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At home, every morning, my alarm goes off at 4:45am, I roll over and shut off my iPod alarm and start my way to the other room. I pick out my workout DVD and start up my laptop. The next thirty minutes, I spend working out and drinking branch chains. At the end of my workout, I have a quick protein shake and jump into the shower. From there I get dressed, pack my lunch, make my second protein shake and watch the news before I leave for work.  Once I arrive to work, I go through the motions and interact with the children, waiting for the clock to hit 3:30p. I then drive home. This is what I thought was a simple day. However, my whole perception has changed.

 

Over the past two weeks, I woke up between four and five AM depending on the call to prayer. I simply lay in bed and think of my day and what needs to be done and then shower using a bucket filled with water. I get dressed; have breakfast (noodles, some sort of pastry and juice) and then its time to grab a cab. The cab takes about 15 minutes to YCHI where I have met the most amazing people to work with. As soon as you enter the grounds, you are welcomed with warm smiles, and eager minds. The therapist’s ask questions about clients and begin to prepare for sessions. As the day continues, I have gotten the chance to sit in on sessions, help with clients, and watch as therapists help children learn.  At the end of the day we sit and share how the day went and discuss topics of interest like data collection and problem behaviors.

 

During this process, I watch as the therapist light up over new information, take notes, ask questions and process the information. The best part is when they have that “aw ha” moment and it all clicks. Their smiles become larger, their eyes get big and their shoulders drop as their body relaxes. That is the moment I realize I had made a difference. This difference wasn’t in the suggestions, but it was passing on the knowledge so that the therapists can be more independent as therapists. I am at YCHI to share my experience and knowledge to individuals who want to learn and become independent.

 

Working in the states I have met many amazing people, but there is always competition to do better then the next person or to please the insurance company. That is not the case in Indonesia. Everyone works together, they open their hearts and minds to strangers to help them learn and they embrace their surroundings by taking every moment as a moment to learn. The countries motto is “Unity in Diversity”, and you see that everywhere you look and especially in YCHI as they use everyone’s different backgrounds to work and grow together.

 

Now, when I go home and wake up at 4:45am, I will stop and take in the moment. I will go to work and look at everyone I work with as an opportunity to learn and gain new experiences. I will not rely on my devices to help me get through the day, but I will rely on the interactions and feedback from others. This is what YCHI as taught me, it is not what you have, but it is about the experiences and people you learn from.  These therapists have taught me so much and I look forward to learning more from them and learning from my experience here.

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