Share |

Aug 6, 2010

World Heritage Volunteers , "Borobudur International Workcamp"

SAYA RELAWAN, "I AM A VOLUNTEER". So, starts from 13th July until 26th, I am officially a volunteer for World Heritage Volunteers UNESCO, and the location was in Borobudur Temple, central Java, Indonesia. And what is World Heritage Volunteers? It's a volunteer project for World Heritage Site UNESCO. You may check this website for details information :

The name of this project is 'Patrimonito Voluntary Action 2010'. All the 28 projects in 17 countries and 4 continents of the world aims at raising awareness about necessity to protect, preserve, and promote cultural and natural heritage in general and the inscribed or potential world heritage in particular.

The project furthermore aims at demonstrating the value of non-formal education as an approach to disseminate the values and expertise developed at the inter-governmental level to a large public and to young people in particular.

It aims at exploring opportunities for a dynamic dialogue between the heritage and education experts involved in the promotion and protection of the sites and the volunteers and youth developing concrete World Heritage projects.

So, what is Patrimonito?


The Patrimonito image represents a young World Heritage Guardian and was designed by young people based on the UNESCO World Heritage emblem which symbolizes the interdependence of culture (square) and nature (circle). The emblem is round like the world and at the same time symbol of protection. The World Heritage Volunteers initiative uses the Patrimonito image to sensitize young people about the necessity to protect and promote World Heritage as testimonies and links between the past and the present and as symbols and places capable of contributing to a sustainable future.

These are the 28 projects:

Kenya, KVDA, WHV - Mijikenda Kaya Forest, 10th – 31st July
Malawi, AYISE, WHV - Lake Malawi National Park, 4th – 17th July
Togo, Les Amis de la Terre, WHV - Aného-Glidji, 4th – 17th September
Togo, FAGAD, WHV - Koutammakou, 16th July – 5th August
Zambia, YAZ, WHV - Victoria Falls, 4th – 17th July

Mexico, Nataté Voluntariado Internacional, WHV - Yecapixtla, 18th – 31st July
Mexico, Nataté Voluntariado Internacional, WHV - Tecpatán, 4th – 17th July
Mexico, Nuestra Tierra, WHV - San Sebastian, 16th July – 1st August
Mexico, Vive Mexico, WHV - Morelia, 14th – 30th July
Peru, BVBP, WHV - Chan Chan, 5th – 25th July

Arab States
Palestine, IPYL, WHV- Hebron, 7th – 20th July

India, FSL, WHV - Hampi, 1st – 11th November
Indonesia, Dejavato, WHV - Prambanan, 17th – 31st July
Indonesia, IIWC, WHV - Borobudur, 13th – 26th July
Japan, NICE, WHV - Ginzan, 11th – 25th September
Republic of Korea, IWO, WHV - Geomunoreum, 27th July – 8th August
Vietnam, SJV, WHV - Halong Bay, 2nd – 13th August

Albania, Union REMPART, WHV - Berat and Gjiokastra, 12th – 25th July
Armenia, HUJ, WHV - Geghard, 30th June – 15th July / 15th July – 7th August
Armenia, HUJ, WHV –Zvartnots, 30th June – 15th July / 15th July – 7th August
France, SJ, WHV - Fort Liédot, 7th – 28th June
France, Union REMPART, WHV - Saint-Emilion, 2nd – 14th August / 18th – 30th August
Italy, Legambiente, WHV - Matera, 11th – 24th June
Italy, Legambiente, WHV - Paestum, 26th June – 9th July
Italy, Legambiente, WHV - Riomaggiore, 26th August – 6th September
Italy, Legambiente, WHV -Venice, 18th – 31st August
Ukraine, Alternative-V, WHV - L'viv, 1st – 14th August

So, our project was in the red area letters above that was in Borobudur. So, what was this project about? It was the 2nd project of WHV Borobudur supported by IIWC (Indonesia International Work Camp), the first one was.last year. And this follow-up project will be organized in three parts : training of 30 "new young guardians" from selected nearby borobudur temple high schools, workshop with local young people (high school students) for the creation of promotional and educational materials, a 5-day awareness-raising campaign involving 70 local students and visitors of the temple in 5 spots. 2000 target groups were expected to be reached (and I think that we succeeded). It also aims the cooperation between all the WH site managers and project managers for a stronger awareness-raising campaign about WH issues in Indonesia. 

As a volunteer, we need to pay the participation fee, but it's not a big deal since we gain a lot of experiences, new friends, and the pride as World Heritage Volunteers. During our camp, we stayed at the Head of Borobudur Village's House, Mr. Maladi, and it was pretty nice, near the rice field with the calm atmosphere, it had
internet connection and we were allowed to use it.

