Rainbow Reading Gardens finally opened in Roe Village, West Flores, Indonesia last Saturday, 5 December 2009! Woohooooo!!!
The rain didn’t stop the kids to make their way heading to the pink house, where the Rainbow Reading Gardens is located. They walked with their umbrellas on their hands, rushing to the location, didn’t want to be late as they were informed that the Reading Garden would start at 2pm. None of them was late. I was very impressed.
Rainbow Reading Gardens in Roe Village has 220 children books, consisting of comics, science comics, disney encyclopedia for children, Indonesian folktales, themed books for children – series about predators, etc, story books for children – Cinderella, Snow White, Barbie series, etc. Some of the collections are my long time favorite, such as: Tintin, Donald Duck, Uncle Scrooch. Also Doraemon, Monika and Friends and many many more! Seeing all these books, the kids “attacked” the bookshelf in less than a minute after I finished unpacking those books from my suitcase! 😀
Since it was raining outside, we couldn’t sit in the garden or under the trees at the corner of the yard. The kids gathered at a terrace of the pink house, sat on the floor, with books on their hands. Interestingly, they all read the books with a loud voice. So, forget about being in a library where everyone reads quietly. If you join us in Rainbow Reading Garden here, you’ll be surrounded by kids reading each sentence from each book loud and sound! It felt like I was surrounded by a group of bees… hehehe… interesting!
Every kid had to report which book they want to read and report again when they finish. They have to return it to the bookshelf. Two girls helped me writing down the names and the books.
When it’s all done, these girls started to read the books they have chosen: books about Princesses! I learned that most of the girls here love this type of book. Name it: Cinderella, Princess & the Frog Prince, etc. So girlie! ^-^
Some of the boys looked very serious reading Tintin. Another boy also was in full concentration reading… Winnie The Pooh!! Very very cute!!!
Time went fast. Suddenly it was 4pm. The owner of the pink house, who is also a teacher, asked me, “Mbak, it’s already 4pm. Shall we end the reading session?”. I looked around and saw that the kids were still enjoying the books. I said, “Hmm.. Let’s give them 30 more minutes, Bu until 4.30pm”. Out of the blue, there was a voice, “No.. no… make it at 5pm!”, a boy screaming loudly. And some of his friends said, “Yes… at 5pm, pleaseee…”. Another one said, “Don’t close, please. We still want to be here”. Ahhh…
We called it for the day at 4.30pm. Kids had to return the books to the shelf and they organized the books by themselves. Very neat! After that, I made a little chatting session with them.
“So, kids… are you happy with the books that we have here?”, I asked.
“YEAAAHHHH… veryyyy happy!!!”, they all screamed loudly.
“Ok… so.. now, tell me.. what was your favorite book of the day?”, I asked again.
“A book about Crocodile!”, one boy shouted.
“Why do you like that book?”, I asked.
“I like it because now I know that apparently a crocodile can eat one whole deer at a time!”, he said.
“I love the book, titled ‘In the darkness of a cold night'”, said a girl
“Oh.. why do you love that book?”, I asked
“Because the girl in the book…. “, then she started to tell me the story and everyone was listening… 🙂 🙂 🙂
In the end she said, “So, the girl finally made a confession to her Mom about everything that she did. She was being honest to her Mom”.
The girl sitting next to her said, “Yes. I also love that book, the story is beautiful”, agreeing her friend.
I asked again, “Who read Tintin?”
“Me.. me.. me!!”, some boys replied
“Which Tintin did you read?”, I asked
“Tintin in America!”, a boy replied
“Ok… what’s the name of Tintin’s dog?”, I asked
“Miloooooooooo”, one boy screamed out loud
It showed that these kids really paid attention to the story of the books they just read :). And I personally enjoyed this little session, too as I could see their happiness reflected on their face. Everyone was smiling. And that kind of feeling is… priceless!
15 kids enjoyed the books in Rainbow Reading Gardens that afternoon. They are from 4th and 5th grade (10 – 11 years old). Next week, the teacher would inform students from 1st and 3rd grade, too. So, hopefully, there will be more kids coming to Rainbow Reading Garden next Saturday 😉
Thank you very much to everyone who has been very supportive to make this Rainbow Reading Garden happened. For all the donations (funds and books) from my friends as well as my… blog readers! As well as for the help in spreading the information about this project. Rainbow Reading Gardens wouldn’t exist without all your help and supports. Thank you for your all your kindness and light-hearts.
Also thanks to: Gramedia – for the 25%-30% discount of the books that we purchased; Adit – for the discount plus the free Donald Duck comics; Kinantikomik.com for the discount; Pluz Bookshop for the help in getting those affordable Donald Duck comics; Lion Air – for the 50% discount of our excess baggage from Jakarta to Denpasar; Transnusa Airlines – for the 50% discount of our excess baggage from Denpasar to Labuan Bajo; Andrew Harvey – for helping me out in the field, bringing the books from Denpasar to Labuan Bajo, counting the books and going from one village to another!
Hopefully, what we do here will bring happiness for the kids in some of the remote villages in West Flores, Indonesia yah, guys!
Oyeah, currently we have 924 books in total. We are planning to open in Melo and Nampar Mancing villages in January and February next year! Yeah! Fingers crossed!
Let’s greet these kids in the villages through books 🙂