We are in the home stretch here at school as the 12 day countdown begins! We continue to have random days off midweek due to stat holidays or what is called “Red Letter Days.” This week for example we only work three days: Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Two weeks ago, we had another Thursday off. The student council committee and I along with their current supervisor went on a trip downtown Jakarta to an organization called Kampus Diakonia Modern (KDM) for the morning to volunteer. KDM rescues, rehabilitates, and educates children that have been living on the streets. The organization is very established and has been actively working in the city for 30+ years making a difference. They really encourage the kids there to thrive. It wasn’t just a matter of survival - eating, sleeping and getting through the day, but rather equipping them with skills to better their lives. These kids live as a family, receive an education at their level, opportunities to experiment with art, participate on exploratory trips around the country, going to a soccer tournament in Brazil and even designing and building their own dorm with a volunteer architect.
In fact, one of the kids who has gone through this program has moved onto becoming a graphic designer. He now spends some of his time training others in his field at KDM. We had a site tour when we first arrived. Then we splited up into two groups – one to play games with the younger kids and the other to first paint pots and then glue pieces of traditional fabric to them. These pots will be sold to help sustain and fund some of the programs that are currently being run there.
Throughout the year I have also been volunteering at an orphanage every 6 weeks or so. There is a large group of us who rotates every Saturday morning from families with young kids to adults from various age groups. Last Saturday was my last time for this season and next weekend we have a wrap up pool party at the school for the kids. I always looked forward to seeing these kids and sharing a laugh with them. We put on a short program for them which typically include songs, a story, crafts, and games. I plan to continue this commitment
which starts up again in August when the new year begins. Last week after volunteering, some of us hit up the outlet stores – I was able to find two dry-fit tops for my trek up Mount Kilimanjaro. I also recently bought a new camera and am excited to take it along with me on my upcoming travels – this summer to Tanzania and beyond!
Last weekend we celebrated another birthday. The friend wanted a BBQ pool party – and that’s what we did! We all pitched in with the food and I was granted cake duty. The birthday person requested carrot cake. I asked around for a good recipe and decided on one. I don’t have much experience making carrot cake but I was pleased when everyone was raving about it – it was a definite hit!
A group of us has recently taken up canasta. It’s a small group, but for some, it’s a time away from their husbands and kids to play cards accompanied by tasty food! There’s also a group that meets Thursday nights for board games. The “Thursday Game Night” originated with a group of guys but as some
of them got married, their wives decided to create a group too. It’s been great getting to know these ladies some more.
This weekend has been low key as report cards are due this week for Junior School and then High School marks are due shortly after. As this year is winding up and talk for next year has begun. I will have the same schedule and this year with one additional class. There are also other responsibilities which I’ll be taking on in addition to my teaching load, which I am excited for. I look forward to getting involved and challenged by new things. It’s also that time of year where some colleagues are packing up their lives here and moving on – some back home and others to different parts of the world to continue teaching. I too am packing up but not for those reasons….I’m relocating to a different apartment unit but in the same building I currently am in. In fact, just three floors up from where I am. It’s not an easy task as my apartment will be ready when I’m away on vacation and so I’m in
the midst of coordinating with the housing department about the details.
I work with some pretty incredible students. In fact, one of my grade nine girls is an extremely talented singer. She entered a singing contest not that long ago and made it to the finals. Last Wednesday she had to perform with the other two finalists in front of a panel of judges and a live audience . The winning contestant’s award was a recording assignment as well as being the opening act for Taylor Swift on June 6 – about two weeks away. She was declared the winner! I had an awesome talk with her on Friday in class discussing everything she has experienced so far. This is only the beginning for her and I am super pumped where this opportunity may lead in the future. There are several of us who would love to make it to this concert, but the tickets here were sold out in a matter of minutes a few months back. I’ll see if it ends up working to go, but right now my odds aren’t high. Nonetheless, we are so proud of her and all of
her hard work! Go Nikki!
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