CSIF 2012 Bali Journey 20-25 October 2012
Day 3: 22 October 2012 afternoon
The kids already came so early, expecting us to play soccer with them at the school field. We prepared our equipments at the office and brought them all to Bale Banjar. A lot of troubles until finally we set everything up. The movie was “Laskar Pelangi” (Rainbow Troops, from a book by Andrea Hirata, English translation is provided as well). It’s getting colder as the evening came. Made me feel hungry, or maybe my body needed more fat to be burned 😛
I asked if anybody wanted to find some food with me. Isro, Phillipe, and Nadia joined. We ate Soto (= Indonesian traditional spicy soup) with ketupat (= steamed rice cake) Rp 7.000,- and drank Balinese coffee Rp 2.000,-. The seller already added sugar on the coffee before serving it. Phillipe and I don’t like adding sugar on coffee, so we ordered another cups without sugar.
Haven’t finished our meals, we saw our team were moving up with the equipments. They said the electricity in Bale Banjar wasn’t good enough to support our movie program. We moved to a class at the school. It was around 8pm. The kids got permission from their parents, but it would be too late at night for elementary students to watch the movie till the end. No wonder, some of them went home, or distracted.
I sat under the flagpole, on a concrete stage in front of the class, with Reza, Isro, and Nyoman, Ade’s driver. Suddenly, a little girl sat next to me, grabbed my arms, and leaned on my shoulder. I was a bit surprised, but we smiled at each other. Eventually, I sat there with 10 girls and 2 boys. I don’t usualy get along well with children, so you can say I was in panic (moreover because my friends left me to get their supper). Fortunately, it was not as awkward as I thought. They started talking and joking around. Sometimes in Balinese native language that I didn’t understand a thing, but we laughed a lot. I asked about their daily activities. They usually help their parents with the houseworks, including feeding the cows.
I opened a more serious conversation, my favorite part, talking about their dreams. Teachers, doctors, a professional dancer, a politician, a soccer athlete, and “I have no idea”. They shared how they will do this and that in the future. One girl raised her hand, wanted an attention. Everyone was put in silence. She told me that she would stop going to school after graduation. Then four of them said they would do so because their parents couldn’t afford the school fees. It breaks my heart for sure. I remembered what Reza said before, “anybody wants to be a billionaire?”
I asked them, “any of you wanna be rich so you can help other people to keep going to school?”
One boy answered, “absolutely NO! Rich people will go to hell, so I’d rather to be poor that I can go to Heaven”
We all laughed. The girls said, “if you are rich, but you’re a good person, you won’t go to hell!! If you’re poor, but you’re bad, then you will!”
We also discused some school subjects and sang some Indonesian national hymns. I asked them questions and they tried to answer correctly. Two of them were the smartest students in their classes. It was challenging for me as well, because I almost forgot what I learned on elementary school. Yeah, of course, I’m getting older (excuse). But I like how they understood the basic Indonesian nationalism. I hope they will grow wonderfully without losing the values they learned here.
I told them that it’s OK to leave earlier because it was getting late. So some of them went home. I entered the class where there were still few people watching the movie. I sat with 2 girls. It was dark in there, but I could still observing people’s expressions with the light from the screen 😀
When a creepy scene appeared, one little girls ran to me from the corner. She hugged me so tight and closed her eyes that I couldn’t help laughing. The other two girls who sat with me did the same. I hugged them back. Reza and Isro laughed and said, “now you have daughters.” Hahaha… probably. The youngest one didn’t release her arms from me until she fell asleep.
That was a hectic happy day. I loved it. Since we don’t have enough clean water, we must share our mineral water even to brush our teeth or to do toilet stuff 😛 wet tissues are very useful. We slept in our sleeping bags at the teacher’s office. As the light turned off, I started typing important things I wanted to write here on my Blackberry. Uhmm… I cried a little bit, praying that Anak Alam community will do proper follow up for the kids.