After one month of traveling around Indonesia, we finally arrived at Bangsal Harbour in Lombok. Coming by boat all we could feel was excitement for the start of our new adventure. As soon as we went off the boat we saw Mr. Jumirim, the director of Rinjani’s English Course and who would become our first host and friend on the island. The way home from the harbor was filled with first impressions. The landscape was breathtaking, full of palm trees and rice fields. Although we had been traveling around the country, it was like nothing we had seen before, an island that still maintained its essence, culture, and nature.
Our first week in Pandan Indah was memorable. The little village is full of kids that welcome you every time you pass by, with a smile and a little “Hello tourist!”. Mr. Jumirim and his family generously open the doors to their house and treated us like we were one more member of the family. We slept in a wonderful bungalow made of bamboo and built by past volunteers and eat amazing local Indonesian food cooked by Mr. Jumirim and his wife. The banana pancakes and Lombok coffee in the morning, the nasi goreng, or the gado gado are already on our list of food favorites!
Every day at 9 o’clock we started our class, which we had previously prepared. The course focuses on teaching English to boys and girls that have already finished high school but have few resources to continue their education and no possibility to attend university. The focal point of the classes is to teach useful vocabulary and grammar specialized in hospitality and the tourist sector for greater job opportunities. The students of Rinjani’s English Course are very motivated to learn English and see the class as an opportunity for a better future for themselves and their families. All of them are very excited to show us their villages and culture. One afternoon one of our students invited us, Mr. Jumirim, and some class colleagues to his home. There we gathered all together to grill some fish, play some guitar and see the sunset from the rice fields.
The first weekend on the island arrived and Mr. Jumirm had prepared us an outing to see three of the famous waterfalls in Mount Rinjani National Park. He showed us around and told us about his past job as a tour guide and all the past adventures he had. A fun fact that left us speechless was the fact that he had been to the summit of Mount Rinjani 150 times!
After our excursion, we had some traditional food and headed home. The next day, Sunday, we packed our bags and drove our moto bikes to Tolot Tolot village, heading towards Ms. Intan’s house, which will be our home for the next week.