It seems crazy that I’ve been gone an entire week! I’m not really sure where time went, but man oh man is it going quickly! It was another incredible day here at YCHI! It’s really hard to believe that in such as short time I’ve become so attached. When you work with a team that shows so much passion, and are so eager to learn its so inspiring. This is a group of individuals that love their job, like I love mine… and I can totally relate. They are 100% in this for the kids, even the tiniest successes are important. On our first day here Mr. Zulfikar, pointed out that life really isn’t like a box of chocolates… when you get a box of chocolate you are always going to get some type of chocolate, but in life that’s not always the case.  In the case of YCHI, I would tend to disagree… one thing you are ALWAYS going to get here is the love, enthusiasm, and passion for learning about autism, raising awareness, and providing the best treatment possible! All of this is done with minimal resources and support, but perhaps the most important ingredient is HOPE!!!! We’ve only  been at YCHI for 3 days, but  the dedication is so profound.
         The chance to observer more kids today was a great experience. It was nice to see them working on and building real life skills including motor skills, following directions, matching, counting, and my favorite, imaginative play. In some ways they are the kiddos I work with and love so much. The therapists here are helping them to become the best possible individuals they can be, and I suspect in same ways the kiddos are helping them to be the best they can be as well. We have 1 day here left this week before we travel to Solo, and then Borabudour for our excursion. While I’m excited to see what those experiences have to bring, there’s a part of me that would give it all up in a heartbeat to have just a few more days here! With that said, as many of  you know, I’m a firm believer that everything in life happens for a reason, and I’m confident that each and every experience on this trip is helping me to become the best person I can be! Each and every one plays a part in the person I am.
         Today’s sharing session was also good.  We talked a bunch about the ABC’s of behavior, and even with the language barrier, you can see how beneficial the training really was. All the therapists were like sponges soaking it all up, giving examples, and some great discussion.  I’m excited to see as time goes on, the progress the therapists make in a short amount of time that we are here, and to hear about how they are doing once I return home!
         One of the many lessons I’m learning on this trip is where my own boundaries and limits are, and how far they actually can be pushed. I’m fortunate in that while I don’t have all the same comforts that I have at home, many allowances have been made so that I can still be comfortable. Just the food alone has been an experience. It may sound crazy, but I’m working on a list of all the different types of fruit that I eat while I’m here.  We have access to many different fresh fruits, and its nice to live a little bit dangerously and literally get a taste of something new.  I’m also working on my tolerance for spicy foods.  Everything here tends to be on the spicy side, but I feel like in order to truly experience it I have to let go a little. So far it has been an amazing trip and I can’t wait for the next adventure!
Amanda Ritchey
SkillCorps Team Member

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