11th March 2012, by Claire

I arrived at Soekarno–Hatta International Airport, Jakarta and was greeted by Arnau, one of the directors at the center, and a local volunteer Yudi, who had kindly drove. They both made me feel at ease and relaxed. During the car journey Arnau told me about the center and the children who lived there, Ade, Ayu, Adit, and Nia. When I arrived at the center, I received a warm welcome from the children and the housemother, Rini.

So my first few days at the center have been a little hectic, trying to get to know the routine, children, and settle in, but it has been a lot of fun! Everyone is so welcoming and friendly. I have been struggling with the children’s names a little; we have had some giggles at my awful pronunciation. We had a new local volunteer, Liany. Together we taught the children body parts, clothing, holding up various items and then created a word search for them. Liany’s help was greatly appreciated!

Nia is constantly singing, during the evenings. She lights up the house with her big smile and beautiful voice. Some older children have taught me how to play Uno! Dinner is eaten together when everyone can. It has all been very delicious!

On Saturday night we all went to Monumen Nasional (Monas). We enjoyed taking pictures in the scenery, and playing games. Nia, Adit, Arnau, and Yudi enjoyed a football game, whilst Ade and I went for a walk around the Monument. Ade told me about the monument and the mosque nearby, one of the largest in the world! We all sat in a circle playing the country naming game, whereby one person starts with a country then the next person has to say a country that begins with the last letter from the previous country said.

To end the evening Rini and Ayu brought some yummy treats for everyone. It was a truly pleasant evening!

I am truly grateful to everyone for making me feel so welcome and am looking forward to my next week at IHF Jakarta!

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