August 7, 2016 § Leave a comment
I just got back yesterday from a 2-week course on Bioceramics and Tissue Engineering hosted by University Gadjah Mada in Yogyakarta. When my supervisor emailed me regarding this opportunity, I wasn’t sure if I should really give up 2 weeks of lab work. It would definitely have been a setback to my schedule. But I eventually decided not to pass it off and the beginning of a really memorable academic/travel experience commenced. I won’t narrate it in detail (as there’s just too much noteworthy moments to tell about), but in summary – it was awesome and totally worth the 2 weeks. The hospitality of our Indonesian hosts was beyond measure, the guest lecturers and program was enlightening, the experiences were unforgettable, and most importantly the new friends I met made the entire thing all the more amazing.
I’ll miss these guys the most. Although I’m Filipino, my first set of friends were the Singaporeans.
One of the many group pictures we took. This was at the Java Man Museum as this site was where the first fossil of Homo Erectus was found.
Having Kopi Joss along Jalan Malioboro (Ben, Mohsin, Si Ning, Patricia, Akshaya, Charmay & Kenny)
Kopi Joss is made by placing a lighted charcoal in a glass of coffee. I don’t drink coffee but as I’m always up for new experiences I didn’t miss this chance. I liked the gritty texture and smoky flavor.
Watching the open-air Ramayana Ballet with the lighted Prambanan Temple at the backdrop
At Mangunan Forest. Best part were the tree houses!
At Borubudur Temple, a UNESCO World Heritage Site (the world’s largest Buddhist temple).
with fellow Filipinos in the course, Prof. Leo & Prof. Rizal
Having dinner at one of the Ayam & Kepiting roadside stalls at Jalan Malioboro with new friends (Tag, Dollah, Si Ning, Ben, Patricia, Charmay, Kenny & Ram)
Cheapest supper ever, so cheap that Ben fearlessly treated all of us girls after an affordable massage at Jogja City Mall. We’re eating our dinner boxes at the mall as UGM provided us 5 meals a day without failure.
Some moments in class, with my groupmates for our Capstone Project (Syu & Di Chang) as well as with prominent experts (i.e. celebrities) in the field of Bioceramics & Tissue Engineering. It was truly inspiring to listen to them.
And the most unforgettable part of all – the entire Mount Merapi experience! From the grueling 6-hour hike up in the dark (11pm-5am), multiple shooting stars and star-filled night sky, reaching the peak of the crater, the punishing 5-hour rush down the mountain, the legendary road trip to get Mohsin to the airport, and getting back to the hostel still covered with Merapi dust. Thankful for Dr. Mohsin who initiated the entire thing, Dr. Oki for being our local guide and did so much things to make the whole experience possible, and of course to Kenny, Dollah and Akshaya. Without all of them, I doubt I would have had it in me to finish the ordeal. The only thing I regret was having a pimple right smack on my nose that week – almost ruined my pictures if not for the unbeatable breathtaking views on top of Merapi.
view from the top: a sea of clouds
I’m extremely thankful to UGM, especially to Prof. Ika and her team. Also, to my supervisor for extending the invitation in the first place. I’ll definitely go back to Indonesia, and would even consider going back to Yogyakarta itself.
P.S. Interestingly, I guess this is the final nail to the coffin of my moving on – Indonesia finally meaning something else for me. Though the ending still did break my heart, a little.
Here’s a video of TEAM SAPI on top of Merapi :)