by Dustin and Emily, Banda Aceh.
After being reunited at the center with Emily for a few days following her long vacation, it was time to leave her once more, and renew my spirit with a few days of my favorite sport at an ultimate frisbee tournament in Bali. It was great to see a very different part of Indonesia and enjoy a passion of mine that I haven’t experienced since leaving the States. A definite highlight though, was seeing the Bali Co-Directors Esther and Rafa face to face for the first time. I shared a couple online teams with Esther, and so was already acquainted with her diligent yet upbeat style through almost daily correspondance, and it was great to have the chance to exchange stories and perspectives from our very different locations. Rafa is quite the impressive figure, and his jovial nature is very infectious. As his time at IHF comes to a close, I know many people will have smiled many more times thanks to his contributions and companionship.
While Dustin was having a blast in the Bali sun, life in Aceh continued pleasantly more or less as usual. Despite emphasizing to the students throughout the week that we were open on Friday (a public holiday in Indonesia), only a hand full of students came, mostly SMA who just wanted to hang out because there was no school and they didn’t know what to do with themselves. So, we decided to go on a fun recruiting trip together (speaking English along the way). Who better to advocate for IHF than the students currently benefitting from the program? They turned out to be quite the convincing group and are now eager to come with us again! Hours later, we plopped down at a nice cafe by the beach and enjoyed some fresh juices together. It was a nice day and we’re looking forward to some new registrations.
It’s been blisteringly hot in Aceh, which makes me more sweaty and miserable than anyone. I’m from New Hampshire in America, a state that’s starting to thaw out from the long winter freeze right about now. I feel thoroughly thawed already in the Indonesian sun. The students are feeling it, too, however. There’s some slowness to the ongoing SD 3/SD 2 football game; a sluggishness to the way the students take out their books for class. I sat on the tile floor the other day under the fan. My students thought I was crazy until they tried it and realized the floor is the cool place to be. Anything to escape the heat. Nevermind curly hair – I’ve given up on salvaging any semblance of a fashionable hair style in this humidity. Fuzz is the name of the game and apparently it shows.
One of my SMP students recently asked, “Emily, why you no fix your hair?”
I grunted and simply replied, “Why don’t you fix your hair. Grammar!”