Photo of the Week
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We’ve just left the Bajau community of Sampela. The Bajau sometimes call themselves “orang laut’, or sea people. They are fishermen through and through. I’ve always had my mental image of a fisherman and it took one morning to completely change my ideas.

I woke up, groggy and grumbling, at 3:30am the third day of our homestay. I had talked to my mama the night before and I was to go fishing the next morning with my bapak. I walked out of my room into the common space where my family was still asleep on the floor. Wait a minute. Shouldn’t my pak have been preparing the boats or the nets, not snoring peacefully on the floor? Don’t fishermen go out really horribly early, like 4am? Ibu told me jam enam. Enam, not empat. Six o’clock, not four. Six is a perfectly civil, not horrible, time to take off. First assumption smushed.

At the lovely hour of 6am my bapak and I were sliding out into the peaceful morning water, greeted by the just-risen sun. I said ‘hello, my name is Cass’ to bapak the night before and he had just nodded. I understood though. He’s a hardened fisherman and therefore not overly concerned with the sunburned, graceless white girl who kept almost falling out of his boat. OK, I decided, I would start up a conversation! He started the motor and any hope of conversation was, for the moment, lost. I was slightly bummed, but I figured I would have time to initiate a conversation later. I would need to be the one to start it, since I wasn’t of particular interest to him. After about fifteen minutes we slowed up and he killed the motor. This was my chance! I was trying to figure out what to say when bapak quietly called my name from the back of the boat.

“Cass.”

“Ya bapak?”

“Senang bertamu anda.”

I’m happy to meet you. That’s all he said. Those words meant more to me than if he’d talked for hours. He wasn’t indifferent to me. I realised that maybe he was as excited to have me there as I was to be there, he was just more quiet about it. Maybe he was nervous about making a good impression too. I know I was.

I looked at him, standing in the boat with the sun shining behind him, and he smiled at me. The image of a unattached sea nomad melted from my mind. My bapak went from being a fisherman to being a father in an instant. Throughout the rest of my time in Sampela I noticed him helping me in little ways. He’d carry water inside for me to mandi, hold my hand going over a sketchy boardwalk, and sit on the porch with me when no one else was there.


I met a lot of incredible people in Sampela, but my bapak had this quiet presence that opened my mind. I had made so many assumptions about the Bajau, about who they were and how they’d act. Bapak helped me let go of my ideas and allowed me to see, hear and feel what was actually in front of me.

Terima Kasih Banyak Bapak.

Sengang bertamu anda juga.

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Indonesia Semester, Fall 2012

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Bapak Bajau

Cassidy Schultz,Indonesia Semester, Fall 2012

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We’ve just left the Bajau community of Sampela. The Bajau sometimes call themselves “orang laut’, or sea people. They are fishermen through and through. I’ve always had my mental image of a fisherman and it took one morning to completely change my ideas. I woke up, groggy and grumbling, at 3:30am the third day of […]

Posted On

11/14/12

Author

Cassidy Schultz

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Indonesia Semester, Fall 2012

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Photos from Sampela

Cassidy Schultz,Indonesia Semester, Fall 2012

Description

Here are a few photos from our amazing time in Sampela! It’s just the tip of the (tropical?) iceberg.

Posted On

11/14/12

Author

Cassidy Schultz

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Not many people get to begin their 19th birthday by waking up in a rainforest canopy. Somehow I was lucky enough to start my twentieth year in a tree platform, a hundred feet above the floor of an Indonesian jungle. Eye level with Sulfer-crested Cockatoos and the extemely prehistoric hornbills. In fact, looking at the miles of jungle scenery, I felt like I was in Jurassic Park. It was hard to believe that their were no dinosaurs lurking beneath us. Spending the night in the canopy was an amazing experience, but what made my time in the jungle truly memorable were the guides who were willing to share their vast knowledge of the jungles. From the intricate traps they made using only the bamboo, vines, and trees available in the jungle to how our guide Pace freeclimbed the forementioned hundred foot tree with only a cigarette in hand (which he says is energy), it is the people that made the my time in the Masihulan personal and unforgettable.
We spent ten days in this village of about four hundred people in Ceram, who depend on the jungle for food and their livlihoods. Everyday held a different and equally wonderful interaction. I spent one day in the community kitchen with the women trying beetlenut, a combination of two plants and a ground up seashell, that turned my mouth red. One afternoon I spent simply learning a handgame from some of the kids. And the next I hiked into the jungle with our guides for bamboo to make bows and arrows. By the time I left Masihulan I felt like I was leaving friends, little siblings, and a place that had given me so much.
I would like to give one last shoutout to our guides, the Jaguans (incredible in the language of Masihulan) who are probably the coolest people I have ever met.
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Indonesia Semester, Fall 2012

