The beginning…

Written by Tony, Co-Director, Medan

It’s been a little over a month since I arrived on these islands – Indonesia. This country never ceases to amaze me. I was surprised by the fact that this country is made up of more than seventeen thousand islands and has so many diverse cultures and traditions! Despite being a union of such a diversity, this beautiful South East Asian country is still one of the fastest growing economies in the world.

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The people of Indonesia are in general very generous, kind and accepting towards foreigners who they fondly call as Bule! Apart from a few local dishes, I haven’t tasted much of the cuisines this country has to offer yet. But it is enough to say that this country is quite famous for its spicy food and delicious seafood.

I used to have trouble with the local currency during my first days here because Indonesian currency has a lot of zeros. The smallest denomination is a 100 rupee coin and the largest one is 100,000. I used to be shocked when a parking fee counter reads 2000 for an hour and it used to take me a few seconds to realize that it is just 15 cents.

During my stay here, I have met some incredible people. People who left their jobs and dear ones back home just to serve and gain valuable experience, while working on different tasks and projects, ensuring that the organization is up and running efficiently. Each center’s environment is very diverse with people coming from all the parts of the world.

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I had the opportunity to volunteer back in my country, so I already know that volunteering helps us change the way we view the society and makes us more sympathetic to the troubles of other people. But working for IHF has been a one of a kind of experience and I hope that it remains that way.

The students at the center are active and always curious to get to know different cultures. The interaction is not just between the students and the co-directors but it also happens among co-directors as well. Working on tasks as a team, going on weekend trips, and having a chance to build relationships that we hope will last a lifetime is a delightful experience!

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I still have a long time to stay here and I’m looking forward to working with IHF and exploring the beautiful places this country has to offer!

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