Breathtaking nature, rice three times a day and kids asking, whether my skin stays white after shower or not: Welcome to Flores!
Since August I’m in Indonesia and since two weeks I’m living in the tiny Village “Roe” in the western Part of Flores near Labuan Bajo.
As a fulltime volunteer I take care of the Taman Bacaan Pelangi Library here and teach English in school, in order to nurture children’s interest in reading and to provide them with some additional skills that might increase their chances for a bright future.
In Roe there are around 350 people (nobody seems to know exactly here), including 130 kids in elementary school. Until today I have not found a map displaying “my” village and you will hardly find it in Goggle Maps.
Life here is very basic and different from the city. People are farmers or work in the forest. Here, were tourists are seldom pay a visit, you have to do without some things you found absolutely necessary before. No running water, no internet, phone signal only to be found at some special spots and electricity from a generator for a total of four hours per day.
The only public institution in Roe besides church is the elementary school “SDK Roe.” The school has six classes and seven teachers taking care of 130 kids. The equipment is poor, the building is partly in a state of disrepair and teaching materials are very limited.
But eventhough things tend to be a bit more difficult here, the kids are more than a compensation.
Everyday when I enter the classroom I see 30 faces radiant with happiness, ready to learn English or just draw something and produce paper stars. Everyone here learns with a will that I have never come across before. Powered by that display of motivation I try to do my best to help them and I’m just happy to be here as well!
In the afternoon I take care of the books at the Pelangi-Library which is located in the yard of the head of schools house. There we read books together, do homework or play badminton and have a lot of fun.
The next big project on the agenda is to set up the new Pelangi Learning-Center which will provide us with a basis for more activities and enable us to create a space where the kids can learn and play in an inspiring environment. Hopefully all the materials for that will be in place in November so we can start!
You see I’m fine here and my schedule is quite busy. More stories to come in Episode 2 of the Volunteer Diary…