terça-feira, 17 de outubro de 2017

Indonesia, Part III

I honestly though I would never finish this little report on my adventure but here I am, getting back to the topic.
I am sorry it took me so long to come back and write it down as my biggest fear came true and I now don't remember everything as vividly as I wish. The purpose was precisly not to forget even the smallest and maybe most insignificant things about my trip. I think it's also good to have let time go by and let the memories settle, but it starts to feel like another life and I can't help regretting not having written sooner.

I think I was around week 2 to 3 when we last met so I am picking up from there. I am ready, so let's go! 
Until the very end of the second week / the beginning of third week I didn't spend much time with my project folks. During those times I was always out and about with Amber and Sike (and Sike's friends). We used to go to karaoke, to the movies or just having dinner out. Neither had I taken many pictures. In general I think I haven't photographed as much as I had planned, or at least as much as I wanted to. But reality is, Makassar isn't exactly what we imagine when we think about Indonesia.  There is garbage everywhere, more traffic than I have ever seen in my life and it's a city full of roads, houses and malls so not really the beachy, palm tree, coconut scenario we think of. 
But I got to experience that as soon as we left for an island called Kondigareng. Finally a project activity that seemed to work (it had its ups and downs as well but we made it!).
Most definitely the best sunrise I've seen was in Kodingareng. I have no words for how emotional I feel just remembering it. A sky full of stars, no air polution, no clouds, just a clear sky filled with little glimpses of light. Seriously, if you don't bond over a starry sky I don't know how to make it work. So, by then, after a few days sharing rooms, showers and meals with a big group of about 30 people you get to know some of them and you get to love them too. I remember Hajar, Matei, Rachid and Johnny fondly. Those days made me want to stay. I should mention we had no signal or wi-fi and life was pretty good.
The days were spent in schools teaching, playing games and getting to know the locals and their culture. I have to say Kodingareng is a pretty small island. You get to walk the whole island in less than 45 minutes and that is it. Food, water and every day supplies come daily from the mainland, or should I say from the closest islands, since Indonesia is just the biggest archipelago in the world, with thousands of islands os all sizes you can imagine. 
I think that was the first time those people got to see foreigners and I can't count how many pictures we have taken with them, or how many mister, mister, ini, ini, cantik we've heard over the days. This was also the time I got to gain some weight because the food the ladies cooked for us in the big house was just so good and I loved it so much I had 2 or 3 servings per meal (ahhhhh)!!!

Kodingareng was when I started taking more pictures. Kodingareng was also the place where I got to clean a beach for the first time and I won't even tell you what kind of stuff I found and picked up from the sand or the water. The beaches there are beautiful but you just can't swim or lie on the sand without stepping on any kind of strange object. It broke my heart to see so many beautiful landscapes ruined by such a big amout of trash and knowing the week after we left they would go back to what they where before we got there. 

The adventure had begun. The days were happy. Mamasa and Majene next!! 

Also, I'll be posting some pictures of Indonesia as soon as I finish and this never-ending blabbering!!

segunda-feira, 11 de setembro de 2017

Indonesia, Part II

So, the first two weeks I would say were slow and nothing seemed to be going on with the project. By the end of week 2 I had already gone to a traditional muslim wedding, a birthday party of a 1 year old baby and another birthday dinner of my host's best friend. I had hitten all the trendy cafes in town, I had already gone to the cinema and had had ice cream and pizza, but I had no friends from my project. I liked these two weeks with just Amber and Sike but I felt there was something missing.
I remember that the weekend between weeks 2 and 3 we went to Samalona Island and I loved it! :)) It's super close to Makassar and you get there by boat, it takes you only around 20 minutes. We brought snacks and spent the day having fun in the sun. The water is the most transparent one I've seen. The sea is an infinite of light blue and so clear you can spot the fishes under water, warm and no waves. I was in love. Also, the amount of cute shells I found... :) 

And then stuff started happening. Good and bad stuff ;) but we'll get there - haha. 
Finally we stopped having so many useless meetings and started to get some work done. I think the first time I made friends and enjoyed my time with the group was on a saturday evening we went campaigning to Pantai Losari. Before that I remeber one day at Fort Rotterdam after lunch time (I didn't have luch that day, actually, and was desperate to go home or grab something to eat) where we gathered in two groups and I got to know some people, but I couldn't even remember everyone's names afterwards. And then, on another day at Pod House, next to Telkomsel - a cute cafe where I had the best and cheapest club sandwich - we met with the puropose of getting some ppt presentations done for the following week.
There I had a debate with Hajar, Monie and João about religion and asked for ketchup and was given a spicy sauce. Now I now that ketchup is called tomato sauce in Indonesia.  

Bad things took place too. By then I had already had herpes on my lips (well, I don't even want to know how I got it, honestly), broke my phone into tiny, tiny pieces and lost my credit card. Life seemed to be going pretty well and I didn't miss home AT-ALL, as you can imagine.
Mom offered to pay my plane ticket back to Portugal but I knew I had to just suck it up and get it done. I stayed until the end and I am so glad I did...

quarta-feira, 30 de agosto de 2017

Indonesia, Part I

I will try my best to summarise the past 6 weeks but I am well aware it won't be an easy task. If you are ready, here I go.

On July 8th I left Portugal early in the am. It took me 4 flights and 36 hours total to get to my final destination: Makassar in South Sulawesi, Indonesia. I stopped in Barcelona, Singapore, Jakarta, and when I arrived in Makassar I was 7 hours ahead in time (I am in GMT time zone). 
I lost almost every single flight, and the longest flight (from Barcelona to Singapore) was an ordeal, since we had a lot of turbulence and I am very sensitive to motion. By the time I arrived in Singapore I had already threw up 2 times, and I would throw up again when landing in Jakarta. 
I remember I had the worst impression of Jakarta's airport, easily labeling it as the worst place I've ever been. It was hot, the smells where rather intense, I was tummy sick and nothing was in my favour.

I landed in Makassar at 10pm (local time) and that was the occasion where I met Amber (my future room mate) for the first time. She came along from China with Juliana, who would eventually spend some time with us too. I cried that first night. By that time I had already called my mom bemoaning and telling her I was not capable of doing what I had set for myself. 
I also met Sike that night. I was supposed to stay with her just for that one night. On our first night, I remember putting my feet up on a wall where she had a mundi map, and the three of us spent about an hour together setting expectations, talking about our dreams and getting to know each other. 
The next morning I didn't want to leave. It was a whole lot of trouble, but I stayed. 

The first meal I had there was some kind of rice, with a stock, and pork (both sweet and savoury). I absolutely hated it - haha
Of course eventually I found lots of food that I liked, otherwise I wouldn't have come back home with extra 8 kgs... My personal faves are perkedel jagung, perkedel kentang, java noodles, bali chicken and fried rice with pork!!

In the first morning, Sike played Lost Boy by Ruth B. and that song will forever make me think of Indonesia and that morning. I played it often while away from home.
Eventually I realised that Fransiske likes to listen to music in the morning or while in the shower, and by the time I left, Perfect by Ed Sheeran or You and I by Ingrid Michaelson where the elected.