Saturday, April 21, 2012

Buku Buku: Chapter 2: Lawamena Mission Experiences = 8 Reasons

 so it wasn't all a touristic adventure
there were a number of reasons why we went 
as a team representing Lawamena to Ambon ...

reason 1:
was to help set up a reading corner in the library of two primary schools
to make it inviting & interesting & welcoming & a great place to go to read
& to encourage the teachers in their good work
these are the wonderful VHC wall panels that we planned, my mum basically
made with the help of P&Sq ... & i just finished the binding
don't they look great!
i also decided to make a couple of "I Spy" quilts/mats
to take to each school
this was another little extra to help create a wonderful 
welcoming exciting place for the 
children to go to read 
but to also use as a starting off point for 
story telling/writing
i did my very best to talk to as many 
class room teachers & the principals 
 via translation to explain some of the ways 
that these quilts/mats can be used 
.... i hope they are the starting point for many 
wonderful imaginative ideas!? 

reason 2:
was to take donated supplementary books for their library collections
in both Bahasa Indonesian & English

reason 3:
& to impart the idea of using children's literature as a starting point
for cross-curricular learning ....
to help illustrate this we split into 2 groups
lead by Robyn (years 1, 2 & 3) 
& myself (years 4, 5 & 6)
we rotated through the classes repeating our programme 
as we visited each class
we used the wonderful story of
written & illustrated by Eric Carle
if you've been following here for a while you've probably noted that by now!!
we read the story in English
& it was translated as we read for the children
its a simple story that is really pitched at much younger children 
but given the language barriers we deliberately chose a story that was simple
has lots of layers of learning
its brilliant colour is of course endearing
& in Ambon they have amazing butterflies!!
the size of small birds mind you!!
didn't ever quite get a live pic of one .... as they are so quick!
we then did some 'work' type exercises based on the story
we demonstrated how to use children's literature to teach 
maths, language, science etc ....
we encourage the teachers to think about some of their
own stories that perhaps they could use the same idea with ....
we held a quiz & do you know ....
... you can just never ever underestimate a child
no matter where they live or what their background might be!!

What's the scientific term for the process 
when a caterpillar changes into a butterfly???
do you know?
one little boy knew
he knew the word!!
its a scientific word so its the same in any language
& he described the whole process!!
i was seriously impressed!!
these 2 boys were setting to & having a look
at the special pop-up book when we were leaving!!
whoo hooo!!! it worked!!

reason 4:
 it's all about learning to love to read

in Ambon they have a saying
" Tiada hari tanpa membaca"
which basically translates to
'read everyday'

Lawamena is offering a scholarship to one child
from each of the 2 schools
we worked with
it has been arranged with the principal that the child
who reads the most books will receive
a scholarship for one year for their education
i made/ photocopied book marks for each student
with a caterpillar
... each section of the caterpillar's body is a space
for the teachers initial when a book is witnessed having been read! ....
 hopefully we were able to encourage them to get to & read & learn ...

reason 5:
Lawamena is sponsoring a serve of UHT milk
being distributed to every child at 3 schools
once a month
so next time you have a glass of milk
.... treat it like gold!

reason 6:
Lawamena sponsor about 50 primary & secondary students
they & their families are interviewed
& their circumstances are seriously considered
scholarships are given where there is a need 
& where Lawamena has sufficient funding
i am proud to say that last year i personally helped with fundraising
for this non-profit organization
so that you know ...
.... you can directly sponsor a student to help educate 
an individual through Lawamena
its not much but i know it would change a life
Lawamena held a special presentation & dinner
for the scholarship recipients
at the presentation the students were give a gift bag filled with goodies
i'm sure they felt the 'love'
.... including a handmade pencil roll or exercise book cover
it was so much more meaningful being there to meet the children
& see how proud they were
it was held at the Governor General's offices
& was a great evening
as a group we served them the meal
it was a bit overwhelming in some ways to have the likes of us serve them
but we didn't see it that way!
i met 'Angel' the very first student that Lawamena
sponsored - she has finished school & is now doing a office admin course
she would never have been able to finish school without this support
she was a lovely young lady with goals & aspirations like anyone her age

 reason 7:
at the same event
Lawamena also presented scholarships to
6 mid wife nurses to complete their final year of study
below is my friend Aretha in the centre with the nurses

...... we were sung to
danced for
served food & water
we were hugged & kissed
& we were photographed
it was a wonderful experience to 
share our love & care
which really was very very little effort
in the grand scheme of things ...
... & more effort is required
& i can probably safely say
that we all felt as if we walked away the richer in our hearts
our little aussie blonde haired blue eyed pale skinned boy
was quite simply adored
of course to us he is our world
i hope that every child we met is equally 
loved & adored by their families & carers
they captured my heart ...
... in fact the morning we arrived in Ambon
exhausted from an overnight flight with no sleep
we found out that one of the schools had thought
we were visiting them directly from the airport
ahhh .... there is nothing like miscommunication in any language!!
so a few of us jumped in cars & went
there they were assembled all 300+ students
impeccably dressed in freshly pressed uniforms
it was hot, i was dripping
& they sang
& sang
& moved
& clapped
& smiled
& danced & we danced too
& i cried .... slow uncontrollable tears ...
streaming down my face
see i think God catches us out sometimes 
when he wants to speak deep into our souls
... sometimes we need to be struck hard!!!
if i'd had head space & time 
I would have stilled my heart & paced myself in preparation
knowing there were heart strings to tug at
however ...
.... i didn't get to prepare myself
& i'm now the better for it!

reason 8:
to see & hear & feel & love & show kindness & care
to learn, to be aware
to be able to come back home to
share ...
so this is me sharing the story
there will be another Lawamena Mission Trip ...
... do you want to go too?
anything is possible
we would go again in a wink ; )


thornberry said...

Wendy, I'm really enjoying reading about your trip. It is just wonderful, and I look forward to having the chance to hear about it in person at some stage! Congratulations on all that you have done there.

Cas said...

that was 1 awesome read with 8 amazing reasons :) love the story & thanks for sharing your journey :)

Anonymous said...

What an amazing story and journey you guys went on! It gave me goosebumps reading :-) Claire x

Kylie said...

What an amazing journey and experience you have all had. Enriching the lives of children and hopefully there families.