The Aldebaran – Chronicles of the Stars Pilgrim

Conundrum of Astronomy, particularly in South East Asia

The Pilot Project of Unawe Indonesia

During the New Year Holiday, between Dec, 28th 2007 – Jan, 1st 2008, a group of astronomers of Indonesia from different background, working together for the first time in the Pilot Project of Unawe Indonesia. For this preliminary project, they try to travel around some places in Java Island. This expedition called as : Trans-Java Star Party 2007-2008.

The Car 1 The Car 2

The group consists of many field-related of astronomy, from lecturer of Dept. of Astronomy, Space Institute of Indonesia, Meteorology Agency, Planetarium; students of astronomy; also one elementary school teacher, even amateur astronomy from Jakarta Amateur Astronomy Union. There is also Journalist from Kompas (the largest newspaper in Indonesia). The method of the project are varied, from teaching in the class, games, watching movie, tools and simulations, depend on the ages of the children involved and the place of visit.

Expeditions started on Des 28th 2007, the capital of West Java province, heading east to Jogjakarta. Jogjakarta is a unique town, since Jogjakarta still maintain the Monarchy tradition, maybe one should consider like Great Britain in provincial level; so Jogjakarta is well known as the capital of cultural of Java.

After 12 hours travel from the west, the team took one night rest in Jogjakarta. One such irony, that is around that time, there are floods around many places in Java, eventhough the flood did not hit the place of visitation, in order to keep the shceduled plan to work, the team should take a long long way detour.

So, no time for rest, on Dec, 29th 2007 morning the team should departed from Jogjakarta, to Madiun, a city on East Java province. By taking a longer route on the South, with the risk of landslide, road-block, but the trip was paid-off, since the team have a nice trip-break on the beautiful & calm sea-side of Pacitan Bay, far south near the border of Central Java & East Java. Even delayed by land-slide, the team safely arrived on Madiun, on the night, a little bit delayed from schedulled time.

Pacitan Bay

Road Block

Surprise suprirse … on Madiun, the crowd of astronomy-enthusiasts are already gathered, with the numbers far from planned & expected. From the planned of around 200, the numbers skyrocketed to 500! Not just elementary school but also junior hi-school students are so curious about atronomy!

The Line

Madiun Movie

Madiun Kindergarten

Water Rocket Launching

Even because of unschedulled delay, the ‘star party’ still excite because the children were still excited on the activities, and not only the children, the teachers were also curious about astronomy.

The activities segmented depend on the ages and kind of activity. For kindergarten kid, there was games and in-class creativity, like origami, creating miniature of Planet Saturn from ball & CD, drawing pictures of the space-related stuffs. For bigger children there are movies, water rocket launching, quiz, planetarium display and introduction to telescope.

The duration of activities was around two hours, even still many children still want more, but since already late, it must be stopped. The team also has to continue their journey on the next day.

On the next day, Dec, 30 2007, the journey continue farther east; to Porong – Sidoarjo, the refugee camp of mud-flow disaster. The refugee camp was actually made for a market, but since the disaster, the market was forcefully used as refugee by the refugee. The situation can be distressful for children, since the solution for the refugee is so elusive, but the topic of politic should off from here. The children are need more attention here.

From the time we arrived we were welcomed by a banner with a tense statement, “Don’t Distrub! This is our last defense!“. Such an eerie message, with lack of clean water, clean water should be supplied by mobile tank on regular bases, and the spear of bamboo upfront, surely the children in there need more consolations.

The Banner in Porong

in Porong

The Spear of Bamboo

Clean Water Suply

Maybe the team can not give much for the children, but the opportunity for playing game, singing could give a little comfort in the anxious situation. The activities did not last long, since nothing else the team could do, only to playing & singing. So the team has to departed, and the next destination was Bromo mountain; for just a short vacation after two exhausting days.

The Team of Unawe Indonesia

Bromo due north, we can still see Porong from the distance

Bromo due north in the night time

After one night rest, on Dec, 31st 2007, the team continued to Malang, the city of apple, to Elementary School Dinoyo 2. There wait another surprise. The number of crowd were about 700! With the activities not much different with the last on Madiun, but with the much more number of childrens, surely the time span took longer from the plan. Unlucky by then, it was rain in Malang, so no telescope, no water-rocket, and the activities concentrated in the class-room. But, the curiousity of the sky is the main-menu, so the most paying attention was planetarium.

one of the Unawe team describing about Solar-System

The children are so excited with their miniature of Planet Saturn

Since this activity was longer than expected, surely exhausted, until when the activity was over, the team just slept and pass the new year fiesta.

On the new day of the new year, the team traveled back to west, went home. The journey was not delayed, one stop on Jogjakarta, time to sight-seeing the famous Malioboro, the Castle of Jogjakarta and finally heading for home.

Indeed a exhausting journey, but exhilarating, to interact with children in every place, comforting, playing, sharing knowledge of astronomy. There are many many more children in Indonesia still do not have understanding, what is our nature looks like? Hopefully, in the future, the Unawe Indonesia could be a helping hand to share the story of the sky for more children of more and more places in Indonesia.

The Night in Malioboro - Arjuna & Srikandi

Street Musician

Januari 6, 2008 - Posted by | Astronomy, Culture, Education, Social Activity, Unawe

7 Komentar »

  1. lho…. koq cerita ttg kita disambut ama anak2 pramuka sambil mengibarkan bendera merah putih mana??khan lumayan… bikin hati terhibur tuh…

    Komentar oleh tenmon | Januari 7, 2008 | Balas

  2. rrr … since the experiences with the “last boy scout” was quiet a different adventure, i will share the story on another post .. truly, convoy with our “President” was quiet an exciting experience .. ehehehehe ..๐Ÿ˜‰

    Komentar oleh nggieng | Januari 7, 2008 | Balas

  3. kalo emang ga nyambung…trus knp foto “orkestra” di yogya juga dipajang??? hehehehe….

    Komentar oleh tenmon | Januari 7, 2008 | Balas

  4. it surprised me a bit when i found the crowd. It reached a thousand instead of a few hundred as mentioned in our plan! gee… good job, good job, though. hope they were truly enjoy astronomy๐Ÿ™‚

    btw, pak maman (and everybody in silver innova) were rocks!! hahaha

    Komentar oleh ratna | Januari 7, 2008 | Balas

  5. wwekekkekeke….kayaknya seru seru kali… sayang diriku tak bisa ikut…. proficiat untuk tim UNAWE

    Komentar oleh desima | Januari 8, 2008 | Balas

  6. […] the last (first) trip of Unawe Indonesia, the team should took a long detour south, from Jogjakarta to East Java, since the the main road […]

    Ping balik oleh The Big Boy-Scout « The Aldebaran - Chronicles of the Stars Pilgrim | Januari 8, 2008 | Balas

  7. […] terkait : The Pilot Project of UNAWE Indonesia Artikel TerkaitTim Olimpiade Astronomi Indonesia Menuju UkrainaTim Nasional Indonesia akan […]

    Ping balik oleh Pesta Bintang Trans-Jawa - Perjalanan Perdana Unawe Indonesia | langitselatan.com | Januari 8, 2008 | Balas


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