fall 2012, Homestay

View post

Buffalo Wisdom

Naya Herman,Best Notes From The Field, Indonesia Semester, Fall 2012, Homestay

Description

On our last night of homestays, I watched my three Catholic grandmothers hack into a dead buffalo carcass on the kitchen floor. I watched this buffalo die earlier that day, from just one precise slice across it’s thick and furry neck. I watched my grandmothers delve into its muscular leg with a small, nanek-sized knife, […]

Posted On

11/28/12

Author

Naya Herman

WP_Post Object
(
    [ID] => 39383
    [post_author] => 39
    [post_date] => 2012-11-28 00:00:00
    [post_date_gmt] => 1970-01-01 00:00:00
    [post_content] => 

Going into a new homestay has never been easy for me. Sure, with practice its gotten better but never to the point of easiness. So on arriving in Tana Toraja, I was, not surprisingly, full of what I would call mortal terror and my instructors would merrily call "anxiety". We arrived at a group of large intricatly carved and painted Tongkonans--Toraja's traditional houses, shaped like star ships or boats (depending on how you look at them). Needless to say, I was daunted. Within minutes, we were surrounded by ibus (mothers), neneks (grandmothers), paks (fathers), and children, all introducing themselves, making sure we were fed, had tea, and most importantly, trying to figure our what on earth a bunch of bulehs (white people) wanted from them. During all this, I was drifting around, with what I now picture as an enormous, frightened smile plastered to my face, shaking hands, and trying to pronounce peoples names without offending them. After a while, I took out my new sarong to stay warm, which I had bought the day before in a nearby town. Almost immediately, I was surrounded by salty old neneks, full of wrinkles and smiles stained red from chewing beetle nut, all tugging on me and peering at mequizzically It took a little while for me to understand that they wanted to know how this strange girl had gotten her hands on a traditional Torajen sarong. Upon answering a heavy flow of questions such as, "how much did you pay?" or "where did you get this?" or "You like sarongs?!!" I washurriedlyhustled up a flight of ladder like stair (after a nenek pushed ahead of me to shoo away all the chickens and various animals taking naps on them) and pulled into a small dark room where I was told to sit on a straw mat and wait.

After several minutes of listening to the old woman rustle around in aseparateroom (the only other room in the house) and getting increasingly nervous, the nenek came out folding a bundle of beautifully woven sarongs. Being interested in textiles, I was enthralled and it was then my turn to ask a heavy flow of questions. I found out that she had woven them herself and that one of her daughters knew how to weave too. I learned that it takes around a week to finish one sarong, and that they are then sold for around 25 US dollars. Through all this my nenek became increasingly delighted and by the end of our conversation I had acquired three separate, and lovely smacks on my arms and back, several surprisingly strong embraces and a wonderful new and spirited (if tiny and ancient) friend. I left the Tongkonan feeling much elated and excited, rather than anxious about meeting my new family and moving in with this wonderful community. My sarong had saved me, and not for the first time.

/* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:11.0pt; font-family:"Calibri","sans-serif"; mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;} [post_title] => The Sarong [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => the-sarong [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2012-11-28 00:00:00 [post_modified_gmt] => 1970-01-01 00:00:00 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://yakyak.chandigarhsoftware.com/?p=39383 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [categories] => Array ( [0] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 284 [name] => Indonesia Semester, Fall 2012 [slug] => indonesia-semester-fall-2012 [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 284 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 243 [count] => 96 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 14.1 [cat_ID] => 284 [category_count] => 96 [category_description] => [cat_name] => Indonesia Semester, Fall 2012 [category_nicename] => indonesia-semester-fall-2012 [category_parent] => 243 [link] => https://my.wheretherebedragons.com/category/fall-2012/indonesia-semester-fall-2012/ ) [1] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 51 [name] => Homestay [slug] => homestay [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 51 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 488 [count] => 193 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 34.1 [cat_ID] => 51 [category_count] => 193 [category_description] => [cat_name] => Homestay [category_nicename] => homestay [category_parent] => 488 [link] => https://my.wheretherebedragons.com/category/program-components/homestay/ ) ) [category_links] => Indonesia Semester, Fall 2012, Homestay )

