“It always seems impossible until it is done.” Nelson Mandela
The Seminar was an opportunity for us volunteers to reflect on our term of service in Indonesia,
for many of us we have completed 4 months and there were 3 volunteers whom only started
there service recently.
January has been a long month, this means that it has really been eventful and also for me a
month of reflection. After a busy Christmas period I was looking forward to a trip to another city
within the Island of South East Sulawesi namely Toraja, this was where our mid-term/end of
term seminar was to be held. I have heard many stories about Toraja and something about this place intrigued me, well let’s just say my time spent there did not dissapoint.
It was interesting to hear and share the different experiences through the various methods provided, example drawing pictures, group discussion, games and one on one disussions. Each method gave a different aspect of remembering the good times and also the challenging experiences we all faced. What was apparent to me was that most of us faced similar
challenges and during our discussions we could find solutions to these problems as well as look forward to the next couple of months and also our roads ahead with new and exciting eyes.
A topic that is worth mentioning is the topic of gender equility in Indonesia, this was intesively
discussed as many of the volunteers are women. From my experience in Kendari I felt that the role of women within the Christian community and my host families were that of strong
independent women who are passionate about their church duties as well as family life. Many
of the women in my host families held promenant positions in the workplace and are able to provide for the family just as well as the man. This was a different experience for some of other
volunteers as they felt the role of the women was still traditional, man provides for the
household and the women stays at home cooking and cleaning and certain jobs are only for
Indonesia is also majority muslim and I felt really previleged to be coming from South Africa where we have a multi-cultural society therefore I understood some of the muslim
traditions with regards to men and women, for some of the other volunteers these traditions
came as a shock and it was good for us to discuss and learn from each other I think this was a
real eye opening and fruitful experience for all.
As I look back at the past 5 months I cant help but smile and be thankful for all the opportunities that have come my way, yes it was not easy but I have learnt many new things
along the way. I had time to give back to a community that needed something I have to offer as well as time to reflect on my journey so far as well as the road ahead, after the seminar we all felt energised until we realised it will all soon be over.
As the saying goes all good things come to an end therefore make the most of each and every
day – an awesome motto to live by.