News From Jakarta! August 24, 2011

News from Jakarta!

Firstly, an apology it’s been over 6 weeks since you heard from the Jakarta Centre. The good news is – there is plenty to update you on!

After arriving from the hectic and sometimes hostile city that is Dhaka of Bangladesh, the first thing I noticed was how overwhelmingly friendly the people are here. After handing over a huge sum of 400,000 Indonesian Rupiah to the taxi driver after being dropped off from the airport, instead of driving away, he kindly let me know of my mistake and gave me half of my money back. Arriving at the school, the students had just finished class and were leaving to go home but they all stopped to greet me, shake my hand and said goodbye. And of course, the children of the IHF Centre made me feel at home, right from the first day.

Teaching at the Jakarta Centre has been amazing. Not being able to speak any Indonesian has been an additional challenge for me, but the students here have been wonderful and their work ethic is incredible. Never back in the UK would you find children turning up for class 90 minutes early, or ask to be tested. Every lesson! This is certainly something that I can learn from. They have also been a lot better at learning my name than I have been at learning theirs, I’m ashamed to say. The pupils are just so energetic, so joyous, and I have loved teaching here.

To celebrate Independence Day, we invited all the students to the school for an activities day. We organised 4 events: Basketball, Marble and Spoon Race, The Spelling Bee and Musical Chairs. The students could play each game and also compete with each other for the Top 3 prizes for each year group. It was a great day and around 80 students turned up. All the children (and quite a lot of the parents!) seemed to have a great time and everybody got a goodie-bag to go home happy too.
The Centre is also undergoing a major makeover and almost the whole building is being repainted. We are giving the interior walls a new ocean-wave look and are brightening up the outside with some orange too. This of course means a lot of face painting as well. Keep a look out for more pictures as we make further progress!
It is now 2 weeks on.. sadly I only have one week left. It feels like I have known the children and students here for years. So much as happened during my time here, Adit has been in hospital for his tonsillectomy, Ayu has learnt about 100 new card games, and Nia has found herself a new sponsor. Thankfully Adit’s surgery was a success and he is now recovering quick and well, no doubt because of all the extra ice-cream he is allowed to have. I would also like to wish a warm welcome to our new director Arnau Martinez, who is here to help us at the centre now that our current directors Shinta will be moving to the Bali Centre, and Ade will be spending more time with his university studies starting this September.
If you haven’t already, be sure to watch the tour video of our center.  The tour is given by our own Joko!  Enjoy!

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