Indonesia Semester, Fall 2012, Homestay

View post

The Sarong

Eliza Culhane,Indonesia Semester, Fall 2012, Homestay

Description

Going into a new homestay has never been easy for me. Sure, with practice its gotten better but never to the point of easiness. So on arriving in Tana Toraja, I was, not surprisingly, full of what I would call mortal terror and my instructors would merrily call “anxiety”. We arrived at a group of […]

Posted On

11/28/12

Author

Eliza Culhane

WP_Post Object
(
    [ID] => 39395
    [post_author] => 39
    [post_date] => 2012-11-27 00:00:00
    [post_date_gmt] => 1970-01-01 00:00:00
    [post_content] => 

“To us, family means putting your arms around each other and being there.”

~Barbara Bush

 

We’ve just said goodbye to our families here in Toraja. They welcomed us with open arms, as have all of the families we’ve lived with inIndonesia. We moved into their homes and they moved into our hearts.

In August we found an unfamiliar home in Yogjakarta. We were led into a house by people who, for the most part, we couldn’t understand. We were faced with a barrage of questions. Do you want to eat? Have you bathed? Do you want to eat or bathe first? What is your religion? Isn’t everyone in America happy? Is it cold in America? Do you live like the people in ‘American Pie?’ The city may have looked pretty similar to our own back home, but the family was overwhelmingly different.However, over the course of the next month we began, gradually, to feel at home. The families no longer felt so unfamiliar.

From Yogja we got uprooted again and the world was spun on its head. There were no cars, our houses had dirt floors, and we were faced with freshly unfamiliar family. The people of Masihulan showed us their gardens in the jungle. They taught us to sing and we ran around the town with our new brothers and sisters. By then we could talk to our families, we could ask them if they had eaten, if they had bathed, what their religion was. We were beginning to find our own window into their lives by actually conversing. We not only stayed with them, we spoke with them as family.

We said a heartfelt goodbye to our families in the jungle and moved out to sea. Life in the Bajau community in Sampela was certainly the furthest from home we’d been yet. You could see the ocean through your floor boards and fish hung next to the front door. Our Bajau families were shy and, even with the language barrier coming down, it was a struggle to talk to them. But going out in fishing boats with our bapaks, sitting on the porch cleaning clothes with our mamas and gathering sea beasties from the sand bar with them more than bridged the gap. We didn’t necessarily need to talk to them to connect. We could live with our families and work with them too.

We waved farewell to our Bajau families from a boat and made our way to Toraja. Stepping off the boat we were instantly confronted with a new paradigm. The Torajan relationship to death could not be more dissimilar to how we view it in the States. Dead family members continue to occupy a place in the house, as some of us discovered first hand. Our new families laughed and joked when we talked of the dead and of funerals. When we attended the ‘pesta orang mati’ we were so wrapped up in colors, laughter, music and merriment that t was easy to forget we were at a funeral. Talking with our families wasn’t the challenge, it was understanding what they meant and how they could think how they did. Despite those struggles and that confusion it was impossible not to feel the warm-heartedness in the community. So, while we couldn’t really grasp why our families were so joyful at a funeral we could celebrate with them.

Now we are staring the end of our trip in the face. We have finished our last home stay, left our last family. We will return to you all in a very short time. We may struggle to tell you about our other mothers, fathers, sisters and brothers. You will undoubtedly meet a new person at the airport, one who has come from many different families. But you are our families in the deepest and truest sense of the word. We will wrap you in our arms, be there and share all that we have with you.

