September 15th 2018 right when the AM turned to PM, Taman Bacaan Pelangi team began their 104th library opening. The host was SDI Otombamba of Ndona subdistrict. It was the last library inauguration of the 2 weeks opening ceremonies marathon here in Ende district and boy was that some celebration party.  Attending as the honored guests was our founder Nila Tanzil, our Jakarta based supervisor Ingkan Nasution, our project manager Armand W. and of course the Ende coordinators. Present with the team was Bapak Kanis Se, the Chief of Pre & Elementary School Division representing Ende’s Department of Education, Ibu Mas Djuwita of Ende’s Department of Library  and Sabrina E. Sarmili representing ProVisi Education.

The ceremony began with a loud bang of of what happened to be the principal beating a set of Gongs, a traditional percussion instrument, cueing the whole school to stand while the Wanda Pau dancers formed 2 lines and escorted the guests to the front-row seats. The music and dancing children stopped as soon as the guests were comfortably seated. Not showing any sign of exhaustion from playing the percussion, Bapak Simon Sengsara took the stage and gave a sincere welcome speech to the crowd of guests, parents, faculty and the students. That set the tone for the rest of the event that then followed by a set of entertainment that  was equally exciting even thou it was already past lunch time. Throughout the speeches, Bapak Simon kept the guests company & engaged by moving seats, from sitting with parents in the back-row to keeping up with the ones sitting in the front area. His faculty of 13 and students of 102 mimicked the same intensity he gave and it could be felt by every attendee. Pak Simon is indeed a tireless leader who never seem to run out of his contagious energy.

Last gong practice before the guests arrived. SDI Otombamba’s principal took the lead right from the start down to the end of the event
Welcome gate of students in their Lawo Lambu & Ende ikat saroong, ready to dance to the rhythm of the traditional gong played by their principal.

Time had come for the library inauguration. Led by Bapak Simon, we were directed to the library where Nila Tanzil, Bapak Kanis Se and Bapak Simon Sengsara made the ribbon cut while the rest of us watching & clapping as they inaugurated the library. It didn’t stop there, the school had also prepared a small mountain of yellow rice dish to be sliced at the top, symbolizing a blessed start of something new, the library. While the adults were busy with food and mingling with each other, the children were swarming inside the library.  We were a bit overwhelmed by the stream of children coming in but it was indeed their 1st chance of exploring the story books and we didn’t have the heart to stop them. And so we let them crowded the 7 x 8 meters library, sitting in any of its nook and corner where they can squeeze themselves together with their books. It was so packed out that we need more than 2 coordinators & a librarian to supervise them. Thankfully it wasn’t for long for after the children had themselves absorbed with stories the riot quieted down naturally. Contrary to that inside the library, the crowd outside was just starting to get loud. Led by Bapak Simon, the adults began the music to dancing & partying. It was the proper time to celebrate after months and months of preparing for the 104th library. Whenever Simon said,” work.”, everybody got down to it. Now Simon said,”party.” So party they did. They have earned it.

Wanda Pau or the butterfly dance was one of the many entertainment presented by SDI Otombamba on their library opening day with Taman Bacaan Pelangi.
Simon Sengsara the principal of SDI Otombamba, Nila Tanzil founder of Taman Bacaan Pelangi & Chief of Pre-School & Elementary School division of Ende’s Department of Education sharing the moment of inaugurating the 104th library.
Overcrowded library on the 1st day of running is always a good sign. We hope to see the same amount of thirst for reading in days to come in SDI Otombamba’s library.