Just got back from a couple of days in Indonesia where I was helping to deck out an orphanage with some cartoon sunflower frescoes (among other things) like some sort of weird Van Gogh/Da Vinci/Whoever-Illustrates-the-Beano hybrid. Good times.
We were staying at a small orphanage called ‘Filadelphia’ on the Indonesian Island of Batam, where, next Sunday, a new kindergarten is opening (hence the decorative spree). I loved every bit of the trip – the ferry crossing to the island, meeting the kids, staying up till half one painting, getting my hands completely covered, being genuinely out-skilled by a ten-year-old at football (anyone who knows me won’t find that hard to believe…) and even been stopped for a ‘random’ security check at customs, drugs search and all (now far be it from me to suggest they choose their targets, but I was the only obviously western person in a crowd of about a hundred. Just saying…). One of the most striking things, however, was the staggering gap between Singapore and Batam.