Farewell Indonesia

After having said our „Farewells“ to Ariani on Sunday Evening most of the group didn’t want to let her leave on Monday morning with out waving her good bye… Wishing you every success in your work, Ibu Ariani!

Abschied Ariani Kathleen Annette

Angelika und Ariani

Monday was our first and only day off during this time in Indonesia. However, doing nothing was not what our group could do on this day… so we were busy exploring beaches, art villages and small shops. And we found unusual things: a shop filled with a wide range of recycling art. For example one could have acquired a rocking horse for kids made of truck tires.

Also seeing a Balinese traditional procession to initiate three small kids to the sea. The families brought traditional sacrifices of flowers, fruit and rice in small boats made of banana tree leafs and let them float away in the sea. We learnt that this is meant to protect the children from the fury of the Gods of the sea.

And of course, everywhere present, in all streets and in small little corners, in Cafes and restaurants and on ordinary houses Balinese architecture is ever present… still. However, it was also obvious that modern buildings become more and more prevalent and tend to push the traditional styles and features out of the picture.

We want to leave you with some final impressions of our day off… young coconut, boats at the beach and fresh fish at the restaurant… a beautiful way to end our time in Indonesia.

Today, we packed, once again… spent time for a final reflection and evaluation and traveled to the airport. Many impressions, ideas for our work and new friends made… we felt out time fulfilled the aims we had set ourselves before we left.


Grupen Foto FLughafen
So, dear readers of this blog… this is the:

Reflections and encounters

Today was for early birds: starting at 5:30am from the hotel, crossing the city center of Waingaipu, we headed on foot for a Church service at 6am. Hardly anybody in the streets, apart from a few joggers and just a few motor bikes, and sunrise atmosphere: the walk was worth it!

Street Sumba

We went to one big church of the Christian Church of Sumba, in Payeti, Indonesian GKS (Gereja Kristen Sumba).


When we arrived close to 6am, the church hall was already quite full. 20min later, it was completely packed. The service was held by a young female preacher which did not surprise us since our talk with the leader of GKS two days ago when we learnt about dominance of women with responsibility in this church. We were amazed not only by a choir of about 6 women, but also by the community singing from the bottom of their hearts.
At the intercession, we prayed for a young female theology student who had been narcotized and raped by five men on the way home to her village. The girl died later in hospital. All the culprits were caught and are already in prison. Ariani and pastor Alfret are concerned about the recent rise of criminality on Sumba.

There was not much time left to head back to the hotel for packing and departing to the airport. Our flight Waingapu-Denpasar was scheduled at 11:20hrs. Only after check in we found out, that the aircraft coming from Kupang would be late for at least three hours because of stormy weather and flooding. Other parts of Indonesia are currently also affected by flood, storm and earthquake, too. Even places we had been to like Bandung and Jakarta. Lucky us! Although we encountered heavy rain and watched the wind beaten trees we were safe and sound in a climatized airport lounge.


One funny surprise for Edelgard: in the lounge she met a women’s group from Northern Sumatra, who attended a nation wide seminar on Health management. Edelgard knew their families from her 14 years on Sumatra. What a joyous encounter.

Using our time efficiently again, we sat together for a reflection of the last two days. So the 3,5hrs waiting time went by faster.

Bali von Flugzeug

The aircraft from Kupang was cancelled and another one from Bali was sent to pick us up. We expected a turbulent flight, but finally some of us could even doze off quietly and we arrived safely. Thanks be to God!

Flughafen Bali
Traditional architecture at Denpasar airport, Bali

Arriving at the hotel brought another encounter, this time Marianne and Edelgard met an Alumni from STUBE Nord. The young woman, Cecilia, coming originally from Peru ended up working on Bali… globalization live.


