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Sister School Visit

Lorne & SMAMDA Student exchange

On the 25th-4th of March twelve students and two teachers from our sister school, SMA Muhammadiyah 2, travelled to Australia to stay for a week. Their first impressions of Australia were that the weather was cold and the city is certainly not as busy as those in Indonesia. Throughout the week, the students from our sister school participated in activities with their host students such as visiting the Jirrahlinga Wildlife Park, The Chocolate Factory, and kayaking along the Anglesea River.

This trip opened their eyes to Western culture which was exciting but at the same time stressful. We asked them about some of the differences between Indonesia and Australia. They had no idea what a fire place was and were surprised at the healthy and active lifestyle of Australian teenagers. Two of the girls really didn’t like Luka’s dog which is understandable. The students have lived their whole life in another culture where dogs aren’t kept as pets so having one in the household was a huge shock. The Indonesian students also noticed that our streets are very clean and the ocean has no rubbish in it. Two of the students actually swam in the ocean for the first time in their lives.

When the students arrived to Lorne P-12 College they were welcomed at a special assembly. The first two days were spent at school, joining in with the various classes of all different ages. Such as, cooking with the year 7/8s, meeting the 3&4’s class lizard, basketball with the 9/10s. On Tuesday however, the students were also able to explore more of Lorne’s natural environment with a visit to Erskine Falls and learn about Lorne’s fishing industry at the pier. The students ventured down to the bottom and rambled along the rocks to find the perfect spot for some photos. On Wednesday we drove to Barwon Heads to visit Jirrahlinga Wildlife Park. We were able to see many of Australia’s native animals including wombats, cockatoos (The Indonesian students probably would have seen these in Lorne already), kangaroos, dingos, echidnas and koalas. On Thursday the Australian and Indonesian students went kayaking in the Anglesea river. We were guided by experts from Go Ride A Wave. The Indonesian students hadn’t kayaked before but some of the Lorne students had so everyone made it back to dry land with only a few capsizes. Afterwards we made our way to the Anglesea golf course to see some kangaroos.

On Friday the students were lucky enough to participate in a taste-testing and chocolate-lollipop-making session at the Great Ocean Road Chocolaterie and Ice-creamery. It was a very fun experience for the students and teachers. Additionally, we were all able to shop for some goodies to take home. Then there was the question as to whether or not a kilogram of chocolate would melt when it arrived in Indonesia. We hopped back on the bus to go to Torquay and looked in the surf shops together. Unlike Indonesia (if you know how to bargain), Australia’s shops are incredibly overpriced. This is something the Indonesian students realized.

We journeyed back to Lorne for the last time to say goodbye and celebrate the wonderful week we had with the Indonesian students and teachers. The year 9/10 band performed a few songs. Our Indonesian students gave a dancing and martial arts performance which brought a little bit more of Indonesia’s culture to our school. Several speeches were made and the ceremony was closed with everyone singing a famous song in Indonesian.

We want to thank all of the teachers in our school who pulled everything together and made our week more enjoyable and rewarding than we could have imagined. We’d like to say a special thanks to Bu Ky for working to make the experience the best it could be. She put so much time into organising everything and supported every host and guest student in every way she could. This included a 6:30am phone conversation with a host student on the day of the Indonesian students’ arrival. We can’t thank her enough for all of her amazing work! Mr Couper, Mrs Biggelaar also deserve a big thanks as well as Pak Astajab and Pak Agung.

We’d like to thank the The students and their families who hosted our Indonesian students and they were Kaye Pulido with Zoya, Louis Coates with Cendhy and Fauzi, Harvey Atwell with Nabil and Kresna, Emily Ross with Iffa and Azel, Kiara McKerron with Anggi, Luka Lesosky-Hay with Nurul and Shavira, Milly Smith with Anisa  and Liam Sayers (the doctor) with Auqi.

All the students had a lot of fun together and made life-long memories. We’ll never forget sitting on the rocks in front of Erskine Falls. We’ll never forget skipping rocks on the water at Bells beach. We’ll never forget our last drive to Lorne on Friday night when we sang together at the top of our lungs. It was hard to say goodbye to our new siblings which resulted in some crying… actually, a lot of crying. We miss them all so much and can’t wait until see them all again next year in Surabaya!

Written by Kaye Pulido and Emily Ross

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