Kelas Inspirasi Lombok

Thursday evening, December 22, 2016, I got an email from Kelas Inspirasi Lombok about the selection result for the volunteers. Thank God, I was selected as one of the teaching volunteers in Sembalun region, nearby Mt. Rinjani. It was a refreshing experience to meet new people in Lombok, have interaction with all teachers and kids in MI Bilok Petung, and contribute small things there.

Kelas Inspirasi Lombok 4 (2017) – MI Bilok Petung, Sembalun

We were blessed with a group of good people with various backgrounds in our team: Agung, Sherli, Zahra (lecturers), Andini (project manager), Satriyo (engineer), Kamaria (photographer), Lusiani (head of tax officers), Meyliawati (export planner), Muazzin (school administration), Raharni (midwife), Ramoth (chemical analyst), Reni (accountant), Siraj (videographer), and me. While most of us have ever joined Kelas Inspirasi in other city, we were more than excited to share our life and career stories to the students in Sembalun, Lombok. πŸ™‹

Arrived at Lombok

Friday morning, January 20, I took the first flight from Jakarta to Lombok and turned out that flight was full with volunteers of Kelas Inspirasi Lombok. Most of us took one or more days of annual leave from the office and arrived at Lombok before noon. Once we arrived at Lombok International Airport, the second largest airport in the country, we went to the meeting point in the old Selaparang Airport to take bus provided by the local committee to go to Sembalun. It took around 3 hours from Mataram to Sembalun by car. Around 4pm, all volunteers gathered in Wisma Cemara Siu Sembalun to have introduction briefing from the local committees. Later, we parted as groups and my group traveled again for another hour to Bilok Petung, northern part of Sembalun region. 🚌

Finally we arrived at school around 7pm, and the principal was already there welcoming us warmly. It was quite strange that we saw a lot of students in scout uniform were still in school at that time. Later we realized that the principal asked the kids to gather and camp at school to welcome us with a scout ceremony. After we joined the ceremony / scout inauguration and were introduced to the students by the principal, we went back to one of the classrooms. All female volunteers slept in the principal's house, while all male volunteers slept in the classroom. πŸ’€

Inspiration Day

Saturday, Januari 21, we woke up at down as most of us had to do shubuh prayer. Lombok, in particular Bilok Petung, the village where we stayed, was known as a devout muslim area. So, people usually go to the mosque to do shubuh prayer everyday. Meanwhile, the others (including me) took a shower in an "outdoor bathroom" πŸ™ˆ, then prepare ourselves to teach the students that morning. At that time, Bilok Petung was lack of clean water, so we took a shower in outdoor, next to pond where people stored rain water. πŸ˜… Then, we had an opening ceremony at 7am and did some ice breaking exercise before entering the classrooms and share about our career and life to the kids. πŸ’ƒ

That day was the first time for many of us to teach in an MI (Madrasah Ibtidaiyah), a traditional Islamic elementary school. In Indonesia, Madrasah students take a range of Islamic religious subjects, such as fiqh, history of Islam, and Arabic language, in addition to mainstream curricullum subjects. They usually stay in the school longer than students in mainstream elementary school. So far this difference didn't cause any problem for us until we realized that the 1st and 2nd year students at MI Bilok Petung were hardly able to speak and understand Bahasa Indonesia.. 😨 Most of them only communicated in local Sasak language. Thankfully, the teachers helped us in those two classes to translate our language (partially). 😌

After teaching in four different classes, we asked the kids to write about their dreams and put it into a big banner. Later, we put the banner in the visible wall at school so that everyday these kids will be reminded about their dreams, and hopefully they will work hard to achieve it. We were so happy that most students and teachers at MI Bilok Petung were enthusiastic and learned something from what we shared.

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Around 2pm we packed our stuffs and went back to Wisma Cemara Siu, Sembalun to have an evaluation meeting with all volunteers of Kelas Inspirasi Lombok. Each grup shared about what happened in each school and how they had interaction with teachers and students. After that our group went back to homestay to take a rest and enjoy the beautiful view of Mount Rinjani from Sembalun.

Traveling around Lombok

The perk of volunteering in remote area is we can also travel to some beautiful places. Sunday morning, January 22, after sudden change of schedule, most of us left Sembalun to Mataram and traveled to some tourism places. Meanwhile, some volunteers went to Gili Beleq to do another voluntary works as a follow up action of the previous Kelas Inspirasi Lombok in that island.

As it was my first time visiting Lombok, I decided to go to Gili Trawangan since it is the most popular tourist destination in Lombok. On the way back to Mataram, I stopped at Rembiga area, had lunch with the infamous Sate Rembiga, and then took a public transportation (mini bus) to Pelabuhan Bangsal for an hour. From Bangsal, I took a ferry to go directly to Gili Trawangan. Later I spent two nights in Gili Trawangan, but didn't cross to Gili Meno and Gili Air since I just want to relax and do nothing except reading and... working remotely. 😌 I think Gili Trawangan is the best place for tourists to calm themselves after working hard in Jakarta or partying hard in Bali 😜

Tuesday morning, January 24, before flying back to Jakarta, I left Gili Trawangan early morning, rented a car and traveled around Central Lombok with Seraj and Agung. First we gathered in Islamic Centre Mataram, a huge mosque in the city, and then traveled to Sade, a traditional village where the native locals actually still live there in a really traditional way.

From Sade Village we went to Kuta beach, around 30 minutes to the south. Well, it is like another natural beach in other Indonesia parts. However, 10 minutes away from Kuta beach, there is Seger beach which has a marvelous view! We can climb the grass hills and enjoy the view from above. We spent like an hour on the hill just to enjoy extraordinary scenery. 😊 I thought we already got the best view in our trip... until we arrived at Tanjung Aan beach, 15 minutes away from Seger beach. Although Tanjung Aan was actually closed these days due to resort construction, we managed to sneak inside and were surprised with the clean and clear sea water. 😍 Furthermore, there is Bukit Merese, located next to Tanjung Aan beach, where we can also enjoy the panoramic view from above the hill. I think it was one of the best landscapes that I've ever seen in my life. πŸ’™

Book Donation

As we were flying back home, we discussed about what we could do to help students in MI Bilok Petung. One thing that touched our hearts the most was the fact that MI Bilok Petung didn't have any library and books collection. We then initiated to do book donation and fundraising campaign. We shared our ideas to other Kelas Inspirasi volunteers from other cities and they were excited to contribute. I also met Titi Asa commmunity which later helped us collect a lot of used books so we can donate them not only to MI Bilok Petung, but also to other schools in Sembalun, Lombok and even in Palu, Central Sulawesi. Thank God, on March 11, we could ship more than 600kgs of books to Bilok Petung and Sembalun. We really hope that these small things from us and other donors will cause positive impacts for education in Sembalun, Lombok.


Kelas Inspirasi Lombok was really one of the most memorable Kelas Inspirasi for me. It was not only because of the beautiful landscape of Lombok, but also because of the way we had interaction with the students and teachers at MI Bilok Petung. Since our group still has another project in Lombok, which is building the library for the school, we are going to visit Lombok, in particular Bilok Petung, again in Q3 this year. We are still open for any additional donation for this library project. Hopefully we can contribute more positive impacts while having fun traveling there. See you and thank you for your future support! πŸ˜‰

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