In January 2016, Taman Bacaan Pelangi and the local people on Flores were excited to welcome Lukas who arrived from Malang (another project on Java). Being thrown in a totally different culture and prepared to live in rural areas, Lukas started volunteering in Datak. The village is located in the middle of Labaun Bajo and Ruteng.
That way Lukas is forced to drive either two hours west or east if he want to use the internet or have different food than rice and vegetables.
Two years ago Lukas Beermann…..another Lukas, also volunteer from Germany, has lived in Datak and has built up our library here. But the situation changed. A new principle, less motivated teachers and nobody taking care of the library. Leon and I have been to Datak in 2015 and we found a lot of damaged books and broken equipment in the library.
I think Lukas had a really huge challenge to reactivate the library because especially the motivation of the local people is essential for a successful project. We have dealt with situations like this in the past and often they somehow turn out to be manageable in the right way. Unfortunately not in Datak.
Monik, Lukas and Nila did a lot of thinking and had meetings but in the end they decided to close the library and save the books which were still in good conditions for other libraries.
Well, after one month, Lukas needed a new place and Taman Bacaan Pelangi sent Lukas to Molodkondo. Now, if you think Datak was already country side, make sure you go to Molodkondo. The village is approximately two hours away from Datak but actually that depends on you because Molodkondo is not accessible with motorbike.
I needed to hike on jungle paths first and after one and a half hours I have seen the school, a little settlement and all the children who were super thrilled to see me. The school principle in Molodkondo is Mr. John. He is still young and father of one child. His house has a nice front yard which is something special for me because I have never seen a front yard in
Indonesia until then.
Besides spending time in the front yard we participated in classic activities as playing volleyball, swimming in the near by river and taking a look at a building which hopefully will host a lot of books and happy kids inside, soon. Lukas and Mr. John introduced the schedule and construction plan to me. It is always a great feeling to imagine how a place might look like after the work is done. I am positive they will do a great job there.
In conclusion I would like to point out how rural and small the village of Molodkondo is. Lukas is living in the most remoted place I have seen on Flores, so far. I have a lot of respect for Lukas managing his life and working so close with the locals together. Also I don´t want to forget mentioning Mr. John who is already working a lot in school but further putting so much effort in our new library.
After the unpleasant step of closing the library in Datak, I think Molodkondo will have a bright future and I can´t wait to see all the beautiful people and things again.
Molotkondo, February 2016