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Students in a long tail boat in Indonesia. Photo by Aaron Slosberg, Indonesia Semester.

Our first Yak!

Selamat pagi!

Hello worried parents, best friends, second uncles and random internet surfers! First things first–don’t be worried! We are all currently sitting in a gazebo playing with adorable local children while taking in the mountainous views of the Ketambe jungle. To say the least we aren’t roughing it (yet!). After five buses, four planes, three delays, two towns and one lost ticket, we are all so excited to have finally made it to the friendship guest house here in Ketambe, where we were welcomed by Pak Johan and his family with open arms.

On Monday we ventured on an 8 hour van expedition through northern Sumatra to get here. Some highlights of the road trip include a beautiful lunch at the base of a volcano (which may or may not have erupted two days before we got to it), taking in incredible sights of tropical trees from a stilted platform, and racing, almost literally, through the bustling city of Medan. By the time we arrived at the friendship guest house, darkness had fallen. Waking up the next morning and realizing we were in the middle of a beautiful jungle valley was pure magic. We’ve been spending these first few days getting to know each other, learning basic Bahasa Indonesia, hiking, and orienting ourselves to the jungle. Today, after sweating through a brief hike, all of us dove into the brisk water of the Leuser river, quick dry clothes and all. For lunch, we chowed down on eel, small fish, rice and delicious bananas. Even though conversation of glazed donuts and chocolate covered gummy bears dominated the table, the food was nonetheless amazing. On Friday we head off on a three day trek in the Gurung National Park! Good things to come.

Thanks for reading and get ready for more yaks in the coming days!

PS. Parents- the only issue to report is we wish you would have sent us here earlier.