At the end of last term, 14 students along with Ms Formby, Mr Simmonds and Veronica Hickey travelled to Indonesia on the first Cobden Technical School Indonesian Tour.

We landed in Bali and were picked up at the airport by Agung, our host for the next five days.  We stayed in Ubud in Central Bali and took part in various tours and activities.  We travelled to Kintamani for a view over the mountains, visited the monkey forest where Sophie Hickey made a new monkey friend and rode bikes down from the mountains stopping along the way to learn about rice fields and how local people live.  

We also learnt Balinese dance, self-defence and bargained in the local markets.  A highlight was spending a day at a local children’s support centre, where children from poor families and kids with disabilities attend classes and receive support and guidance.  During the morning we helped tidy the teachers’ room, worked in the vegie garden, prepared food for lunch, helped with the students in the classrooms and Simmo and Veronica even did some concreting.

On Friday September 16 we headed down from Ubud to Waterbom Park.  After a few hours of water slides and swimming we flew out to Yogyakarta, Java.  We were met at the airport by our host families and then we headed to our individual homes.  The students really enjoyed the time with my family and look forward to continuing contact with them for a long time to come.  

We spent our next week dividing our time between our host families, our sister school and places around Yogyakarta.  We visited the temples of Borobudur and Prambanan, went shopping for goods needed for a local support centre and went to the Kraton, the king’s palace.  

In the evenings we had the chance to hang out with our families and other students from Cobden Technical School.  We had spa and facial treatments, went to the local shopping malls, went to the movies, sang at the Happy Puppy Karaoke centre and rode crazy illuminated pedal cars around the city square.

We rode becaks (three wheeled pedicabs) around Yogyakarta and went shopping … a lot.  There were traditional items to bargain for along with anything else you could wish for in the shops and markets.  

Thanks to Mr Simmonds, Veronica Hickey and Mr Keert for coming along on the tour and helping to make it happen.  Students are encouraged to listen out when plans are made for the next tour in 2018 and get on board.