Happiness held is the seed; happiness shared is the flower. ~Author Unknown
Today I went up to Gondang I for the third time. I was a little late, so when I arrived three other new volunteers had just opened the door of the perpustakaan. Unfortunately I missed the introduction and the kids were already working on today’s activity: making plastic flowers out of colourful straws! Our two little guru-guru who learnt this bungling work at school, were showing the other kids how to create something beautiful out of an ordinary utensil that we use every day. But it were not only flowers that I saw all around, the children made little flutes and were chasing each other playing games. Of course the library ended up being filled up with pieces of straw everywhere, like confetti!
It was a pity that we didn’t have enough gunting-gunting so not everyone could work on the bouquet at the same time, but the kids seemed to enjoy themselves inside and outside the library. As today there were just four volunteers and the group of kids was not too big, some girls took the opportunity to ask me some personal questions: “Mbak, what is your religion? Mbak, how many saudara do you have? Mbak, were you born with this hair colour? Mbak, were you also born with that piercing??” I can imagine that it must be interesting to have a bule around who is willing to answer all your questions! If only my bahasa Indonesia was a little more fluent … sometimes I cannot really understand their questions, especially when they mingle with bohoso Jovo J! But these kids are helping me to improve my language skills, even the most modern version: yesterday I learned “BLM mbak!”(belum) and today it was expanded with SDH (sudah). I wonder what they will teach me tomorrow!
When the flowers were finished we had a hard time taking a group picture, as usual… How can they be so noisy and then too shy in front of the camera? The kids were so excited, there must have been a storm on the way! Then, when it was time to close the door, some kids were trying to put this group of new volunteers to the test … they wouldn’t come outside and were telling us: “we are still bikin ikan bakar mbak! You can go outside saja!” So many ideas and games and infinite energy, these kids surprise me every time! They are not only very creative during the activities, they also really know how to share and take care of one another. Just look at those smiling faces and you know its true: shared happiness is the flower!
– Marieke Lisette van Andel –