Ariani and Annette checking our finances

Even though we are looking forward to the first and only full day free time tomorrow we are also ending this day with a little bit of sadness as we say „Good Bye“ to Ariani who has been our faithful, caring and always organized travel companion for the past two weeks. Special thanks goes to her family who had to do without her for this time!! We can’t express our thanks in words enough…

Exploring Sumba Island

eeg plants

Chilly, eggplants, peanuts, bananas, corn, bethel nuts… are some of the products planted, harvested and sold by a local cooperative not far from Waingapu.
Ariani und Leiterin
Ibu Naomi is the founder and leader of the women’s cooperative consisting of 23 local ladies. Walking through the fields inbetween bits of jungle we could see what and how seeds were planted. Ningsih, one of the young women associated with the group had been delegated for a „Exposure Stube-HEMAT Jogjakarta“ with emphasis on handicraft and agriculture.
During her time on Java she learnt a lot about biological fertilisation and brought back plenty of hands on experience the cooperative is now benefitting from.
The dry season is a great challenge for the communities as it is a time of little income. The women’s cooperative tries to bridge that time by sharing in a „Arisan“ system whereby all pay once a month into a common pot and one woman gets to use the money to invest into something she needs it for. However, all get a chance to get the pot of money and they regulate that the draw for who gets the money does not favor just one.
We learnt about the onion principle… the cooperative bought 50 kg of seed onions and managed to harvest 150 kgs. Also they sold the kilo of onions for more per kg than they had bought it for. Profits were shared amongst all… a great joint venture.
Gruppe Veranda
Also the group enjoyed tasting and purchasing some of their products for on the road. Nothing better than freshly fried banana chips!

Puzzle of the day: find his car…

Little later, we moved on to a sort of traditional village.
We found out that the government intends to promote the traditional architecture and handicrafts in order to attract more tourists.
We met Wati, the sister of Abner, a Stube HEMAT Sumba participant, who continued the family tradition of weaving and dying with natural colors. It was quite surprising to see all the plants she used for dying. Indeed, there is a lot of manual labour and artistic as well as spiritual knowledge woven into the materials.
In the village, she is not the only one weaving and dying. unfortunately, not many tourists come to Sumba, but of course, some of us bought a piece from her and her neighbours to take back home.

Before we headed back to the hotel we had the opportunity to see Abners own project.
Gruppe im Feldmit Wasser
He took part in the exposure program in Jogjakarta where he learnt about field irrigation which he implemented in his family’s fields here.

In the afternoon we traveled for about an hour through an arid landscape full of rocks which made us to understand better Sumbas problem with the dry season: there is not enough water and not enough fertile land. However, even this landscape had its own beauty in this rainy season. What we didn’t expect to see were the many farm animals roaming freely on the roads and fields: dogs, cats, buffalo, horse, goats and pigs…
Along the way we also spotted mangrove swamps along the sea shore and learnt about their importance in protecting the land against erosion and exposure to the sea. We enjoyed a wonderful Indonesian meal near the beach… for the first time experiencing that side of Indonesia. So far we had only spotted the sea from afar.


Let us mention that the sea was lovely not just to look at… 🙂

Welcomes and Good Byes

If you don’t know each other, you can’t even like each other – Indonesian proverb


It was a busy day. Filled with meetings and times of sharing and talking. We were welcomed warmly and said a few good byes.

After taking a short time to look around Waingapu city centre, taking a look at the newly built harbour, the market and some monuments our first stop of the day was the Stube-HEMAT Sumba office, located in the building of the Reformed Church (Gereja Kristen Sumba, short: GKS) on Sumba Island.

Stube innen

4 x 4 meters office space, used to organize Stube Sumba and to meet with students. The coordinator and his two team share their responsibility to keep the office open from Monday to Saturday.
Stube Team
Pati, Pastor Dominggus, Apriyanto, Ariani, Yulius
The coordinator, Pastor Dominggus, travels an impressive 60 km through mountainous terrain to get to his office. What that means we discovered later in the day… but we will get back to that.

Right around the corner, in the same building we were welcomed a little while later by the church leader of the GKS, taking time to share with us some of the achievements and challenges the church faces on Sumba.
One of the main issues the church has been active with has been a protest against a proposed gold mine in one of the relatively small forested areas of the island which would cause considerable environmental damage and affect the already limited water resources for generations ahead. Here, the church has been active in lobbying against potential investors from Australia. Once again we touched the issue of inter-religious dialogue which so far has not been a difficulty on Sumba. However, Pastor Alfret Djama Samani highlighted that more and more muslim newcomers, mainly from Java tend to bring more radical views to the island and with that make inter-religious dialogue a more challenging venture.

