I interned with Biogas Rumah (BIRU) for close to six months, with the office that looks after the provinces of Central Java and Yogyakarta. I was the first long-term foreign intern at the organisation, however I was warmly welcomed and settled in very quickly. The Biogas Rumah project has such amazing scope, encompassing organic farming, renewable energy, carbon-trading, economics and sustainable development. The Provincial Coordinator Bapak Willem Leang discussed my internship from very early on, and made sure we were both on the same page about my allocated tasks.
Since I have a background in writing, Pak Willem encouraged me to begin reporting and writing articles for the website. Luckily I could already speak Indonesian, and this helped me immensely with interviews. I ended up writing 11 articles over a four month period. I received a lot of genuine support from all the staff, and was blessed to be able to travel to East Java, Bali and Lombok, to gather more success stories (and have some jalan-jalan time!). Besides this main focus, I was trained to supervise the construction of the Biogas Rumah style bio-digester. I learnt about credit unions, loans, co-operatives, tofu, government tenders, duckweed, chickens, Balinese cosmology, and so much more.
All this in such a short period of time! I give thanks from the bottom of my heart to Biogas Rumah, and also to Bapak Bambang Prastyanto, who kindly hosted me at his house during my internship. I highly recommend BIRU—not just because of its success, but because of the indefatigable support from Bapak Willem and all the members of staff from Lampung to NTT. Biogas Rumah is truly a ‘rumah’ for anyone who swings by.