By: Joyce, Co-Director Jakarta
When I stepped out of airport in Jakarta, the heat wave immediately hit me. A new journey is going to start for me on this tropical island. On the way to Jakarta center, I was trying to picture my new life while watching the most common transportation, motorbikes, passing by wildly. You can’t possibly imagine how many people can fit on one vehicle.
First-week life in Jakarta
Our center in Jakarta located in a peaceful and friendly neighborhood. Even though I struggle with the local language, people will still be patient and try to understand my requests. Street vendors are arrayed along the road and provide tasty snacks as well as typical local dishes. Pisang Bakar Coklat Keju (Grilled Bananas topped with chocolate and cheese) is definitely my favorite so far.
First connection with students
Kids at center are terribly adorable and energetic. They never seem worried about anything. I cannot help smiling just watching them play and joke with one another. Their innocent laughs are infectious. I had a nice conversation one day with a girl, Eka, who is in class SMP. She was very shy and quiet at first. We started to talk about the book she is reading. She told me she loves reading and wanted to be a writer in the future. She is completely different when she talks about literature. I can see the confidence, determination and passion in her eyes and voice. At that time, I realized that teaching here is not only about knowledge. More importantly, I’m dealing with many pure and beautiful souls, which may need to be comforted when they are down, encouraged when they are lost, and blessed when they are proud.