Our Sulawesi Adventure

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In November 2011 2 teachers from ACG (Bianca Cheshire and Michelle Eddy) myself from Cranbrook and Jaka the orangutan and Hurricane the Sumataran tiger travelled to Palu in Sulawesi. After an overnight we all hopped into our transport for an hour drive up the mountains behind in city. We were looked after by the Salvation Army crew. Half way up the mountain the road petered out and we swapped to a convoy of motor bikes.
Seventeen lined up with an ojak driver on each. Some took our gear and others took us on the back.
We travelled up a steep mountain road up and up .... for 2 hours. The scenery was amazing and we all had to adjust to the conditions but we did all make it!
We stopped at the villages of Tomodo and Dombu along the way and said hello to the kids at the schools.
Bambkanini was our destination and we arrived to a great welcome. After settling in to our accommodation we were off again. This time we took the road up to Watambune and Wataputi to look at the site of the new school. The community was so welcoming and we were excited to see that our laying of the foundation stone ceremony was scheduled for the next day.
Again on the back of the bikes in the morning - we all headed up to Watambune. The ceremony was very touching - all the visitors and important locals laid a stone in the ground - nine in all. The building itself will start in a couple of weeks. Lunch was a celebration finished off with fresh coconut juice.
That evening all the villagers from up the mountain walked to Bambakinini for a service of thanks and an outdoor movie.
Our final day was spent at the school, Bianca and Michelle had brought skipping ropes and we had a game in the playground. ACG donated a wonderful collection of resources and Holiday Tours Jakarta provided filled pencil cases for every child at both villages. We also gave them hand puppets, puzzles and games, soccer balls and clothes.
We found our ojak riders who had all packed us up again and left the village. The school students and locals lined the path to wave us goodbye.

Photos and video will go up on the site soon - we are so happy to announce that the school will be built. It will be complete in July and we are hoping that a group from all our donor schools can join us then to celebrate once again with the Watambune community to open the school.

Thank you to everyone who has participated in our project - its been so rewarding and I know now after visiting how much of a difference a school will make to the lives of the children and the opportunity it will provide - Mrs South.