by Mary Morton, a member of the SkillCorps Indonesia March 2016 team

After months of anxiously anticipating my first trip with the Global Autism Project, the time had finally come!  I met my group with whom I instantly bonded and felt like I had known for years. We began our adventure with a “smooth” transition to Indonesia – this included a few extra last minute trips for one member to renew her passport, a quick 12 hour plane ride (that turned into 16 hours and a surprise landing in the wrong airport), a missed connecting flight that resulted in a 13 hour layover and a night’s stay in Dubai, and two separate trips to Jakarta. Ok, maybe it was not very “smooth”, but was it worth it? Absolutely! As soon as we met the wonderful therapists at the Hi5 center we knew every minute spent waiting in line, riding in buses, arguing with airline staff, sleeping on random benches and lugging around our suitcases was worth it. When we saw their sweet faces and how eager they were to pick our brains about ABA, nothing else mattered except that we were finally here and ready to get to work. 

It is now the end of our second day working with our Indonesian partners and I think I can speak for everyone when I say that I can’t imagine leaving them next week. They have shown us how much Skillcorps has taught them, blown us away with the progress they’ve made and fed us with delicious snacks (especially the happy banana which is the most delicious snack in all of Asia). It has only been 6 days since we left NY and I can already say I have made memories that will last forever…even if three of those days were spent trying to get here!

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