I just came back from 5 days trip to Medan. actually this is more towards business trip, to accompany the students and take care of their welfare. I would say that the trip was successful, considering the VERY limited funding that we have. It was my first (enjoyable) trip with the students (minus my hubby, and 2 other lecturers' spouses.. hehehe!)
Upon arrival, we had been given a very warm welcome at the airport, were brought to a famous Sunda restaurant for soto sunda and after checked in at the university's hostel (the hostel was impressive, with laminated flooring, airconditioned and equipped with mini bar - all for just RM 40-80!!), we were brought to the Dental Faculty, where the dean and his deputies (and yummieh Indonesian lunch) were already waiting for us. We were shown around the dental school, and i chose not to elaborate further about their facilities here. ;)
During the second day we joined the faculty for a community service at one of the village- 50kms from the city. it happened to be a mega community service-there was even a community services for the villagers utk berkhatan free- sponsored by the governor. we went to the village under police escorts-with police sirens wailing all the way throughout the journey! earlier that morning, we even had breakfast at the governor's (impressive) house!!! The community service was totally different from our usual practice in malaysia, whereby during the occasion dental treatment were given to the community-eventhough without proper sterilization of dental equipment-only the Almighty knows how many cross contaminations occured between the patients,and on behalf of the patients, I secretly prayed that none of the patients are Hepatitis carrier or even worse, HIV virus carrier... :(
The third day was our visits to the local hospital and clinics as well as to do some shopping! :p Never that I thought my students were so talented if not because of the cultural show dinner that night. They performed zapin, an almost perfect performance-considering their Islamic school backgrounds and without going to a proper class or having the experts teaching them on how to dance!!
We went to Simalem, a new resort overlooking the Lake Toba on the fourth day, had lunch by the river with crystal clear water and went on top of a hill for a breathtaking view of Lake Toba (the place reminds me of the view in Land's End in the UK)... After lunch, One of the female student went missing for nearly 40minutes (the longest 40minutes of the trip!), even the Indonesian lecturers and local peoples were worried, and went all out searching for the student (they even managed to borrow a buggy car from the resort to search for the her).. to be honest, we were more worried of orang bunian/makhluk halus - since the resort is very very new and located on top of a hill in the middle of a jungle! luckily the students managed to find her on top of the hill (some of her friends had already started crying- and i was more than worried thinking about the possibilities of making police reports, going to the malaysian consulate, facing her parents and also answering to our higher university management!!).. and after the incident everybody behaved at their best. :)
The fifth day was totally dedicated for shopping at Pasar Petisah before we catch our flight home at 3.50pm. All in all,I hope the students enjoyed the trip and new experiences as well as I did, and hopefully they will be more thankful with what they have in our faculty and country.
P.s: we snapped too many photos, making it difficult for me to choose the best photos for my blog at the moment. Hehehe will upload some in my next entry, maybe. :)