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Published: August 24th 2007
I arrived in Jakarta on Monday night and feel I am already starting to settle in pretty well. I am living with a family who's house is right opposite the office of PATTIRO, the NGO that I'm voluntering for. They are really nice and are looking after me very well. The father speaks a little bit of English but the mother doesn't at all, so communicating is fun! she is v sweet though and has already done loads of my washing! I've put up some photos of them and their house. I think they are relatively poor, neither parents seems to work but thir house is fairly small. Downstairs only has one main room, with sofas, tv, a fridge and a cupboard and then the room I'm staying in which has just a bed and fan, and then a little bathroom and the kitchen is kind of in the coridor to the bathroom. Their daughter who's 15 does go to school though and there's no free schooling in Indonesia so they obviously have enough for that. Most of the families of the staff at PATTIRO have maids in their homes though who look after their kids and do all
their washing, cooking etc!
Everyone at PATTIRO is really nice. The office is quite big and air condiditoned and I've got a desk and computer with internet access so it's pretty nice. They have about 15 members of staff here who flit in and out and then 10 other offices around Indonesia so it's a pretty well developed organisation. They have taken quite a lot of time to show me around and they've paid for my first month or rent and provide me with lunch everyday. Loads of the other regions want me to go and visit too so i will get to see quite a bit of the country I think.
On Wednesday we had a stall at an NGO fair in the parlimentary building which was quite interesting even if it was all in Indonesian! Then today I went with Beni, to attend a meeting at the UN offices but when we got there we realised we needed certain papers with us for the meeting so couldn't attend, it would of all been in Indonesian anyway so I think I would have been a bit lost!
Jakarta is so big.. and so busy.. we went to
a shopping mall last night and even when leaving at about 9pm we were stuck in massive traffic jams! It isn't really sunny here at all, apparently because of the smog, it's just quite cloudly and humid all the time, def no chance of me getting sunburnt!!
Food - I've had quite a lot of typical Indonesian food already. As soon as I'd got off the plane Adhe and Arie who collected me took me to a local restaurant where they just bring you loads of dishes and then they charge you for whichever ones you eat. I have no idea what a lot of them were!! some not so nice as others too... quite careless of me not to be fussy and just try anything put in front of me!! Then yesterday it was someone's birthday so we all had duck for lunch. I've eaten quite a lot of random things that just look like balls of fat too!! I can feel my stomach growing by the minute! They don't really understand exercise here either so that's really not going to happen!! damn it!
Right I best go now. PATTIRO want me to write a presentation on
them that they might be able to use to present to funding agencies. So that's a presentation by me on their organisation in English when all the info they have is in Indonesian!! Hence I am putting off doing it and am wasting time on here instead! I suppose I should at least try now though..
write back soon
love claire xxxxxxx
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