[post_title] => The Meaning of Family [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => the-meaning-of-family [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2012-11-27 00:00:00 [post_modified_gmt] => 1970-01-01 00:00:00 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://yakyak.chandigarhsoftware.com/?p=39395 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [categories] => Array ( [0] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 284 [name] => Indonesia Semester, Fall 2012 [slug] => indonesia-semester-fall-2012 [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 284 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 243 [count] => 96 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 14.1 [cat_ID] => 284 [category_count] => 96 [category_description] => [cat_name] => Indonesia Semester, Fall 2012 [category_nicename] => indonesia-semester-fall-2012 [category_parent] => 243 [link] => https://my.wheretherebedragons.com/category/fall-2012/indonesia-semester-fall-2012/ ) [1] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 51 [name] => Homestay [slug] => homestay [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 51 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 488 [count] => 193 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 34.1 [cat_ID] => 51 [category_count] => 193 [category_description] => [cat_name] => Homestay [category_nicename] => homestay [category_parent] => 488 [link] => https://my.wheretherebedragons.com/category/program-components/homestay/ ) ) [category_links] => Indonesia Semester, Fall 2012, Homestay )

Indonesia Semester, Fall 2012, Homestay

View post

The Meaning of Family

Cassidy (Jones) Schultz,Indonesia Semester, Fall 2012, Homestay

Description

“To us, family means putting your arms around each other and being there.” ~Barbara Bush   We’ve just said goodbye to our families here in Toraja. They welcomed us with open arms, as have all of the families we’ve lived with inIndonesia. We moved into their homes and they moved into our hearts. In August […]

Posted On

11/27/12

Author

Cassidy (Jones) Schultz

WP_Post Object
(
    [ID] => 39396
    [post_author] => 39
    [post_date] => 2012-11-27 00:00:00
    [post_date_gmt] => 1970-01-01 00:00:00
    [post_content] => Although its been two weeks since we were in Samela, the moments there still putter in my head. I will never forget spearfishing with my homestay dad Lauda. It was not about me going out into the deep blue sea diving down 2 meters to spear a 3 inch fish, but rather it was one of the rare moments when it was better being the observer. His wood carved goggles and a rubber intertube used as the spring for his spear were all he needed. Its a family event, Grandpa Tade who looked about 70 and Lauda's son Ade were always ready for spearfishing. Lauda is the best spearfisher in the village, his father can still go the deepest and his son is about to take the reins as the best spearfisher around. I was lucky enough to be apart of this family extravaganza and I will never forget the times when Lauda would go down to the point where you couldn't even see him until a dark cloud of ink from a squid ascended from the depths or trying to follow him in the dark of the night through bioluminescence. That was one amazing family.
    [post_title] => Lauda
    [post_excerpt] => 
    [post_status] => publish
    [comment_status] => open
    [ping_status] => open
    [post_password] => 
    [post_name] => lauda
    [to_ping] => 
    [pinged] => 
    [post_modified] => 2012-11-27 00:00:00
    [post_modified_gmt] => 1970-01-01 00:00:00
    [post_content_filtered] => 
    [post_parent] => 0
    [guid] => http://yakyak.chandigarhsoftware.com/?p=39396
    [menu_order] => 0
    [post_type] => post
    [post_mime_type] => 
    [comment_count] => 0
    [filter] => raw
    [categories] => Array
        (
            [0] => WP_Term Object
                (
                    [term_id] => 284
                    [name] => Indonesia Semester, Fall 2012
                    [slug] => indonesia-semester-fall-2012
                    [term_group] => 0
                    [term_taxonomy_id] => 284
                    [taxonomy] => category
                    [description] => 
                    [parent] => 243
                    [count] => 96
                    [filter] => raw
                    [term_order] => 14.1
                    [cat_ID] => 284
                    [category_count] => 96
                    [category_description] => 
                    [cat_name] => Indonesia Semester, Fall 2012
                    [category_nicename] => indonesia-semester-fall-2012
                    [category_parent] => 243
                    [link] => https://my.wheretherebedragons.com/category/fall-2012/indonesia-semester-fall-2012/
                )

        )

    [category_links] => Indonesia Semester, Fall 2012
)

Indonesia Semester, Fall 2012

View post

Lauda

scout vernon,Indonesia Semester, Fall 2012

Description

Although its been two weeks since we were in Samela, the moments there still putter in my head. I will never forget spearfishing with my homestay dad Lauda. It was not about me going out into the deep blue sea diving down 2 meters to spear a 3 inch fish, but rather it was one […]

