By: Wenwen, Voluntourist Medan
This is not the first time I choose to be a voluntourist with IHF, the first one was three years ago when I went to the Bali centre in Indonesia. And it was during that time when I made my mind that I would explore the other places as a voluntourist. So this year I came to Medan, where I met three other nice volunteers who made me wanting to stay here for a much longer time.
On the first day I arrived at the Medan centre with my friend Ling we were invited to attend a local wedding ceremony, which was really impressive. We were really interested in experiencing Indonesian culture. The bride and groom wore traditional attires and took pictures with all the guests invited. The person who invited us introduced the wedding customs to us as well as shared some traditional food with us.
During our stay at the Medan centre, we got to know many volunteers. Besides co-directors: Teresa, Leti and Tony who are from different countries with different backgrounds, we still met many other local volunteers. The co-directors arranged the meeting with them for us. when we had dinner together, we just couldn’t stop talking about our country, culture and education system. One of interesting things I find here is that most of the people here are Muslims. They have totally different dressing code and religious beliefs than we and we respect that.
During the weekdays, Ling and I are helping tutoring the classes. The teachers here are all very caring and supportive, and sometimes let us get very involved in their classroom activities. Surprisingly, some children said they are very interested in learning some Mandarin, so Ling and I gave them a few Mandarin language sessions as a part of special activities. This week, we are going to do a presentation to introduce the Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival to them. We really enjoy spending time with the children here.
During the weekend, we visited many tourist attractions with other volunteers, including, the big mosque, the temple, the waterfall and the Lake Toba. It really gave us a chance to get close to the nature. Compared to the life in my own country, life here seems to be more relaxed and meaningful.