Hope you are doing well where ever you are! It is time to share some news from Flores with you.
Is that a tourist?
After I came back from Singapore in the end of February where I had been to extend my Indonesian visa, there was another highlight waiting for me and the kids of Datak.
Three old friends of mine came over to Flores to visit Taman Bacaan Pelangi. They stayed in the village for a few days and met the Pelangi-Kids.
Since Datak was located in a remote area, these three guys probably were the first ever tourists to visit that village and because of that, everybody was excited to welcome them, especially the kids! They had fun meeting some more “bules” (bule means foreigners) and practicing their English.
I was very convinced that the visit had become a big boost in motivation especially for the older students. Even their English skills were still very limited they already could introduce themselves, understood some little stories and asked simple questions to my German fellows. And this made them realized the importance of learning English! Even with a little bit of English, they now could interact with new people!
That day, they also found out that the term “Tourist” wasn’t exclusively referred to people with white skin as they had assumed. The kids were amazed when they got to know that the term originated from the word “Tour” and that they also could become “Tourists” one day when they traveled to new places. Being a tourist lately became a new game for the kids of Datak and it was so fun to see them “travel”. For example, if you asked them were they were going, they would tell you something like German, Australia, or England!
The visit of “The Three Germans” was a fun experience for both sides and through little moments like the one described above would hopefully have a lasting effect for the kids.
Another journey I undertook in March was designed to execute the book rotation between the different Pelangi locations in the area, which were two tiny villages of Molotkondo and Rebak. Both of these villages were located on top of the Manggarai mountains.
Since the so called “roads” were in a terrible condition and in rainy season not even possible for motorbikes, we had to walk all the way up, carrying the books on our shoulders. A really sweaty activity but at least you always got an amazing panorama in front of your eyes.
By the moment you reached the village, you’d know that it was worth the effort. Even I have seen it several times now I was still amazed what a storm of enthusiasm a few books, pens and crayons, could create with these kids.
That compensation and the warm hospitality of the locals made it a great experience to visit these remote villages, and I hope I would have time to come back.
Laughter of the day in Rebak: When I asked one of the kids what his hobby was, he answered fully convinced: “Eating rice!”
With that in mind I wish you a great time until the next episode of the Volunteer Diary comes to you.