Before we headed towards Stube-HEMAT Sumba seminar we were welcomed to (climatised!!) classrooms at the Sekola Tinggi Ilmu Ekonomi Wira Wacana college where we were presented with locally woven shawls.
A short presentation of the college by the director Pastor Nurlina gave us some insight into the programmes.

7000 young people finish secondary education each year and are faced with the difficult challenge of looking for college and University training. Most of those young people come from families with limited financial means and rely on the availability of local tertiary education. The college is planning to expand its programmes from current „Business“ and „Management“ to a wider range of study fields. Plans are drawn up already, what is missing is the acceptance from government to run as University and finances to make the dream come true.

Lunch on a bus traveling a mountainous road up into the hills of Sumba… not exactly what you call a comfortable experience.

But, the next meeting was calling us. 1,5 hours later Pastor Dominggus welcomed us to his home in the middle of the mountains.
Veranda essen
Hospitality is something else in this country and we got to enjoy fresh produce from the garden of the pastors home.
Of course, we also took a look at the church and enjoyed a time of sharing about the concerns related to the church community.

A small enterprise, building bamboo furniture and other small household items, creates an additional income for Daniel and his family who is a church member also and a STUBE activist. He uses the opportunity of working with school children of a local secondary school to promote Stube-HEMAT whilst teaching them how to work with bamboo.

Yet another welcome awaited us when arriving at the training centre where Stube-HEMAT Sumba is meeting this weekend for a seminar.
A group of traditional Sumba dancers, accompanied by traditional drums, lead us towards the building and dazzled us with their stunning performance, clothes and hair combs.



Meeting with the students from Stube-HEMAT Sumba has been just as energising to us as it was in Jogjakarta.
Lively, interested and dynamic young people showed enthusiasm to find out more about STUBE in Germany, how it works and what makes it different.
AG draussenAG draußen mit Haus
An hour spent in small groups gave us and the students time to get to know each other better and explore a wide range of questions. One of the students wanted to know what we thought how the lack of technical advance, as he put it, could be improved on Sumba. What followed was an animated discussion about how much technology is actually needed in a modern world.


Before we got on our way back through the mountains we said an official „Good bye“ to Pastor Tumpal Tobing and his wife Ira, who have become dear friends to us over the past 1,5 weeks.
Thanks was said for caring and going the extra mile to make our stay comfortable and enjoyable. Singing a song for them was a small thing for us but brought smiles to Pastor Tobing and Ira.

And to round off the day, we heard many good byes from almost 30 students… that in turn, made us smile!

Island hopping – Indonesian Style

It appears we had our first real experience of discovering what has to be one of the characteristics of Indonesia…

landebahn bali
its seemingly innumerable islands that make up this country. We experienced in just a short time how distinctively different the islands can be, yet we didn’t move far in this huge state. Yesterday we took a flight to Bali to stay overnight and could even at the airport discover the distinctive differences in culture and styles.

Arriving on Sumba Island this morning we were met by scorching heat and found ourselves in a distinctively different part of Indonesia compared to what we have experienced so far. Had we been surrounded mostly by crowded city life for the first part of our journey Sumba Island displays a much more rural face, less busy streets and even at first glance we discovered what others have told us about for the past week: the obvious disparity between the different parts of Indonesia.

DSC_0793 gruppe flughafen
At the airport we were met by a group of STUBE Sumba including members of the team and welcomed very warmly by being presented pieces of local woven shawls.

frau und reis
haus sumba
Taking time to explore the area on foot got us to get a feeling for this new island… so much to see and discover in such a short time and small space.

One of the regular reflection meetings for the whole group got us to think once more about how the experiences in this country will impact on our work with STUBE in Germany. Looking back over the past two days we shared our different impressions and bits of information different members of the group took from the meetings and exposures. Thankfully we have this regular time to reflect and talk.

DSC_0847Abend mit STUHEma
The meeting with the Stube HEMAT Sumba Team (Dominggus Umbu Deta, Coordinator, Apriyanto Hangga and Julius Anawaruill, both Team members) and some of its cooperation partners gave us a deeper insight about how the program was set up here and what some of its differences are in comparison to Stube HEMAT Jogjakarta. Conversations continued during the dinner that followed. We are already looking forward to meet the students participating in the seminar this weekend.

