This week was my first week of being fully integrated in the center and meeting all the other co-directors, volunteers, students, and parents. Although some children were shy at first, most of them were really active, and their curiosity led them to ask questions about where I was from; how long I was here for; and many others.
After teaching a few classes, I could easily tell how engaged the students are in learning new things. They are enthusiastic about bringing in all the knowledge they have to share in the lessons given. The students also happily help their classmates with things they don’t understand, and you can see that they have formed deep bonds with their friends.
Every once in a while we also get students stopping by who simply want to hang out at the center. These are precious opportunities to make a real and lasting connection with them, since we get a chance to chat, learn their personalities, hobbies, and dreams.
We have also been quite lucky in getting new families stopping by to ask about our lessons, and wishing to apply for our classes, as well as new volunteers who are interested in learning about the IHF organization, its mission, and how they can contribute to our efforts.
This close-knit community, as well as the smiles on the faces of the people I have met so far is something that truly shows the Acehnese heart. It’s been a great first week, and I can’t wait to be part of this family for the coming year.