By: Catherine Tiona
Week 2 has come to an end, and we are on our way to the airport hotel for our last night in Jakarta. We said our goodbyes to the staff at Rumah Tiara. Most held in their tears, although I am pretty sure we all had them welling in our eyes. The emotion was for the excitement of the trip we’ve experienced, the love and embrace we were given by the staff, and the knowledge that these people are doing great work. The dedication to these families that the staff has is incredible. One staff member travels upwards of 3 hours EACH WAY everyday to work at the center! That’s amazing. I am beyond thrilled to see where Rumah Tiara is in a few years.
What am I bringing home? Far more than I expected. 1. Hope, hope that my country sees what ABA can do. Hope that the support of Autism everywhere grows. 2. Appreciation, appreciation for everything I personally have and have taken for granted all of my life. 3. Respect, respect for all these individuals in Indonesia, and everywhere else, who’ve taken a stand to say that autism needs to be supported everywhere. 4. Desire, desire for more change in my own country to have cultural appreciation, inclusion, patience, and respect. 5. Knowledge, knowledge of another culture as well as what I can do as a future BCBA. And 6…. Dirty laundry… Definitely need to wash my clothes, because Indonesia is hot and humid, so you can imagine how ripe my luggage smells right now.
Thank you GAP for letting me be a part of Skill Corps and getting to go on an eye opening experience.