After two weeks of planning, raising money, and finalizing all the details about our visit to Panti Asuhan (Orphanage) Pondok Si Boncel in Jakarta, the day was finally here. We were going to celebrate Christmas with the children at Panti Asuhan Pondok Si Boncel. We had a few minor stuff to buy in the morning. During my first meeting with Sister Philomina, we decided to celebrate the Christmas with some form of entertainment.

The event won’t start until about 10 am. We arrived with a minute or two to spare. It was a holiday so the traffic wasn’t as bad as it is during a normal business day. There were 15 of us in the group. It was a little short of my target of 20. I had a few late cancellations including my 4-year-old nephew and 2-year-old niece who arrived in town late on Monday (Christmas Eve) after a 6-hour journey from my hometown on the island of Sumatra.

We catered the food from Wendy’s. We hired 3 cartoon characters and an MC to entertain the kids. Upon arrival, all the kids from the age of 1.5 – 6 years old have gathered on the corridor around the courtyard. It was a beautiful day. And considering it has been raining hard in Jakarta for the past month or so, it was indeed a good news.

There was a cameraman with some of his crews at the Orphanage. As it turned out they were from a National Television Station called TPI; covering Christmas celebration at the orphanage. Whoaa … we get some air time on national TV. That’s great. No interview please. 😉

We didn’t have to wait long to kick off the celebration. Sister Philomina got the children to sing together. The three Cartoon Characters made a grand entrance. There were Sponge Bob, Dora, and Barney. The kids were really excited to see them. I don’t really get it but then again I am probably too old to understand it. Who cares about what I feel right? After all, this celebration is for them, not me. Poor old me. 😀

The MC was funny and interactive with the children. He got the children to sing and respond to his silly questions. He made some kids came up and sang some kiddie songs; the same song I used to sing when I was their age. A daughter of a friend of mine sang Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. The weather got a little cloudy so we had to move on quickly to the next event. The MC tried hard to get the kids occupied while the rest of us hid the presents in the courtyard.

Once it was ready, Sister Philomina gathered all the children and told them there were presents hidden in the courtyard. She laid the ground rule for everyone. Presents wrapped in blue are for boys and presents wrapped in pink are for girls and only 1 gift per person. On the count of 10, the children rushed to the courtyard to get themselves a present.

I saw a boy rushed to the courtyard and got himself 2 presents and I was like … Oh no. That wasn’t the ground rule laid down by Sister Philomina. And then I saw the boy brought one of the present to another boy who was sick and didn’t actually participated in the game. It was so touching. There I was thinking the worst; and I couldn’t have been more wrong. I fell flat on my face; and deservedly so. I was ashamed of myself. It is a good for a change to see some kids who are actually care for others instead of just their own. There are simply too many out-of-control kids who need to learn a little more discipline.Once every children got their presents, they walked back to the corridors and opened up the presents. They played with it for a little while.

A little girl, Tina, was interviewed by the TV crew. She was one of my favorite. According to the staff at the orphanage, she eats twice as much as everyone else. She is such a sweetheart. Here she is with a friend of mine.Around 11 am, everyone were hungry, myself included. Sister Philomina asked one boy to lead the prayer. I remember most of the words. After all, I was educated in Christian School almost my entire life. After the prayer, we all had lunch together. Yes, they serve rice with the combo meal. :-) You can insert your rice joke here. :-p

After lunch, we gave away gift bags to the kids. It was a chaos. The children seems impatient and I didn’t help the cause by standing between them and the gift bags. 😉 Everyone got one. I was nervous because at one point it looked like we might not have enough for everyone. Soon after, we had a group picture in one of the room. It was almost noon then so that means it’s nap time for the kids. They had another event that same afternoon.

We walked around the orphanage. I already did that last week during my first visit so I let my friends explore a little more this time around. I talked to Sister Philomina about the baby who suffered from intestine disease. It’s a boy. His parents are really poor and his mum is deaf. He was born prematurely. He is now about 2-week old and been staying at the hospital since the day he was brought to the orphanage. I’ll be in touch with Sister Philomina to check on his progress. Tough boy.