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Masihulan birthday

Emily Armstrong ,Indonesia Semester, Fall 2012

Description

Not many people get to begin their 19th birthday by waking up in a rainforest canopy. Somehow I was lucky enough to start my twentieth year in a tree platform, a hundred feet above the floor of an Indonesian jungle. Eye level with Sulfer-crested Cockatoos and the extemely prehistoric hornbills. In fact, looking at the […]

Posted On

11/2/12

Author

Emily Armstrong

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    [post_title] => More Masihulan photos!
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Indonesia Semester, Fall 2012

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More Masihulan photos!

Instructors,Indonesia Semester, Fall 2012

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Posted On

11/2/12

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Instructors

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    [post_title] => Photos from Sawai and Masihulan
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Indonesia Semester, Fall 2012

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Photos from Sawai and Masihulan

Instructors,Indonesia Semester, Fall 2012

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Posted On

11/2/12

Author

Instructors

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    [post_content] => Moist. That has been my go-to word to describe how i have been feeling for the past two weeks. Be it from Sweat or rain, I usually can’t tell and it doesn’t matter because it’s just so damp. But don’t worry, unlike Emily and Lauren who have given up sweating altogether, I have decided to make good on my promise to myself in jogya: to stop sweating in a gross way and start sweating in a sexy action hero way. And the past two weeks have definately been action packed, from swining on vines to shooting bows and arrows to hiking to bat caves and waterfalls, to name a few. It’s also been a period of self discovery; I am not secretly tarzan or Katniss. This realization has been crushing, but i am moving past it.

The time we spent in Masihoulan was amay. I was so suprised just by the sense of community and how welcoming everyone was. I was also suprised by how it kindof felt like being in a jungle musical. Everyone was so musically talented and was singing all the time, and my homestay mom, Mama Moni never stopped dancing. The fisrt few days there we spent helping build a new church. Everyone in the community stopped to help build or cook which alo spoke to the difference in the pace of life there. It was so casual. All the time. Whilst helping in the kithen, I was suprised by how the ebu’s were actually ninjas. They didnt seem to follow any recipes or measure anything, they all just knew what to do and when/how to do it and could stand over the huge pots that I am pretty sure were so hot they singed the hair off my legs. I tried to help and just couldnt handle the literal heat.. but it did’t keep me out of the kitchen... I just did whimpier activites. After helping with the church effort, our families took us to their kebungs (farms) in the jungle. It was pretty cool, I saw like five new fruits that I didnt even knew existed. Enok sekali.

Later that week, we went to jungle camp and my definition of being a bad ass (Jaguan) was completely redefined. The people of Masihoulan, specifically, Pache, Soni and Buche were such machette masters and could climb huge trees and build shelters like it was nothing. I kindof want to be them when I grow up. We spent one night in the canapy and Pache just climbed 100 feet up te side of the tree and once we got up there he would just chill in random branchs. So gila. I was happy in my harness with butt cushons for sitting. But the canapy was really cool we saw these huge bats with 6 ft wingspans and hornbills that were secretly dinosaurs and cockatoos and parrots. After our jungleventure we headed back to Masihoulan and spent a day saying goodbye to our families.

