After staying at hotels on our journey through Java from Jakarta to Bali, with soft beds, air-condition, fake smiles and "good morning mister" from every single hotel employee...suddenly we felt human again. Supri picked us up from our transport from Bromo, and took us to his village where there was a rice festival happening. We talked and he told us about the story of the village, the work of the miners, how tourism is growing in the area and how he is working on activating the locals themselves to host the tourists instead of generic hotels and "foreign" tour-guides sweeping in. Our host was Ari "the elder" and his wife, when we were not out on tour, eating the delicious food or sleeping, then we sat on the porch with the guys and talked and relaxed. The whole experience doesn't feel like anyone is trying to please you, Supri just wants to explain as much to you and know as much about you and where you are in your life. He sincerely want's you to understand their way of life, at the same time as he wants to understand you're way of life.
The other half of the review here is the tour that Supri organises with his miner friends to see blue flames and Mt. Ijen. I know Supri himself also takes people on tours as well, but if he would have taken us, then we wouldn't have met Anton, our miner guide for that day. That experience was completely within the feeling of the whole stay, Anton has limited english skills so Supri explained as much as he could about the process of the mining beforehand. Having a guide like Anton, a miner, meant that we could ask him about anything, after all, this is his workplace for over 15 years, he knows everything about the place, and he could answer us, in simple english, how things work and tell us crazy stories about things that has happened. The other side of it was also just observing him, interacting with his miner friends who were on duty, all jolly fellas. Not that it matters much to the review of the stay, but I have to say that the blue flames were pretty cool, but the trip has so much more in it, the sunrise, the hike, walking the rim, the monkeys and in general the landscape is just breathtaking.
We really wished we could have stayed longer as I know Supri had more things planned for us, showing us around the village and more. Sorry about that guys :(
This homestay is for you who wants the authentic experience, you are supporting local miners with no pension program, possibility of an amazing trip to Ijen, you are a guest in their house and if you want a smile from them them, you better say something funny, because there are no fake smiles here :)
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