Posted On

11/27/12

Author

scout vernon

WP_Post Object
(
    [ID] => 39399
    [post_author] => 39
    [post_date] => 2012-11-27 00:00:00
    [post_date_gmt] => 1970-01-01 00:00:00
    [post_content] => Breaking everything. This is how our group rolls, and I think Ganda correctly identifyed this right from the begining. We break everything from entering homestays where dragons has never been before, to trails I doubt white people have ever seen (even maybe those dutch). I think we broke records concerning rice consumption (I’m suprised there is any rice left in toraja). This homestay broke my expectations of the extent of human kindness. I broke my faith in my own navigational abilities after getting lost several times in the rice fields and maybe falling knee deep into mud pits (I was just breaking the barrier between me and the water buffalo) but dont worry guys rambo saved me. From hitch hiking with my nenek to markets, to watching her dress to the 9’s for orang mati ceremonies, to watching her weave amazing sarongs, she broke my understanding of what it means to grow old gracefully (so much steeze). 

Speaking of breaking stuff, the fort we reached on our trek blew my mind. To get there we literally broke stuff whilst clearing a trail. We scrambled along muddy clifsides and up rivers for our alledgedly one hour already two hour hike. Eventually we found our way to a narrow flat part after the pine precipise. Behold, we arrived at the dutch fort. It felt incredable to reach the top with sweeping views of the valleys and rice fields below glistening in the sunlight. The fort itself was as impressive as the views below, with flying butresses and vaulted arches. Even the cannons were still functioning. Most suprisingly the dutch were still there and were so hospitable. To celebrate, our group ate hard boiled eggs.


Jk, I went to the dutch fort and all I got were leaches. oops.
[post_title] => On the trail we blaze [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => on-the-trail-we-blaze [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2012-11-27 00:00:00 [post_modified_gmt] => 1970-01-01 00:00:00 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://yakyak.chandigarhsoftware.com/?p=39399 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [categories] => Array ( [0] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 284 [name] => Indonesia Semester, Fall 2012 [slug] => indonesia-semester-fall-2012 [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 284 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 243 [count] => 96 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 14.1 [cat_ID] => 284 [category_count] => 96 [category_description] => [cat_name] => Indonesia Semester, Fall 2012 [category_nicename] => indonesia-semester-fall-2012 [category_parent] => 243 [link] => https://my.wheretherebedragons.com/category/fall-2012/indonesia-semester-fall-2012/ ) ) [category_links] => Indonesia Semester, Fall 2012 )

Indonesia Semester, Fall 2012

View post

On the trail we blaze

Olivia Rothberg,Indonesia Semester, Fall 2012

Description

Breaking everything. This is how our group rolls, and I think Ganda correctly identifyed this right from the begining. We break everything from entering homestays where dragons has never been before, to trails I doubt white people have ever seen (even maybe those dutch). I think we broke records concerning rice consumption (I’m suprised there […]

Posted On

11/27/12

Author

Olivia Rothberg

WP_Post Object
(
    [ID] => 39400
    [post_author] => 39
    [post_date] => 2012-11-27 00:00:00
    [post_date_gmt] => 1970-01-01 00:00:00
    [post_content] => November 18
Tana Toraja

