Amy, Work-Study, IHF Aceh
When I got out of the plane, the first thing I noticed was Aceh’s beautiful sky. The sky in my hometown is never so blue. At the airport, I was warmly welcomed by Rob and Dhian. Then, at the IHF center, I finally met Jessica, our director in Aceh, who patiently answered all my emails before this trip, and Julia, who always gives me rides. Though the flights should have made me exhausted, I did not feel sleepy at all. I was attracted by everything in the center: the drawings on the wall, the big mango tree, the cats in the garden and the lovely children, who said hi by taking my right hand to their forehead.
My first class was in Blang Krueng, a village once destroyed by the infamous tsunami. There were no chairs in the classroom and everyone sat on the ground. This made me less nervous because it was just like chatting with some little friends. My second class was in the IHF Center. The students in that class were younger than the ones in my first class, so the hard part of teaching them is to get their attention rather than to explain the lesson. I think promising the kids rewards is a good way to get their attention; for example, one day I was wearing a long skirt and a girl asked me to spin in a circle for them. In a minute, the classroom got very noisy, so I told them that if they could finish all their exercises quietly, I would spin in a circle. Suddenly, the class went quiet and everyone was doing their exercises. Later, as a reward, I spun in a circle twice for them.
On a different note, after doing some work for the online teams, I found that the way IHF is organized is very interesting. All the communications and work are done through the Internet. Volunteers and Directors may never meet each other in person. I think it’s a good practice in an NGO, because this not only can save in administration costs, but also can enhance each individual’s sense of responsibility.