Saturday, September 28, 2013

kpsdec dzlilfrkgn

If there is one thing I have learned in this crazy, mixed up world, it's that it's all about the kpsdec dzlilfrkgn . What is kpsdec dzlilfrkgn you ask? Well, if you don't know by now, then it's certainly too late for me to help you. If you ever find yourself in a tight spot, and need to remember the core principles of kpsdec dzlilfrkgn , just follow this simple acronym:

K is for kpsdec dzlilfrkgn
P is for kpsdec dzlilfrkgn
D is for kpsdec dzlilfrkgn
E is for kpsdec dzlilfrkgn
C is for kpsdec dzlilfrkgn
D is for kpsdec dzlilfrkgn
Z is for kpsdec dzlilfrkgn
L is for kpsdec dzlilfrkgn
I is for kpsdec dzlilfrkgn
L is for kpsdec dzlilfrkgn
F is for kpsdec dzlilfrkgn
R is for kpsdec dzlilfrkgn
K is for kpsdec dzlilfrkgn
G is for kpsdec dzlilfrkgn
N is for kpsdec dzlilfrkgn

That's all for now, but if you need me, you can find me at the following link:

kpsdec dzlilfrkgn


This post to help with a Search Engine Optimization competition for one of my computer science classes. If you are here because you are interested in Slukat Learning Centre, please ignore this post (it will be deleted in the next few days).

- Austin Taghavi

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Weekend in the Peninsula

Austin -

Our last weekend in Bali was spent in the Bukit Peninsula, which is an area with many beaches and interesting places. Friday and Saturday morning were spent searching for sports bars in the Kuta area that were showing the right football games. Surprisingly, we were able to find them and eat some excellent American food while watching them. It was a really nice slice of home. The rest of Kuta was certainly interesting and different from everything else we'd seen in Bali, but it seemed a little overrun by tourists and people (naturally) catering to the tourists. After spending the day there, we were keen to get out and see other parts of the area. Our first night, we went to Jimbaran Bay, where we ate fresh fish on the beach and watched the sunset. It was, to sum it up in one word, peaceful. The next night, we were able to make it to Uluwatu to see the temple. This was, for me, the most amazing part of the trip. The temple is a haven for monkeys, most of which were very comfortable with people coming up to them to take pictures or feed them. We found some neat dirt paths that led to very secluded cliffs that overlooked the most vividly blue water I have ever seen. After the temple, we went to a nice spot and ate dinner on the cliff before going to bed. The next morning, we woke up early enough to catch high tide at Belangan beach, and made an attempt (if you can call it that) at surfing. In our defense, the waves were absolutely monstrous.

Some pictures:

 Dinner at Jimbaran Bay
 Cliff at Uluwatu
 Flesh eating fish foot treatment in Kuta. A very...interesting feeling
Zen monkeys at Uluwatu Temple

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

More Pictures

Here are some pics from Amed and the New Year's party:

 The view from our porch in Amed

 Ibu Ayu and Mr. Agung at the New Year's Party
Seamus, Daniel, Travis, Austin all dressed in batik and sarongs
One of the traditional dances

New Year's

Travis writing -

The past week or so has been pretty busy, but we've done some really fun things.  As Daniel mentioned, we had a chance to go snorkeling in Amed which was beautiful.  We were told by a local there that Amed is one of the places that is "true Bali".  It really had that paradise look, with very small roads and not too much development.  On Sunday we took our time making it back to Keramas and rested off our weekend.  We should have practiced for our performance on the Angklung, a traditional Balinese instrument, but Tomi (a Slukat graduate who hangs out with us and helps us with pretty much anything) was sick.  We did get a few minutes to practice before the Slukat New Years party started the next day, but it turns out a few minutes was probably not enough.  The performance was awful by our judgement, but the kids were all very nice and told us they enjoyed it.  The various dances, songs, poems, and plays by the students were excellent though.  It was sort of similar to the Christmas party, but with more people and more preparation.  For both events, I was amazed by the students' initiative in organizing the whole thing: they cooked the food, prepared performances, decorated, and cleaned up!  After the party wrapped up, we headed to the beach club for fireworks and swimming.  Altogether, it was a very memorable New Year's.  Today, the students finished their celebrations with yoga on the beach and actually did a beach clean-up as well!  Us volunteers took a trip to Ubud for food and laundry, then returned to Keramas to rest up and prepare to get back into teaching tomorrow.  We'll post some pictures when we get a chance to return to the beach club for the fast internet there.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Christmas Day

