Wednesday, March 28, 2012

December 2011: Soe, Nusa Tenggara, Indonesia: The travel

It was close to Christmas last year when I was asked to visit Indonesia to facilitate a workshop for our Indonesian colleagues.  It was almost Christmas break and I had qualms travelling- I have yet to do my Christmas shopping and I will be missing a number of mini-reunions and Christmas gatherings. But then again, how can I say no to travels?

The workshop was be held in Bali but before the workshop, I had to go to our office in Soe to meet with some staff and visit some communities, to get more input for the workshop. Then, I had to come back to Bali. From Manila, I flew SQ to Singapore, then took the SQ connecting flight to Bali, Indonesia.  Travel time was almost 7 hours, excluding layover. I stayed overnight in Bali.The next day , it was another 2 hours flight to Kupang via Garuda Indonesia.  From Kupang, we had to travel another 110 kilometers of winding road by car to Soe. I got tired just thinking about it.

In Kupang airport, my Indonesian colleague, who was supposed to be in the same flight, was nowhere to be found. I tried to recall her picture (we have not met yet) as I searched through foreign faces.  Nada. I grew frantic and called our Indonesian office, who in turn gave me numbers of some colleagues in Soe.  When almost everybody else was out of the airport, I saw somebody running from outside, holding a paper with my name.  As it is, she ran to the exit of the airport as soon as we got out of the plane, held the paper there and waited for me to go out. I, on the other hand, was looking for her inside the airport.  Some luck.:)

The driver from our Soe office was waiting outside for us and I settled comfortably at the front seat.  It was a tortuous ride up the mountains - with never ending bends and turns- but I thank God for bonamine :).  The road, though, was surprisingly well constructed.  

After some 3 hours, we reached Soe. Finally.