#LatePost: Pekan Bahasa

Two weeks ago, my school, Sekolah Lentera Harapan Palopo, South Sulawesi, Indonesia, just had our first big event: Pekan Bahasa. Pekan Bahasa (Eng: Language Week) is an annual event held in all Lentera Harapan Schools all over Indonesia. In Pekan Bahasa, we usually have some competitions involving the students as participants and some teachers and staff as judges and also the committee. The competitions we usually have in this event are poem writing and reading, drawing and coloring pictures, singing, traditional dancing, traditional costume play, berbalas pantun and also story telling. Pekan Bahasa is usually held in a week, consisting of a series of competitions and one last day as a final celebration.

Our theme for this year’s Pekan Bahasa was: “Bahasa bangsaku salurkan bahasa kasih-Nya” (Eng: Our language extends God’s love language). And the theme verse was taken from 1 Corinthians 13:1 “If I could speak all languages of earth and of angels, but didn’t love others, I would only be a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.”


Here are some of the pictures of the events:

lil torayan meet Kryel, the little Torayan from grade 5 🙂

sahat me with Sahat, the little Batak man.

girls here is me with the Torayan girls from grade 5.

grade 3 The Batak couple from grade 3.

grade 4 Papuan dancers from grade 4

grade 2 grade 2 & teacher The Saman dancers wearing Torayan’s traditional clothing from grade 2

costume play all costume play participants from grade 1-6. So pretty! 🙂

cry this pretty little girl cried because she didn’t win the costume play competition 😦

the performers Indonesian national dancers from Senior school

end of event the whole crew the whole crew of Pekan Bahasa Sekolah Lentera Harapan Palopo.

It was a lot of fun working together for the event and at the same time celebrating together the various cultures we have in Indonesia. The enthusiasm and exuberance of all the school members flood the celebration. Despite the heat in Palopo, all seemed to have fun in the event. It’s really such a privilege of being part of a big nation with great riches of traditions and cultures like Indonesia 🙂


Jesus’ love is…more!

Lyrics (Indonesian):
Kasih Yesus indah indah oh indah
Kasih Yesus indah indah oh indah
Lebih indah dari pelangi
Lebih indah dari bintang di langit
Lebih indah dari bunga di padang
O Yesusku! 🙂

Jesus’ love is beautiful!
more beautiful than the rainbow,
more beautiful than the stars of the sky,
more beautiful than the flowers of the field.
Jesus’ love is…more!

these are my fifth graders in Sekolah Lentera Harapan Palopo. greetings from us!!

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!

Lampung day 2: Way Kambas!

Our second day in Lampung and our destination was Way Kambas. Once I got in Lampung, I saw quite many places named with “way” (the word way is not pronounced like way in English, the letter a in it is pronounced like in the word car). Way in Lampungese means water. I was not really sure why there are quite many places named with way because I dont think they are such a watery place. I dont know.

Well anyway, Way Kambas is located in East Lampung and around 2 hours away driving from Bandar Lampung. I was sleeping all the way to Way Kambas. hahaha.

In Way Kambas we went on an elephant riding. The fee for elephant riding is Rp. 150.000 per person for domestic tourists and Rp. 250.000 per person for foreigners riding for an hour, exploring the whole national park. If you dont want to ride on an elephant for an hour, you can choose to ride for 30 minutes and pay only Rp. 50.000 per person.

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2013-06-09 11.19.34 me, Emma and the driver.

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Well, what an experience. But I think an hour was just too long for an elephant ride. I was sore afterwards.

Lampung day 1: Mutun Beach and Tangkil Island

Last June, I had a great opportunity to help hosting SPH summer school’s instructors from the US. There were 9 instructors from 4 different universities: Corban Unversity, Covenant College, Calvin College, and Dordt College. They stayed and taught in Indonesia for a month. We also had an amazing trip to Lampung to visit some Lentera Schools there. Here are some pictures and stories from our trip to Lampung.

We were divided into 2 groups that were going to 2 different Lentera Schools in Lampung, one in Jati Agung and the other one in Sekampung. Both schools are under Pelita Harapan Foundation. We went there for 4 days to teach English and also give some donations to the schools.

June 8, 2013. Taking off from Jakarta, arriving in Lampung. It took only 20 minutes flying from Jakarta to Lampung. haha.

lampungIn Lampung we were welcomed and hosted by Pak Deo, the General Affair staff of Lentera Schools in Lampung and also two teachers, Ron and Patricia. Our first destination after landing in Lampung was the Mutun Beach, around one hour away from the airport. The view was really great even though there were some parts of the beach that were not clean.

mutun beach lampung

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mutun beach

lampungIn Mutun beach, we decided to ride on a boat to cross to one island there, Tangkil Island. Each person had to only pay Rp. 15.000 for the boat. It took only 5 minutes riding on a boat from Mutun Beach to the island.

brave little girl lil girlthe brave girl. she is the daughter of the boat’s owner. she is really brave.

group photoall of us with some native people in Tangkil Island. 🙂

*photos by: Emma English, Lisi Wiersma, and me.

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.


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.


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 😀