All in all, these past two weeks have pushed us all through our growth zones and ultimately I think we all learned alot (Definately helped by my being R.T for like 2 weeks... So much power. It was like being in the instructor clique jk guys i am actually Stew). For example, chewing beetlenut is the gateway drug into the elderly ebu community, and also that bats can fly into rainbows. We learned about enoughness and community. And that you don’t have to be in America to have a kickass halloween. But most of all, we learned about friendship and the power of the group adat. Amen.

Montop Kalah!
Olivia [post_title] => Yak of the week..... probably [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => yak-of-the-week-probably [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2012-11-02 00:00:00 [post_modified_gmt] => 1970-01-01 00:00:00 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://yakyak.chandigarhsoftware.com/?p=39577 [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

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Yak of the week….. probably

Olivia,Indonesia Semester, Fall 2012

Description

Moist. That has been my go-to word to describe how i have been feeling for the past two weeks. Be it from Sweat or rain, I usually can’t tell and it doesn’t matter because it’s just so damp. But don’t worry, unlike Emily and Lauren who have given up sweating altogether, I have decided to […]

Posted On

11/2/12

Author

Olivia

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After over two weeks in the jungle landscape of northern Seram, our group is resting on Ambon island for a full day before we board our 30 hour ship ride to Sulawesi Tengarra and the sea nomad community of Sampela. This is our one day of internet access nestled in between our jungle homestays and upcoming homestays on the bamboo stilted ocean village of the Bajau. We appreciate your patience with our limited communication, but we are confident that the experiences we have gained through these remote locales justifies the lack of contact.

Masihulan was the main venue for our past few weeks of travels. The community sits amidst virgin rainforest so pristine and wild that a National Geographic expedition recently spent weeks filming a documentary in the area (I believe it had to do with giant pythons). Masihulan is more tribe than town; their location has changed several times over the past decades due to natural resource availability, yet they remain connected to a shared tradition and bloodline that transcends any specific locale. What does bind the people together is the intimate connection to the jungle. Since childhood, they learn to walk the forests collecting plants, nuts, and hunting kus kus, cassawory, boar, deer, and other animals.On a hike to a cave that reaches kilometers into the darkness, we moved at a snails pace as our barefoot guides pointed out the different names and uses for nearly every plant we passed. Fever, upset stomachs, rashes, aches, cuts, and more all have natural treatments in the forest. It is no wonder that so many of our pharmaceutical remedies have roots in rainforest ecosystems. At the cave, we slowly made our way through the crocodile ridged stalagtites until we reached a large chamber with the echoing sound of dripping water and bats. There we turned off our headlamps and sat in absolute darkness. My eyes imagined purples and other colors as I opened and closed them with absolutely no change the blackness. After a short time, I could start to locate the drops of water or flutter of wings in the cavern through my other senses.

A highlight of our time in the jungle was surely the nights we spent a 100 feet above the jungle floor in a tree platform in the canopy. The incredible diversity of life can be attributed to the intense competition for light in the jungle. Every plant struggles to the canopy light where they burst with colorful flowers and fruits that in turn attract a cornucopia of life. We awoke at sunrise to cockatoos, giant fruit bats (6 foot wing spans), horn bills that flapped their wings like terradactiles, rainbow laurekeeets, parrots, tropical pigeons, and iridescent hangglider butterflies. Everything teemed with life and created the most beautiful symphony of sounds. I watched the misty clouds float out of the tree tops and remembered that this forest is the lungs of the earth (rainforests only make up 5% of our land mass, but produce around 40% of our oxygen). The jungle exhales the oxygen that we inhale. I can’t think of a deeper connection to mother nature than our shared breath.

The natural beauty of Seram was only matched by the unconditional hospitality and warmth of our host community. We sang Malukan songs for countlesshours, all of which have a striking similarity to Hawaiian music…a sign of the connections to Polynesia in eastern Indonesia. Our local guides shifted our conceptions of what it means to be “educated” as many of them never finished elementary school, but could survive in the jungle for weeks with nothing more than a knife in hand. When we left, we were all surprised by the amount of tears we all shed. How could a connection feel so strong in such a short time? Masihulan opened their doors and hearts with such sincerity that we truly felt like family in the village. We are all still processing the experience and may soon realize that such an interaction defies intellectual understanding and explanation. What we saw and felt in Masihulan will live on in our subtle feelings and perceptions that do not easily translate into succinctly expressed “lessons.” I don’t think we can easily bring closure to the experience because it will forever remain open in our hearts. No matter where we go, we can always close our eyes to feel the warm presence of Masihulan, see the colors of the rainforest, hear the music of ukuleles and cockatoos, and treat others to the smiles we were once gifted. Like in the darkness of the cave, physical sight is not our only way to experience and interact with the world.

