by Pasquelle van der Jagt
We started the day with a visit to our second school that will involve in our project about the environment of the coastal area, SMPN 15. Here we gave the same presentations as we gave yesterday at SMPN 31; about global warming, about water pollution and about the water problem in the future that we’ll have if we don’t change our behavior now. To make the kids aware so they really want to involve in our project. Next week we’ll come back to learn them about composting and to learn them about separating garbage for recycling. (Because they already have a lot of trees around the school, tree planting was not necessary). They’ll also join in the beach cleaning, so we really need to set up a date therefore.
After visiting the school it was time to go to Mojokerto. This is an area on a 2 hour drive from Surabaya with lots of rainforest. Tunas Hijau is here also involved in replanting trees and doing activities on schools around this area. We went there to do a little sightseeing, hike up the mountain (Tunas Hijau has done tree planting there before) and visiting a school. When we arrived in Mojokerto we first went to a local company in which they make sweet potato-chips and banana chips. We could have a closer look on the process and join them in cutting the potatoes and of course taste them at the end.
They were really nice and now we’ve like a whole bunch of potato chips and banana chips for at our host families. Nice! After this we did a little sightseeing in the village, where tunas hijau has it’s office, where they take care of their plants etc etc. And we had a look at the waterfalls nearby in the forest. That was really nice. For me it was the first time to be in a forest like that, and I enjoyed it so much. It’s just like on TV and we even saw some moneys (far.. far away, but still). Then we went for a visit at the village head, to talk about Mojokerto and its project of Tunas Hijau. Hereafter we went for dinner at Sukri’s house and we prepared for the hike.
This hike took place in the evening, so it was already dark. Prepared with lots of flashlights, overnight sleeping stuff and lots of food, we went up the mountain. This was not a chill and nice walk, but a real hike! Climbing on rocks and slippery little roads, pretty hard!! So it was quite exhausting, but we took a rest so once a while and it was good to go. At the top they build two tents for sleeping (well actually, the trainees slept in tents and the rest just slept outside next to the camping fire, respect!) and a camping fire.
In the morning we stood up really early to see the sunrise. This was really amazing, so beautiful! Great! At this spot Tunas Hijau has replanted trees about 2 years ago, so now it’s already a green area with trees. Good to see that! After a really nice breakfast of toast with chocolate paste and noodle soup, we got back to the village. Mandy and I were definitely the winners of “slipping, sliding and falling down the mountain,” but luckily the other guys helped us a lot to come down safely.. pff!
After a well desired shower we went to a school in the village. The children were already off, but they showed us their own little forest which they build behind their school. In this way this school wants to be an example for other schools in this area, to show and learn the children about the importantness of the rainforest and for stop cutting trees down. This pilot seems to be successful and other schools around are following their example.
Hereafter we went to a really cool project more down the hill. Here is a ‘reading house for children’. Kids can come here after school time (for free) and they all get informed about the environment. They all do cool activities to learn the children about the environment; coloring, painting, reading, internetting, playing games etc etc. Super cool to see that there are such great voluntary people that set up these kinds of things. Amazing!
So this was a short version of my experiences about Claket, Mojokerto. I really enjoyed the trip, the hike up to mountain, to see the sunrise over there, and to see how Tunas Hijau is also involved in all kind of really great projects here about the preservation of the rainforest.