Island Adventure

My LEAD Week came around again, and this year I took a two-night trip up to Pulau Seribu (Thousand Islands) north of Jakarta to stay on Pulau Macan. The trip was focussed on eco-tourism, and while we were there we learned about how the resort minimized their environmental impact to create a sustainable experience. We also got to participate in a bunch of environmental activities as well as team-building games. Sounds cool? The read on…

Pulan Macan View -1
Island beauty

Trip Highlights:

  • Beach cleanups: While on the trip, we went on two beach cleanups: one of the main island, another of a small deserted island next to the main island. On the first day, I was on the team that cleaned up the main island. There wasn’t a lot of rubbish, but there was heaps when we went over to the deserted island. A few guys and I found a rubbish dump that we spent ages clearing up. By the end of the trip we had 8 big bags of rubbish. Seeing the amount of rubbish was kind of sad, but knowing that it wouldn’t harm the environment was a great feeling.


  • Snorkelling: We got to go snorkelling on the second day of the trip. We caught a boat to one of the other islands and swam around a reef for about hour. The coral looked pretty healthy, and there were heaps of lovely fish and plants as well as a few turtles. The weather was lovely, and the water was so clear and beautiful. I felt so lucky to be able to experience such an amazing place!


  • New friends: During the trip, I met loads of new people who I would never have hung out with otherwise. Everyone was super fun, and I came out of the trip knowing pretty much everyone. I mostly hung out with two guys called Jeremy and Reid. We played a lot of pool together, as well as a strategy card game that we all loved. We also did loads of team-building activities together as a group, which was loads of fun and helped everyone get to know each other a lot better. We went in to the trip as people who didn’t really know each other and came out as a tight bunch.


  • Being out in nature: It was lovely to be out of the city for a few days, away from the smoke a busy-ness of Jakarta. The whole island had quite a jungle feel to it, with beautiful trees and plants, lovely water and stunning beaches. Also staying on the island were a large number of huge monitor lizards! They ambled around the island, and enjoyed camping out under the girls’ huts. Apart from the occasional scream when someone stumbled upon one, all you could hear was the geckos, birds and the wind in the trees. It was a treat to be able to relax in the peace and quiet of nature.




Under the Sea

It was school trip week last week, folks, and for me that meant a week on Gili Air learning how to Scuba dive! Here’s a highlights reel of the trip…

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Bali on the left, Lombok in the center, Sumbawa on the right, Gili Air in the circle

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Weekend Fun – Part 2: Sapling Sunday

I may have mentioned in previous posts that I am a member of the Urban Gardening Club at my school. The goal of our club is to reach out to the community and make people happy through gardening. Our current project, which has been going on for the whole year, is linked with the XS Project. The XS Project looks to improve the living conditions of residents of Jakarta’s many trashpicker communities, and JIS is a large partner of the program. Throughout the year, the Urban Gardening Club (UGC) have been doing fundraisers, sales and plantings to raise money to buy plants and materials to build plant boxes for one of the communities. The boxes were made and painted by our members, and all the plants and soil were bought using money raised from plant sales. In short, there has been a long build-up to Sapling Sunday.

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Oh My Aching…Everything

At JIS, there are three sports seasons in one year. Strange, yes, but good. First season is cross-country, football and volleyball, second season is rugby, swimming and tennis, and third season is track and field, golf and badminton. My friends and I decided to go “all out” and go for tryouts. Nathan and Jao Lok do badminton, and Ethan and I are doing track and field.

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thephilosophicalcyclist: A Year In Review

Hello friends! It’s been about a year since the first post of thephilosphicalcyclist was posted (January 5th), so I thought it would be cool to do a “Year In Review” post. I’ve come a long way from first writing my “Greetings from Dhaka” post, and on the way have amassed 29 WordPress and 9 email followers, and readers from 20 different countries. It might not seem like a lot, but for me, it’s an amazing achievement that so many people are able to seeing a different side of the world through my eyes, and that I can be a storyteller for the whole world through my writing. With the coming of 2017, I wanted to celebrate all that has happened in the year of 2016, so here it all is in One Reviewalicious Post™. Enjoy!

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Exam Remedy: Lacrosse

Ethan and his lacrosse stick

I’ve been having my end of semester exams for the whole of last week (and will continue to have them next week). I’m off timetable, so I’m either revising in the cafeteria, playing cards with my friends in the cafeteria or taking an exam. While I do have many hours of free time every day, things do get a bit stressful, but I’ve found the perfect tension releaser: lacrosse.

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It was UN Day at my school last week, which means dressing up, eating great food and doing awesome workshops. No, I didn’t wear the floral shirt, but it did make an appearance at the Kemang V Residence Street Party last Saturday. However, I did wear my wedding/fancy dance clothes (see “A Timeline of Dhaka Memories in Photographs)with the addition of my plaid bunnet, and I looked as dapper as always. The day started off with SLA, which is basically a period where you do homework. We had a mini-banquet of international food. There were brownies (America), pepernoten (mini cinnamon biscuits, the Netherlands), lemper (chicken wrapped in sweet sticky rice, Indonesia) and butter tart squares (Canada). My teacher, Mr Hara, brought in natto, fermented soybeans mixed with Japanese mustard and fried onions. I was the only one who tried it. At first it tasted like weird cheese, which was okay, but then I tried to swallow. When my throat blocked up I knew I needed to get it out of my system. I had to make a mad dash for the bathroom to spit it out. Yikes. I cleansed my mouth with brownies while watching other members of my class give presentations about their home countries.

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