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Indonesia: Studies in Culture, Conservation and Development, Summer 2012


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Through the frame of the doorway, I look out to the staggered silhouettes of the bungalows of this village. Instead of resting firmly on the earth, they sit perched on stilts, anchored in coral, above the sea. It is high tide now and the small canoes pass easily through the canals below the houses. Men on their way to fish, boats coming back with piles of glinting silver catch that was caught early this morning, women heading to the market. I can hear the effervescent and steadily rising sound of a village waking up- babies crying, women laughing, the chopping of wood, the the pouring of water in the kitchen below, a clinking of pots and pans, the squak of a chicken, peeps of the kittens that were born on the day we arrived. Today the students are heading out on various adventures with their homestay families. Some are heading to the food market on the nearby island of Kalidupa, some will go spear fishing with their host dads, and others will get to experience the net fishing practices of this community.

This evening, we will have a chance to meet with local fisherman to talk with them, ask them questions and learn about how they experience their and practices here.

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Indonesia: Studies in Culture, Conservation and Development, Summer 2012

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Sampela reflection

Sarah Byrden,Indonesia: Studies in Culture, Conservation and Development, Summer 2012

Description

Through the frame of the doorway, I look out to the staggered silhouettes of the bungalows of this village. Instead of resting firmly on the earth, they sit perched on stilts, anchored in coral, above the sea. It is high tide now and the small canoes pass easily through the canals below the houses. Men […]

Posted On

07/13/12

Author

Sarah Byrden

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Hi Family and Friends of Dragons,

We received an update from our instructors, now situated in the island fishing village of Sampela. Sampela's inhabitants are the Bajau people, also referred to as "sea nomads" because of their nomadic roots. There are some incredible photos of the Bajau people here:

http://james.photoshelter.com/gallery/-/G0000ElUZXeibDLU/

Being one of our most remote home-stays, internet access is very limited during their stay and instructors said that Yak Yaks would be few and far between for the next week.We maintain regular phone contact with the group and will do our best to relay updates from the field. For now, no news is good news and we hope that the uniqueness of this home-stay experience will more than justify the limited communication capabilities.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact our offices.

Best,

Aaron Slosberg

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Indonesia: Studies in Culture, Conservation and Development, Summer 2012

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Limited internet this week

Aaron Slosberg,Indonesia: Studies in Culture, Conservation and Development, Summer 2012

Description

Hi Family and Friends of Dragons, We received an update from our instructors, now situated in the island fishing village of Sampela. Sampela’s inhabitants are the Bajau people, also referred to as "sea nomads" because of their nomadic roots. There are some incredible photos of the Bajau people here: http://james.photoshelter.com/gallery/-/G0000ElUZXeibDLU/ Being one of our most […]

Posted On

07/12/12

Author

Aaron Slosberg

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Dear friends and family,

We have arrived safely in Sampela, village in the sea off the coast of Southeastern Sulawesi, home to the Bajao People, one of this instructor team's favorite places on earth... or ocean. We took two buses, two flights, and two boats (one overnight) to get here from Bali, but the students' spirits remained high as we finally set foot upon the docks of Sampela this afternoon. Many of them were so excited to get out and experience the community that they already took the opportunity to go with the head of the village to a soccer match between Sampela and a team from a neighboring island. These kids are unstoppable!

This evening, each student's homestay family will welcome them into their homes, beginning what is sure to be one the most memorable experiences of their lives. During our time in Sampela we will participate in many of our host families' daily activities––boating, swimming, fishing with nets and spears, going to market on nearby islands, socializing on the docks in the evening. We will learn about marine ecology, step into the Bajao's unique worldview, and try to understand the social and environmental issues facing this marginalized community. Over the next couple of weeks, the Yak Yak board will burst with students' stories and reflections. We hope we can transport you here through writing and save you the bus rides, flights, and boats!

