For the third time, Swinburne students visited Sarawak in order to work with a community to develop a website for their homestay program. The host this time was Mr Robert Kenneth and his family who ensured the group enjoyed a rich cultural experience and engaged with the community through projects to improve the overall liveability of the local villages.
They project is particularly challenging as the students are required to develop the website with limited access to the internet, requiring them to adapt formal class learning to overcome the technical limitations. Learning about local culture and history is important in order to be able to assist with the development of a website that might improve tourism to the area, providing economic benefits to the community. The program included a variety of cultural and outdoor activities such as rock climbing, trekking, a visit to the Fairy Cave and the local market, attempting to cook local foods and even learning a traditional welcome dance! These shared experiences while living in close confines also provided the students opportunities to reflect on their own personal development while learning about another culture.
The program also included a visit to Sarawak Cultural Village and ended with a visit to the orang-utan at Semengoh wildlife centre before an afternoon kayaking back towards Kuching.