So, here I am, two and a half weeks after landing back in JFK after Walk the Peace. As promised, I am here to fill you in on the project now.
We started our journey at a restaurant called Bumbu Desa in the city of Bandung. The owner of the restaurant is a huge supporter of Peace Gen. We had an absolutely amazing breakfast provided by the restaurant crew (who also entertained us with some traditional music). Then we started our trip. Over the next eight days, we walked, road in enkots, road in the back of giant trucks (or lorries, if you’re a Brit), road in horse-drawn carts, and various other forms of transportation.
By now, you might be thinking, if we were on the road for 8 days, where did we stay those nights? The answer, several boarding schools, a hotel or two, and a homestay where we split into groups and spent the night with several families in one small community. I’m gonna give a shout out to Mulih K’ Desa, the luxury hotel where you can experience Sunda in Style. Mulih K’ Desa is owned by the same people who own Bumbu Desa. They treated us to two wondrous nights in the middle of the trip, including games and a bonfire and water buffalo rides.
One thing that was constant, no matter where we stayed, was the food. The food was absolutely fabulous. It may have been more or less the same almost every meal (rice, chicken, tempe et. al.), but it was always delicious and one of my favorite parts.
Okay, so the food was definitely a favorite part of mine. And although it was beautiful, it wasn’t half as beautiful as West Java itself. Check out some of these pics I took of the landscape:
Beautiful place, absolutely beautiful. Hands down, one of the most beautiful places I have ever been, and possibly will ever be. If you ever have the chance to explore West Java, do it.
We ended our trip after eight intense days with a beach soccer tournament called Kick the Hate. Several different teams (including our own) competed. The tournament took place in Pangandaran, and the Peace Gen team didn’t do so well. We did have a lot of fun, though. In the end, that’s all that matters.
S0 what did I learn from Walk the Peace? I learned beauty and I learned joy. I learned that the human heart has an unlimited capacity to love and heal. I learned that a message of peace is more powerful than a message of hate. While we were having Kick the Hate, Islamic extremist Abu Bakar Bashir was arrested for funding and supporting an Aceh terrorist cell (Lit majors would call Bashir a foil in relation to Peace Gen, by the way).
So that’s the overview of the trip. Hope you had fun!