Giving the Moderate a voice…


When one travels one has a lot to discover. We continue to discover that being Christian and living as a minority in Indonesia is by no means an excuse to isolate oneself.


This morning we visited Satya Wacana Christian University in Salatiga and were met by the Rector, Rev. John A. Titaley, Th.D., Vice Rectors and several Deans as well as lecturers to learn about the vision and mission of the university.

Oliver Nadine
Also Oliver Märtin and Nadine Ebinghaus had joined the discussion and continued to explore partnership options while the rest of the group were taking a tour of the „green campus“.
CampusTour Campus
And of course conversations continued while we walked and took pictures. Similar to our experience in Yogya we were once again impressed by the aim to create a space of mutuality where difference is welcomed while Christian values are being promoted. And despite Salatiga being relatively small and a bit more remote it attracts 13.000 students to its campus.

Campus Cafe

A side story to mention… we got talking to a young member of staff who is currently applying for a scholarship to study in Germany. How fun to be able to share that having a bicycle in Erlangen is the best mode of transport. In return she impressed us with German sentences learnt in self study. We wish her luck for her application and of course invited her to STUBE!


Sharing lunch was a wonderful experience, freshly cooked and lovingly presented it invited us to keep sharing fellowship.

And while we would have liked to stay longer (of course, time is never enough) we had to leave and travel on. Not knowing what to expect from our visit to „Percik“ we were surprised to find a place created with great care and attention to detail.


Here is a space for people of all faith and none to come together, share and exchange ideas.

Dr.Pradjarta Dirdjosanjoto, Director of Percik

The organization gets involved in a number of activities including interfaith dialogue for religious leaders, community and youth, social and civic education for the community and seminars for groups who want to discuss inter-religious issues.
Trustha Rembaka, coordinator of Stube-HEMAT Yogyakarta

The whole „Kampoeng“ (loosly this can be translated as Quarters) is situated on a piece of land the organization owns and has filled over the years with beautiful traditional houses from Java. The buildings were bought from people who wanted to sell them, dismantled and rebuilt on the grounds of „Percik“.

Wooden structures, loving details, thoughtfully arranged furniture give the entire space a special feeling of care.


We were especially touched by a common prayer house that invites people of all faiths to use it, bring their symbols for prayer and take them away again afterwards.

GebetGebet innen

It appears that in every day life there are numerous efforts made to ensure that interfaith dialogue takes place, particularly with those of moderate views. We have met this now on several occasions, the expression „giving the moderate a voice“. It seems this is a common concern of many, encouraging the non extreme voices to speak up and jointly create a pluralistic, multi-ethnic and inter-religious society. Much to be learnt from this approach… we will continue thinking about it.


On the road again… (20.1.15)


We are getting good at packing and repacking and unpacking our bags, every two nights we have found ourselves in a different place. So, of course this morning also we were on the go again.

However, before traveling to yet another destination we spent time for some feedback with Ariani, director of Stube-HEMAT and Trustha, Coordinator of Stube-HEMAT in Jogjakarta.
Ariani Narwastujati

Trustha Rembaka

In particular we explored ideas of how STUBE Germany and Stube-HEMAT could link more in the future. stubehemat.blogspot.com
Ideas about exchanges for students who want to do a placement in relation to the exposure program run in Indonesia and how to make Stube-HEMAT better known in Germany (both with churches and of course with students and scholarship holders) were explored. We had fun talking and thinking together, taking time to share and find out more about each others work.


Around lunch time we were joined by Oliver Märtin and Nadine Ebinghaus from Brot für die Welt who will accompany us for the next few days.


Once again we packed our things into yet another bus and travelled to Borobudur Temple, an ancient buddhist structure, built in the 8th century.

What a stunning experience to see such a magnificent structure and its intrinsic stone carvings. Words don’t do this justice…

After two hours of taking in the sight we travelled on towards Salatiga. Our bus driver did a magnificent job crossing the steep mountain roads and getting us safely to the Javanese church owned Eco Park Hotel. The day ended with a round of evaluation.