Yesterday, I started a short series of posts about our 7th grade field trip. Today, I will continue talking about our 3-day journey to a national park outside of Jakarta with pictures from our village visit.
Many of our students chose this venture to a traditional village as their favorite activity on retreat, which I thought was pretty neat. We took jeeps off-roading to get to the village, and then explored some of the aspects of traditional village life in Indonesia. The students take part in making gula merah, or “red sugar,” make bracelets out of reeds, plant rice, and sift and pound rice. It’s a fun time – meeting these people, playing with the kids, and trying some snacks – but eye-opening as well.
My group of 6 girls cracked me up at one point. As we went through the village, we talked about what they were learning and I asked them what they thought it would be like to live like this daily. Our second last stop in our rotation was the rice fields, which girls often balk at entering the rice paddies because you get so muddy. The group I was with, however, hopped right in and then begged to stay, asking if “they really had to go to their final rotation?” or if they could instead “plant rice all day.” They told me that planting rice would be a far better lifestyle than school and homework. Not quite the lesson that I was expecting, but I was proud of the way that they jumped right in and embraced it 🙂
The person that amazed me the most was the 100-year-old man that we met at the station where we cooked sugar. Not only did he still cook sugar all day… he also climbed palm trees daily to get the materials!