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Exactly 12 months back A Perfect Foundation, The Perfect Wave’s non-profit organisation, were extremely proud to have opened the first English School in the Mentawai.
On the first anniversary of that proud day, we were back with a group of Aloita guests to revisit the students, and ask them how their schooling was progressing.
To our pleasant surprise they all conversed with us in English, expressing how happy they were.
It never ceases to amaze me wherever you travel in the world, that the people with the least are the people that are happiest. All the students are very proud of what they have learned, and as always, we find ourselves learning as much from them by just hanging out.
So, after some fun beach games with our guests we enjoyed some surf lessons in the shore break. It was a real blast, and to tell you the truth, they don’t really need many balance or surf lessons as they are all such naturals.

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They sure do cherish the donated surfboards and equipment though.
Next up, we checked in to to see how the girls surf group that Karen started teaching about 6 months ago was going. We took six of the girls out to Telescopes  on the boat to surf a wave that they have never been to.
Just to put you in the picture, these girls not only just started learning about 6 months ago, but this is just something girls don’t really do in these parts. Some of the girls had only just learned to swim, let alone surf.
Stephi, who is only 10 years old, our most enthusiastic student, was a standout. To be part of that session with the girls and see the smiles on their faces was a memory I will never forget.
I don’t know who was more excited, me or them?
Wave after wave, hands held high, hooting and screaming with faces beaming, they were loving this amazing pastime we call surfing.

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When you have young Mentawai girls who a year earlier didn’t swim, surf or speak a word of English paddle up to you saying, “I am so Happy, I am so Happy, thank you Jamie”, I can tell you it touches your heart in a very special way.
Not so much for what we have done, but more the fact that a person can turn a small opportunity into so much if they are given a little help along the way.
A massive thank you to Tom and Karen that work tirelessly day after day and for the Foundation team for contributing so much time and work giving back to a place we get so much from.
If you wish to make a donation for the Mentawai Education and Conservation Centre, you can do it here.

Written by:
Jamie Gray

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