Goodbye Aceh!

By Madeleline Gill, Work-Study volunteer at IHF Aceh center

This is my last blog post for the IHF Aceh center and I can’t believe how quickly time has flown by. I have had a great time here and I’m quite sad to be going so soon. I’ve learnt a lot about how education centers like this work and have made lots of new friends. I have also developed a taste for Murtabak and Acehnese coffee!

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This week, some of the local volunteers and I visited some of the boats that were swept inland by the Tsunami. Many of them have been left where they stood as monuments to what happened. The biggest ship was swept five kilometers from the sea and it is huge. It’s hard to imagine the magnitude of the wave and how much power it had to do this. It was an affecting experience and helped to put into perspective just how much damage the Tsunami caused.

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This week we continued our student recruitment campaign, Philippe and Icut visited an orphanage near to the center to encourage the students to take advantage of our free classes. The kids seemed keen to join so hopefully they will start coming to the center next week. We also had a special workshop for the students in SMP and SMA about HIV, run by Petra who works for an HIV charity in Aceh. The students were very interested and asked him many questions. It’s important for them to be educated about health issues and I think they learned a lot from the session.

This week we said goodbye to our house mother, Rose, and her daughter, Rara, as they have to move back to their home town. We are all really sad to see them go since they have been here for almost three months and they are really part of the Aceh family. We are currently looking for a new live-in housemother but we luckily have Bunda, a mother of some of our students to cook for us for the time being. She is a great cook and is always happy and joking with us.

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That’s the last that you’ll hear from me. Finally, I just want to say thank you to everyone that has made the last month such a great experience and I’m going to miss you all so much!

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