Before saying goodbye, we signed the guest book and took a picture with Sister Philomina. It’s a noble thing what she does at the orphanage. She is very grateful for what we did and I thank her for letting us share this special day with her and the children.

I can’t thank you enough for your contribution to this cause. Rest assured this will not be the end of my work here in Indonesia.

2007 Christmas Celebration at Panti Asuhan Si Boncel in Jakarta
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Manto & San San
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Kids playing on the courtyard
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Children on the corridor
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Children on the corridor
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The Kiddies (1.5 - 3 years old)
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Sponge Bob
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Barney & Dora
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Precious Smile
2007 Christmas Celebration at Panti Asuhan Si Boncel in Jakarta
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Me taking pictures
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San San checking her camcorder
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Unwrapping Present
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Even the young ones don't wanna miss the fun.
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Cha cha cha
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Hello Tina
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Lia & Manto, two of the volunteers
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Hello hello
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Me and the Kids
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Lia and her two nephews
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Nicky & Kenny
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Fatherly Love
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Kids playing on the courtyard
2007 Christmas Celebration at Panti Asuhan Si Boncel in Jakarta
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Careful Tina
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She is such a sweetheart
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What's up Kenny?
2007 Christmas Celebration at Panti Asuhan Si Boncel in Jakarta
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Group Fun
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Hiaatttt
2007 Christmas Celebration at Panti Asuhan Si Boncel in Jakarta
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One of my favorite kid
2007 Christmas Celebration at Panti Asuhan Si Boncel in Jakarta
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Merry Christmas ho ho ho
2007 Christmas Celebration at Panti Asuhan Si Boncel in Jakarta
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Same new hair-do ... :-)
2007 Christmas Celebration at Panti Asuhan Si Boncel in Jakarta
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Some of the volunteers aka my friends
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How long do we have to wait again?
2007 Christmas Celebration at Panti Asuhan Si Boncel in Jakarta
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The wait is killing me
2007 Christmas Celebration at Panti Asuhan Si Boncel in Jakarta
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That boy in green is so cute
2007 Christmas Celebration at Panti Asuhan Si Boncel in Jakarta
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Some of the young kiddos
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Some of the older ones
2007 Christmas Celebration at Panti Asuhan Si Boncel in Jakarta
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Prolonged wait
2007 Christmas Celebration at Panti Asuhan Si Boncel in Jakarta
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A Leong, cheerful kid
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Numero Uno
2007 Christmas Celebration at Panti Asuhan Si Boncel in Jakarta
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Tough boy huh?
2007 Christmas Celebration at Panti Asuhan Si Boncel in Jakarta
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Let me fix it for ya.
2007 Christmas Celebration at Panti Asuhan Si Boncel in Jakarta
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Matching color
2007 Christmas Celebration at Panti Asuhan Si Boncel in Jakarta
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Rock n Roll dude
2007 Christmas Celebration at Panti Asuhan Si Boncel in Jakarta
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Finger-drawing on the ceramic
2007 Christmas Celebration at Panti Asuhan Si Boncel in Jakarta
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Dora and Barney
2007 Christmas Celebration at Panti Asuhan Si Boncel in Jakarta
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Stuffy nose Tina?
2007 Christmas Celebration at Panti Asuhan Si Boncel in Jakarta
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The MC interacting with the kids
2007 Christmas Celebration at Panti Asuhan Si Boncel in Jakarta
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Hello Spongey
2007 Christmas Celebration at Panti Asuhan Si Boncel in Jakarta
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Sponge Bob & Valeryn (daughter of a friend)
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Another Spongey & Valeryn
2007 Christmas Celebration at Panti Asuhan Si Boncel in Jakarta
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Day dreaming
2007 Christmas Celebration at Panti Asuhan Si Boncel in Jakarta
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My couz Tansri playing with kids
2007 Christmas Celebration at Panti Asuhan Si Boncel in Jakarta
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Valeryn is singing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star
2007 Christmas Celebration at Panti Asuhan Si Boncel in Jakarta
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The kids and some of the caretakers
2007 Christmas Celebration at Panti Asuhan Si Boncel in Jakarta
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Quit taking my picture.
2007 Christmas Celebration at Panti Asuhan Si Boncel in Jakarta
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Ok ok. Last picture.
2007 Christmas Celebration at Panti Asuhan Si Boncel in Jakarta
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That is a pretty yellow dress
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You are just too cute. :-)
2007 Christmas Celebration at Panti Asuhan Si Boncel in Jakarta
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Such a sweetheart
2007 Christmas Celebration at Panti Asuhan Si Boncel in Jakarta
