The US participants in Legacy’s Indonesian-US Youth Leadership Exchange, are excited about their stay in Indonesia and are blogging about it.  Both US and Indonesian participants met at the Global Youth Village while Indonesian students were in the U.S., now the American participants are in Indonesia with their new friends.

Follow their adventures in the IULX 2012 blog,  as they travel around Indonesia. In the ongoing blog, updated regularly, they share their experiences, (with great photos) and their insights into Indonesia culture and express their gratitude to their Indonesian host family.

“During my host family stay, wonderful people of all ages visited to talk to me. Some wanted to practice their English and others simply wanted to help make my stay in Bangkalan feel as comfortable as possible. I also got the unique experience of seeing how children are raised in Indonesia, living with my two-year-old host sister. For example, being respectful of elders is extremely important here, which I saw in my host sister’s putting her forehead to the hands (the right hands!) of elders when greeting them or saying goodbye.” – Arielle

Michelle learns to batik

Here is the latest post in their IULX 2012 blog:

“Kaliandra is a beautiful mountain retreat dedicated to environmental awareness and clean living!  The students were enthralled with the accommodations, very posh and relaxing in comfortable cabins set into the jungle. (with western toilets!)

In Kaliandra, the US and Indonesian students from Madura learned about the foundation’s effort to marry environmental awareness and community development programs.  The foundation does not just educate people to avoid environmental destruction, but also trains them to develop their agricultural business thru environmental projects.  Topics include organic growing and marketing, and using cow manure for fertilizer and bio-gas.  We visited a local home where methane gas was collected through a composting system and used to cook food as well as provide light.

US Indonesia Exchange

US students teach American style football to the Indonesian students at Kaliandra

The students also got a chance to try traditional batik making and playing gamelean music.

During afternoon sessions, both Indonesian and US students shared their experiences in environmental awareness activities. Before leaving Kaliandra, we visited the organic farm and helped plant and harvest greens.

Upon our return to Madura, students had a chance to do some peer teaching at ACCESS.  Bangkalan and US students divided into 3 groups and provided cultural sharing to each class thru singing, dancing, etc.  They loved learning new songs, secret handshakes and the macarena!

We have enjoyed many other activities including a visit to the President’s home in Suribaya, a visit and presentation at BOSF (Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation), lunch at a historic landmark hotel where Indonesia’s independance was born, tour of a Buddist temple and so much more!

We all feel very fortunate and grateful to be participants in such a program and can’t wait to expand on our experiences once we return home.