It’s June now, summer is in the air, and we’re starting to feel that our adventure together is just around the corner! We wanted to share a tentative itinerary to give you an idea of the fantastic places we’ll be journeying to together, but keep in mind that things may change as we often adapt our plans on the go. Family and friends, we hope that this post will help you roughly track where we are as the trip progresses – and keep an eye on the Yak board for updates!
June 28th: Departure from Los Angeles
The group will gather in Los Angeles and meet two of the instructors, Olivia and Becca, who will accompany you for our first of many flights. Look out for an email from the Dragons office for details about where and when to meet in LA. Meanwhile Rita, our third instructor, will head to Indonesia a couple days ahead of the group to prepare for our arrival.
June 29th-30th: International Travel, Arrival in Indonesia
We’ll bend the space-time continuum as we cross the International Date Line and jump a day ahead into the future, transfer in Hong Kong, and finally arrive in Jakarta, before boarding a short domestic flight to Yogyakarta (commonly referred to as Jogja) where we’ll have dinner and drive to our orientation site.
July 1st -2nd: Orientation
Our orientation will take place in the lovely cool elevations of the Dieng Plateau, where we’ll stay all together in the large home of the town’s headman and share home-cooked meals. We’ll focus our time on getting to know each other, getting to know the program, information about how to stay safe and healthy in Indonesia, and taking some walks to explore our surroundings.
July 3rd-11th: Yogyakarta
Yogyakarta or Jogja, is the cultural capital of Java, Indonesia’s most populous island. The city has deep connections to traditions of dance, art, and cuisine, but also is full of young students and artists pushing boundaries and constantly creating a new Indonesia. In this urban setting we will do our first of three homestays, take Bahasa Indonesia classes, and get matched to local experts and artisans for our Independent Study Projects. In Jogja there are a wealth of interesting guest speakers to learn from, and students will be able to decide what topics they’d like to dig into.
July 12th: Travel Day
We’ll be treated to stunning views of islands and mountains through plane and bus windows as we make our way from Java to the island of Flores.
July 13th – 20th: Langa
Our second homestay is in the foothills of Mt. Inerie in central Flores. The elevation keeps it cool and makes it the perfect climate for growing coffee – one of the major crops grown in this agricultural community. Langa is beautiful and fascinating, and while we’re there we’ll learn all about the traditions and beliefs of the locals who blend Catholic beliefs with ancient animist practices, and trek into the surrounding mountains.
July 21st-22nd: Travel Days
It will take us over 2 days to cross land and sea to reach our third homestay inside Wakatobi National Park. On the way we’ll stop to take time to process our homestay experiences, rest, and recharge for the journey.
July 23rd-29th: Sampela
For our third and final homestay, we’ll be hosted in the village of Sampela, built over the reefs of the Banda Sea. Our hosts are Bajau, renowned for their skills as free-divers and fishermen, who live intimately with the sea. We’ll learn to fish but also seek to understand the way that climate change and socio-political pressures are changing what it means to be Bajau.
July 30th-August 2nd: X-Phase: Tana Toraja
As we’ve moved throughout the Indonesian archipelago, students will have learned what it looks like to travel safely and responsibly and in a way that honors local communities. Expedition phase, or x-phase, is where we put that learning to the test. For 4+ days, based out of the fascinating Tana Toraja, students will fully lead our trip, deciding where we stay, where we go, and who we learn from, as well as handling logistics and program budget.
August 3rd – 6th: Transference
For the final stage of our program we’ll head to the beautiful coastline of Pantai Bira, in South Sulawesi. Here, we’ll turn our focus to reflecting on the experiences we’ve had and preparing for the transition back home.
August 7th-8th: Travel Days
From Pantai Bira we’ll travel to the major city of Makassar and catch a flight to Jakarta, where the group will rest for the night before catching a morning flight back to Hong Kong and LAX. Becca will accompany the group for the international flight and assist in making any connecting flights as the group makes their way home to share their stories with loved ones.