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Latest posts by Issei & Jessica (see all)
- Meeting Our Ancestors in Early Human Museum Sangiran, Solo - September 13, 2017
- Indonesian Transportations, Which One to Take!! - September 13, 2017
- Stories From Krikilan Village On Mount Merapi Slope - August 29, 2017
After a long break of Eid Al-Fitr (End of ramadhan month), we finally started the journey again. On previous trip, we can say that we are a bit hesitant about what we do next. The difficulties during our initial journey were burdensome. Contrary to my expectations (Issei), finding a place to park and spend the night is not that simple! Either people don’t want us to stay there, either they try to take advantage of us. Here was some example:
“Did you parked here last night?” – one of Sangiran museum parking guy.
“Yes but I already get the permission from the head of the security last night.” – Issei
“That was the legal officer, now we are not the same because we are the locals. So let’s not make it complicated, if you want, you can pay 30,000 IDR (2 €) and you can leave.” – still the assh*le parking guy.
You have to know that in Indonesia, there are “parking people” everywhere! These are people who survive by managing parking spots. It is very often that these people try to take advantage of the situation! That’s why, after the incident I have to say that I was hesitant to start over the VanLife again considering we always had to pay or even arguing almost every night for a parking spot.
But fortunately for me, the feeling wasn’t mutual with Jessica. She even tried to calm me down.
“It’s okay, you can’t generalise everyone that we met. Some are still very helpful in different ways.”
On one side what she said sounds quite reasonable. Then instead of complaining about the situation over and over, I decided to prepare our itinerary and all destinations we are going to with more carefully so that there will be no more shitty incident like before.
Thanks to information from one of our friends, Ayu, we decided our first destination pretty easily with a parking to spend the night. We will go to one of the villages quite close to the slopes of Mount Merapi in Yogyakarta.
Village Tegaltirto, Krikilan, Berbah, Sleman, Yogyakarta.
A village that will be one of the pilot role models villages for the regions with various community activities as well as their developing facilities.
Upon arrival of Krikilan, we met Ayu and she took us to their village hall. Honestly, we didn’t have any expectation on our way there considering it is still school holidays and most of the time kids will be going somewhere with their family.
Unexpectedly, many children were waiting for our arrival with a big smile on their faces. We even saw some elderly who were very enthusiastic to see our arrival.
“Welcome mas and mba in Krikilan village. Please come in..”
We were warmly welcomed by the wife of the chief of the village and soon we started taking out the books that we brought with us. We have to admit that the residents and families of the chief were very kind and accommodate us a lot during our time here.
Suddenly all the children shouted enthusiastically and started scrambling to choose the books. Little did they know, we will spend the night there and they could borrow any of the books we brought.
We took the time to observe the behaviour of children and adults but also the environment around and there were several things attracted our attention that day:
- The arrival of a police officer who wanted to know what activities we were doing and report it to his office. Here I am somewhat surprised, but we realised that after all the events that happened lately (terrorism, criminal, etc.) in Indonesia, maybe that was one of a preventive measure that police force must do. We were also very appreciative of the local police for their persuasive and familial approach that made us feel comfortable and secure of the activity we were doing.
- Regardless of the status as the role model villages and the location that was near the city of Yogyakarta, it turned out their library was still in the development stage. We’ve got to admit that their collections were not in the good shape as well. Dusty and Old. The segmentation also unclear and most of the time you can only find adult books in children section. What surprised us the most was the type of books that we were almost sure that the children will never read it.
- We could also see the strong interference of the parents with the books that the children already choose. They tend to dictate them to choose encyclopedias rather than other educational comics which are more interesting for the children. But when we asked if they often guide the children about reading or any activities involving books, as we predicted there were none. So what’s the point of dictating what the children have to choose then? So we thought it might be a bad idea to have encyclopedias in our collection, but there are also children who like this kind of book. Our solution at the time was to try to keep adults busy so they would not interfere with the choice of the children!
I also had some conversation with one of the adults that came about his interest of getting some books donation for his school. He happened to be a teacher at one of the public elementary schools somewhere around the area. The reason why he asked was quite interesting for us.
“The books collection in my school library already very old”
Apparently, apart from the government help regarding school facilities or the so called “Dana Bantuan Operasional Sekolah” (School Operational Assistance fund) for all public schools in Indonesia, it is still considered as common for some schools to allocate their library funds to something else. Maybe such as a bigger office for the teacher, bigger praying room or even renew their slightly used text books or uniform every year as in Indonesia the euphoria of new academic year means new stuff for the school. Good educational and fun books seem considered as a tertiary needs compared to uniform or some yearly religious events. So when someone who’s part of the educational system in Indonesia complained about the situation and ask for an extra help of books for their government funded school then who’s fault is that?
After all the books were set for the rolling library, the children began to take and read the books everywhere around the place. It was really nice to see all these kids were so into their books of choice. Some choose to discover animals or dinosaurs through encyclopedias and others preferred comics or novels. Given the time of day starting to get late, we decided to give them a chance to bring home the book of their choice and bring back the next day.
The next day we started to prepared again all the books as early as possible. At 8:00 am we could already see the children coming and starting reading again around the village hall. Some came and return the book. But as we said the day before, we will wait for them until that afternoon.
Many children who just came and played in this village hall. It was quite entertaining for us especially when we have to wait for them to return the books they borrowed. Deep inside us, there was a little concern they would never come, but we believe if they do not return some of the books, we only hope they can use it optimally and share it with their sisters and brothers.
At 4 PM that afternoon we decided to start packing all the books. Yes, some of the books borrowed were not yet returned by these children. But that’s fine. We learned a new lesson here and in the future maybe we should be able to prepare a better system for the rolling library.
Overall apart from the 100 books we gave, we could see that they loved the book with the colourful cover, lots of pictures or drawing. Also, books with icons that they know well like “Frozen”, “Barbie”, “Doraemon” or “Dragon Ball” are the children’s favourites! We know what we have to buy to complete our collection! We could see that Books related to education were not favoured.
But to keep in mind, the educational comics that circulated can be said to be very expensive compared to others and it’s also hard to reach by most of the people.
Later that afternoon, we drove back to Yogyakarta before leaving for Batang city for the next day. Quite tired but we didn’t feel it when remembering the enthusiastic of the children in the Krikilan village. We hope they can enjoy all the books we gave and next time we come back they can share the stories with us.
That night we also met a new friend from Yogyakarta. Operated by Hendy and his wife Ani, Aksara Bergerak (Moving Script) is a mobile library that often opens its book collection every weekend in one of the public spaces in Yogyakarta. Well if you are interested in their collection of diverse and very interesting books (We assure you it’s very interesting!) for children and adult, you can stop by to read or just talk to them every Saturday and Sunday morning, around the field Denggung, Sleman, Yogyakarta. We will be opening our rolling library next to them the next day!
English is not our native tongue, so we are sorry for all of the grammatical error in this article. Thanks for your understanding.
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Here are some extra pictures, we were thinking you would have enjoyed it: