When we were living and working in Indonesia during the early 90s we did live on the island of Java in the city of Wonosobo. Going to Church we did meet several deaf girls that were staying at the boarding school, run by Catholic nuns. There also was a separate boarding school for only boys and each had about 150-160 students, from ages five through eighteen. Only twice a year did those kids get to go home to their family. If the parents were affluent enough, they did come to visit them during the year.
Those kids wanted our signature after Mass on October 6 of 1990. The cute girl with big dark eyes that let me write my name and address, was Anita Anggraeni. Instantly we were very much drawn to this little girl of eleven years. When they figured out we were not tourists and I was even speaking their language, the plan was made to visit us next day, on Sunday afternoon. So a long relation with several of those deaf girls started. We had to go soon to the principal though to let her know that we love to have them visit us but if they please could visit with a maximum of six at a time so we could handle it. They all were looking for a substitute Papa & Mama...
Anita turned out to be an extremely bashful, shy kid... She did drink you in with her big eyes and loved the small packets of tropical fruit juice that we got for all of them.
That is Anita in the big chair... with a friend as they never came alone, all of them were eager to learn something or to receive a gift. We always traveled back to Indonesia for each two-month work period from Georgia, USA to Jakarta with our suitcases full of give–away little gifts. We never had enough to hand out... But it was a joy.
Those kids were taught to read lips by mimicking their teacher in a mirror and touching the teacher's throat to feel the specific vibration for each vowel etc. They did do very well and could read my lips sideways!
Engaging in a conversation, you use not only language but lots of body language.
My personal quote:
I learned how to listen from the deaf—they do observe a person's body language and expression more than anything else and I've used that a lot in my training besides speaking the native tongue. It certainly helps a lot! Jotting down some words on a piece of paper is also helpful.
Anita is absorbing everything that comes out of my mouth... she found her second Mama!
So eager to learn...
The bonding between mother — daughter has begun...
Me, Shinta the youngest sister, Anita and her Mom...
On Sunday, November 30 of 1997 we did visit Anita at her parents' home after we'd received a letter from her. That was a very happy reunion! We'd lost track of her as we didn't know that she went to her hometown's high school instead of staying at the boarding school for the deaf. She was very gifted and intelligent for being able to do that! The top photo of these two shows: Me; Shinta Dewi (Anita's baby-sister); Anita and her Mom.
Bottom photo of that reunion shows: Mariette; Anita; Pieter Vedder.
June of 2001 our last work visit to Indonesia, trip # 21 from Atlanta to Jakarta on KLM Royal Dutch Airlines and on to Yogyakarta. Therefore also the last time that Anita did stay with us at the bungalow of the company...
Papa Vedder is very proud of his daughter Anita as she just did graduate from IMKA, Semarang/Indonesia. That means, she completed her college education there as of June 2001.
We did pay for her entire formal education.
Next she went on to study at the Universitas Dian Nuswantoro (UDINUS) of Semarang and graduated there on October 6 of 2004. She did: Management Informatica
After getting her degree we had her visit us here in the USA for several months.
Our cat Barty, LOVED Anita to death and she loved him... it was hard to leave him behind.
She also got to experience the entire Christmas season with us. Here she is unwrapping gifts after coming home from midnight Mass. Our two cat boys Barty and Spooky enjoy their treats.
Anita wearing my Escada sweater with Burberry skirt and I am entirely in Escada, including hair calf boots.
This photo of Anita is taken at her brother Bayu's wedding.
Anita's brother Bayu and his wife Imma on their wedding day.
Meanwhile Anita was working for PT. Delta Furniture as their Junior Graphic Designer, since 2005 she stayed with them for about one-and-a-half year till their show in Singapore didn't yield as much as they'd hoped for, due to China being very aggressive and undercutting prices. But the Belgian owners Mr. Erik de Winne and Vincent Cantaert were very pleased with her performance, which made us feel proud of course.
At present PT. Delta Furniture has renamed itself to MAMAGREEN.com.
Anita did come again to the US in September of 2008, joining us in Amsterdam as we flew home from a wedding in The Netherlands. Above she is hugging Georgia Senator Saxby Chambliss as he had been one of several Senators and Congressman that helped me obtaining her Visa in 2004.
Above she is ready to join us for a Pipe-Organ-Concert at the Wesleyan College
in Macon. Since we did provide her with an Oticon Sumo DM
hearing aid in April of 2008, she actually could hear
A new world had opened for her...
Anita at a party honoring Mary Skinner and Richard Johnston prior to their wedding. Anita really got a slice of life here in Georgia; enjoying our culture.
This is at our home together with the Lleras and Benitez family from Colombia. From left to right: Felipe Lleras; Mariette & Pieter Vedder. Second row is Anita Anggraeni; Juan Manuel Benitez who is the nephew of Mercedes Benitez Lleras (wife of Felipe).
She did travel with us to The Netherlands and here she is with her Dutch Opa & Oma, my Mom & Dad.
This photo shows my niece Eva and nephew Michiel with Anita. They are the children of my brother Piet.
Anita with her sister Shinta (left) who is a pharmacist and works in Bali, Indonesia.
Beautiful little flower girls...
If children are happy with their lives, it also makes for a Happy Mother's Day!