Memories from 10 Days in Banda Aceh

By Hedy, Leon and Ethan, Voluntourists at IHF Banda Aceh

Hi, we are Hedy, Leon and Ethan ~ we have had an amazing trip to the IHF Aceh center, making good friends and meeting lovely students!

These days have brought a lot to us that we will never forget. In this friendly place, we’ve learnt how to teach, how to speak Indonesian (although just a little bit!), how to paint walls and how to respect the religion here. The students are diligent and active, it is very good to teach them and tell them all about our country’s culture through Chinese workshops. We also held a movie screening class, paper folding workshop and many English classes, all of these taught us one thing—that everyone has the right to learn and that all they need is the opportunity to study.

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We made many new friends here, Caroline (a very nice director from Australia), Philippe (a gentle director from France), Joko (hard working and very nice – helping us out all the time!), Yassien (a smart friend from USA), Kiki and Tari (very nice local volunteers)……all of them are perfect! We have good memories of riding our bicycles to get cups of coffee at night (even though some of the bikes are very old!).

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The beach in Aceh is also spectacular!!! We took numerous photos there and drank from coconuts which were so delicious!! We visited the tsunami museum where we watched a movie about the tragedy. The people in Aceh are tough, they have great spirits and have built a new Banda Aceh in a very short amount of time.

Over the last two days, we went to many good places with beautiful sightseeing and were even able to see wild monkeys!!

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Caroline asked us why we chose the Aceh center and in fact, before we came, we all just felt it was heavily hurt by the tsunami and we need to do something for it. However, after we had been here for around a week, we found that the people here are extremely close to each other here and have an incredible faith (most of them are Muslim). We like this atmosphere and respect these devout people. In short, these ten more days have taught us a lot and we appreciate every single one— the city, the center the staff and the students.

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