Wow…it’s hard to believe that it’s already June 2nd!
Only 19 days until we leave for the USA.
Since I last posted I’ve seen and experienced more new aspects of Indonesia and Malaysia. We had the opportunity to see some more of Surabaya. A few weeks ago one of the professors at the university and his student took us around Surabaya to see some new things. My favorite experiences were just getting the opportunity to ask him questions about his culture and life in Indonesia. It was a unique experience because they both are not originally from Java. So, it was nice getting to hear other stories of life in other parts of Indonesia.
During this time, we had the chance to try coconut beef sate with peanut sauce. This is officially my favorite food so far in Indonesia. : ) Also, while we were exploring the city we saw the symbol of Surabaya which consists of the shark and the alligator, a Russian Submarine and an art show.
From May 19-22 we needed to exit the country to renew our visas. So, back to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia we went and wow was it great! In Malaysia we went to Batu Caves. The entrance to the caves was magnificent consisting of at least 200 steps. In the front of the caves there was a large statue of one of the Hindu gods. Part of the cave consisted of Hindu statues, rituals being performed and a beautiful view. The other part of the cave is in a more natural state and is being preserved very nicely.
While in KL we also got to see a Malaysian Jungle area. Surprisingly, it seemed very similar to a forest in Ohio only supersized. The views from the forest/jungle were amazing! The waterfalls were spectacular and impressive in size.
After returning from KL it was time to begin working on final projects and homework. The semester is almost finished and the workload is increasing in some classes. However, in others I am officially done.
Last Sunday it was nice hanging out with the tourism department at the university. They put together an eco-tour that consisted of ways we can become more eco-friendly to the environment. My favorite parts of the tour consisted of getting to know some of the students in the department. They are a fun bunch of students that were very friendly to me during the tour. Also, it was fun observing aspects of Indonesian Culture. One thing that I thought was particularly interesting was they would use umbrellas while it was sun and not a rain cloud in the sky. I asked them about the umbrellas and found out white skin in their society is seen as more high class, clean and beautiful. It’s interesting because so many people in the U.S. have opposite ideals of beauty. It goes to show that some things are culturally relative. Another aspect of the tour that was interesting was the children and adults who would stare at us. A group of young girls and boys kept laughing and giggling at us. In Indonesia, white foreigners are giving the term “Bule” and sometimes are seen as unique in their society. I noticed that they kept following us so I thought I would communicate with the children. As soon as I did they all scattered because they were very shy. However, eventually they talked to us. This made my day! : )
The other aspect of the tour I also enjoyed was viewing the mangrove forest. It was great because we first entered a boat and went down the river. Then we reached the delta area that went directly into the ocean. The view was amazing! When we reached the forest we had lunch next to the ocean and then planted mangrove trees. However, for me, the sad thing was there were large amounts of trash in the forest and in the river. I hope in the future more people will take care of the environment and keep it a clean and safe place!
Well that’s all for now..