My name is Sue and I am married with 2 teenage children and live at Norton Summit in the Adelaide Hills. Why did I decide to learn Indonesian? I have been wanting to learn Indonesian after visiting Sumatra a couple of years ago and a number of times since. I am expecting to travel to Indonesia a few times a year on an ongoing basis and I want to be able to speak with the locals on their terms and to understand and participate in conversations with them.
A bit of background on what I do. It all started when I wanted to take my family on a bit of an adventure holiday to see the orangutans in Bukit Lawang, North Sumatra a couple of years ago. Something really special happened while I was over there, I fell in love with this beautiful country and its people. I came away just wanting to help them in any way I could and decided that the best way to do this was to help them with some new employment opportunities, by setting up a tour and trekking company with a number of local guides. The aim is to attract more visitors to this special part of the world, ensuring that the proceeds of these tours go back to the local people and communities. When I mentioned this idea to them, they became very excited about the creation of new employment opportunities in sustainable ecotourism, as an alternative to mining, land clearance and palm oil. They were wondering how I could help and I said that back in Australia I run an eco winery and guest houses, with my main role being websites, enquiries, bookings, marketing and promotion and I would be happy to help them in a volunteer role. Well they could not believe their luck because these were just skills they needed to make this idea become a reality. So Sumatra Adventure Holidays was born! I set about developing a website and Facebook page over a year ago and before I knew it the enquiries started rolling in from all over the world! As things progressed, I wanted to do even more for the local people, so I suggested Sumatra Adventure Holidays join the Pack for a Purpose Program, where visitors can give back to the local community by bringing supplies with them for the local schools when they go on a school visit. To date we are the only company to be involve in the program in Sumatra, but I hope a lot more will join this program because it is such a worthwhile thing to do.
While it is still early days, the local guides, businesses, guesthouses, the community and their families are so grateful to be actively involved in this new tourism venture and they are all hoping that it will be a huge success in the future and so do I. So if you are interested in minimal impact sustainable tourism in places a little off the beaten track and like the idea of tourism where all of the tour proceeds are reinvested in the local community, please consider Sumatra Adventure Holidays for your next holiday :). Please have a look at the amazing tours and treks we have developed on www.sumatraadventureholidays.com
I am also heading back to Sumatra in June and August, so if anyone has any donations they would like me to take over I will be more than happy to take them with me, such as school consumable supplies (the list is on the Pack for a Purpose website on the Sumatra Adventure Holidays page) and good condition clothing. I am also doing a technology drive for the guides and I am looking for donations of old smart phones, laptops, digital cameras and old iPods that people are no longer using) If you can help, please email me on firstname.lastname@example.org or call me on 08 83901995. If you are interested in volunteering with any of our environmental or other projects please go to our website www.selangpangeranvolunteer.wordpress.com .
Here are some stories about VLLC' students and why they are learning a language