I did the Arts & Social movement program a few years ago and I didn't realize it then, but it actually lead me to discover my passion for traditional medicine. The program is a perfect blend of independent academic and social exploration with just the right amount of structured activities by people who really know the place and culture. We met super inspiring people all around Yogyakarta running amazing non-profits & NGO's, and through this, learned about the needs, struggle, and history of the city. It was an intimate group to travel with and, Izzy, our host & leader-extraordinaire did an amazing job of cultivating real community and helped to forge really meaningful friendships between participants and with the many people we met in Indonesia. Not to mention all the super fun memories like some hilarious karaoke, a beautiful weekend trip to Bali, & the punk-style motorcycle show I stumbled upon.
Back to the traditional medicine thing: when I got sick during the trip, one of our hosts offered me a traditional remedy and I was totally surprised when I woke up completely cured the next day. With the help of people I met in Indonesia, I ended up using part of my time studying what that was about and learning about their traditional medicine. Not long after returning to the states, I have begun my studies of traditional Chinese medicine & I credit this line of interest to that first spark of wonderment in Indonesia. I am so appreciative that I went to Indonesia and through staying with people who are actually from there I had the opportunity to not only experience something I most certainly would have not had I been back-packing alone or traveling as a tourist.