The library advancement program conducted by Rainbow Reading Gardens involves establishing child-friendly libraries, meaning that the library is to be friendly in every aspect such as library management, librarian’s positive attitude, facilities, books, as well as library set-up; thus, children will be attracted to come to the library and read books. This leads to the main goal of the program, that is to develop the habit of reading.
Last November, the Rainbow Reading Gardens team had conducted a library management workshop, attended by principals, teachers, and librarians from 12 partner schools.
Once the workshop was finished, participants were prepared to establish well-managed libraries, one of which is by preparing for the library room to be safe, tidy and attractive for children.
Data for the room preparation has been collected since the Rainbow Reading Gardens team conducted the orientation for teachers, school commitee, and community of the 12 schools. Now is the time to paint the house of the rainbow, the child-friendly library!
For each of us, being in different building material stores for days, purchasing different materials which were intially not familiar to us, as well as memorizing the functions of those materials are both exciting and useful (for the sake of our future, hahaha).
Oops, the challenges we faced are beyond the purchase of building materials as these materials were to be distributed by Rainbow Reading Gardens team, in order to ensure that they reached the destination safely.
One among many memorable experiences is when we distributed the materials to one school located at the top of a hill, with challenging roads to take. As we left the store, the sun was shining brightly; however, on our way to the school, the clouds came and blocked the sunlight, making us (Rainbow Reading Gardens team and the driver) get worried. Along the way, we were praying that we would arrive on time, so we can leave before the rain fell down.
Fortunately, our driver comes from the neighborhood so he knows the road well and took the shortcut to cut the time. Even though the shortcut is not any smoother than the main road, the panoramic view it provides was beautiful. We crossed a river and rushed along with a flock of buffaloes.
Right after arriving at the school, the rain fell. We, together with the principal and a number of kids, dropped the materials from the car. We could not stay a little longer as the rain fell down, and the principal said, “Ibu… neka rabo (local language, meaning “don’t be mad”, or simply “sorry”), ibu can go back now, because if the rain falls, the road can be dangerous. I’m afraid you can’t go home.”
After bidding farewell, the driver drove very carefully, as the road was steep and very slippery. I suggested the driver to take the main road, considering if we have to cross the river under the rain, the current could put us in danger. The driver listened to my suggestion, but I was sorry I forgot that there is a bridge, with bumpy roads, making it dangerous for four-wheeled vehicles to cross.
The driver and his friends had to collect some rocks to cover the road and manage the wires under the rain, so that the car can cross the bridge safely. After a few minutes, the car we were on thankfully crossed safely.
However, there is one more challenge which (once again) I forgot to mention to the driver that after the bridge, there is still a bumpy clay road; therefore, he needs to be extra careful to prevent the tires from slipping.
What we worried about did happen. Yup! The tires slipped, so we could not continue our trip. Efforts were made, such as digging the clay by hand and crowbar we borrowed earlier from the neighborhood, pulling the car together with some kids and people around, etc.
After the tires were back to the road, we continued our journey home, which was still quite far. Rain is not the main issue here, as rain is blessings and each drop of falling rain is an “amen” to every hope and prayer. What comes after rain is beatiful rainbows, isn’t it? Hey, it’s time to paint the house of the rainbow!^^
Labuan Bajo, 1 December 2016