Feedback on the Lombok Program from Peter Jordan who did second three week block in Jan - Feb 2007

Date:  Mon, 19 Feb 2007 00:21:03 +0000
From:  peter jordan <pj_petros@hotmail.com>
To:  pmahnken@usc.edu.au
Subject:  thoughts about the program in Lombok.

Hi Dr Mahnken,

I was asked by Steve Miller to provide you with a write up about my thoughts on the intensive course so here it is. Feel free to cut/paste as much or as little as you want for the website.

I thought the program was extremely enjoyable, worthwhile and effective. It has definitely improved my Indonesian language skills and I even picked up some usefeul Sasak phrases while i was at it. The looks on the locals' faces were priceless!

Class numbers are small, usually 4-5 but not more than 10, so the course can be tailored to suit your specific needs. I thought the content was useful and the teachers did an very good job explaining grammar rules etc.

The field trips were a blast. Beautiful places and beautiful people everywhere with Kuta in south Lombok and the Gili Islands being the highlights . 

Lombok was also relatively cheap in terms of AUD. I managed a month there on about $1300 and that was buying decent foods and drinks all the time; spending the occasional night at a luxury resort and frequently going on spur of the moment out of class excursions.

I highly recommend the course for people who want to improve their written and communication skills, people looking to refreshen their current skills and also for first time travellers to Indonesia. You'll be in for a fantastic cultural experience that won't be forgotten!

Thanks for organising the program, hope to see you next year.

Regards, Peter Jordan.


Date:  Mon, 19 Feb 2007 22:27:58 +0000
From:  peter jordan <pj_petros@hotmail.com>
To: pmahnken@usc.edu.au
Subject: Re: thoughts about the program.

I was wondering whether you wanted me to mention security issues but for some reason I opted not to put them in. Here they are.

People should have all checked-in luggage padlocked. I had a watch (inexpensive, so it wasn't a big deal) stolen either at Denpasar or Mataram airport. Someone just opened up a front pocket of my back pack and took it!

There are also sandal thieves down at Kuta. I had pair stolen and I know of two other pairs being stolen. I know that security was emphasised but may need  even more emphasis.

The biggest problem is rip offs. I thought I received a good deal for travelling from Denpasar to Padang Bai, then onto the ferry to Lembar and finally to Mataram for about Rp. 350 000. I know of a friend who did the same route for Rp. 500 000 (poor guy) and I was shocked when another mate did the same route for about Rp. 120 000. Huge variation in prices. Maybe first time travellers should be encouraged to travel with people who had been to Indonesia before and know how to 'tawar' and are aware of rip offs!

Also, travelling lone females should be discouraged altogether. Thankfully no physical harassment (that I know of) occured but a fair bit of verbal harassment did occur to the Aussie girls from local guys. Travel in groups with at least one experienced traveller should be the go!

That's about all I can remember at the moment. If anything else pops into my mind, I'll make sure to mention it.

Cheers.

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