Mr Maladi's house, our camp site

view from the terrace

So, who the volunteers are? And where do we come from? There were 12 volunteers for this project, 4 from Indonesia (camp leader, co-camp leader, and 2 volunteers), 3 from South Korea, 2 from Taiwan, 1 from Japan, 1 from Peru, and 1 from Estonia. The volunteers’ name are : Puji, Rahmat, me, and Fika (Indonesia); Coco, Injun, Dongil (South Korea); Julia and Ethan (Taiwan); Midori (Japan); Giuliana (Peru); and Helen (Estonia). We also had additional two volunteers from Indonesia, although they only helped for three beginning days. Their names were Asih and Fitri, and they already became members for IIWC.

Puji, our camp leader, she has so many experiences, and I am her secret friend

Rahmat, our co-camp leader, he's so funny and identical matched with the "banana dance"

Fika, we call her Fika-chu, since she's the cutest one

Coco, she has big courage, the queen of the game, and she can speak French

Injun, he's so damn funny, Mr. Ring Ding Dong, but who knew if he was shy to face the visitors?

Dongil, he's so funny and helpful, but is he really Korean? kkk

Julia, she's so knowledgeable, discipline, and so practical

Ethan, he's 18 years old, but he's 190 cm, and he really likes to say "NO"

Midori, she could teach you some yoga moves and also how to shape your body

Giuliana, Miss Peru who can speak 4 languages and dance salsa

Helen, Estonian high school girl who's always hungry, she shares the same birthday with me

from left : Asih and Fitri; Asih is so talkative and funny, Fitri is the mature one, but also funny

In our work camp (and also in all of the voluntary projects), we were divided into three working groups everyday with the rolling system. Each of us will be in turn for the cooking team, washing team, and cleaning team. The cooking team duty is preparing for the breakfast, lunch, and dinner. But usually we only cooked for dinner, since we had bread for our breakfast, and lunch box at the conservation office. The cooking team also must buy the ingredients of the meal that we are going to cook at the traditional market in the early morning (around 6 AM). For the washing team, our duty is to wash the dishes or the eating and cooking utensils that all the members used for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. And the last, cleaning team will be responsible to clean our area in the campsite (living room and the bathroom that we used). Everyday we also played very entertaining games to select the tomorrow daily camp leader and diary writer. (I was selected as daily camp leader twice). The most interesting part was the one who got selected most for writing the diary were Rahmat and Dongil. So, we could say that it was Rahmat and Dongil’s diary, couldn’t we? (just kidding).

Anyway, how is the condition of our camp site? Where do we sleep? We were asked to bring our sleeping bag, then we were sleeping on the floor with the sleeping bag. Although we had two bedrooms with one bed each, but the bedrooms were used as a space to put our luggage (we brought lots of stuff, lol).

If  you ask for the schedule, then our schedule from 13-26 July are :
13 July              : this is our first day, and we had orintation in the IIWC office and our camp site, and also division of working groups for us
14-15 July         : we had workshop with the Borobudur conservation officer in the office and we also went around the Borobudur temple, Sewu, Pawon, Mendut, Pustaka Sala, and some of the other temples around Magelang and Jogja. The theme of the workshop was “Trail Of Civilization” or “Meniti Jejak Peradaban”.

day 2, Mura, the staff from conservation office took us to see around Borobudur temple

16-17 July         : workshop with the high school students about Borobudur conservation. The students came from 4 schools nearby Borobudur. The students were so cute, funny, creative, and they had big passion for this project. Actually, the workshop must be conducted in English, but unfortunately the English skill of these high school students was not so fantastic for the conversation, so we had to speak in Indonesian to them. But… the foreigner volunteers couldn’t speak Indonesian, so most of the time I was in charge for being a translator, whether it was Indonesian-English, English-Indonesian, or even Javanese-English and English-Javanese. We also prepared some games for the students, and they showed big enthusiasm about the games (or big enthusiasm of the foreign volunteers?)

The high school students were making posters for the campaign

There was one very interesting and touching moment during the workshop with the high school student. On July 15th, one of the student from SMAN 2 Magelang named Vidha had her birthday, and our camp leaders prepared cute watermelon with mouth and eyes carving on it for the celebration. After we sang “Happy birthday” song for her, she was asked to give the first slice of the watermelon to anyone there, and it was given to “ME”. Wow! I was really touched and impressed at that moment. And the reason why she gave it to me was because I helped them so much during the workshop to make posters and also help with the translation, lol. Well, Midori (the Japanese volunteers) said that I looked like an elder sister for them, yeah, I love kids and I love teaching.

