Monday, February 13th
OMG whose idea was it to meet at the airport at 6 a.m.! We all met at Kuala Namu, sleepy-eyed, but excited. Did I say everyone, I meant everyone except Louise, she woke a LITTLE late but made it in time for the flight. Check-in went fine but was slow. Hausen had a bag large enough to fit a horse inside. By the time we had our tickets, we had to make a beeline for the gate and went straight onto the plane. On the plane, sleepiness set in and most students spent the next hour and a half dozing with their mouths hanging open.
In Batam, we met Harry and Flo from Telunas who escorted us across the city and down to the ferry that took us across to Telunas. The sea breeze was cool and refreshing. This is when everyone became aware of Elaine’s superpower…anytime we stopped moving for more than 2 minutes Elaine would fall fast asleep, all week long…it was amazing!
Our first view of Telunas, our home for the week was stunning…we sipped our welcome drinks and started to explore the resort and our rooms. Once we settled in it was time for our first challenge, raft building. It was a race to build and sail a raft out into the bay. The students applied their ropework skills and practised teamwork while Vivian gave us a hilarious lecture about how this was child labour.
February 14th, 2023
On the second day, we awoke to a glorious sunrise outside of our dorm rooms. The Telunas staff had prepared a delicious breakfast of pancakes, fruits, and omelettes for us. After breakfast we headed for the island of Mempoyong, to meet the locals and get a glimpse into how people on these islands live. On the island, we were greeted with glee. The children led us to their village where we were introduced to Chief Muhammad, who had been chief for 35 years! After learning about the village from the Chief, we broke up into groups and learned about the local industries of roof making, producing charcoal, shop keeping, and fishing. We were treated to an amazing local meal in the homes of our hosts.
On the boat back to Telunas, Elaine fell asleep, of course, and the rest of us planned what we would do during our free time. We enjoyed a couple of hours of volleyball, swimming, and socialising before an absolutely fabulous dinner of curry and naan bread with rice. In the spirit of Valentine’s day, Amalie made us all some super sweet cookie dough. 5 stars! Then it was on to school assignments followed by a couple of rounds of cards before lights out.
February 15, 2023
On the third day, we were shocked as rain splashed on our faces, causing us to wake up from our peaceful slumber. Our clothes were all wet as they were hanging outside on the porch and so we had to bring them in and hang them up inside our room. All our clothes were drenched and some even flew off. Our beds and luggage were covered with small pieces of wood from the roof. Afterward, we got ready for another adventure to Mempoyong, but before that, we had a breakfast of bread, omelettes, and orange juice.
After breakfast, we returned to Mempoyong and taught the school there. We played several games with the students such as red light, green light, and monkey in the middle. All of us had a blast playing with the kids and we laughed a lot together.
February 16, 2023
Today was an exciting day. We were due to do a survival challenge to see who would survive in a realistic survival situation.
We woke up that morning afraid that it would be raining as it had done the day before but luckily it wasn’t. Our clothes were dry. We got ready for the day and headed into the restaurant to eat breakfast. For breakfast, we were served cereal, cinnamon rolls, and best of all the omelette station was back!
Finally the time we had all waited for the “SURVIVAL CHALLENGE!” We separated into teams of 3. We did many different challenges that included Water still making, Orientation, Shelter Building, Fishing, Low-ropes Course/Hiking, and Fire making. The challenges brought out lots of different personalities that we haven’t seen in each other before. Sometimes people were irritated and annoyed by their teammates. But in the end, the whole experience was bonding and improved our group chemistry.
After the Survival challenge, we went to the restaurant and found Ms. Meli with Pocari sweat waiting for us (very thankful for that Miss). Then it was time to find out more about our ocean and the mangroves.
The class was separated into two groups one went and learned about the mangroves and the other went kayaking. We kayaked out into the sea and felt the calming sea breeze brush our faces. As we paddled in the turquoise water we smelled the salt in the air. The trip was fun and new for many of us, but we soon mastered the skill of paddling.
When it was time to go explore the mangroves many of us were very interested in the topic of mangroves. Since many of us have not seen a baby mangrove before. We were given 3 baby mangroves to plant and 3 wooden stakes to help support and make sure the mangrove doesn’t float away. We learned about the importance of mangroves in the ecosystem and how without them many marine species would go extinct.
Since it was our last full day at Telunas we were going to have dinner by the campfire. We prepared our own pizzas which the staff cooked for us in their wood fired ovens. Then the winners were announced. Team 1 won. We ended the night with songs and several impromptu dance performances.
February 17, 2023
This was a sad day. It was our last day. It was very sad to leave Telunas after a wonderful stay. We were sad to leave but life must go on. We ate our very last delicious Telunas-style breakfast, boarded the boat, and went on our merry way.