By Curtis Deschambault
Indonesia is a very beautiful and green country. The other interns and I were fortunate enough to be able to explore some of the natural beauty in East-Java. Visiting schools we often talk about the importance of respecting the environment, and it was rewarding to finally get to explore some of Indonesian forest areas. On Sunday (14/6), we went rafting in a river near Bromo Mountain and it was a lot of fun. Monday and Tuesday we stayed in Pacet with the local villagers learning about their way of life and exploring some of the interesting spots around Pacet.
Rafting was a lot fun, it has to be one of the most enjoyable activities I have done in here in Indonesia. Not only was the rafting part fun, I was also able to see more of Indonesia’s nature. The scenery beside the river was very nice with many big trees and a large variety of trees. We were also able to see many small bamboo bridges built across the river. The lifestyle of the people near the river appeared to more engrained with the environment than that of the people who living closer to the city. The water in the river appeared to by clean and there we many people who were bathing in it. It was very nice to see people enjoying the river and surroundings, hopefully they continue to respect the environment so that the generations to come can also enjoy it.
Following rafting we drove about 2 ½ hours to Pacet, were we spent two days. The temperature in Pacet was like last time we visited, it was much cooler than Surabaya. We arrived early in the evening and we each were brought to our host family. This is we were slept for the 2 nights. My host family was very kind and even though there was the language barrier they treated me well. Since I was staying at their house I had to help with the morning activities which meant waking up at 5 a.m. and helping with the milking process. I also helped my host mother with the dishes. After finishing helping my host parents I would go to Tunas Hijau’s headquarters for their activities.
The time away from my host family was just as interesting as it was with them. With Tunas Hijau we went to see the local deer rehabilitation center, a near by water fall, natural hot springs and the center at which they do seed germination. The activities were fun because again it let me see more of Indonesia natural beauty and how the locals interact with it. For the most part many of the locations were very clean and it appears that the locals understand the importance of keeping that way. One of the things I was most impressed with through visiting the various locations and living with my host family was the ability of people in the villages to live sustainable lives. I think everyone could learn from the way of life where you make and grow what you need and not try exploit the land many of our environmental problems would not exist.