Vidha, the birthday girl, cutting the watermelon
On 17 July, In the early morning before our activity, we (the volunteers and some of high school students from workshop) went to the hill to watch sunrise, but the view was not so good since it was cloudy, it was pretty tiring to climb the hill, though.

taking pictures together at the hill

18 July              : we had free day, and we went to Jogja. They went to Prambanan temple and also Malioboro. But I just went to Malioboro since I went there with our co-camp leader and we had to frame our posters first (it was quite expensive). After we met in Malioboro, we had our lunch together in the Malioboro shopping mall. I forget the name of the restaurant, but the food was delicious and they love it, I think. We also bought some souvenirs in Malioboro.

19-20 July : preparation for the campaign

Coco, and Injun, approached by many high school students, Dongil already escaped successfully

We had an observation in the temple at noon, and something happened. Since we had the Koreans here, and many of Indonesian youngsters are influenced by Korean culture or entertainment, maybe, the Korean volunteers (Dongil, Injun, and Coco) were approached by many high school students to have some picture taken together, especially Dongil since his skin is so pale.

There was also an accident happened to one of the high school students. We, all the volunteers were shocked and sad when we heard the sad news. The high school student, named Tri, was passed away because of the motorbike accident. Hope that his family is okay now.

21-25 July : campaign in Borobudur temple with high school students
We only had campaign until lunch break, and after that we went back to our camp site for having some rest (seriously it was sooo hot and exhausting).

From 21-24 July, we had around 14 students (4 who already joined the workshop + additional 10 students from each school) that helped us to do the campaign, and everyday we had different students from different school.

the stupa sand workshop

We were divided into 4 groups. And every group was in charge for different task and different spot. The 1st group was in the entrance to distribute the questionnaire. The 2nd group was in the 1st level of the temple to give the direction of the best way to enjoy the temple, that is to enter to the left (following clockwise) which means of respecting birth. The 3rd group was in the top of the level, and it was the hardest thing to do, besides it’s very hot there, it’s so hard to remind the visitors of not sitting, climbing, either touching the stupas and the reliefs. Even there was an accident happened when two of us tried to remind the visitor who actually Indonesian and even a tour guide (the tour guide must be out of his mind,lol). The last one was in charge in the exit gate which on the last day was moved to the front to held a quick sand stupa workshop in order to remind the visitors for not touching either climbing the stupas.

top of the temple, the hardest part, people were in race for touching the finger of Buddha, and surely the climbed

But so far, me, who ever been on top, or entrance, or exit gate never met any obstacles, maybe just some ignorance from the visitors. But most of the time, when I tried to approach the visitors, they were accepting and hearing (especially the young guys, lol). I also met some cute visitors, and one very goodlooking Indonesian guy who was speaking so nice, polite, and filled the questionnaire for me. :D
I think probably I have pretty good communication skill (since my major is communication?) or maybe I have that talent in me XD

our last picture in Borobudur

25 July was the last day of our campaign and we had around 25 or maybe more high school volunteers from around 5 schools. It was the most entertaining day for me, since one of the high school students were soo funny (I laughed every 3 minutes, I think). Thanks for your entertaining drama, Achil^^ Although Helen and Coco couldn’t understand what were we laughing about.

On the last day, we had farewell party in the conservation office with the officers and highschool students. And some of the high school students asked us to have some picture taken with us, and one of them named Farras also sang a song for us. Yeah, Farras was very talented. We had many talks with the highschool students, and we were laughing together a lot.

for the farewell gift, every volunteers signed in Fatikh's t-shirt

In the evening, we must had farewell party at our camp site, but since we hadn’t planned anything yet, so we only had final evaluation (everyone to say her or his impression during the project and work camp), followed with the revelation of secret friend. Shortly, in this work camp, and like in any work camp held by IIWC, there will be secret friend for every one. And what the secret friend must do is to please his or her secret friend (in any kind of way). So, every one must have one secret friend, and first, Puji, our camp leader was guessing who her secret friend was, then she guessed that it was me, and it was correct, lol, although it seemed that I did nothing special for her, but actually I tried to please her by being a good participant and help her task as the camp leader, haha. And who was my secret friend? I really couldn’t tell who he or she was. But he or she was very nice. He or she sometimes sent me a paper with sweet greetings like “Good morning… Here I give you a candy to…”
First, I thought that it must be “her” not “him”, since the greetings paper was put on the girl’s bed (in the girl’s bedroom), so I thought that it must be impossible for boy to come inside and put that paper. So, I just guessed Coco as my secret friend. But it was wrong. And… my secret friend was… Rahmat. OMG, a male and our co-camp leader. Ok, it was nice anyway. Thanks, Rahmat.

After the final evaluation, we ate blackforest cake, since I requested that to Puji, lol. And some of us were playing with the cake by put the cream on other’s face. That was quite funny.

