travel & lifestyle blog by ruth dela cruz


Charades, Pizza, Indian Birthday Party and Busca Vida

March 15, 2012

A blog series about my in-country assignment to Makassar for IBM Corporate Service Corp.
Follow along

Pizza! That’s what we had last night, after almost a week of eating Indonesian Food. My tongue is literally on fire!

It was a productive day yesterday, I think. We had a meeting with the Vice President of the Local Hospital. At first he was pretty upset because we came without interpreter. What really surprised me is that not a lot of people in the island do know/recognize IBM. They always associate the brand with computers and machines. I know I am not the most techie person but I am working for IBM, and I am proud! We have to explain that IBM also does consulting services and we are volunteers who want to help their hospital to Go Green – or should I say Go Greener.

Before the meeting we tried to understand the hospital’s organizational chart. It was fun doing charades and trying to understand functions with the help of Muslim employees of the hospital.

We have such sweet employees taking care of us in the hospital – they feed us with really good food and even gave us a space to work on as our “office”.

It looks like a gift, I know!
Tadah! I love that Jasmine Tea Drink!

Here’s another “gift”

Lunch – healthy, complete meal 🙂

After lunch, we stayed at the lobby and found these interesting banner and sign:

Back in the hotel, we went to the supermarket to buy stuff for Nitu’s supposedly surprised birthday party. I was thinking of buying those thing that they put on their forehead, but we couldn’t find or didn’t know where to buy – we are in Indonesia anyway, and not in India.

Anyway, I had fun grabbing those party plates and napkins. I was with Cheryl who, I think is an expert in organizing parties. We met up with Vivek, Sabine and Tom who left the cashier with some good alcohol and beer.

Now it is time to buy cake! What is a birthday party without cake? We have to consider that Nitu is a vegan so we thought she might not eat anything with egg – cake included. We thought of just buying rice cake and get a nice fancy cake for the team. But we found out that she does eat cake! So we were ready to order from the supermarket’s pastry corner but we found out that you have to order in advance – at least a day. We played charades and asked if we could just at least buy that Happy Birthday tag, but the guy who assisted us couldn’t seem to understand. I never realized language barrier could be this exhausting!

Then we saw this nice cake store outside the supermarket – and we agreed to get a chocolate cake. It looks fancy (perfect for birthdays) but to be honest, I have tasted more flavorful cake than this one. But it is all good, Nitu loves it!

These two lovely ladies also took a picture of us! Now I got more pictures in the cyberspace.


We also bought balloons to decorate our new team room (the room which was originally assigned to me which doesn’t have any bed). ABV (Australian Business Volunteers) also provided us with refrigerator and microwave – and they also gave us our own broadband stick because we don’t get good connection from hotel’s wifi.

 ABV also gave us these.. just incase of food poisoning.

Now it is time to party! Look at Nitu’s face after we presented the cake!

It is an Indian tradition that the celebrant will serve and feed all the guests with cake. 
It was fun taking a bite from that small piece of cake she was holding. Jessica (USA) even sang her 
traditional family birthday song! It is so funny!

There came the pizza! Everyone was so excited! Even I, forgot to take pictures!
And what is party without alcohol..? Well, it is still a party. 🙂 I don’t really drink but I had a glass of beer for Nitu. Sabine (Austria) grabbed this from supermarket. It looks like a mouthwash but I haven’t tasted it. 

Then here’s something from Brazil! We thought of bringing an alcohol drink from your country (but I wasn’t able to bring any – because of that duty free thing and baggage allowance). Anyway, this has a hint of lemon – that I felt that it was slicing my tongue. It is good and kind of strong for me. I wish I could have told Marcelo (Brazil) to also buy Havaianas for me. 

Here are the princesses


Later tonight, we will have karaoke night – and hopefully we get to plan our weekend activities!

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