Stepping into the school yard of SDI Watujara, one would naturally turn right and follow the flowery guarded pathway leading to the mint green 7 x 8 meter library building. Its strategic position was simply inviting, a perfect feature for a child-friendly library to have. But it wasn’t one just yet. Intentionally built to function as the school library, the building was re-purposed to serve as faculty room. Thanks to the persistent encouragement from our Ende team, the principal, Ibu Maria Goreti finally agreed to relocate the office. Fast forward to February 13th 2018, the minty building was now filled with attractive murals and even more attractive story books inside. A ribbon cut away from being flooded with 118 students who were eager to read.
SDI Watujara’s child-friendly library was the 73rd library inaugurated by Taman Bacaan Pelangi on that lively Tuesday. Scheduled to begin at 8.30 AM, Eva Nasution, our representative from Jakarta had seated comfortably under the shady canopy since 8 AM, conversing with Bapak Hilarius from DoE of Ende, Head of Mautapaga village, Bapak Martin the head of DoL of Ende, the principal, and later joined by Pak Syaiful from Provisi Education. Right before 8.30, they were gathered in front of the school gate where the welcome ceremony took place. As the traditional Ende music played, the rows of children dressed in Lawo Lambu and elaborate Ikat sarongs danced in tune slowly guiding the guests back to their appointed seats, blending with the parents.
After a series of heartwarming to passionate speeches made by Ibu Eva, Head of Mautapaga village, Bapak Hilarius, and Bapak Martin, all guests were directed to the library. There, Ibu Ina the librarian and some students had awaited behind closed door to welcome the incomers. A prayer was read and soon after the ribbons were cut. Children were the most excited of the crowd, they had rushed from every side trying to get a glimpse of the inside. We tried calming them down by taking pictures and playing a singing game but once the doors were open there’s no stopping them. They weren’t allowed to access the library & the books prior the opening so you can imagine how quick the library was packed with children. The first 10 minutes was such a book frenzy moment. Every kid was targeting a certain book they had been eyeing for weeks. Surprisingly and thankfully, they quieted down once they had found their reads even with the loud Gawi music playing outside.That was our cue to leave them be, so we did. Happy reading frenzy, Kiddos!