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Day 11: Journey from Mt. Penajakan to Melbourne
by Hugh Holliday - Tuesday, 24 July 2018, 12:24 PM

It was an early start to the day today with a wake-up time of 3:00 in the morning. Then we each got in a Jeep with one teacher and three other mates and started our ascent up Mt. Penanjakan to see the stunning sunrise over the volcanos found near the mountain. We then got back in our Jeeps and went to the base Mount Bromo via the sand sea. Unluckily we couldn’t climb up Mt Bromo due to it being hazardous to our safety, but we stood in the safe zone and had an information meeting about it from Pak Iman. 

We later got back on the Jeeps and went back to the hotel for a breakfast at 9:30am. Later we left the hotel at 10:30am and got on a four-hour bus ride to Semarang airport, where we caught a plane to Jakarta. That took approximately one and a half hours. Later, we caught our connecting flight from Jakarta to Melbourne which took approximately seven hours. We were all exhausted after a huge day and an overnight flight, but we arrived in Melbourne at about 6am with our families greeting us at the arrivals area.

By Finn Brown, Year 10

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Day 10: Semarang to Mt. Penanjakan
by Hugh Holliday - Tuesday, 24 July 2018, 12:23 PM

We woke up early in Semarang to take the bus down to the train station. We said goodbye to our fantastic bus drivers Mas Eko (the main driver) and Mas Agus (Eko’s assistant). I along with the other boys really enjoyed chatting to these guys during our entire journey, and they were very friendly people.

Then we took a long four-hour train ride from Semarang to Surabaya. Then, from there we took another bus to Mt. Penanjakan. This journey took a few hours. Once we got to the mountain and climbed up it a little bit, we had to change into two smaller minibuses, because the coach was too big to climb up the steep and winding road. As we climbed the mountain, it started getting much colder, more than we were used to in Indonesia. After another hour, at dusk, we finally arrived at our accommodation. We were tired and had an early dinner and group reflection. Then we were in bed by about 8 o’clock because we had to be up at 3:30 the next morning.


By Louis Vulich, Year 9

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Day 9: Semarang
by Hugh Holliday - Wednesday, 4 July 2018, 3:43 PM

Today we got to sleep in a bit after a long day on the road yesterday. After having breakfast which consisted of a lot of pastry items we boarded the coach at about 10:00. We then visited a Muslim mosque. 

Pak Imam (our guide for the trip) then told us about the history of the mosque. It was a great experience as we were there when there were a few people praying so it was good to see a religious prayer rather then our own. We then ventured on to go to the Chinese temple. 

Each place of worship we have been to has been completely different and this is because Indonesia has a lot of different religions and this is why the Chinese temple is successful. The Chinese temple is popular because of all the wonderful sights to see but also because there is a prayer room for Muslims to pray if they need to. While we were at the temple we saw a very brave chicken that kept on standing on a massive...

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Day 8: Journey from Jogjakarta to Semarang
by Hugh Holliday - Monday, 2 July 2018, 12:21 AM

All the boys got packed and were ready for the long travel ahead to Central Java. We had our breakfast at Neo Awana hotel and everyone was energetic to get on the road for the next four hours.

Three hours into the drive we stopped off for a lunch at a local restaurant and a bit further up the road we came across many big rice fields along the road in too long and wet farms. We all got off the bus as an opportunity to get some cool photos and explore the rice fields, when I saw the fields I thought it looked really big and beautiful. After all this was done we returned to the bus and got back on the road.

With a local train museum coming up it was a perfect chance for us to learn the history of trains in Indonesia. We explored many of the old and retired trains in the museum. The boys were able to see how the coal train has evolved to a train that works with ...

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Day 7: Dragonfruit farm - Jalan Malioboro
by Hugh Holliday - Monday, 2 July 2018, 12:13 AM

Today was one of my favourite days of the trip so far. It started off with an early wake up and a big breakfast. At 9 o’clock we set off for a beautiful Indonesian dragon-fruit farm which was about an hour and a half drive away. As the bus rolled into the farm, the huge Mount Merapi looked down at us with a bit of smoke coming out of her. We were welcomed by the owners of the farm who took us for an amazing tour around the property, telling us about the wonderful dragon fruit tree plantation. We even had a go at picking the fruit for ourselves. It was good fun making friends with the owners of the farm and even teaching Bapak Gunung some new Aussie slang. Then, after the beautiful tour we made our way to the kitchen where we learnt to cook some amazing foods with the dragon fruits grown at the farm.


After a big day at the farm we set off back to our hotel room to ...

