Far west of Ende, right outside the city limit, situated an airy looking elementary school of 199 students. That is SDK Nangamboa of Nangapanda sub-district which is run by Kornelis Kasa and his solid team of faculty. Due to the fringy position, one will need to walk a good mile heading east to get a phone connection. Despite not having any reception in the school area, it has been fairly easy for us in Taman Bacaan Pelangi to get in touch and make appointments with the school through out the long and layered process of developing a child friendly library starting from school selection, library renovation, furniture distribution, books leveling to preparing for the inauguration day. All credit goes to the energetic faculty & the helpful representatives of Nangapanda who are very keen on passing messages and important updates to and fro.
Not only have we conquered disconnection, together with SDK Nangamboa and TBPelangi team have managed to turn the 7 x 8 meters building from a misplaced faculty room to the blue & green functioning library filled with 1200 story books for children age 6 to 12 years old. All of these improvements would have not been made possible without the continuous support of the parents & the head of committee, Rudolfus Ndate. They too, have been helping the school throughout the renovation, orientation and on to the inauguration. It does us wonders how little phone reception means to this solid community.
The same awe were present on our faces on the morning of 5th September 2018, the day of SDK Nangamboa’s library opening. The ceremony was scheduled to begin at 9 PM sharp and we arrived at 8.50 to found every member of the community had been seated under the tent, they had been there since 7.30 AM. The honorable guests consisted of Eva Muchtar representing Taman Bacaan Pelangi’s founder, The Head of Ende’s Library Department-Bapak Martijn, and Kanis Kadha representative of Ende’s Department of Education from Nangapanda sub-district and our Project Manager were escorted to the appointed seats not with just Ja’i dance but also with their warm smiles. We could tell how proud they all were of their new library, one that had been painted by the school’s alumni, prepared for months by the faculty and the community, celebrated by everyone.
Speeches and entertainment were delivered one after another at the library terrace and then it was time to officiate the library with ribbon cutting. The children gave a loud cheer as the doors opened and they could finally check out their library. It was obvious that they had been waiting to get their hands on those story books inside. So off they went in, group by group. Ibu Devin, the librarian made sure they took turns getting in so as not to overcrowd the room. Parents & other guests were also welcomed to join the children and boy were they happy.
As the day proceeded and lunch was served, the library traffic kept on its busy track. So was the celebration outside. Someone from the faculty suggested we dance to Lagi Syantik & Goyang 2 Jari , the 2 most and current hit songs that take Flores by the storm. Adults, teenagers, children be them guests or host, all had fun dancing to these in repeats followed by the traditional dance Ja’i, which became the escorting dance given by SDK Nangamboa to walk us out as we left for the next inauguration that day. All and all it was a lovely and lively celebration.