Tuesday, 10 August 2010
Sorry for the delay....I have found an internet connection that works!
Well at long last I have arrived in Ruteng, Flores. The 10 hour jounrney from Bali was fun. First the flight was slightly delayed, but I had to endure 4 hours on a bus around winding mountain roads, some of them not with the saftest surface in the world. None of this was helped by the tiny hangover and the lack of sleep from the night previously (Yes Teresa, Alanna and Bambang - I hold you all responsible) I cannot believe I went clubbing (I hate clubbing).
I am also pleased to report noone vomited on the bus, so my image of noone being able to do this jouney without chucking up has been laid to rest. It cannot be that bad as I did manange it with a tiny hangover, but I think 4 hours was the limit. Any longer and I think I would have struggled.
Anyway arrived in Ruteng, about to fall asleep standing up. Dropped my stuff in my room and then got introduced to the sisters. To all those people who thought I was joking I am really living in a convent. Yes me! Thankfully met Anouk and Mark, two other volunteers from VSO, who quite honestly I do not know how I would have coped without them.
Well Ruteng it half way up a mountain so it is cold, which means the Mandi (shower) is FREEZING! I am so glad I cut all my hair off, otherwise it would have been a night mare.
So arrived on Saturday evening. On Sunday I was a judge for a colouring competition. None of the children from SLB took place ( I think this may have been because they were disabled) but all the other local schools took place!
On Monday I attended a lecture, again in Indonesian on the church and spirituality help the poor and the abnormal. (anyone who knows me will know I am biting my tongue a lot at the moment) It is really hard to explain unless you experience, but here in Indonesia disability is viewed culturally and religiously very different from the Western World. However saying that it probably was not that long ago really that philanthropy did similar things in the UK.
I was designated official photographer of the service celebrating the 25 years of Kayra Murni the School were I am now working. The main part was a church service attended by the Bishop. It was all very nice and very Indonesian. I did not understand word. However the dancing and the singing by the students was out of this world. They are a really talented bunch.
On Monday I started work. Not really doing too much. However I have realised that noone has an accurate record of which children attend and live at the school! So on Tuesday like any good manager started looking at the historic documents and compiling a database. The world is an easier place with a database. Three weeks later still not achieved but the end is coming ever closer. I thought it would be a small piece of work. I was so wrong.
Highlight so far has been helping Mark and Anouk plan a party for the children. this happened on Saturday. The children got to eat meat, a real treat for them. They also all got a present - which Anouk and Mark had achieved through some friends, family in Holland. Best of all the children all got a present with their name on. There own name. The toy belongs to them and no one else! Amazing how something so small can be viewed so importantly.
A toy shark hand puppet (attached to a child) went to church the next morning, and got into trouble for being animated! Childhood is very different here.
On Wednesday 17th it is Independence day here. The children will be playing their drums and marching now I have found Internet connection I will try and get some photos on here in the near future.
And the really good news is I now fit into my XXXXL Indonesian shorts, they did not fit three weeks ago.
More news soon. Promise.