It’s time to spread some happiness for the kids in Dalong Village!

Today, Taman Bacaan Pelangi (Rainbow Reading Gardens) came to Dalong Village to establish a reading garden. The location is in the area of SDN Longgo (Longgo Elementary School), in an empty building next to the school. The school area itself is quite hidden. We wouldn’t know that there was a school there until today, because one couldn’t see it from the main road.

The school has 220 students from 1st to 6th grade with 13 teachers. They were so happy that we decided to establish a small library in their village. The school principal said that they’ve had always wanted to have a library in the school, but until now it hasn’t come true…

The teachers couldn’t hide their happiness to see the 400 books that we brought. We also provided a bookshelf to keep the books. They couldn’t stop saying, “Terima kasih banyak… ” (thank you so much) all the time! And… as an expression of gratitude, they even gave us a mattress, a bottle of beer, a pack of cigarette, a box of rice. Why? Apparently, all these items symbolize something. According to West Manggarai culture, they gave us a mattress so that we always have a place to sleep. A bottle of beer, so that we wouldn’t be thirsty. A box of rice, so that we wouldn’t be hungry. And a pack of cigarette? Errr… I forgot what it represented of! Ooppss :p And oh, they also gave us a rooster! Yes, a living rooster!!! And when they gave us all of these items, the school principal made a little speech and put a Rp 10,000 bill on the table. He expressed his gratitude and hope that the “Rainbow Reading Gardens” would bring a positive impact to the kids.

After his little speech, it was our turn to give a few words. And, we also had to follow the tradition. Before delivering our speech, we put some money on the table. How bizarre!! But hey, we have to respect everyone’s culture, right? Remember, when in Rome, act like a Roman!

After the rituals, the kids sang a song. So damn cute!!! They’re not only singing, but also dancing at the same time! Awww…

After having fun dancing, now.. the fun part! Opening the boxes!! Yeayyy!!! The kids couldn’t wait to see the books. As soon as we opened the boxes, they were rushing to the front table and picking up the books that attracted them! How fun!!

“Taman Bacaan Pelangi” (Rainbow Reading Gardens) in Dalong Village is sponsored by Stichting Hibiscus, a social organization based in The Netherlands. Thank you for our friends in Stichting Hibiscus for giving a donation that’s enough to set up 1 reading garden in a village in Flores! We also thanked our social media advisor, Andy Harvey, and our friend from Canada, Jeffrey McCormack for joining the fun today!