Posted by: viaprograms | February 12, 2010

Conference and Travels of an Indonesia Volunteer

VIA Indonesia volunteers at the final conference dinner

From the blog of Erica Petrofsky, Indonesia volunteer 2009-2010

We had our VIA Indonesia conference a few weeks ago in Ubud, Bali. It was interesting to hear reports of other posts, some of which made me go, “So I’m not the only one!” and some of which made me realize how much more I can take advantage of the opportunities that come from living in Java and working at a pesantren.

Ubud is an important tourist town on Bali, full of culture, shopping, and eating. The variety of food there blew our minds, especially for the volunteers living in more remote areas. We just had to get used to the price structure, in which food costs as much as three to ten meals in most of our areas. A dollar for juice? Three to five for a meal?! Shocking.

We also visited Taman 65, the family complex in Den Pasar where I spent some time with VIA in 2006. The “65” refers to that time in 1965 when anti-Communist hysteria got a tad out of control and a tenth of the Balinese population was murdered by fellow Balinese. There was also slaughter elsewhere, and a military coup d’etat. People don’t talk about it much, so the people of Taman 65 have discussions and stuff related to that issue and others, e.g. HIV/AIDS. It’s a pretty cool place.

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