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Indonesian Idol in action
2007 Christmas Celebration at Panti Asuhan Si Boncel in Jakarta
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Sisi, my other volunteer
2007 Christmas Celebration at Panti Asuhan Si Boncel in Jakarta
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Yo yo yo
2007 Christmas Celebration at Panti Asuhan Si Boncel in Jakarta
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Hi there little sis
2007 Christmas Celebration at Panti Asuhan Si Boncel in Jakarta
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I adore you
2007 Christmas Celebration at Panti Asuhan Si Boncel in Jakarta
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Get settt ... Go ....
2007 Christmas Celebration at Panti Asuhan Si Boncel in Jakarta
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A Cong, get out of the way before those kids run you over
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Off we go
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Boys are fast
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Girl said 'Not so fast Mr.'
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Both girls are smart. They are more focused.
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Now I see what I want
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Sorry kids. Dora is not a present.
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I got one here
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Triumph ... :-)
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You want a piece of me? :-)
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Is everything gone?
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I have two. This one's for you.
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I got one too.
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TV crew captured the moment.
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Spongey is in for the fun
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The under-3-year-olds unwrapping presents
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Concentrate ... concentrate ...
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Tina being interviewed by the TV network
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Helping hand
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Tina again
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What is this black thingy?
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Car again?
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They are pretty relentless huh Tina?
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Cars or doll? Hmmm .. tough choice.
2007 Christmas Celebration at Panti Asuhan Si Boncel in Jakarta
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Car wins everytime
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I don't get boys with their cars.
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I'll have my doll thank you very much.
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Sisi helping Tina with the doll
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Anthony and Lia
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Anthony & Kenny
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San San, Lia, & Nicky
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The kids are ready for the dance
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To the left ...
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To the front ...
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Tansri with a kid
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Valeryn and grandma
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Valeryn & Spongey
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My shirt is a little loose. Sorry.
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Dora and Valeryn
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Valeryn and her favorite character Barney
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Anthony and Tina
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Anthony and Tina take 2
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Amrin and the kids
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Me and Valeryn
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Hang loose
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Amrin and the girls of Boncel
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Anthony and Tina take mmm ... whatever the number is.
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Here we go again
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Sisi and Tina
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Tina the primadona
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Listen up
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Lunch time
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Yummie ...
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Dude, this is not a place to pick up women.
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I guess it is.
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Donation to the Orphanage
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Spongey, Dora, and Barney with the kids
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Add me to the mix
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Groups picture 1
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Group picture 2
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Nicky and Kenny in Indonesian Power Rangers
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A cong & the 'Tribal Leader'
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The Tribal Leader
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Christmas Cards for the Orphanage
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If only we can share the same message
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Group picture with Sister Philomina

Television Coverage

Before we left, Sister Philomina informed me that our event would be shown on television at 5 pm. I recorded it with my digital camera so the quality isn’t top notch.

Breakdown of Spending

1. Catered foods for lunch (75 combo meals for children + 85 combo meals for adults (57 staff at the orphanage) Rp 3,451,500

2. Cartoon Characters and MC Rp 1,500,000

3. 75 toys (49 for boys & 26 for girls) Rp 1,565,000

4. Gift Bags (tooth paste, tooth brush, snacks, etc), Shampoo, Lotion, Powder, Detergent, Softener Rp 2,600,000

5. Basic Foods (rice, cooking oil, sugar, salt, soy sauce, sweet soy sauce, milk) Rp 2,639,000

6. Medicine (requested by Sister Philomina) Rp 2,591,000

7. Pyjamas (110 for boys and 56 for girls) Rp 3,818,000

Total: Rp 18,164,500 (US$ 1,950)

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