By Lissa, Co-Director, IHF Medan
This week, Medan Center got a visit from our Co-Directors from Aceh Center, Timea and Emily, and a Co-Director from Thailand Center, Laura. It’s always interesting when we got a visit from Co-Directors or Volunteers from another Center because normally we just know each other through email.
We get chance to learn from their experiences in every Center with different set up. We spent time together, roamed around in Medan City, although it’s not the first time for Emily visiting Medan Center. Aceh and Medan are in the same country but have different cultural differences between these two places. Laura who came from Chiang Rai Center, definitely they have different set up in the Center. The kids are living in the Center. Laura shared her experiences living in the Center with the kids there.
It’s really a great opportunity to meet people from different Centers in IHF. It helps us to learn each other’s experiences. Some ideas from different people and different set up in every center could be discussed and chosen to be applied in every center to make a better function for Center and for the children.
by Laura, Co-Director IHF Chiang Rai
IHF is an international organization, with centers in 3 different countries and director working on them from many parts of the world. We all work in international teams, and we communicate each other via email, sometimes by Skype, but we rarely get to meet in person if we are not working at the same center.
Last week that changed and we had the chance to be in Medan some of the directors from Chiang Rai, Banda Aceh and Medan. I had to do a Visa Run and decided to visit one of the Indonesia center, Timea and Emily were on their days off and decided to come to as part of a short trip around Indonesia and Lissa, well, Lissa is working in Medan so of course had to be there.
To be honest I prefer my quiet and little Chiang Rail, Medan is huge and full of cars and motorbikes everywhere…but knowing these three girls was fantastic! We spent all the time chatting and telling us stories about each center, learning the differences of the work each one does, comparing our cities and the local culture and yes, a bit of gossiping too.
It has been such a great experience, we all going to remember it forever and I’m sure it will also help us to develop and improve the work each one does for IHF.
by Emily, Co-Director, IHF Banda Aceh
How much can you tell about a person from email correspondence? From instant messaging? From skype? When Timea and I left from Banda Aceh for our long weekend, we wondered how much we know about our coworkers, most of whom we communicate with on a daily basis, but have never met in person. We were off to meet with Lissa, a co-director in Medan, and Laura, a co-director in Thailand. I had met Lissa late last year, and already knew she was a dedicated and efficient individual. We could only speculate, however, that based on a competent and friendly email style, Laura would be lovely as well.
The meeting was fantastic. We spent hours comparing notes, discussing the particularities of our different locations, and getting to know one another on a personal level. Although IHF’s core philosophy is the same at ever center, different locations have adapted to the needs of their community, and we all had experienced different challenges and triumphs in our time with IHF. It was a pleasure to learn from one another’s strategies, exchange stories, and bond over our mutual enjoyment of volunteering in this organization. As we journeyed around Medan, sightseeing and indulging in McDonalds, I certainly felt invigorated and inspired by the caliber of these committed and competent women who strive to build greater opportunities for children in the world.
Laura joined Timea and I for a night on Samosir Island, in Lake Toba, one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever seen. If you ever have the opportunity to journey to Indonesia, I recommend Lake Toba (after Banda Aceh, of course!). It was a wonderful vacation, and I returned refreshed and ready to face a new week here in Banda Aceh!