|US Ambassador for Indonesia, Robert Blake, inaugurated the 63 Peace Corps volunteers Batch 5.|
The Pre Service Training (PST) program for the Peace Corps volunteers was closed with the inauguration led directly by US Ambassador for Indonesia, Robert Blake, in UMM Dome on Monday (2/6).
The coming of Blake in the event had a purpose to continue the tradition of previous ambassadors, i.e. Cameron Hume and Scot Marciel to inaugurate the volunteers. This year is the 5th year of the partnership between UMM as the host of PST with Peace Corps and USA Government.
Besides Blake, the ceremony was also attended by the Country Director of Peace Corps Indonesia Sheila Crowley, a representative from Ministry of Law, Politic & Safety Coordinator Saut Siringoringo, UMM Rector Dr. Muhadjir Effendy MAP, and also the host families.
According to the Assistant Rector for International Relations, Soeparto, the total number of Peace Corps volunteers who attended PST in UMM was 63 participants. It was increased from the previous years since 2010 - 2013 around 20, 30, 40, and 50.
Soeparto added that UMM is still trusted to be the Peace Corps’s partner because of its simple bureaucracy, cooperative and total in managing and accompanying the volunteers.
Therefore, when the program was offered to be opened for other campus, UMM again took the ‘crown’. “UMM is the only partner campus of Peace Corps in Indonesia, we even have signed the MoU until 2017,” said Soeparto proudly.
Cait Hakala, one of 63 volunteers viewed that the language and cultural training in 10 weeks made her know more about Indonesia and its culture, especially the food. “I like nasi goreng (fried rice) and roti goreng (bread rice),” said Cait who admired the UMM beauty even it is not as big as campuses in USA.
Another story was told by Russel Ferguson who was impressed by the students’ friendliness. “They (UMM students) are very friendly. And I think UMM is a good university,” said Russel in fairly fluent Bahasa Indonesia. In USA, Russel takes Bahasa and Spanish majors.
“By teaching English, I hope the use of English in Indonesia will be better. And Indonesia can develop so as the education becomes better. I hope I can help Indonesia and everybody,” said Russel. (Humas UMM)