Looking Back: International Working Camp (I-WoCa) 2013 in Malang, Indonesia

I did not expect that I will be seeing the beauty of Indonesia as early as 2013. I was in my 4th year of college by then. I was surfing the internet that night when I saw a post about the International Working Camp 2013 from the facebook fan page of the ASEAN Youth Volunteers’ Network. I was wanderlusting with Indonesia when I was scanning their poster that I applied for the program right away!

Came the 29th day of June, me and my friend flew to Jakarta and traveled for 26 hours via bus to reach Malang, Indonesia where the program took place. It has been a very tiring ride but there is no better way to see the whole Java island than by riding a bus from Jakarta to Malang. We were also able to stop by so many municipalities. My favorite stopover was Surabaya. ❤

The International Working Camp 2013, with its main theme “Struggle for a Green Future, Living Guts for Humanity” focuses on the current global Environmental Issues with the solutions and Indonesia’s Agricultural Industry. The whole program happened from July 1, 2013 to July 5, 2013. The route was Malang Proper -> Universitas Brawijaya -> Ngadas Village -> Ranu Pane -> Mt. Bromo -> Mt. Semeru -> Malang Proper. The program was a more enjoyable and effective way to learn about the environment and agriculture. With that, I really thank God for giving me this kind of experience. 😀

Day 1 was in . . . .

IWOCA-Universitas Brawijaya
Universitas Brawijaya
The organizing committee of the program is from Universitas Brawijaya, a prestigious and huge state university in Malang.

UB is a huge institution. They are well-equipped with high standard equipment and I really appreciate their function rooms. They also have courses in sciences, arts, and others. They call their courses as faculties. It confused me at first. 😀

IWOCA-Dance

I-WoCa International Conference
The Conference is the first event of the program and it was held in Universitas Brawijaya, that is why our first stop was in the university campus.

The conference featured a seminar on of course, the Indonesian culture. They showcased a traditional dance and a local acoustic band. Most importantly, the conference tackled environmental issues and how the world is currently tackling them.
Day 2 was in . . .

IWOCA-Ngadas


Ngadas Village, Malang

After the conference, we were set to experience a life of farming. Ngadas Village is a little farming village at the country side of Malang. It is elevated and I think it was 11 degrees there. This village is gifted with rich soils and a vast space for farming. Their farming process proves why they are one of the primary producers of vegetable products.

We had many activities in Ngadas! We farmed, we planted trees, we had games, and of course, we were toured around the village to get to know the people and the place.
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Picture at the left shows me farming onion leaves and the picture at the right shows us presenting our
little project which shows how the soil cleans the water that they absorb.

Not just that, we were truly immersed with the Indonesian culture by living in Ngadas Village for 2 nights and 1 day. Good timing when we went there. They were celebrating the circumcision of a little boy.

IWOCA-FestivalIWOCA-Festival-Music

Picture at the left shows the circumcised little boy riding an ornamented horse and the picture at the right shows the locals playing the music while the parade goes around the village. The people are friendly and they look so much like Filipinos.

IWOCA-People-GirlsIWOCA-People

IWOCA-Store IWOCA-Children

Day 3, we trekked our way to Ranu Pane. It is a village still at the top of Malang just 8 kilometers more from Ngadas Village. We passed so many farms with huge plantations on the hills. And finally, after a long walk, we arrived at Ranu Pane. What makes the village unique is that, beside it are two huge breathtaking lakes. We stayed there for a day. We toured the whole village, got to know people, jogged, and yes, we camped. ❤

IWOCA-RanuPane2 IWOCA-RanuPane

We also had many activities during the 4th day that gave us the chance to not only see the nature and wanderlust with the wholesome place but also experience the lives of the people there. We made friends, I played soccer with the kids, and we interviewed some locals about their daily life and farming. We blended in and that’s just so great!

IWOCA-interviewIWOCA-Kids

Came the morning of the 5th day, we rode on a truck to Bromo at 3am to catch the sunrise at the top of the mountain ranges surrounding the Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park. After watching the sunrise, we went down to the park itself to witness Mt. Bromo and Mt. Semeru up close.

IWOCA-SunriseIWOCA-Bromo

IWOCA-Bromo-Semeru IWOCA-Tengger

The Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park is one of the most amazing miracles of nature that I have seen in my life. The Tengger Sea of Sand or also known as the Segara Wedi, is surrounded with mountain ranges that are stunningly beautiful. In the middle of Segara Wedi are the group of volcanoes. At the picture, I was only able to go near Mt. Bromo, the green one, and Mt. Semeru, the gray one. Beside the volcanoes is a Hindu Temple called Puru Luhur Poten. This temple is vital to the Tenggerese from all the mountain villages around Tengger. It was said that they all gather in the temple every 14th day of the month to worship and ask for the blessings from the God of Mahameru (Semeru).

IWOCA-HinduTemple

It has been a long drive back to the Malang proper. Upon arriving to Man 3 (our dormitory for the program), everybody were already very busy packing and most especially, getting ready for the closing ceremony. The Closing Ceremony for the International Working Camp 2013 was held at the Universitas Brawijaya. We had a lot of food, drinks, and the program held us all together to watch the documentation of our experiences throughout the 5 amazing days. Every group should have a presentation soooo, our group showcased our team cheer. We also sang Heal the World by Michael Jackson. At the end also, I felt like I would like to offer something to everybody before we all separate, so my friend and I sang 2 songs for them. 🙂

IWOCA-PresentationIWOCA-Jamming
IWOCA-Award

Blessed, I have been awarded as Best Female Delegate of the International Working 2013 together with David, a delegate from Vietnam, who has been awarded as the Best Male Delegate.

The International Working Camp 2013 is a very precious experience for me. I was just not able to have a cross-cultural experience but I was also able to witness many miracles of nature that is beyond my imagination. I was able to create an international network that I know would be my friends forever. I am forever grateful to the organizing committee for giving us an experience to remember. I really appreciate their efforts in going the extra mile on providing us a real backpacking and camping experience.
Before I end this blog, let me show you some Indonesian cuisine! Food is love. ❤

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I hope you enjoyed my story-telling of my amazing experience in East Java, Indonesia. It is my pleasure to give you a glimpse of their rich culture. The International Working Camp is an annual event sooooo, join when you get the chance to! ❤

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