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Indonesia Semester, Fall 2012

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Seram to Sampela

Aaron Slosberg,Indonesia Semester, Fall 2012

Description

After over two weeks in the jungle landscape of northern Seram, our group is resting on Ambon island for a full day before we board our 30 hour ship ride to Sulawesi Tengarra and the sea nomad community of Sampela. This is our one day of internet access nestled in between our jungle homestays and […]

Posted On

11/2/12

Author

Aaron Slosberg

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Hey outsiders, welcome to another addition of The 3 Amigos. Many incredible adventures have been had in the past few weeks and here, in the beautiful city of Ambon, I finally get a chance to Yak about them.That was a joke about Ambon (no offense).

I'd like to make a quick shout out to my favorite baseball team, the San Francisco Giants, for winning the World Series this past week. Facebook indicates there is lots of celebrating back home. I celebrated as well by jumping out of my chair when I read the news, frightening scores of Indonesians around me.

As you should know by now, our last week was spent in the small village of Masihulan on the island of Seram. If you will pardon a 19-year old for saying, the guides there were ridiculously hardcore. Our favorites were Soni and Pache. Scout, Will and I grew really tight with them during our ten day stay and were able to experience the unique talents of these Tarzan-esque men. If you gave them a machete, some bamboo, and a few vines, these guys could build you anything. You want a play structure? Done. You want a life-sized replica of Fenway park? A pack of cigarettes and some elbow grease later they're finished and you've got the "Green Monster" looming over you. As you can imagine, we loved them. Pache and I went trekking in the jungle one day and for the two hour journey, we hardly talked. I just observed him as he moved barefoot along the forest floor, spotting birds and bugs from a mile away, and hacking away with his machete at the over-growth. We returned to the village with three sections of a thick bamboo truck, and Pache subsequently sat down and starting crafting longbows and arrows for the boys and I. He later made smaller bows for the girls and we're all bringing them back home with the ability to hunt deer and bears and other American animals (Lauren, Olivia and Alyssa can hunt vegetarian foods such as tofu!).

Masihulan has given me a sense of how simplified life can be. There's little need for material things, or a daily agenda, or a grand plan for the future. This is a place where using neighbors bathroom because you don't have one is accepted, sitting on your porch is an activity, and visiting the next village a few thousand yards away is a journey. Everyone seems content with such a laid-back lifestyle, and I know I never could be. Maybe I wouldn't want that life anyways; I enjoy my way of life as an American and despite the constant realizations I'm having about myself and my home, I don't want it to change. What's important though is I've gained an appreciation for Masihulan's ways. Those are no better or worse, in the most general context, than mine or the United States'. They're just different. That realization is what makes me feel fulfilled after our visit there.

I am also just realizing this episode contains little of Scout and Will. Here's a quick update: Scout's hair is really long now, and Will broke his flip flops and needs to pick up new ones. Other than that, they're good as usual!

Peace out.
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Indonesia Semester, Fall 2012

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Three Amgios Ep. 2: Masihulan

Pete Foster,Indonesia Semester, Fall 2012

Description

Hey outsiders, welcome to another addition of The 3 Amigos. Many incredible adventures have been had in the past few weeks and here, in the beautiful city of Ambon, I finally get a chance to Yak about them.That was a joke about Ambon (no offense). I’d like to make a quick shout out to my […]

Posted On

11/2/12

Author

Pete Foster

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October 27th 2012

From: Jungle Camp

I’m writing this from the kitchen in jungle camp. Mama Tuti is kneading bread dough in a slow, methodical rhythm. The rain is tapping like little fingers on the tin roof. Eliza and Lyda are fiddling around on the guitar. Art and Willie and the other little boys that came with us from the village are splashing in the river. This place is so calm and yet so full of life.