Today I started my fourth and final home stay in Indonesia. It surprises me that even after having done this three times before, I still got so nervous to meet my family. The first family member I was introduced to was my 21 year old brother. I walked with him down the steep road to our house. When we came to a simple wooden house we were greeted by an extraordinary looking woman, who is my Torajan mother. She has a big smile with strong teeth stained brown from tobacco and betel nut, wrinkles around her eyes formed by years of smiling, and is so small that I'm taller than her even when I'm sitting down. She must be well under four feet tall. Somehow her tiny frame carried eight children, two of which live with her. Anton, who I've mentioned already, and Mateo, who lives here along with his wife Selfie. There are two small children who have also been around, but I can not figure out our relation. They're scared to talk to me, but when they sit on the ground next to me they slowly scoot closer and closer until they're practically in my lap. My family here in the mountains has been instantly accepting and affectionate. They smile at me a lot, hold my hands, and even encouraged me to help cook dinner, a privilege that most of my host families have denied me. When it became dark outside we sat together for a long time, exchanging English, Indonesian, and Torajan words, and my mama told me that she was glad to have another daughter. They pumped me full of coffee in the evening, but still I was somehow exhausted by eight o' clock, and together my mama and I climbed onto our platform to sleep. Me, feeling so grateful to feel cold after two months of heat. And my mama patting my arm and telling me that tomorrow we'll wake up at five to cook for the pigs. [post_title] => feeling cold for the first time in a long time [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => feeling-cold-for-the-first-time-in-a-long-time [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2012-11-27 00:00:00 [post_modified_gmt] => 1970-01-01 00:00:00 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://yakyak.chandigarhsoftware.com/?p=39400 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [categories] => Array ( [0] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 284 [name] => Indonesia Semester, Fall 2012 [slug] => indonesia-semester-fall-2012 [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 284 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 243 [count] => 96 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 14.1 [cat_ID] => 284 [category_count] => 96 [category_description] => [cat_name] => Indonesia Semester, Fall 2012 [category_nicename] => indonesia-semester-fall-2012 [category_parent] => 243 [link] => https://my.wheretherebedragons.com/category/fall-2012/indonesia-semester-fall-2012/ ) ) [category_links] => Indonesia Semester, Fall 2012 )

Indonesia Semester, Fall 2012

View post

feeling cold for the first time in a long time

Lauren Harper,Indonesia Semester, Fall 2012

Description

November 18Tana Toraja Today I started my fourth and final home stay in Indonesia. It surprises me that even after having done this three times before, I still got so nervous to meet my family. The first family member I was introduced to was my 21 year old brother. I walked with him down the […]

Posted On

11/27/12

Author

Lauren Harper

WP_Post Object
(
    [ID] => 39401
    [post_author] => 39
    [post_date] => 2012-11-27 00:00:00
    [post_date_gmt] => 1970-01-01 00:00:00
    [post_content] => 

I don't think I've ever wanted to live in something as much as I've wanted to live in a Tongkonan. Tongkonans are the tradtitional Torajan houses and are probably the coolest structures ever. Their shape is believed to represent the shape of the boats the Torajans came from the stars in. They also represent the shape of the horns of the water buffalo that Torajan life and death depend on. The Tongkonans are decorated with symbols that are unique to a family's history as well those that represent what caste they are in. Thousands of people can associate themselves with one Tongkonan. The houses aren't really built for practicallity, the windows are small and they are pretty expensive and difficult to build. But here is a haiku about how much I want to build a Tongkonan in my home state of Ky.

A sweeping red roof,

Carvings telling the stories,

Wish I could have one.

[post_title] => Tongkonaning [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => tongkonaning [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2012-11-27 00:00:00 [post_modified_gmt] => 1970-01-01 00:00:00 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://yakyak.chandigarhsoftware.com/?p=39401 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [categories] => Array ( [0] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 284 [name] => Indonesia Semester, Fall 2012 [slug] => indonesia-semester-fall-2012 [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 284 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 243 [count] => 96 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 14.1 [cat_ID] => 284 [category_count] => 96 [category_description] => [cat_name] => Indonesia Semester, Fall 2012 [category_nicename] => indonesia-semester-fall-2012 [category_parent] => 243 [link] => https://my.wheretherebedragons.com/category/fall-2012/indonesia-semester-fall-2012/ ) ) [category_links] => Indonesia Semester, Fall 2012 )

Indonesia Semester, Fall 2012

View post

Tongkonaning

Emily Anne Armstrong,Indonesia Semester, Fall 2012

Description

I don’t think I’ve ever wanted to live in something as much as I’ve wanted to live in a Tongkonan. Tongkonans are the tradtitional Torajan houses and are probably the coolest structures ever. Their shape is believed to represent the shape of the boats the Torajans came from the stars in. They also represent the […]

Posted On

11/27/12

Author

Emily Anne Armstrong

1 2 3 10