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3 April

Page history last edited by PBworks 18 years, 2 months ago

Monday 3 April


Watching from the ferryboatArabella Churchill


Mr. Fir comes to collect us and drives us to the ferry port, where Saril of Muslim Aid also joins us for thankyous and goodbyes. We have coffee and doughnuts together at the cafe. Mr. Fir seems to have been promised 500,000 rupiahs a day by Muslim Aid on our behalf, so I feel I have to pay him this much, even though it does seem much too much, considering the discomfort of his vehicle and the short hours we had him each day. But he is a lovely man and we don't feel we can let him down if he was expecting this much - but we will have to agree a lower price before we visit here again, or the budget will go "arse over tit", as they say!


Catch up with the diary a bit on the ferry ride back to Banda Aceh, and then go out on deck as the mainland nears. From the sea you can really see the whole flat area, and the devastation that was caused by the tsunami. The flat area is huge - almost as big as the Somerset Levels, and it was just completely swamped. It is cheering to see so many houses being built, but imagining the loss of life and how terrifying it must have been is deeply upsetting. It really is going to take this area years to recover completely!


Making contacts - Save the Children


A Muslim Aid driver collects us and takes us and our luggage back to the hotel. Save the Children can't see us till 2.00, so we send the driver away till 1.45 and take the opportunity to unpack properly in Room 203 and make ourselves feel at home. There is an internet office in the hotel, which will be really useful. There is also nightly karaoke, which is not quite so welcome!


We grab a quick lunch and set off to see John Bugge, who is the Information Officer for Save the Children and Khayo and Rini who lead their Child Protection Team. They tell us about Save the Children's work. They have set up 4 sessions for us at their Early Child Development Centres on 11th and 12th April - and if we DO undertake the journey to Medan overland, as Muslim Aid have suggested, to work with Traditional Schools along the North/East Malacca Strait coast, then there are 3 Save the Children centres we can also visit on the way. But the more I think about it, the more I think we should instead spend more time in Banda Aceh itself this trip. This is where the need is greatest, and we really want to get our shows into the tented camps and barracks. We also need more time to make contact with more NGO's, so that setting up the bigger Children's World International Tour later this year will be easier. We want to talk housing with Save the Children as well, so John makes an appointment for us to see their head of housing tomorrow, Tuesday, morning.


Muslim Aid's plans for us


Then we are driven to Muslim Aid. Fadlulah is in Java, but Muchtar who is co-ordinating our Muslim Aid touring is there.


He has set up a Kindergarten visit for us for Wednesday morning, and visits to Traditional Muslim Boarding Schools (dayas) from 4.30 pm till 6.00 pm on the afternoons of Wednesday 5th, Thursday 6th, Friday 7th and Saturday 8th, which is great. Apparently there will be about 25 children at the Kindergarten and about 100 older children, between the ages of 12 and 16, at each of the Daya Schools.


Muslim Aid are also seeing what Dayas we could visit if we undertake the journey to Medan overland rather than by air.


We are driven back to the middle of town. I go and do more internetting and get all my emails and reply to them, and then go back to our hotel room to make up more badge components, as the first lot got completely depleted at Kreung Raya.


How to make badges in three easy lessons ...


Preparing the components for badge-making sessions is really quite time-consuming. Before we do a session, we need to cut out the paper badge-circles with the cutting machine, then draw a circle in the middle of each paper badge circle (the outer part of the paper turns under, when the badge is made - so the children need to know which part they can draw their design in for it to show on the completed badge). We also have to put the pins into the plastic badge backs. When we are doing badge sessions with the children, we give them each a paper centre, and they then design, draw and colour their badge cedntre with felt tipped pens that we provide. Then they bring me their completed badge centre. I put the metal front into the badge-making machine, place the child's design on top of that, and then a thin plastic laminate on top of that. This is "crunched" by the machine, and then in the other half of the machine I place the plastic back part of the badge, into which we have already inserted the pin, and the two parts of the badge are "crunched" together. It really takes quite a lot of preparation time - but it is well worth it, as the badges look really professional and the children are proud as punch with the badges they produce.


Quick dinner and then more badge component preparation while watching a film on the telly. Early bed as we are really quite tired from all the running around in this heat.




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