I can’t believe I’ve been in Indonesia for a week! It feels like I just got here and like I’ve been here for months all at the same time–I guess what’s what jet lag will do to you. It has been quite the week. I started work the day after I got back, which was great! So far I’ve been able to eat lots of Indonesian food, pretty much all of which I’ve liked. My favorite at the moment is nasi gorge ayam–chicken fried rice. It has to have a little bit of spice in it–but not the full Indonesian about, because that will kill you.
Yesterday I had the opportunity to visit two of the communities where Partners for Compassion has projects–Cilincing and Muara Baru. Cilincing is a trash dump community in the eastern side of Jakarta. Currently we have a kindergarten with 34 students. The school backs right up to the dump…well really the whole community backs up to the dump. I had the opportunity to walk part way up the trash mountain and it blew my mind. The men work every day it doesn’t rain separating the trash into piles that they can sell. I wasn’t able to figure out who they sell the stuff too, but they sell 99%ish of what they sort. I think what blew me away the most was the utter joy the little 4 and 5 year olds had at being in school. We got there at the end of the day, so they were mostly just coloring–but they were absolutely loving it! Granted, an Indonesian slum community kindergarten is a little more haphazard that you would probably find in America, but I’m pretty sure there is no group of children more excited to be in school. When it was time for them to go home, a lot of them came up to us and shook our hands and put their head on our hand, a sign of respect to their elders. I guess I’m getting old enough that I’m considered an elder, yikes!!
The second community, Muara Baru was slightly less of a shock after seeing the trash dump community, but the conditions were still unbelievable. I think what was most exciting about that visit was the utter passion of the partners we work with there. I could just tell how much they love their community and how much they want to be involved in helping to love and serve them. They asked if I would come and do a guest English lecture to the kindergarteners, so hopefully I will get to meet and play with some of the kids!
There has been a lot going on, and it’s hard to summarize everything in one post. It has been quite the ride this week—but it has made me so excited to be here and to be a part of brining love and hope to the women and children of Jakarta!!