Hope exists.

building up sometimes means tearing down

and…. starting over is sometimes even better than fixing what has been so wrong for such a long time. There are 27 teachers assigned to go and pioneer a takeover school, formerly known as SD SMP SMA Kristen Palopo, to become Sekolah Lentera Harapan Palopo.

The first and foremost struggle of takeover schools is adjustment. The students have been used to their old system, which it was okay if they did not do the homework, which it didn’t really matter whether they could read or not the teachers will still pass them to the next grade levels, which it didn’t really matter if they did not come to school without any notification for many many times and still not got dropped out from school, which they did not have to worry of repeating class because the teachers were always ready to mark up their scores to just pass them to the next grade levels. and believe me, the list goes on.

Bringing a new system, with the hope of bringing a better one, is no easy task. Dealing with fifth graders that are not able to differentiate the letter b and d is just plain frustrating. Teaching division to fourth graders that are not able to subtract 7 with 1 is simply stretching our patience to its furthest limit.

One thing I learned, challenge is everywhere. No matter where we are, we are faced with challenges every day. Every time. Then we might ask: why bother wearing ourselves out doing such thing? I believe a better world is made by people who are willing to take the risks to do something and make all the difference.

Most of the times, we only see the darkest nights of what we are doing. For sure, if we keep our focus on the obstacles, we will only find discouragement and despair. At times also, as we think that we have done our best, we have put our best effort, but the result may not always aligned with what we had in plan, we become disappointed too. Why there seems no better option?

I got reminded by a friend here, a fellow teacher, we plant and water our students but still, it is God who gives the growth.

This is for all the teachers in the world, we might not see the fruit of what we are doing right now, but please keep in mind and keep believing that what you plant with tears right now, will not be back in vain. Keep doing God’s work! Keep the patience and diligence in serving His people.

Remember that hope exists.

hopefinally, to end this reflection let me recite a prayer from Jenna Miller:

Dear Lord, in my quest for success and accomplishment, help me to remember that to truly be successful, I need to develop the ability to learn from my mistakes, be a servant to others, and put my best efforts into whatever I do.

May this be our prayer too.

Natural innocence :)

Natural innocence :)

they may not always be easy to deal with,
they may not always be nice in class,
they are just not lovable at times…

but their smiles, yes, let me say it this way, their smiles, always make my day 🙂

cheers from 5th graders Lentera Harapan School, Palopo, Indonesia!

Saturday morning in Latuppa

Latuppa 2 the weather was perfect. clear sky and cool air. Latuppa 4 I enjoyed the fresh water. pure nature. just calm.sky I lied down under a tree, took a picture of the blueness of the sky and the greenness of the leaves of the tree. such a perfect way of spending a Saturday morning. getting away from the busyness of life for a little while. enjoying nature. soothing the mind.

hope you people have a great weekend! 🙂

warm regards from the southern part of Sulawesi, Indonesia!

-superriska

 

*photos were taken at Latuppa River, South Sulawesi*

Tanjung Ringgit, Palopo

This morning my friends and I went to a port named Tanjung Ringgit. This port is located in Teluk Bone if you google it. It takes about 30 minutes walking from the house where I live to there.

I am not really sure what kind of port is this.

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some beautiful view near the port.

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It was a bit cloudy this morning, so I didnt get the picture of the sunrise. But I am thankful enough for fresh air and good talk with some friends along the way 🙂

warm greetings from southern part of Sulawesi!

hope you people have a great day! 😉

A day in Rantepao: Kete’ Kesu

After seeing all the crowds and interesting things in Rantepao’s central park, my friends and I went to Kete’ Kesu. Kete’ Kesu is actually Torayans’ cemetery. As you think of a cemetery, you’ll picture it in your head as a yard, plain land with gravestones. Oh no, this is just not the ordinary cemetery that you could ever think of. The Torayans bury their family and relatives in a very interesting way. Not only with interesting way, but also in extraordinary place. They bury the dead on a hill. Kete’ Kesu is a cemetery on a hill. To get into Kete Kesu we need to pay an entrance fee Rp. 10.000 for one adult.

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As we got in, we were welcomed with many tongkonans at the front part of Kete Kesu.

