March 21, 2014

9,066 miles from Denver to Takengon, Indonesia: Meeting the Team

Build Change


Build Change has programs in Indonesia, so I am spending a week and a half to visit our program site in Takengon and meet with some of our current partners, like USAID, and a few potential partners. Expanding our partnerships is an exciting process that will allow us to widen our impact in Indonesia.

It’s my first time in Indonesia. Jakarta is definitely a thriving city with tons of energy. While there was a lot of traffic that made it difficult to get around, the road in front of the hotel was blocked off on Sunday as part of a “Car-Free Sundays” program. It was filled with pedestrians, runners, roller-bladers and an overall carnival atmosphere.

After the meetings, I traveled to our current project area in Takengon, on the island of Sumatra. This trip involved a seven-hour car ride from Banda Aceh to Takengon. The ride was not for the faint of heart. The road is very narrow, very curvy, and shared with buses, construction trucks, regular cars and hundreds and hundreds of motorbikes and scooters. The darkness and fog made things even more interesting!

I made it to Takengon safely. The town is very beautiful, located in the highlands of Sumatra on the shore of a beautiful lake surrounded by lush green hills. I met with my team in person for the first time since I began working with them over two years ago! I’ll be working with them on a variety of financial and administrative matters during the week. I also met the rest of the Build Change Indonesia team and am anxious to get into the field to see the work they’ve been doing to help the region build back after a major earthquake last July.

By this summer, we hope to have 2,500 houses well on their way to being rebuilt safely, as well as a trained local workforce left in place that will ensure that earthquake-resistant construction will continue in the future.

by Tim Louis, Director of Finance & Administration, Build Change

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