By Nikkola Pickering (Semester 31/Aug 2010)
Murdoch University

“The last week and a half has been an immense learning experience for us. We have been welcomed into our sub-units and dusun (hamlet) very well, and feel happy in our surroundings.

As is expected from a large, multi-layered development project there has been a great deal of confusion in this first week. It seems very difficult and somewhat ineffective for said projects to run efficiently and concurrently match the demands of KKN. Compulsory work on projects outside our ‘key projects’ makes time management (and potential success of the program) very difficult.

However, our team mates seem to have found a way to make the programs work around the requirements. I am excited about my personal projects and am confident there will be some success, but wish I could have started working on it already.

As also to be expected there is sometimes a cultural and/or language barrier. Working with our Indonesian friends and ensuring that all views are adequately considered, and all the information understood correctly, is sometimes difficult. However, we have all tried to be very open with each other and seem to be achieving good results thus far.

Overall it has been a fantastic experience, and I am learning so much about community development and Indonesian culture each day. I’m very happy to be living in the Javanese community with the opportunity to help them, if only in a small way.”