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Here is the cemetery. We needed to take the stairs to get to the top of the cemetery. There were lots of tombs along the way to the last cave right at the very end of the stairs. The stairs were very slippery because of the water that drips from the top of the hill.

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See, they even have the statues of the dead. Wew. They look really creepy.

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Oh here, this one has the pictures of the buried.

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me with some skulls. wew.

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and this is me right in front of the mouth of the cave at the end of the stairs. this is the very top of the cemetery. this cave is about 8 meters long and we need flashlights to get into it. too bad I didnt get into it because I had no flashlight with me, but it’s okay, it was enough for the creepiness. hahaha.

overall, Kete Kesu was very interesting, despite the creepiness and slipperiness. the facts about how the Torayans bury the dead, and everything. and one more interesting fact! there was no bad smell there even though there were dead bodies buried there. native people believe that the smells are absorbed by the trees that are found surround the cemetery. owell, they might be right.

A day in Rantepao: Pork Ball. Yumm!

Well, I am not a big fan of pork. Like, seriously, I like some of pork products but, just not all. Especially the ones with fats and skin. No, thanks.

When I was in Toraja a couple weeks ago, my friends and I went to a small restaurant that serves pork balls. I found it was so interesting that pork is everywhere, even the price of pork is cheaper than chicken, which is very unlikely to happen in place where I am from. Also, it is very uncommon, or almost impossible to find a place that serves pork dish exposed in public like in here. I think that it is because the majority of the population in Toraja are Christians.

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Back to the pork ball. Well, I am a big fan of meatball, but pork ball? Hmm, I wasnt so sure about it. I tried them anyway. It was only Rp. 10.000 per portion of pork ball.

know what? they tasted surprisingly yummy! seriously. I like pork ball! haha.

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this will be one of the reasons to come back! haha.

Late post: A day in Rantepao

Alright, I think I need to start posting about my experiences in Palopo, South Sulawesi.

My first weekend in Palopo, I went to Rantepao, North Tana Toraja, South Sulawesi. Rantepao is the capital city of North Tana Toraja regency, South Sulawesi. It is only 2 hours away driving or around 62 kilometers away from where I live now.

Palopo and Tana Toraja have very different kind of geographical topography. Palopo is a plain land near to the sea, which gives it the high temperature and humidity both day and night. While Tana Toraja is more like a highland, which gives it cool air even if it is a clear day. At nights, the air is really nice, which temperature ranges from 19-21 degrees Celcius.

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This is the view from the place where I stayed in.

Tana Toraja itself means the land of great people. Tana means land and Toraja comes from two words to that means people and raya that means great. So Tana Toraja is the land of great people. Sounds really cool! 🙂

Each year the Torayans (that’s what the Toraja people usually call themselves) celebrate the anniversary of the first time Gospel getting in to Tana Toraja and this year is the 100th anniversary of the Gospel getting in to their land. The Torayans from all around regencies would come and gather in the central park in Rantepao. Each regency would come with decorated offering that symbolizes their gratitude to God that the people can get exposed to the Gospel. They would come in a parade complete with their traditional clothes and music. Young and old, men and women, all come together to celebrate this happy occasion. This annual event has also been an attraction for international tourists from many other countries in the world.

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Some bule in the crowd.

I was there for the opening of the event. The crowd was really massive. The offerings were decorated beautifully, and all the things were just interesting to watch and enjoy, especially for me that is not from this place.

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The welcome banner. 100th anniversary of Gospel getting in to Tana Toraja.

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The crowd.

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The pictures of the offerings that the people brought from each regency. They usually bring something that is unique from their region and at the end of the event, all these offerings would be sold in an auction. Hmm, very interesting.

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These girls are from Palopo region, with their traditional clothing. Really beautiful!

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And this! Look at this cute little girl! She is from Masamba region. She is only 10, I believe. But look at her! Beautifully dressed up with her traditional clothing.

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And here are some of the traditional houses that are found in front of the church. The houses are called Tongkonan. According to some information that I got, the Tongkonans are used for rice storage (lumbung padi). Most Torayans have tongkonans in front of their main house to store their rice. Hmm, very interesting!

I really enjoyed my trip to Toraja, despite the twisted roads to get there. But I think I will come back and experience more about this place. And I have more post about Toraja! Stay around 😀