Before leaving for our vacation this summer, we were invited by Amy’s counterpart, Bu Kis, to attend her middle-daughter’s graduation from kindergarten. As we’ve written before we are very close to their family, so we were more than happy to share this landmark event with the family.
The event was scheduled to start at 7am. Despite knowing that it would start at least an hour late (jam karat, or, rubber time), we were told that this one would start on time so we should arrive on time. Of course, it started an hour later, but that hour gave us time to talk with some of the other parents or grandparents there and meet some of the kids. I had a long conversation with the grandmother seated next to me as she pointed out her grandson and I pointed out my “nieces”. We then proceeded to talk about how wonderful and beautiful/handsome and smart our kids were.
There were also a few of our students from our Wednesday night class graduating, too. When we first arrived, we could hear “Mr. Will and Ms. Amy!” being whispered by our students throughout the crowd as they were telling their friends who we were. As with any commencement ceremony in Indonesia, it went on for hours, filled with performances by children from the kindergarten and pre-school classes, al Quran readings, diploma giving and even a terrifying clown performance. And, being Indonesia, a boxed lunch was provided, despite the event beginning at 7am.
After a few hours of performances, we were taken to the back of the school where photos of the graduates were being taken by one of our student’s dad. We originally went back to get our picture with Bu Kis’ family, but once back there, we couldn’t get away. The line for pictures with Mr. Will and Ms. Amy quickly formed and we gladly posed with all of the kids who weren’t scared of us.
The whole morning was one of those experiences that I knew I would somehow be involved in during our time in Peace Corps, but still amazes me when I think about how far we have come in our time here.