In the late afternoon, I had a wonderful experience. I was taken to see Daarut Tauhid, which is an Islamic cultural centre. This is a most extraordinary place. It has been founded by the Muslim scholar Abdullah Gymnastiar, whom everyone called 'Aa Gym', which means 'Elder Brother Gym'. Here in Indonesia they do not use the terms 'Mr.' and 'Mrs.', etc. but refer to each other as 'Mother' 'Father', 'Brother' and 'Sister' when they wish to express respect. So here my editor is not Ms. Tutu, but 'Ba Tutu', which means 'Sister Tutu'. I am 'Ibu Torey' which literally means 'Mother Torey'. And so Mr. Gymnastiar is known as 'Elder Brother Gym' or 'Aa Gym' in Indonesian.

Aa Gym has endeavoured to set up a whole community based on Islamic values which reaches out to the poorest and the disenfranchised of Indonesia and, at the same time, makes the tenets of Islam - the real tenets: those of a pure heart, forgiveness, kindness, care of the poor and service to God - clear and understandable to all. He is an amazing man and has done so very many things - creating businesses to employ the poor, teaching and training people for work, building houses, etc. He also has 32 foster children he cares for on the compound. I was here because they want to help special needs children even more than they are doing - they already run inclusive school programs and a great program for autistic children - but they would like to create a program to go into homes, particularly of very poor families to help them learn how to best care for their disabled children.

Aa Gym and I spent our first meeting together discussing the sad, sad news of the bombing in Jakarta on Wednesday, which has hurt him deeply too. I then spent time with the teachers and organizers of special programs at Daarut Tauhid, as the call to prayer occurred just after I had arrived and Aa Gym needed to go to pray.

After evening prayers. Aa Gym very kindly invited me to his house and there we had a wonderful discussion.


And late at night when it was finally time to go, we sat out in his garden for a picture of all of us together who had been taking part in the evening's discussions.


Afterward, Aa Gym (who is a man of boundless energy!!) showed me around the complex and shared with me pictures of some of his passions, which include motorcycle riding, skydiving and piloting a plane!! So, if you think I have energy, believe me, I have met my match!