This entry was written by Matheus Ferri, a Red Nose Intern from Brazil:
When I chose Indonesia to do my exchange I wanted to experience something different from what I had in Brazil and could get in other place. Different Habits. Different lifestyle. Different beliefs.
Cilincing is not exactly a nice place to live and neither is the slum we go to at Bintaro. Apart from that the kids are always happy and even happier when we get there but it still amazes me. The cultural shock in the first week after I arrived at Indonesia was quite big, the reality at both our workplaces is completely different from what I live in Brazil and though we have people living under those conditions too since we are also a country striving to develop I had never been so close to poorness and people that face it everyday. Not only the condition startled me but also dealing with kids, I needed to learn to control my patience and go slowly with the teaching.
Regarding Indonesia a lot of things are different from Brazil. The food is too spicy, the climate is very hot and humid and there is an amazing quantity of malls. In my city we don’t have that many motorcycles in the traffic and not even that much traffic as Jakarta does.
After getting used to the differences in the following days after that first experience me and Emily started to know all the children, memorize their names and to try to make them comfortable with our presence since a lot of them were very shy. When that was done work became easier and the weeks flew. After 7 weeks now I am getting prepared for the last one and I still have a lot more to see and learn from them.