Daniel here,

We weren't sure that anything could beat the Christmas Eve party the people at school threw for the volunteers, little did we know they would one up themselves the next evening. The students at school organized a huge Christmas party for the students and for the volunteers. The students prepared traditional Balinese food (nasi, bakso, urab, and es bua) and the volunteers prepared western food (potato wedges, chicken wings, and macaroni and cheese). Needless to say, all of the food was amazing. The students also prepared two traditional dances that they performed for everyone and then we all danced gangnam style and a traditional balinese dance (we had no idea what we were doing). It was a riot. The next day(Wednesday) we went to a Hindu temple in Keramas for the full moon ceremony. The ceremony lasted about 20 minutes and consisted or sitting on the floor and praying with different flowers in our hands 5 different times. A priest then walked around with holy water and they dripped it on you 3 times then you drank the water 3 times then you washed your face with the water 3 times then took a handful of rice and put a few grains on your forehead and the bottom of your neck. We then got some martabak and terang bulan and ate dinner at one of our friends house. The whole night was a pretty amazing experience. Today Ayu and her family offered to drive us to Amed for the day and night to do some snorkeling. It is a beautiful, small, and quiet beach town on the northeastern edge of the island. It's really nice to relax and enjoy the quiet peaceful side of the island. Everything is really cheap at the hotel and at restaurants around town. Tomorrow it's back to Slukat to learn the angklung (Balinese musical instrument) for our New Year's Eve performance. Look for our next post in the new year.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Quick Picture Post

Travis here,

Not too much time before the beach club closes, but here are some pictures from the past couple of days, mostly the awesome Christmas party we had at Slukat with the kids:

 The Bedugul school in the mountains
 Daniel with Ibu Ayu and Mr. Agung in the back
 The kids prepared a really amazing dance for us
 Me, super pumped that Kadek gave me a Christmas gift
 Gangnam Style

Daniel, Austin and Seamus having a good time

Monday, December 24, 2012

Bedugul and Christmas


This Saturday, we got the opportunity to go visit another school related to Slukat in the mountain village of Bedugul. The drive up there was beautiful: winding roads up the side of a mountain. We were told to bring jackets because it was supposed to be cold, but none of us believed that it would be too cold for us (it was!). The views were amazing because we were almost in the clouds. Our purpose for going was to motivate the students, because the area is a little more remote than Slukat and most of the students do not go to an Indonesian school there. Needless to say, the kids were very excited to see westerners in their village. They gave us a short tour of the village, which was stopped short because of rain (it rains every day there). We ate a delicious Balinese dinner and then went to sleep at the school. The next morning we went to the house of one of the founders of the school, who had recently died. The family and friends were making preparations for the ceremony, but the mood was not somber as one might expect. They explained to us that in the first few hours after the death, everyone was very sad. But after a day or two had passed, everyone was happy that he was going to a better place. It was very refreshing to see such optimism after a sad event. We helped with making some of the preparations for the funeral, and were fed an amazing lunch and invited to the ceremony on the 31st (hopefully we can make it back up there).
On Christmas Eve we were invited to a Christmas Eve party at Vishara's (our Austrailian program coordinator) house. It was honestly, one of the most beautiful houses we had ever seen. There were a lot of people there, and they fed us as much pizza, pasta, and pound cake as we could eat. It was so nice, and they really made sure that we still felt the Christmas spirit so far away from home.

 All of us in our Sarongs
 Snow man made by a student at Slukat
 Volunteers helping make offerings for the funeral ceremony
 Christmas eve party photo
 Another good photo from the party
Yellow temple in Bedugul