It has been four years since I first became involved with IHF Jakarta as a work study volunteer, and it feels good to finally be back again at the center. I returned this month as a voluntourist, and the days are just flying by.
When Ade and Nia came to pick me up from the airport, I saw that Nia had grown from a cute little girl into a shy teenager, and Ade had grown up into a mature, smart, handsome young adult. On the taxi ride back to the center, Ade caught me up on some recent IHF news, and shared stories about how he is managing to juggle his studies at the university, running the center as the IHF Jakarta Director, and teaching IHF classes. I know every volunteer says this, but I don’t think any amount of words can describe just how amazing these children are.
When I got to the center, I was greeted by Ayu, Adit, Rahma, Ibu Rini, and the other Jakarta director, Tess. Since the last time I saw Ayu, she had also grown up into one of the most responsible, intelligent, and sweet young adult, and she always does so much to keep the center organized and running, and takes such good care of her younger siblings, Adit and Rahma.
During the week I have spent at the center so far, we celebrated Tess’ birthday by going for a rare and exciting trip to the Magnum Cafe, where each of us ordered way too much ice cream than was good for us. We also organized the office, redid the Public Display Wall, went shopping at the nearby market, and today, we went swimming at a near by apartment. It was a lot of fun spending the day together, and it’s always nice to have an activity with the younger kids where words are not necessarily needed to communicate with each other. Their laughter is contagious.
Tomorrow is back to teaching English classes. Next time, I hope to write more about the students who come to the classes so please stay tuned!