Warm regards from Southeastern Sulawesi,

Team Indonesia

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Indonesia: Studies in Culture, Conservation and Development, Summer 2012

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In Sampela

Instructors,Indonesia: Studies in Culture, Conservation and Development, Summer 2012

Description

Dear friends and family, We have arrived safely in Sampela, village in the sea off the coast of Southeastern Sulawesi, home to the Bajao People, one of this instructor team’s favorite places on earth… or ocean. We took two buses, two flights, and two boats (one overnight) to get here from Bali, but the students’ […]

Posted On

07/11/12

Author

Instructors

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To the Indonesia group, it sounds like a spectacular trip.

To Elise, Happy Birthday, from all of us at home.

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Indonesia: Studies in Culture, Conservation and Development, Summer 2012

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Celebrations

Allison Goldfine,Indonesia: Studies in Culture, Conservation and Development, Summer 2012

Description

To the Indonesia group, it sounds like a spectacular trip. To Elise, Happy Birthday, from all of us at home.

Posted On

07/11/12

Author

Allison Goldfine

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    [post_content] => In the dark, yet hot and humid morning, a lone figure sits and waits for the sun to rise. It’s quiet; all that is heard is the occasional bark of a dog or rooster call. Andrew watches the sun rise, and the rest of the mumbling group rise as well. The day of orientation begins. Much of the group wears sarongs, cloths that are tied around the body and worn like a dress, but are completely accepted for men and women alike. Each person has their own story about the sarong. The girls seem to fit theirs perfectly and go through a day without readjusting. The guys are getting used to it; some of them have caught on to it and some revert to pants more often than not.

In our beginning lesson of each day, Bahasa Indonesia attempts to creep its way into our minds without riskily being vacuumed out the other end via ear. In other words, our crash course in the Indonesian language has been difficult, very informative, and most of all, completely foreign. Currently, we know how to greet, count, and make simple conversation, including “What’s up?” and “Where is the bathroom?” We spend most of our time in the bale di puri di Kerambitan di Bali (the sitting area in the palace in Kerambitan in Bali), where we are staying.

 In our bale, we are not only learning facts, we are being exposed to new meanings, new ways of life, and new expressions of the deepest desires and truths that each of us boil down to. We stopped to think, “What do we desire, love, and want others to think of us?” Through a special activity, we assessed this mixture of thoughts and feelings and pointed at the values that were shown. Some of the most important of these values were written on the group’s Keris, or sacred dagger. Don’t worry its plastic. And just like plastic, the meanings that it represents will not easily decay. Through the phases of forming, norming, storming, and performing, our group is headed on a foreign journey.

The word foreign doesn’t give room for much. It doesn’t give room to the fact that foreign is intriguing. It doesn’t give room to the fact that all norms are relative and norms are never stagnant and can change. It doesn’t give room to the idea that each foreign place and people can be learned about, understood, and connected in ways that are themselves new and foreign. Home can be found in new places. The group has successfully completed its first homestay, in which each member stayed at the house of a family in the community for the night. There were nerves. There were doubts. There was a lot of excitement. With open minds, we went into these foreign homes and started to break apart the word foreign. So now it looks something like “foreign.” Meaning that there is still so much to be learned. But the first thing we needed to learn was to open ourselves to the idea that we know nothing. Assumptions made about anything can be an unneeded obstacle to truth.

“We are like children here,” says Kelli, teaching us that we can only write if upon a blank page. Here’s a short list to consider for those readers who tire of surplus abstractness. Half of the world does not use toilet paper, but instead water. We temporarily belong to that half. Feet are a very dirty part of the body, and it is insulting to point them at someone when sitting, or to even have the soles facing upward. Food is eaten only with the right hand, and plenty of it offered, then offered again until the recipient has to remember how to say “Please, no more” in Bahasa Indonesia. When walking down the street, people stare at us. It’s different than in America. The stares are plain, simple, and unrelenting. They are also easily diffused by a wide smile, which is gratefully returned. After we make the observation that there is a lot of staring, we also notice how much people smile. “Selamat sore,” we say as we pass, meaning ‘Good afternoon.’

