school supplies and papayas…

It just never get old… There is something special about partnering with the different communities to give them a little bit of hope.

Yesterday’s school supply distribution, though, was particularly special. I had to the opportunity to go a small community outside of Jakarta to distribute school supplies that had been donated by one of the international schools here in Jakarta. When we got there we were met with such gratitude, it was very humbling.

The school is in a more rural area and is surrounded by a beautiful papaya grove that the headmaster planted in memory of her husband. After giving her the boxes of supplies and were getting ready to leave, she grabbed a broom stick and started poking at the papayas on the tree. She nocked down five papayas and insisted that we take them home as a thank you for the supplies.

I was so humbled by her generosity. She didn’t have anything—that’s why we went to distribute school supplies to her school—but she gave us a thank you gift anyway. I was so touched by her generosity. And to be honest, very excited to eat fresh papaya.

the tropical equivalent of a snow day…

In Virginia we had snow days…in Jakarta we have flood days. I knew that I was moving to a country with monsoon season and I knew that there would likely be floods…but for some reason the concept of flood days didn’t occur to me.

Thankfully so far in Jakarta there is no major damage due to the floods. My town isn’t under water, but we can’t venture too far out because much of Jakarta is currently flooded, which means the roads are closed…and the parts that aren’t flooded have extra traffic jams.

What I find interesting is how people aren’t really freaked out by the floods. They treat it very much the same way we treated snow days back in Virginia. It happens a couple times every year…so for the most part people are prepared for it. People who can work from home stay home and wait for the water to recede—just like we would wait for the ice to melt. Those who have to go into their office brave the insanity and go in. I think people like getting an unexpected excuse to stay home and chill with their friends and family.

I really enjoyed the bonding experience of snow days with my roommates in the past, so I’m kind of excited to get to experience the tropical equivalent with my housemates here in Jakarta.