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Photo by Celia Mitchell (2015/16 Semester Photo Contest Entry), Indonesia Semester.

Winter Excursion Itinerary

Dear Friends and Family,

The group is about to set off on our winter excursion to the island Sulawesi! We have been enjoying our time in Yogyakarta, but with over 17,000 islands to explore adventure is calling us.
From December 25th – January 7th we will be celebrating together the end of 2017 and welcoming 2018 with joy in our hearts, smiles on our faces, and a curiosity for what is to come! We will spend the first half of our two week adventure in the Togian Islands, where we’ll swim and snorkel in the Gulf of Tomini, part of the Coral Triangle and home to some of the most biodiverse coral reefs in the world. We will spend the second half of our excursion in Tana Toraja, a region of the southern highlands of Sulawesi.

Please note that for some of our travel we will have intermittent phone and internet connectivity, so please be patient as we practice being present and turning to nature and each other instead of to technology.

Below is a brief snapshot of where our journey will take us!
 
Monday, Dec 25
Start the day at 6 am! Travel from Yogyakarta to Makassar via airplane.
In the afternoon we’ll acquaint ourselves with this historical city and celebrate Christmas with a delicious meal of Makassar specialties.

Tuesday, Dec 26
We continue our journey to the islands via a flight to Luwuk and a bus ride to Ampana.

Wednesday, Dec 27
The journey continues! The Togian Islands take awhile to get to, but are rewarding once you are there. From Ampana, we take a speedboat to Wakai, where another boat awaits to take us to Kadidiri.

Thursday, Dec 28 – Sunday Dec, 31
We’ll swim, snorkel, and relax and reflect together as a group on the lessons and adventures of 2017.

Monday, Jan 1
Our first day of 2018 will be an epic travel day as we make our way from Kadidiri to Tana Toraja, via boat and bus.
 
Tuesday, Jan 2
Rest day in Rantepao
 
Wednesday, Jan 3 – Saturday, Jan 6 
From Rantepao, we’ll drive 30 minutes to a village where we will stay with the extended family of one of our instructors. We’ll be exposed to a culture that remained isolated long after the arrival of the Dutch colonizers to Sulawesi. As a result, Torajan every-day life is still strongly steeped in the traditional cosmology called Aluk To Dolo, which is reflected in everything from the elaborately carved tongkonan traditional houses shaped like ships, to the modern practices of Protestant Christianity. We’ll see why the Torajans are famed for their funerary practices that feature week-long ceremonies and ritual animal sacrifice, and why the Torajans have a unique perspective on the boundary between this life and the next world. Hopefully we’ll get a few day treks in as well!

Sunday, Jan 7 
Travel back to Yogyakarta via bus and an evening flight