Our journey here has really begun. We are starting to integrate as a part of our homestay family, as a part of the family and not just visitors. The magic and mystery of Indonesia is starting to be redefined as we are learning the unique and beautiful human nature of its people. As their hearts extend to us, our hearts are extended to them, sama sama.

Kenalkan, nama saya Evan.   

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New Norms

Evan Taylor,Best Notes From The Field, Indonesia: Studies in Culture, Conservation and Development, Summer 2012

Description

In the dark, yet hot and humid morning, a lone figure sits and waits for the sun to rise. It’s quiet; all that is heard is the occasional bark of a dog or rooster call. Andrew watches the sun rise, and the rest of the mumbling group rise as well. The day of orientation begins. […]

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    [post_content] => Today marks our third day living in our homestays in Kerambitan, Indonesia. These past few days have been filled with confusion, amazing cultural traditions, and lots of laughter. Knowing very little of the Indonesian language, living with my new family is proving to be quite a challenge. I find myself walking around the house, pen and paper in hand, scribbling down unfamilair words and phrases. The Indonesian children love to make fun of my english accent and my inanability to speak their language. The people I interact with are some of the nicest people I have ever met, and somehow I still manage to make them smile, even though they probably have no clue what I am saying. I constantly find myself smiling, constantly laughing, and constantly having a good time. My family always keeps me company and about the only time I am left alone is when I am taking a shower or in the bathroom. I am really enjoying their company and I love the homestay aspect of the Dragons Program. Hope you all are doing well! Miss you! 
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Indonesia: Studies in Culture, Conservation and Development, Summer 2012

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The People of Bali

Jimmy Landis,Indonesia: Studies in Culture, Conservation and Development, Summer 2012

Description

Today marks our third day living in our homestays in Kerambitan, Indonesia. These past few days have been filled with confusion, amazing cultural traditions, and lots of laughter. Knowing very little of the Indonesian language, living with my new family is proving to be quite a challenge. I find myself walking around the house, pen […]

Posted On

07/6/12

Author

Jimmy Landis

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I can’t believe we are actually here in Indonesia. The buildup was so long and a wait well worth it. The food has been amazing the whole time and hopefully I can learn some dishes for back home. Also, the people are incredibly warm and have given me a whole new outlook on what being hospitable means. It still amazes me, in the most incredible and heartwarming way, that a family half-way around the world would want to have me stay at their house. Homestays have been one of the most amazing experiences in my life. There may be lots of miscommunication, awkward silences, and endless hand motions. However, the bit of broken English combined with a bit of broken Bahsa Indonesia have given me many incredible and unforgettable moments from teaching my sisters Frisbee and looking at pictures of home with them to watching soccer with my grandfather to thanking my grandmother for my food. Also, the group is great, we clicked from the moment we met in LA and haven’t hit a snag since. Overall this has been an amazing life changing experience in only six days.

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Indonesia: Studies in Culture, Conservation and Development, Summer 2012

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Wow!

Ian Roche,Indonesia: Studies in Culture, Conservation and Development, Summer 2012

Description

I can’t believe we are actually here in Indonesia. The buildup was so long and a wait well worth it. The food has been amazing the whole time and hopefully I can learn some dishes for back home. Also, the people are incredibly warm and have given me a whole new outlook on what being […]

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I did not get the chance to post my introduction on yak-yak so i am now posting what I would have posted if I had gotten the oportunity to.

My name is Erica Rhodes. I am 14 and live in bali, I know how to speak indonesian fluently having lived here for the past 14 years. Even though I may be the youngest of the group by two years i am still very excited to be going on this trip. I havent really travelled in indonesia so that is one of the reasons why I wanted to go on this trip. To me it is important that I know how other peole in indonesia live. So I really want to see how other people in idonesia go about on their daily lives. I am proud to be indonesian and cant wait to meet the rest of the group.

