“What will be my legacy?”, one often subconsciously asks oneself during contemplation of life. It is usually triggered by sudden lost of loved ones. I recently found myself, once again, asking this egotistical question while mourning on an August’s Friday. What a strange way to begin a library opening’s article with such existentialism question. However such thinking allows me to bring myself to focus on everything that i have liked, learned and adored from the person who is no longer presence. It was during the late principal of SDI Ndetundora 2’s funeral that these thoughts played out in my head. Ibu Caecilia Lin’s funeral. Her families, friends, faculty along with he school community were shook by her sudden departure in mid August 2018, just 2 weeks before the scheduled library opening date.
I remember the 1st time i went to visit SDI Ndetundora 2 for school selection. How enthusiastic the kids were towards me and how relaxed & nurturing the faculty was towards the kids. They’ve always been warm & welcoming from day 1 to me & the program. Even though i didn’t get to meet Ibu Lin then, i remember betting myself of how the principal must be such a kind motivating person that this school possesses such great energy coming from both the children & the adults. I’ve won my own bet. Throughout the entire time that i got to know her, Ibu Lin had shown patience,passion and dedication to the development of the school as a whole.
Fast-forwarded to post Ibu Lin’s funeral and SDI Ndetundora 2 was determined to channel all those mourns into a beautifully well prepared library opening in honor of Ibu Lin. Invitations sent. Every box on the library preparation form ticked. Everything had been prepared to a T by the faculty, the students & the parents. Everyone came together and worked as one solid team without any trace of complains on their faces. It was as if they had not lost their leader just weeks before, which was both admirable and poignant at the same time, how they held themselves together.
September 8th 2018, 8.30 AM, i arrived at the school welcomed by children dressed up in their Lawo Lambu and Ende ikat saroongs lining neatly 100 meters from their school gate. Everyone was more than ready. They even had a chance to practice their welcome dance with the live tambourine played by student parents. Approximately at 9 AM, our founder Nila Tanzil along with her mother & daughter, Eva Muchtar and our project manager, Armand Weirjawan arrived. Joining them was Bapak Hilarius Raja and Ibu Siska Sare of Ende’s Department of Education . They were welcomed by the village Mosalaki along with the entire faculty. Ibu Kris, the librarian put ikat shawls around the guests’s shoulders and so it began, the beautiful escort dance performed by the 4th-6th graders, the national library anthem song sung by children choir, the welcoming speeches, the commencement speeches and then the ribbon cutting infront of the library. And here was the twist to that last part. Pak Robert, Ibu Lin’s former 2nd in command who was now the appointed acting principal had suggested to have a blessing ritual to take place inside the library right after the opening. Led by the priest of Nuabosi parish, RD Emil Gale the ceremony took place. Something solemn about it all felt right.
Then it was time for the children to enjoy their newly inaugurated and blessed library. Along with their parents they came in, picked whichever book they feel like reading and soon were lost in the quiet kind of loud that is provided by reading. Outside, the feast continued with songs and dances. Invitations & hosts shared meals & stories. It was safe to say that SDI Ndetundora 2 had managed to pay Ibu Lin the honor she deserved with such lively library opening. They may not be able to hold her close but they’re holding on to memories of her to thrive in the good works that she had done and maybe that’s how one’s spirit carries on living.