Your first visit to the Molotkondo village will not be easy. In fact, after my many visits, the journey to reach Molotkondo never gets any easier. There are always different hurdles that I encounter along the way. But those slight hurdles problems never discourages me to get to the destination.
Molotkondo is located within the West Manggarai regency. First, you will have to on a 2 hour ride to get to Konang. Then from Konang you’d have to continue the journey by foot. The walk to Molotkondo takes about one hour and a half. The conditions of the road make it nearly impossible to reach by car or motorcycles.
The only vehicle that can access the road are trucks and that’s only possible during certain times. Trucks can not access the roads during rainy season. The roads are very muddy and slippery, it’s even not advised to walk there during rainy season.
The harsh geographical conditions made me think that the villagers and children of Molotkondo might prefer to stay sheltered in their homes rather than being outside. However my thoughts were wrong when I saw the children there.
Their warm smiles, bright eyes, and joyful take on life are truly the life of the village. Golo Lansing primary school is located in the middle of two villages. I learned that the children from two villages have to go through a long journey to get to school.
From what I noticed during my last visit in September 2015, there were so many shy children in the area. I would find several children following me from behind, but when I turned to see them, they would all run and laughed timidly. It occurred many times. There was something different compared to the other villages that I’ve been to. I didn’t know what it was but it has given me a strong urge to revisit this place again.
After talking to the school principal, we agreed to relocate the Rainbow Reading Garden library to the new school library. The first time we went to Molotkondo, there were no available rooms to use as the library. Now they have a new building and a room that can be dedicated to the activities of the library.
In Molotkondo I met Serli. She’s very smart yet very bashful. Each time I say hello to her, she returns my greet with a small smile. But she would still occasionally come up to me, hold my hand and reply to me when I talk to her. I’ve seen her walk barefoot many times to school but she doesn’t think much of what her peers think. She’s brave.
After 3 weeks of hard work from the school staff, the villagers and volunteers, the Golo Lansing primary school now has a proper library in which the children are free to read their favorite books. In their excitement, some books were torn apart but after they were told not to, they stopped.
Serli is ecstatic to have a new library. She visits it twice a day. The other day, Serli brought her younger brother, Randi, to come and read the books at the library. She now has her favorite book.
I can still remember how wide Serli and her peers’ eyes went, seeing the new colorful books line up the shelves. It makes me think about what else that I could provide her and her friends, other than the library and books. Serli was one of my biggest supply for energy as her own was so infectious, it was impossible to feel anything less than motivated with her around.
Serli and the other children of Golo Lansing primary school are the reasons for me to make continue to visit Molotkondo. Although the route is very very hard and tiring, the fatigue disappears just as soon as I see them running over to greet me.
We hope the library will bring Serli and her friends closer to their dreams, like a rainbow that will brighten their journey to a better future. Hopefully when they grow up, they will continue to carry the light of the rainbow within their hearts.
Labuan Bajo, March 2016