Now what been happening.

We are 5 days into the trip. Our first stop is where I live. Bali. Last night was the first night of homestay. I live with a family that consists of 4 members; a mom, dad and two younger sisters. I should say 5 members right now because they have so kindly accepted me as a member of their family. I still forget their names but with time I think I will remember them . I do know how to speak the indonesian language fluently so my family is teaching me balinese. This was more of challenge than I thought it would be. Hopefully I will catch on quickly. Later this afternoon we ( the group and i) will be attending our balinese dance lesson. There we will learn how to dance the traditional balinese dance. I am not sure what expect but it should be fun. One of my “ younger sisters “ is really good at dancig and have tried to teach me. Lets just say I was never born to be a dancer. Well that’s all for now.

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Indonesia: Studies in Culture, Conservation and Development, Summer 2012

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My first post!

Erica Georgina Rhodes,Indonesia: Studies in Culture, Conservation and Development, Summer 2012

Description

I did not get the chance to post my introduction on yak-yak so i am now posting what I would have posted if I had gotten the oportunity to. My name is Erica Rhodes. I am 14 and live in bali, I know how to speak indonesian fluently having lived here for the past 14 […]

Posted On

07/5/12

Author

Erica Georgina Rhodes

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It’s the 5th day in Indonesia and so far its going well. The first day my group arvived we were all super tired from the tedious plane ride and waiting in the airport for hours. It was hard waiting, but in the end I would say it was worth it. Once we landed we took a bus and car ride over to where we would be staying. I tried to keep myself awake in order to view all the statues, people, shops, and landscape a long the way, but ended up just passing out a long with the other two girls in the car.

The days in the compound where we stayed took some time to get adjusted to but that feeling went awaay after the 3rd day. Right now we are staying in homestays and let me tell you, the first day was so akward. I am staying with one other girl on the trip in a small family that lives on a compound. The first day consisted mainly of akward silences and misscominications since none of us could understand eachother. That eventually passed and we started to talk to one another more with gestures. The people who live around us are really friendly and even the people in the market place will smile and say hello. They like that we know a little bit of Indonesian and think it is awaesome that foriegners took the time to learn even a little bit. I am not very good at it but hope to get better and eventually have a full length conversation with my host families.I am really excited for the remaining time here and cant wait untill we are able to go snorkeling and go spear fishing and hunting with bows.

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Indonesia: Studies in Culture, Conservation and Development, Summer 2012

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Hello Hello

Rochelle Con,Indonesia: Studies in Culture, Conservation and Development, Summer 2012

Description

It’s the 5th day in Indonesia and so far its going well. The first day my group arvived we were all super tired from the tedious plane ride and waiting in the airport for hours. It was hard waiting, but in the end I would say it was worth it. Once we landed we took […]

Posted On

07/5/12

Author

Rochelle Con

WP_Post Object
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    [post_date] => 2012-07-02 00:00:00
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This morning as the sun crept over the curved edges of delicate Balinese roofs, the students watched as the puri compound they arrived at at in darkness grow sharp and defined. The light revealed riotous green vines and whorled wood carvings wrapped around stone altars that have stood in as guardians to our host family's lineage for hundreds of years.

Slipping into their new sarongs seemed natural, the patterned batik blending them into their surroundings, transforming their steps in the refined Balinese style. Blessed at the family altar, their day began to the tinkling of wood mallet on metal. The breeze was lifted by their smiles.

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Indonesia: Studies in Culture, Conservation and Development, Summer 2012

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Day one at the Puri

Kelli Swazey ,Indonesia: Studies in Culture, Conservation and Development, Summer 2012

Description

This morning as the sun crept over the curved edges of delicate Balinese roofs, the students watched as the puri compound they arrived at at in darkness grow sharp and defined. The light revealed riotous green vines and whorled wood carvings wrapped around stone altars that have stood in as guardians to our host family’s […]

Posted On

07/2/12

Author

Kelli Swazey

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