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Excavating Indonesia

July 10, 2013
Indonesia

A gorgeous view of a beach in Indonesia.

Indonesia is a beautiful country rich with culture, religion, biodiversity, and terrain. People who live in Indonesia often refer to the country as “Tanah Air Kita,” which is Indonesian for “Our Land and Water.” The country is formed by a series of islands. A single picture of Indonesia is enough to persuade anyone to start packing their bags for a vacation in one of Indonesia’s many islands, such as for the island of Sumatra or Java.

Lush jungles secure Indonesia’s most elusive animals. The clear aquamarine waters that surround Indonesia entice anyone to take a swim in these oceans. Although a trip to Indonesia would make for a great vacation, hosting a Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange and Study (YES) student from Indonesia creates an enriching experience for the whole family to actively learn about another country for a full year.

The national motto for the country is “Unity in Diversity,” which makes sense why there are over 700 different languages spoken and used throughout Indonesia. Additionally, the people of Indonesia practice many rich and diverse religions such as Muslim, Christian, Buddhism, Hinduism, and more.

Orangutan

A captivating picture of an orangutan.

Indonesia also houses several thousands of species of exotic animals. The most recognizable Indonesian native is the orangutan. Often times, they can be found in the jungles of Kalimantan; however, because they are endangered it might be difficult to see them in such a vast jungle.

Orangutans are not the only beautiful and bizarre animal housed by Indonesia. Indonesia is home to a plethora of animals that are unique in their own way. Miniature deer, fish that can climb trees to capture insects, and bird-eating spiders also inhabit the multiple terrains of Indonesia. Some might find it surprising that there is such a wide variety of animals despite the copious active volcanoes that also inhabit Indonesia.

The Ring of Fire, which is an area rich with high volcanic activity in the Pacific Ocean, engulfs Indonesia, which accounts from the country’s high volcanic activity. Sumatra, Indonesia is home to the largest volcanic lake, Lake Toba. The eruption of Mount Tambora was the most powerful volcanic eruption recorded by humans. The eruption, which took place in 1815, was so powerful that it affected the global climate and changed the world’s seasons for a full year. Therefore, 1815 was known as a year without summer, because there was no warm season for the whole year.

Hosting a Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange and Study (YES) student from Indonesia is a great method to experience this majestic country through the eyes of a YES student. You and your family would receive year-long lessons on Indonesian culture, history, religion, and much more.

From now until July 15, IRIS needs to confirm host families for the 2013-2014 YES academic year. Hosting a YES student is a fulfilling experience, which allows for the student to grow and learn along with the host family.

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