Meaningful experiences in Australia

By Dya Komala Munthe and Frans Saputra Saragih

SMA GKPS, Pematangraya school in Indonesia, is a partner school with Navigator College in Port Lincoln, South Australia. In 2019, students from SMA GKPS travelled to Port Lincoln to visit Navigator College, as part of the exchange and relationship building of the partnership. Dya and Frans are two students who participated in the visit and, […]

SMA GKPS, Pematangraya school in Indonesia, is a partner school with Navigator College in Port Lincoln, South Australia. In 2019, students from SMA GKPS travelled to Port Lincoln to visit Navigator College, as part of the exchange and relationship building of the partnership. Dya and Frans are two students who participated in the visit and, here, provide reflections on their visit and the partnership between the schools.

Dya’s Experience

In 2019, I felt blessed to be trusted as one of the envoys from SMA GKPS, visiting Navigator College in Port Lincoln, South Australia, and thank God for His blessing of the partnership between SMA GKPS and Navigator College which began in 2012.

Our First Trip

In 2019, Mr. Jul, Frans, and I visited our partner school in Port Lincoln for a month (May – June). When we arrived at Port Lincoln airport, it was an honour for us to be welcomed warmly by the staff and students of Navigator College.

Port Lincoln is a small town, located near the beach. I really liked the atmosphere in Port Lincoln which was very calm, clean, and comfortable.

Our Time in Navigator College

When we arrived at Navigator College, staff and students wearing the Simalungun costumes (suri-suri/shawl and gotong/head), warmly welcomed us. We introduced ourselves and sang a song. It was an interesting event for our first visit abroad.

During our visit, Frans and I experienced teaching and learning in the curriculum, identifying many differences between how the students in SMA GKPS and Navigator College learned. Technology is involved in the teaching and learning process at Navigator, and I hope this can be applied in my. I also had the opportunity to spend time in the sport centre (Wangiri). I really enjoyed spending time with the very friendly people at Navigator, including lunch time with the staff in the staffroom, as well as time playing basketball and other games with students.

A culture night gave us an opportunity to share about Simalungun culture. We cooked traditional Indonesian foods, showed Simalungun dances, introduced Simalungun costume and various Simalungun cultures. The culture night was attended by the principal, headmaster, staff, and students of Navigator College who had visited Indonesia. Culture night was a precious opportunity for us  to share the Indonesian culture with them.

Other Activities

Apart from activities in Navigator College, we had a chance to teach in government primary schools (Lock Shool, Ponindie School and Lake Wangary School) which are outside Port Lincoln. Penny, an Indonesia language teacher, took us to these schools, where we taught Indonesian language and told stories about Indonesia. It was a lot of fun to teach active students who were curious about Indonesia.

Living In Port Lincoln City

During our four weeks in Port Lincoln, we really enjoyed our time living with genereous families and felt very blessed to be invited. Each week we moved from one family to another, and in every family we were made to feel very welcome. There were many experiences with the different families where I learned about Australian culture from daily life. I enjoyed the Australian traditional food and learning how to make it. I especially liked eating lamingtons and pavlova! I cannot forget the Henson family, Ms.Susan Hopping and the Clem family who kindly hosted me during the visit.

Lutheran Church

Every week we went to the Lutheran Church, and I still remember the Bible words that I first heard there, the word of God from John 14 : 27, “ Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled; do not be afraid.” This verse for me talks about peace which is coming from Lord Jesus.

Weekend Time

On weekends, we visited the tourist area around Port Lincoln. We went to a beach, went fishing in the sea, visited the Glen Forest to see kangaroos and koalas and Winter Hill. We saw and learned how the Australian community farmed. It was very good to spend time on the weekends with generous hosts, Mr. Kingsley McDonald, Mrs. Wendy Gaye McDonald, Mr. Geraldine and the Avent Family.

Before returning to Indonesia, we visited Adelaide city and the Barossa Valley, staying with the Fewster family. We enjoyed our weekend around the Barossa, such as the Whispering Wall and Jacobs Creek winery. With the Fewster family, we also cooked some Indonesian food, which was wonderful  as they really enjoyed it.

I would like to express my gratitude to Navigator College, SMA GKPS Pematangraya, LCA International Mission and KN-LWF, who gave me the wonderful experience to visit Australia. Also, thank you to the families and people who have received us in their homes and made us feel welcome. I do hope that the partnership between Navigator College and SMA GKPS Pematangraya continues which is really of value. My time in Australia was short but it was wonderfully meaningful and hard to forget.

Frans’s Experience

Syalom.

Here I want to share a little of our experience while in Australia.

In 2019, we stayed in Australia for one month and received many valuable experiences there, both learning experiences and life experiences that we can share with our environment.

When we arrived in Australia, especially in Port Lincoln, we were warmly welcomed by the students and staff of  Navigator College at the Port Lincoln airport and then all the students and staff of Navigator College welcomed us again in the MANGGIRI. We were very excited to do our activities there.

While in Port Lincoln we did many things, such as studying in class with Navigator College students, teaching Indonesian language, sharing knowledge, sharing insights, worshiping at church as usual, visiting various tourist attractions and places, and seeing kangaroos and koalas for the first time. It was a wonderful opportunity for my life.

In addition, we also introduced Simalungun custom and culture, such as traditional clothing, how to make culinary delights, Simalungun language and so on.

I am really impressed about what I experienced at Navigator College. Every day we learned valuable. I hope that what I received from that experience can be shared with  people in Indonesia and  will be useful for my future.


If your school would like to know more about how they can connect to the mission of God through a LCA International Mission service-learning and ministry partnership, you are invited to phone Erin on (08) 8267 7300 or email erin.kerber@lca.org.au. For more information, go to www.lcamission.org.au/join-gods-mission/service-learning/

Read more stories about school partnerships and school service-learning at www.lcamission.org.au/category/stories/local-partners/schools/

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About the Author : Erin Kerber


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