The Reading Ambassadors of Rainbow Reading Gardens, an event organized by Travel Sparks and supported by Agoda, was memorable for me as a Project Coordinator. I remembered the moment Mbak Nila appointed me as the PIC of the program, I said yes immediately even when I have no vision what the event would look like. After months of setting up the event with the Rainbow Reading Gardens team, finally there was one activity which I really wanted to give to the qualified students from Rainbow Reading Gardens schools. These participants came from Papua, Alor, Sumbawa, Manggarai, and West Manggarai. Amazing Race, it is called. Literally interpreted, it is a game or competition which is amazing. Let’s see what Amazing Race is!
Amazing Race is a game focusing on training their leadership, teamwork, and discipline. Every group will be given a “passport” in a form of a small book and the people in the post stamp the book as check lists marking that the participants have successfully passed the assignment at the post. There are 4 posts participants have to go through. Since the beginning of the game, each group has to go through different route.
Before the game, I briefed the participants on how the rules work. Later on, participants were divided into 4 groups. Each group consists of participants coming from different regions. The group’s names are cow, goat, cat and chicken. Every time I mentioned the name of the group, participants have to imitate the sound of the animal. For instance, when I mentioned “Chicken team, how do you sound?” “Kukuruyuuuk”. The laughter of the participants broke when the chicken team imitate the sound. After that, each group was given a piece of paper containing the clue to the next post. For instance, Cow group was given the clue to find Post 1. The clue says “In this post, you will learn national songs. To find post 1, you have to search for house no. 18. Go explore!”
POST 1 was about nationalism. The people in post 1 gave a piece of paper containing national songs. The group was asked to fill in the missing lyrics. If they have difficulties in doing so, the PIC of the post can give some clue by singing the song, without the lyrics of course. If they pass the assignment, they can move on to the next post. All participants seemed to have no difficulties in guessing the national songs. One thing we can learn from the post is the patriotism they show by singing these national songs.
POST 2 is about travel. The people in POST 2 provided a piece of paper containing questions and pictures. Participants have to discuss where the area (in the picture) is located. For example: National Monument Tower in the picture. The question would be: What is the name of the province and the capital of the province the tower is located? The group would work together to solve the questions. This post was intended to enrich their knowledge about Indonesia, which consists of multiple races, languages, and cultures.
POST 3 is called “Komunikata”. Groups were to form long lines. The group member standing on the back was whispered a full sentence, to be whispered to their friends standing in front of them. The member standing in the front should read out the sentence he/she heard. If they can mention the correct sentence, they will be granted access to the next post. What they can learn from this post is that collaboration and trust are the foundation to problem-solving. These kids will be the future of Indonesia, as well as the future leaders.
POST 4 is where the participants arrange the jumbled sentences to be a whole story. They were given pieces of paper containing sentences. Participants were to arrange those sentences. This is actually a form of learning, yet they do it in a fun way. They were not aware that actually they were learning something during the game.
The groups which have finished the assignments should return to the meeting point. The group which records the shortest time is the winner of this game. After gathering at the meeting point, I announced which team won the first place in this Amazing Race based on the time recorded.
And the winner of Amazing Race is *drum rolls*….
I personally believe that every kid is a champion. Therefore, every group was awarded with prize as a token of appreciation. The Amazing Race finally ended and everyone was happy holding their prizes. One of the participants, Yandri from SD GMIT Pitungbang, Kab. Alor, NTT talked to me, “Kakak, thank you. Yandri is very happy playing and working with my fellow friends from many places. It was so fun!” said Yandri. What I learned from their innocence is that they see diversity not as problems. Yet, diversity is the source of strength to resolve the problems. Isn’t true that this nation was knitted from various ribbon which formed a beautiful and charming landscape called Indonesia. Just like our motto, “Bhinneka Tunggal Ika, Unity in Diversity”.
Wicaksono Labuan Bajo