by Denise, Work-Study, IHF Banda Aceh
I didn’t know what to expect when I arrived in Banda aceh, but my first impressions were all positive , the locals volunteers who managed to pick me up at the airport were very friendly and chatty and from that moment I knew that I was at the right place with the right people. When I got at the centre I met all the Co-Directors and international volunteers, a few students and some local volunteers , they were all very welcoming and made me feel part of this awesome family !!!
I was instructed to teach the SD2 and SD5, we had fun English and Portuguese classes, In the beginning the children were very shy, but after a few days they were already more comfortable with me and started asking many, many questions it was easy to get attached to them, they are all very cute, very smart and full of energy, always up for some extra activity and games, specially to play Uno cards (our favorite game). In the end of the day I wasn’t only teaching, I was also learning with them every day.
The children always want to participate in the “making off” of our activities, so they helped me and Sushi with the Mozambican Day poster and I was surprised with their abilities to draw and paint, as they always do their best, the poster came out very colorful and pretty . I had the opportunity to talk about my country and share a little a bit of the Mozambican reality with the children who didn’t want to stop playing to pay attention to my presentation but once I started they got into it and participate actively.
Beside bonding with the children I also got very close to other volunteers (local and international) , we organized social activities outside the center and since its Ramadan season, we were invited by Anggara, one of the local volunteers ( who is also a very close and great friend of us), to break fast at his place and all of us joined the food was amazing and all his family were happy for having us there, we also organized one breaking fast event at the center and some parents came , see, it is easy to fall in love with the local community, they are all very kind and always ready to help us.
Aceh is a quiet and beautiful little town, with this amazing landscape and gorgeous beaches, but its people is definitely the best of it . These 4 weeks at the IHF center were full of learnings, laughter, kindness and most of all, full of friendship and I am thankful for the opportunity I had to help these wonderful and bright kids. Despite being sad for leaving my kids here in Aceh, I am thrilled to join this new family at the IHF center in Chiang Rai, I believe it will be as exciting and fulfilling as Banda Aceh was.