There is time in Masihulan that there isn’t at home. There is time to sit back and watch life happening. It isn’t some precious commodity to be used or lost. People stop to chat even if they’re in the middle of something. Connections aren’t rushed, they just happen naturally. It doesn’t even take talking. Just sitting with James and Sonni right now I feel like we’re connecting.

Generosity in Masihulan is another thing that is entirely different from anywhere else I’ve been. The people give so much to us without a second thought. In Yogjakarta I felt really overwhelmed by my family always giving me things or trying to help me. Here people have opened their hearts and their homes in such a way that all I can do is feel gratitude. Maybe it’s because they give so much time to just be together. We can just sit together, talking or not, and I feel close to them.

A bunch of the guides are snoring now, which James and I are finding unbelievably entertaining. I haven’t talked to him much, but all it really takes is a laugh and a smile.

Naldo and Lauren are starting up music again! Time to sit and listen.

(I'd just like to say thank you to all the people of Masihulan and our guides specifically. Mantap Kela!)

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Indonesia Semester, Fall 2012

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Journal from the Jungle

Cassidy Schultz,Indonesia Semester, Fall 2012

Description

October 27th 2012 From: Jungle Camp I’m writing this from the kitchen in jungle camp. Mama Tuti is kneading bread dough in a slow, methodical rhythm. The rain is tapping like little fingers on the tin roof. Eliza and Lyda are fiddling around on the guitar. Art and Willie and the other little boys that […]

Posted On

11/1/12

Author

Cassidy Schultz

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Masihulan
My day began with freshly baked bread that my mama had gotten up way too early to make. After tea my papa and I walked to his garden. It was hard to tell what exactly was his garden and what was part of the surrounding jungle, but he obviously knew everything there is to know about the land we were walking on. We planted a tree, and he invited me to sit down in a little wooden shelter and told me to wait there. When he returned he was holding two coconuts, and he used his machete to open both, leaving one for me to eat and one for me to drink. He even carved a little spoon out of part of the coconut. I sat for a while, eating the meat and drinking the water as my papa tended to his garden. Later in the morning I hung out in Masihulans community kitchen with many of the women from the village. We chopped vegetables and laughed a lot. Laughing at ourselves and eachother. We asked if we could try the thing they chew that turns their mouths blood red and supposedly gives them energy. They laughed at us again, but brought over the three components to the bloody concoction known to some as Betel nut. Sarah, Emily, and I began to chew, all of the Ibus stopping what they were doing to watch and encourage us as our faces twisted in response to the bitter taste. It felt as if all the moisture was being sucked out of my mouth. They instructed us on when to spit, when to keep chewing, and squealed with excitement as out teeth, tongues, and lips began to turn red. One particularly funny Ibu whos lips appeared to be stained permanently red (a clear sign of a betel nut enthusiast) pointed out the cuts on my legs and feet that I had gotten playing soccer, indicating that betel nut is good for those too. She put another handful of betel nut into her mouth, chewed for a while, and then proceeded to spit the red mush all over my legs and feet. The whole kitchen exploding with laughter. After such an excited morning the afternoon was spent on my porch, sitting with my little brother and his friends as they played my Ukulele into the evening. [post_title] => Saya Cantik [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => saya-cantik [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2012-11-01 00:00:00 [post_modified_gmt] => 1970-01-01 00:00:00 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://yakyak.chandigarhsoftware.com/?p=39582 [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

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Saya Cantik

Lauren Harper,Indonesia Semester, Fall 2012

Description

October 24MasihulanMy day began with freshly baked bread that my mama had gotten up way too early to make. After tea my papa and I walked to his garden. It was hard to tell what exactly was his garden and what was part of the surrounding jungle, but he obviously knew everything there is to […]

Posted On

11/1/12

Author

Lauren Harper

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