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SOS-Project

By. Administrator » 13 May 2016 19:03:33   

 

SOS-Project, 1 February – 28 March 2016

 
 
I was a volunteer on two projects, both as an assistant English teacher, the first month in pondok pesantren Al-Fusha in Pekalongan, and the second month in SMP Negeri 1 Andong in Andong.
When I arrived in Pekalongan, i was surprised by how the students were expecting me and how they were excited. That motivated me to try my best to interact with them and give them as much knowledge as possible. I quickly realized that Indonesian people are warm, nice and kind people, and you feel how much more they seem alive compared to Europeans. That really made me love all the students at school, the staff and the teachers. As it was an Islamic boarding school, I was 24/7 with the children’s ; I was really happy every day, trying to talk with the students or just taking photos, discovering the surroundings a little bit. I liked how many Indonesians were trying really hard to interact with me in English, and I tried to learn basic Indonesian to be able to fill in the gap (Indonesian is hard!). I got an ocular infection, but even though it depressed me for a week the energy and the incredible travel and work i was doing helped get through that. I had the opportunity to go to the waterfall, walk around the school, go to the swimming pool and all that with the students, which made me incredibly happy. 
 
I was able to tie many bonds with many people and I never felt alone during my whole stay. I didn't even want to go around that much because being with the children was much more interesting!
Leaving this first project was really hard as I knew I was going to be really far from them when I would come home, but that also motivated me to work and be able to come back to see them soon !
When I arrived in Andong it was more peaceful as I was not directly among the students ; another volunteer was leaving this project and the teacher threw a little party for me and her. I was living in the host family outside of the school so this was a really different experience, but it also allowed me to be closer to my host family who was incredibly nice and kind. As there was mid-semester exams the second week, and re-painting and a free day the third week, I was not able to teach too much to the students, and at first it was hard to just go to the students and interact as a shy person, but I understood that it was really important for the students, because it motivated them to talk in English and just the occasion to be curious and learn about another culture.
With my host family I went to the restaurant many times, which allowed me to try many different dishes; I also went to Borobudur with Bu Mahmudah, an English teacher, and to Solo with Pak Ndadi ; I tried the restaurant of one of the teacher. I also went around a bit with my family to another cities like Jogjakarta and I had the chance to meet their happy and warm family.
I had more opportunity to look around and I travelled much more, which was a good change from Pekalongan.
 
Leaving this project was also hard because I felt as if I didn't do my best, and I didn't have so much time to teach the students, but I knew that they were really happy to have met me, and that I tried to be present for them as much as I could. I was also really sad to leave my host family of one month, but I know I will see them again!
 
All in all, this travel is a cornerstone of my life: it didn't change me much but it confirmed the fact that I wanted to be a humanitarian. But on the social level, I met kind, warm, gentle people that smile so much and love taking photos ! This travel has made me really happy for the opportunity to help people and just from meeting many people. I cannot put into word how appreciative I am of the hospitality, warmth and kindness of every students in Pekalongan and Andong, my hosts families, and Dejavato. I feel I have taken a little bit of the simple joy that Indonesian have and French people have less of, and I gained many friends and family in Indonesia.
Also riding on a motorcycle in Indonesia is crazy cool.
 
Written by Achille, French Volunteer from SVI Org.
 
 


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