By Savannah Warrington, a member of the SkillCorps Indonesia February 2018 team
I am 24 hours into my journey home with at least 12 left to go. Long flights and long layovers have given me time to begin to process the last 2 weeks. I have met phenomenal women and a couple amazing men. The team that I was placed with worked cohesively as we each struggled with our own physical, emotional, and mental trials. We bonded over missed flights, delayed flights, lack of information regarding said delayed flights. We laughed and bonded in ways that can only happen when pushed out of your comfort zone into the unknown with a little bit of hysteria brought on by lack of sleep. We had a crazy adventurous excursion biking through the jungle, the busy market, various neighborhoods and rice fields. We experienced the sunrise at Borobudur Temple and toured the Pamnarob Temple. We bounced around in jeeps and explored the base of Mount Merapi and again connections were found and bonds were created. We spent the day with Rani and Hotik playing tour guide and worked our way through an almost 2 hour mostly standstill traffic jam. While some of these experiences tested my patience and joyful personality, the laughs that resulted allowed me to make it through without a bitter taste in my mouth. Friendships have been created that I hope continue to develop, some hopefully soon at ABAI!
At Rumah Tiara each day we spent working with Rani, Hotik and their staff I was amazed. Amazed at how they have taken their passion for children to create a center based in ABA as they continue to grow their own knowledge. I got to see them each grow in their confidence with English, and their knowledge. I saw that passion is universal, autism is universal and the struggles and triumphs look the same even when I was across the world. I grew a separate relationship with both Rani and Hotik. I got to see the mission of Global Autism Project in action and I am blessed to have been a part of it. We worked with the staff of Rumah Tiara, we did not do for them and honestly often we just gave them the validation that they needed to know they could trust their gut and their knowledge of the science we all love. We worked on parent interviews, behavior plans, data collection and mastery criteria. Things I deal with on a daily basis in my job. And while sure we helped them learn some new tricks and helped them find the confidence in what they already knew. They taught me things that I am going to take home and implement in my own case load and professional development. I am so glad that I made the decision to join Global Autism Project in working towards sustainable change for the international world of autism and ABA. I will not be the same personally or professionally. I can only hope that the change in myself is as sustainable as the change I was a part of in Indonesia.