I’m happy you find the way to this diary blog again.
Maybe you know me already. But nevertheless my name is Paul and I was a fulltime volunteer for TBP for almost one year now. Unfortunately this is my last entry because I just left Indonesia and flew back to Germany. But with a backpack full of experiences and joyful memories.
This year change me so much in a personal way and how I look at things now. I now know how privileged I am to live in Germany with unlimited excess to nearly everything. The kids really fascinated me with their enthusiasm and happiness when I just brought them new books or pencils and sheets of paper. I learned from them to appreciate the small things.
After I stayed in Rinca three months on a mattress on the floor with only a mosquito net over me, I was so happy about an own room for myself in Melo then. The red table in my room was the topping. I never thought that I would be so happy about a table.
Next to it I learned about a totally new culture and language. But after such a long time living here in Indonesia close to the locals I still wonder about it sometimes. For example: when I get out of the shower with a towel and wet hairs there are questions like “Did you already shower?” or when I come home “Are you already home?”, I mean it’s so obvious but they need an answer and unfortunately for me sarcasm works poorly. But nevermind its fun sometimes.
I even can speak a few words of their local language now and when I use it everyone is cheering. As a volunteer and teacher I spend a lot of time with the kids, which I prefer sometimes over adults because its way easier and makes mostly more fun of course.
I am really happy to be part in this great project. The books really can make a difference for the kids.You can even notice a knowledge-gap between those kids having access because of TBP and using it every day and those who don’t.
In the elementary school in Melo I noticed that they have plenty of free time while school so I decided to give them the opportunity to use that time more useful. The school owns an own library which was a mess. If I would be a kid I wouldn’t like to read their neither. Because of that I had to renovate it first.
Luckily there was plenty of space on the grey walls so a new world map found its way to it. It took some time because I nearly had to do it on my own and wanted to be as accurate as possible so I could teach with it afterwards. The kids love it and every day I saw them standing in front of it and quizzing each other over countries. Proves me right that my spend time and sweat were worth it and that brings me a smile.
Furthermore I organized new shelves for the books and cut some tables so there is some space to draw and learn.
And guess what rose while I brought the first books for this library? Yep right! A RAINBOW. A good fortune for this Reading Garden I guess! 😉
The kids and teachers gave me a really nice farewell. I received a traditional hat and scarf handed by my students. They even sang a song for me. Pretty funny choreo because the 1st and 2nd graders had no clue what to do. So sweet.
We had lunch together and then I left the school for the last time. I was sad to leave the children of course but I’m happy that I left with so many good memories!
Again, I’m really happy that I’ve done this year volunteering for TBP. I would never earn such experiences elsewhere. I met so many nice people and new friends. I got an insight in a total different life. So I have just to say thank you.
I hope some of you will get the chance to help this awesome project someday.
Keep up donating books to cause big smiles on little faces!