Hi Rainbow Chasers,
I´m sorry for my lack of updates lately but here is fresh for you the next episode of the Volunteer Diary.
After five amazing months in Datak, I left this tiny village in June. It was time for me to move on, but before that of course there was a farewell party.
This long planned event took place in the school. The teachers, kids and many people who have became my friends during my time in Datak made it a memorable day. After a speech from the head of the village, “my” kids performed dances and songs and everybody had a great day.
The real highlight followed the next day. The kids from the elementary school and most of the teachers went together with me to the “city”, Labuan Bajo, to accompany me. The kids had long anticipated this event and I too was excited to go with all of them.
The journey from Datak to Labuan Bajo took around three hours. The roads were bad and muddy and made travelling an experience. So how to get 40 people from the village to Labuan? No problem in Flores! You just rent a truck, put everybody in the back and there you go.
What made this trip so special for many of the kids was that many of them never ever in their lives had been to the city. For many parents the bus ticket was too expensive to “just go for fun” and so the kids seldom had a chance to see the world outside their village.
Consequently, many of the kids, even though growing up on an island, never got a glimpse of the sea. Now the big day was there and we did some lovely picnic on the beach.
When we got to Labuan everybody was excited to see all the cars, restaurants, shops and people. As soon as we reached the beach everybody ran for the sea, looking and wondering. After a few minutes we were wet and having fun in the water. Then, everybody got hungry and we ate the rice we brought from the village together with grilled fish. Asik!
Another highlight of the day: From a nearby hill we got a good view on the airport and really: We saw a plane take-off! Everybody was excited and kept talking about “the plane.”
After that awesome day the tired kids and their teachers returned Datak, whereas I stayed in in Labuan Bajo, waiting to continue my journey.
My time in Datak has been a unique experience and I would certainly miss the special charm of the village life and all the villagers I got to know, may they be teachers, neighbors or kiosk owners. Also my amazing host family who made me a part of their family and especially all of “my” kids would stay in my mind and made me remember Datak.
Having completed my service in Datak, I moved to Taman Bacaan Pelangi on Rinca Island as my last location. More about the life in that beautiful island and new exciting adventures would come to you with the next episode of the Volunteer Diary. Stay tuned!