Really, the only thing to do whilst in NJ is dig deep into the memory bank. Cause there ain't a lick of travel happening out here - not even food worthy of raving about. Just long, long days of work.
My bud Lisa said last night that she loves the seasons changing - it's all pretty and leafy here. I immediately responded with - the seasonal change for me is now the current of the Pacific ocean. Is it choppy? Calm? Confused? Pretty leaf or blue water - which would you rather have?
Now, the above volcano is Mt. Rinjani over in Indo. This is the place I turn to most when I'm deep in the trenches of production chaos. Just that simple volcano and that beautiful village at the bottom of it full of my buds learning English in the 4WL community development center. I just got this note the other day from one of our volunteers who just left the CDC. Totally made my heart soar.
Sorry I fell off the radar for a while, I've been busy getting back into the swing of things. I just returned to work last week, which has been somewhat of a culture shock after being in Indonesia for two months...as I'm sure you can imagine!
So the more I've been thinking about it the more I realize I really want to help Fourth World Love in any way that I can. The rest of the year is pretty hectic but in 2010 I really want to help you with fundraising and any other activities you have planned. I think it is impossible to go to Sembalun and not leave wanting to help. Such an amazing group of people! Likewise if you have any potential volunteers who want to talk to someone who has already volunteered feel free to email me and I would be happy to talk to them. Lastly, I wanted to compliment you. Unlike the other foundations I volunteered with, Fourth World Love was the only one where you can actually see the money that is donated going to good use and not just foundation "running costs" which was very refreshing..so thanks for a great growing, learning, and genuinely rewarding experience.
Ok now on to the fun stuff!
I definitely agree staying with a local family is the way to go. When I left I was balling...it is amazing how quickly you create a bond with your "family." Era, Ibu and her kids were all precious. I seriously LOVE them! The CDC boys are all great and hilarious. I honestly never wanted to leave the community center. Their positive energy is infectious. It is truly amazing at how evident it is that the CDC really makes a difference in the kids (and little kids) English skills. When I taught in the local schools I could tell within one minute which of them were CDC students, they were significantly more advance than the other students. The same goes for the older students. They were carrying dictionary and grammar books around with them everywhere...and some of them know better English grammar than I do. :)
So I am pretty sure I could go on for days telling stories, but instead I've attached a couple of pictures...I seriously took around 2000 pictures. I didn't realize you live in LA so close to me we should meet up sometime to reminisce, share pictures and speak Indonesian (even though mine is still really bad and the boys only taught me bad words and slang haha).
Here are some of Amber's pix - at a local school, on the steps of the CDC, and at the farm where they've been growing organic vegetables again with the help of 4WL. Hi carrots!!! So makes me happy and proud!