Leaving Toraja

 

Overview

Leaving Natsir’s place was a lot tougher than we’d imagined. Indeed, the month we spent there was one filled with emotions of all sorts, an unforgettable experience, which surely opened our minds and hearts.

What we Did There

Starting from the first week of September, we created a short story for the students of Natsir’s Nature School based on one of the main issues Toraja is facing: garbage. Turning this story into a show was an ambitious idea. In fact, the class was made of 20 children with ages ranging from 5 to 11 and very different levels of English. Neither of them had taken part in a school play before.

toraja_indonesia_kids.jpg

The result was a success thanks to the children’s enthusiasm, the props they had created out of recycled materials, together with the moral support, beautiful set design and general supervision of all the other volunteers present. A few of the children’s family members and neighboring villagers joined the small audience. At the end of the show, Natsir was able to address them through his tears upon his concerns for the environment and future of his beloved region.

toraja_indonesia_kids.jpg

To wrap up our mission, we built a garbage bin together with the children and organized a garbage race along the streets of the surrounding area. They loved the challenge and showed a lot of interest.

Our Torajan Family

Natsir and his family managed to make us feel home at all times in spite of the numerous cultural differences. Theirs is an open house, a place where neighbors and foreigners from all over the world like to mingle and share duties or fun with the same level of spontaneity and care.

indonesia_workaway.jpg

We left with our bags full of flavors, our minds full of inspiring teachings and our hearts full of gratitude. It was a difficult goodbye. Our impact as individuals is surely limited. Still, we hope that people will continue to help Natsir so that his project will eventually thrive as it deserves. For more info on volunteering at Natsir’s: Natsir’s Nature School.

Terima kasih to our beautiful Torajan family, we will meet again.