Well it has been a couple weeks since my Summer Biodiversity Program in Singapore came to an end and boy has it been insanity. The last week of the program was jammed packed with final presentations, exams, a horrid research paper that I pulled an all-niter trying to finish, a tour of a cookie factory, and far too many goodbyes.
Both, my Bahasa Indonesia course and the Biodiversity module, had final presentations. I tried my best to conquer my fears of public speaking by stupidly volunteering to MC the Indo Night and lead the introduction of the Marine Teams presentation. I wouldn’t say it was a total success, but was proud that I tried.
Khang Guan Cookie Factory
I dreaded the cookie tour primarily cause it fell during the chaos of me trying to wrap up my courses, but it ended up being my favorite excursions. Our tour guide had some serious voice inflections, hitting some high decibels randomly throughout his sentences. Definitely kept my attention. He also pulled me aside to tell me he had a tattoo on his a$$. Whether this was his way of flirting still remains unknown.
The End of a Great Program
Overall, the biodiversity program in Singapore a phenomenal experience. I made so many great friends, both local and exchange, ate some amazing food, and experienced such cool new things. The field research aspect really made the program great. Spending hours snorkeling and learning the processes of field work, as well as writing a research paper using my own field research was so rewarding. I truly will miss the friends I spent so much time with during those 5 weeks. I definitely made lifelong friends!
So what happened following my program and up until now…?
Vacation time baby! After completing my program, my friend came to meet me in Singapore and we took off to Indonesia. Sadly, vacation time in my head equated to vacation from taking pictures, because after 9 days in Indonesia I have taken a total of 3 pics: A sunrise, a cat in sunrise, and a sunset.
My travels in Indonesia so far have been:
Jakarta > Borobudur > Yogyakarta > Amed > Ubud
Obviously, it is far too much to discuss and as stated prior, I have no pics… so I summed up each location with a memorable moment.
Overarching & reoccurring thing: Every single local Indonesian thinks I am Indonesian, and as much as I would like to attribute that to my great ability to speak Bahasa Indonesia, it is not.
Jakarta– I bargained using my skills in Bahasa Indonesia, although instead of saying “Mahal sekali” – Very Expensive, I said “Murah sekali” – Very Cheap. I thought the guy was in shock cause my ability to speak Indonesia, but turns out he was probably just confused of why I was saying very cheap.
Borobudur– Woke up to catch the sunrise at the Borobudur Temple, only to realize they didn’t open until 7am. Sunset was at 6am. Oh and it rained.
Yogyakarta– Our hostel had a soothing pond in the front where I was able to get unlimited free fish massages.
Amed, Bali– Logged my 13th and 14th dive and got to snorkel again. Also, our room was a beachfront room that had views of sunset and sunrise. O and Putu… the lovely man helping run our hotel, don’t get me started. (yes, I know that was 3 memorable things)
Ubud, Bali– Still have a few days here and promise to start taking photos… but did go to the monkey forests and had a monkey jump on me… didn’t get rabies, but was a moment nonetheless.
I have decided to continue this blog following my program, so make sure you tune in! I have about two more weeks of travel, 5 more days in Indonesia and the rest in Philippines!
Also, to view any previous blogs you may have missed, you can visit here.