Study Trip to Java – Part II

We’re in our sixth day of an eight day trip to Java. Actually two days are travel days. Because of our relatively remote location, even with the use of the Newmont speed boat, it takes almost an entire day to get from Buin Batu to Malang, Java.

Our trip started at school with all the students and many of the parents gathering to start the trip. We had most of the school administrators there as well to give some speeches about what they hoped we would accomplish on the trip and what kind of behavior was expected of the students. Then we piled into a bus and headed off to the port in Benete, Sumbawa. We only had a short wait there, and then loaded onto the ferry to head off to Kayangan, Lombok. The ferry ride took 90 minutes.

the fast boat to Lombok

the fast boat to Lombok

Once in Kayangan, we boarded another bus for the trip to Mataram, Lombok. The bus ride across the island took 2 hours. In Mataram, we headed for the Mall where we had lunch at KFC and then the kids spent a few hours shopping and wandering around the mall. By the time we were to leave the Mall, the students were more than ready to head off to the airport.

Checking in was a bit of a pain – checking 24 people in for a plane at takes some time, especially in a small airport. The students got more than a little antsy waiting to receive their boarding passes so they could enter the waiting room. They needed to be reminded a few times to lower their voices and keep their legs in check.

Finally, we boarded the flight that took 40 minutes to Surabaya, Java. The flight was uneventful on Lion Air. I haven’t flow Lion for a while, so it was a surprise to find that if you want something to drink, you have to pay for it.

In Surabaya, we were met by a reception committee from the school including our mentor for the trip, Pak Sis, who kept a close eye on us during the week and helped us endlessly. The bus trip from Surabaya to Malang took about three hours and we passed the famous Lapindo mud disaster. Unfortunately, it was already dark and we only got a glimpse of the mud.

The ride through the villages and towns between Surabaya and Malang reminded me of a ride through India. I haven’t been in East Java in many years, and I was startled at the similarities between small town India or Pakistan and small town Indonesia.

We finally arrived in Malang. Our hotel was comfortable enough but less than star quality. The good thing about it was that it was almost empty so our rambunctious group of 21 twelve and thirteen year olds didn’t have many guests to annoy with their noise.


~ by drbrucepk on March 11, 2009.

One Response to “Study Trip to Java – Part II”

  1. What a trip…glad it wasn’t me but it would be nice to see Malang

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