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Day 6: Language cooking class - visiting a high school
by Hugh Holliday - Saturday, 30 June 2018, 10:56 AM

Today was the 6th day of our Indonesian tour and like most days it began with breakfast at the hotel before a short bus ride to our final class at Alam Bahasa. Again, class began with a greeting song from our teachers, although today was slightly different because class involved an excursion to the local traditional market where we bought the ingredients to make Nasi Goreng using the skills learnt during the past lessons. This was interesting but challenging experience because the market was a very different atmosphere to our usual surroundings, and because the market sellers predominantly spoke Javanese buying the ingredients proved to be test of our language ability. On our return to Alam Bahasa we commenced our cooking lesson, we cooked the classic Indonesian dish Nasi Goreng. For the boys with little cooking experience this was a steep learning curve, but in the end ...

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Day 5: Language session - Malioboro - wayang kulit
by Hugh Holliday - Saturday, 30 June 2018, 1:15 AM

On Day 5 we started off with our second language lesson at 9am. We learnt new Indonesian phrases and we improved our bartering skills in Indonesian. At 12pm the lesson concluded, and we headed to Jiwangga which was a unique restaurant in amongst rice fields. It was in a beautiful spot and was decorated with a mixture of Chinese Buddhism and Javanese culture and had a small river behind it where we saw a snake swim through.

After lunch we went to a silver factory where we had a go at making jewellery which proved very difficult, participating in the making of the jewellery really made us appreciate the skill and patience of the workers, it was a very good effort from the workers who were able to help us with the jewellery and even finish it off for us.

We then went back to the hotel for a quick dinner and went out to Jalan Malioboro and walked down through all the ...

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Day 4: Language session and batik making
by Hugh Holliday - Thursday, 28 June 2018, 10:31 AM

Today the boys enjoyed having a sleep-in after all the early starts so far. It started with breakfast at 7:30 where we all met downstairs and got ready for the day. Since the boys have now spent three days with each other, everyone was starting to bond well, and people were talking to others from different year levels.

Straight from breakfast we boarded the coach to go to our first language session. We were greeted by the friendly and welcoming staff at the school. The school was set in an open area setting which was drastically different to what we are used to at Marcellin. We then sang a song in Indonesian which set us in a good mood for the rest of the day. Based on our Indonesian language skills, we were split into 3 different groups. All the teachers that helped us there were very enthusiastic to share their knowledge with us and they were willing to go out of their...

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Day 3: Sultan's Palace - kampung life - Prambanan
by Hugh Holliday - Thursday, 28 June 2018, 1:13 AM

After two early starts we began the day with a more leisurely pace. We travelled by bus to the Sultan’s Palace. The Sultan is the symbolic leader of the region of Yogyakarta like the Queen is to Australia. We walked through the palace and saw many amazing sites such as prince’s quarters, different meeting spaces and other museum and historical rooms. One of the rooms describes how the current Sultan is a progressive leader who is trying to connect to his people in a contemporary world. Walking around the Palace felt peaceful and calm. The various people at the temple were respectful to us and happy to explain any interesting facts about the Palace. The other visitors who were walking around and embracing the palace were fascinated be the fact that there were young Australians walking around and learning about the history of the Palace as well. Many local visitors to the ...

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Day 2 - Borobudur and surrounds
by Hugh Holliday - Tuesday, 26 June 2018, 11:57 AM

After another early start (4:30 departure) we headed off to the Borobudur Buddhist temple to watch the sunrise. When we reached the top we waited, taking in the view of the surrounding village and mountain range. Our guide Pak Imam explained the importance and history of the temple to the Buddhist people. Although the sunrise was not as we hoped due to the cloudy conditions, as it got lighter it revealed the detail in the stone carvings. 

From there we went to desa (village) Candi Rejo, a local village in central Java. We travelled the village in Dokars (traditional horse and cart transport) from which we could interact with the locals who were extremely inviting and excited to see us. Candi Rejo, widely spread with a population of about 4,000 people has set up an income-generating ecotourism program which shows guests the many home-industries the people are involved in. Our presence and involvement here was giving back to the small community, we were not just passive visitors. We stopped at a small place where we were shown the process of how to make ‘krupuk’ (a crispy cracker-like snack) out of cassava roots, which are then sold to local restaurants. We also got the chance to play the traditional instrument ‘Gamelan’. It started out being difficult to learn, but after a while we gained our confidence and were able to play the music seamlessly. The people and children of the village were very supportive of us trying to learn about their culture and speaking their language. We then settled into our hotel in Yogyakarta, with a dip in the pool to finish the successful day. 

By Lucas Schey (Year 10) and Darcy Crettenden (2017 Graduate)