A Smile a Hug and Handshake

I had the opportunity to visit an elementary school in the Puncak mountains in West Java.

Simple joy can be found in a smile, a hug or handshake and a little bit of sign language:)



I asked a question in Indonesian Bahasa.

Apa Kabar which translates. How are you?

Then I signed it while the instructor translated.

I then share with the boys they are handsome and the girls are beautiful.

The instructor asked me, So this is the sign for “I am handsome”  I repeated, and then he asked so “I am young and handsome” and I signed back.

The kids thought that was hysterical.


One of the most enriching experiences I have encountered in Indonesia was during a service trip to Yayasan Usaha Mulia (YUM) Village. Translated into English means Foundation for Noble Work. YUM is a non-for-profit organization that works to improve the quality of life of the poor in Indonesia. Millions of families continue to live below the poverty line, surviving on less than two dollars a day. YUM has worked for more than four decades to support communities, to give them hope and a way out of the cycle of poverty.

They provide in home visits to the elderly. Wellness checkups for mothers and elderly and after school programs for less fortunate village children. YUM’s mission is to work with communities in providing holistic and sustainable support in the areas of health, education and community development. Their goal is to not be 100% reliable on donors and to expand their service projects to include an entrepreneurial program for the youth given that less than 2% of these children will ever experience a college education.

During their wellness clinic I offered to teach chair yoga and movement to the elderly while they waited to see the Dr.

Most of these women who are in their 60’s 70’s and 80’s are still out in the fields everyday working long hours to support their families.