My time in Makassar is sadly over. I’m leaving tonight to take the overnight flight back to Papua. I’m so incredibly grateful that I’ve been able to spend a month here improving my language skills and getting to know new people; it’s been such a positive experience! I’ve made some incredible new friends, seem more of this huge and diverse country I live in, and I feel much more equipped to communicate with local people. I couldn’t have asked for more! I’ve experienced such wonderful hospitality here from both ex pats and Indonesians.
The above are photos of our language teachers at the local university we’ve been studying at. They were such wonderful people; so friendly, helpful and kind. I learnt so much and am so happy with the language program I was a part of.
Not only did we take a class everyday (and sometimes 2 classes a day), but we also saw a language tutor (Melsy) 3 times a week. We’d spend a couple of hours with her just talking and practicing the things we’d been learning. It was incredibly helpful and she was incredibly lovely. She’s getting married tomorrow! I’m sad I won’t be around for it. She invited me, but I’d already booked my flights back by then 😦
We got to try heaps of new food here! It’s quite different to Papua. Makassar has a particular favourite called coto (which is basically a delicious soup) as well as pisang epe (baked bananas covered in chocolate/lots of other things) & pisang ijo (banana covered in a sweet, green dough served in a sweet, cold soupy thing). I also managed to eat some incredible sushi from a real Japanese restaurant! So amazing!
It’s been interesting being in a huge city that is almost entirely Muslim during Ramadan. Everyone is fasting during the day, so you can’t eat or drink in public, and everyone breaks fast as the sun sets (so the traffic is INSANE before 6pm). We went and broke fast with some people one evening and they shared their food with us after evening prayers.
As Ramadan ends, everyone celebrates together by going visiting for a couple of days after the month of fasting. Hospitality is a huge value here, so we went around to different people’s houses and ate with them, which was such a cool experience. Everyone was so welcoming and generous. The trick though is not to eat too much at any house because you have to eat at every house!
I spent the first 3 weeks staying with Chris & Amy (Aussies I’d met before I came to Indonesia), and I’ve spent the last week and a half at Sarah & Marc’s (Americans I met in Bali that are friends with Chris & Amy). I’m so grateful for amazing friends who have shown incredible hospitality to me.
I’m both sad I have to go home, and looking forward to the next stage of my Indonesian adventure. I am truly grateful for the opportunities I’ve been given to see more of the world. I love seeing new physical parts of the world as well as seeing the diversity of people the earth has to offer.
As a side note I might be online less as of tomorrow because a few weeks ago an earthquake damaged the internet cable that goes to Papua, and apparently it won’t be fixed for a while. No one seems to know how long it’ll take. Another week? Another month? No idea. Sigh… Just when we’d gotten used to having decent internet…