Natsir’s nature school (part 2)

In our last post we mentioned Natsir’s nature school and what goes on there. One thing was missing there and that was some kind of structure. The building is standing, the kids come to class, the volunteers are present, but a curriculum is no where to be found. One of the volunteers made it her job to create a curriculum and a list of all the students who attend the classes. It’s a good thing she is able to come multiple times to check up on what they are doing and see how the curriculum is being used. When this curriculum is finished we’re sure that it will help the school and also the future volunteers who will help out Natsir, especially if they don’t have any teaching experience, this will offer them a guideline to prepare lessons.

We really hope more volunteers will come and help out at Natsir’s Nature school, because he does alot for his community and doesn’t want anything in return for it. He’s not rich with money, but rich with kindness and even though he doesn’t have the funds, it doesn’t stop him from doing everything he can. On one of his doors was the quote “If you fail, try again.” this really suits him, inpires us, and should be used by everyone!

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This man is a true inspiration, because not only does he try to educate kids to a better future, he also helps kids who suffer from a cleft lip through an organization called smile train. Smile train offers free operation for those who can’t afford it, but many people believe it’s a scam because they think there is no such thing as a free operation. Natsir takes his time to visit these families and assure them this operation is necessary for their kids future and no penny will be taken from them. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity, which makes it hard to believe for a lot of families in Indonesia. Natsir’s family used to be one of these families who got this opportunity and could not believe it. They took the risk and now he can bring smiles to many families,Β this makes him a good spokesman.

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Besides teaching we also helped out at his garden where he grows many fruits and vegetables without using any pesticides, he really stands for being as pure and natural as possible.Β He believes everything in nature has its purpose and healing effects and he has alot of knowledge about how to make good use of all these plants instead of relying on western medicine like we do. It’s better to drink ginger tea for stomachache than taking some pill with substances we can’t even pronounce. Next time we’re there we are definitely going to plant something in his garden, but since it was too dry we couldn’t.

Some of the garden work we did was digging a pond to preserve water in the rainy season. Digging a pond here is not like we do at home,Β  shoveling mud from the ground. No this was something else! With the burning sun on your back  pounding hard rocky parts out of the ground with a heavy metal poking stick (we don’t know the name). We tried our best to help, but thank god there were guys there to use the muscle that was much needed on this dry rock. This was an amazing experience we wouldn’t ever imagine of having. And HOORAY before the first volunteers left the pond was finished!

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We also helped by cleaning the pine needles which kept falling from the trees and cleaning the mess the kids made around the house. Kids will be kids and we love cleaning their mess, as long as they have fun!

All in all this was one of the best experiences of our lives, not only because of Natsir, but also because of the 6 awesome volunteers who we have grown very close to over those passed 2 weeks.

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Hanna, Joe, Micaela, Gavin , Melissa & Simon we danced when it rained (even though it was for 5 minutes), sang songs (no scurbs), had great laughs and shared our stories, oh and not forgetting the foamy green pool we dove into anyway. Thank you for an amazing time and letting us get to know you guys, we didn’t expect it would be hard to say goodbye to you guys, but we know this isn’t the last we will see of you!

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