26 July is finally coming. And we had to say goodbye to the camp site also to each other participant. It was so sad cause there were too many moments we shared together, although only for very short 2-week term. I think that we already feel so close with each other, maybe because we stayed at the same house, the same space, and we altogether did the same things. Before we said goodbye, I already took videos for every participants to know what they felt during the work camp. And surely we had picture taken together. 

Agung (helen's boyfriend), Coco, and Injun at the terrace before saying goodbye to the camp site

So, at the end of the day after this work camp officially over most of us (me, Ethan, Coco, Injun, Dongil, Giuliana) went to Jogja. My house is in Jogja, Ethan would fly to Jakarta, and Coco, Injun, Dongil, and Giuliana would have a trip to Bali (all their flight was from Jogjakarta airport). Julia also went to Jogja for her vacation, but she didn’t take the same car as ours since her hotel’s car was picked her up at our camp site. Puji, our camp leader went back to IIWC office in Semarang with Asih, while Fika went to her friend’s house before she went back to her hometown, Kudus. Rahmat, our co-camp leader also went to Jogja, but beforehand he had to finish several things around Borobudur. And Helen, she stayed in Borobudur until mid of August since she had middle term voluntary project in Borobudur with the high school students. Midori? Well, she already left first on 21 July, I think, since she was sick, then she went back to Japan after changed her flight schedule.

After we left our camp site with car, I got news that Helen was terribly crying. I knew that it must be hard for her since all of us, including Rahmat were leaving, and she would still stay alone in Borobudur (she had her boyfriend and very kind host family actually), but it would just still hard to let us go, I supposed. So, in Jogja, our plan were : had a lunch, exchange the money, and went to the shopping mall (since their flight was around 8 PM). I took them to Kangen Desa restaurant, a kind of seafood restaurant with natural, village kind of decoration style with several fish ponds in it. I thought that it was pretty nice, but unfortunately, Coco told me that she really hates fish, and I was felt so sorry for that. And there were also some annoying and aggressive big ants (So sorryyyy, guys). But I think that they liked the dishes, hopefully they did.

Coco and Dongil in Ambarukmo Plaza

After we had lunch, we went to exchange the money to the city center, and we went to Ambarukmo Plaza shopping mall. It’s the biggest shopping mall in Jogja. And we also met Rahmat there. I was quite amazed since there were some changes in the mall (now they really have all the exclusive branded store in it). I think that my friends also loved the mall (better than Malioboro mall or any souvenir shops around Borobudur, lol). Some of them bought souvenirs, apparels, and some other stuff there. After we done, we went to Adi Sucipto airport, although me and Rahmat flight was on 28 July, not 26, lol. But we just wanted to take them to the airport, since probably, (but hopefully not for real) it would be the last time we met them. After giving hugs to each one of them and saying goodbye, I rushed to the car and I went straightly to my house. The bad thing was, the driver was tuning in the sad song in the car (Avril Lavigne- “I’m with you”), then I suddenly just cried, I didn’t know why, of course I felt sad and the goodbye pain was in my heart T_T (P.S I love all of you without any exception).

Now I will list several most interesting things I met during the work camp :
1)      The first one must be the other participants, they were so friendly, funny, kind, smart, and crazy.
2)      The experiences, it was so valuable for me also I found and learned a lot (including the experience to taste the traditional cooking from some other countries, yummy ^^)
3)      The high school students, they were so damn funny, cute, and remind me of my high school friends that probably as funny as them, the moment was including with the first cut of watermelon birthday gift from Vidha to me.
4)      The local people around Borobudur, including the visitors and high school students again, some of them thought if I were foreigner (maybe from China, Japan, Thailand, or what so ever). Actually one of the volunteers, named Dongil, also thought if I were from Thailand at the first time we met, lol. The funniest thing was when the high school student visitor approached me with English to have a picture taken together, and I just replied with English and acted as if I couldn’t speak Indonesian, and they just believed if I were foreigner, lol.
5)      A very good looking Indonesian visitor guy I met and talked to (no, I am just joking). I mean, there were a lot of foreign visitors in Borobudur, and it was quite interesting for me to watch some of the foreign volunteers could speak with them in Japanese, Chinese, Korean, French, and Spanish.

Dongil met two korean women and asked them to fill the questionaire

Now will be the saddest parts:
1)      One of the high school students, Tri, passed away because of the accident.
2)      Midori was leaving to Japan even before the campaign began.
3)      Farewell with the other participants, though I still keep in touch with some of them through facebook (just promise that we will always keep in touch this way and we’ll meet again someday).
4)      I lost my slippers since it was fell off and swallowed with the mud in the rice field, but I bought the new ones after that accident.