With the help of a motor driver from Labuan Bajo, I decided to visit the Rainbow Reading Garden’s location in Kampung Melo. We can reach the place in 30 minutes by motorbike through the twisting trans-Flores road. But I arrived at the place in much less than 30 minutes,with a pounding heart from the 60 km/hour bike ride.
The sun was shining brightly. Typical Flores. Only air conditioner can help us get some coolness from the heat. There is no reason not to get some tanning while being there. But, that was the least of my problem. Happy was all I was.
Once arrived, I climbed up the dirt steps by the road for a minute or two to reach the library of Rainbow Reading Gardens. I paused for a bit and looked up at the sky. It has turned cloudy. I was worried that the place would rain anytime soon. But my worries disappeared just like that as soon as I met and spoke with the children. We were so into the moment when we introduced each other and sang songs together.
I taught the children to sing ‘Potong Bebek Angsa’, but by only using vowels a, e, i, o, and u. So, can you guess what happenned next? We all laughed and got so hyped up after singing that song. It was so funny! I could not help myself laughing and laughing.
We played ‘Cat vs Rat’ in the yard. This game was so full of fun. I almost got stomach cramp because of all the kids were so funny and innocent. They were full of positive vibe.
It was easy to feel close with the children in Kampung Melo. They were all very friendly. They all greeted me with their bright smile, even if some showed hints of shyness. It was as if we were like old friends meeting one another again.
And indeed the rain came. We continued our activities in the traditional house which was also served as the library in the village. The children directly busied themselves with some activities. Some were reading and others were colouring. And there were some who were waiting for an order. Hehehe.
The caretaker of the library Ibu Siti invited the children from fourth to sixth grade to read a storybook and then retell the story to their friends. Meanwhile, the first to third grade children were busy colouring and choosing the storybooks.
After that, I invited the children to gather and started to share my story about people from various races and religions in Indonesia. The children agreed that people should be kind to each other.
Then I told them about my dreams ever since I was a kid. I asked them about theirs.Most of the children wanted to be teacher, midwife, doctor, priest, and nun. With Berto, a boy in second grade, I demonstrated the duty of a journalist. Berto and I role played an interview. The children were laughing from start to end.
Time flew. As some of the children asked if they could go home, suddenly I realized that the clock had shown 6 o’clock in the evening. The happy moments spent with the children had made me forget about time and the rain, which had stopped earlier.
It was so much fun to spend the day with the children of Rainbow Reading Gardens in Kampung Melo. I wouldn’t trade this experience for the world. For me, the day was indeed a fine day. One which we spent singing songs, learning about dreams, and laughing together.
The children’s world is so delightful!
Kampung Melo, January 18th 2015