November 12, 2011 § Leave a comment

Today both the tutor and I came a little late to the centre. I was waiting for the tutor at the crossover bridge at the main road for her to help me carry a box and bags of clothes. We met at 8.30 and go inside the slum. Kak Eja and I are chatting and buying cookies from the market while walking. When we are near the centre, seven children are already waiting for us right in front of the narrow alley. Seeing us coming with loads, they shouted “Here they are!!” and run towards us with smile on their faces and everybody just wants a piece of load. Sali immediately put the box on top of his head, with his faded blue T-shirt, he looks like a child coolie. Raga (or was it Nala?) got a big plastic bag. Azis wants one too, so I took out another bag from inside my backpack and let him carry it.

There are nine of us walking towards the centre. We are walking under the hot sun and through the narrow alley and the children are very busy talking, teasing, laughing, jumping. That short walk to the centre is such a nice moment :) While waiting for the tutor to get the key from Ma’De, I pinch Azis’ cheek softly and asked him, why haven’t you been coming! He just grin shyly. The tutor opens the key to the centre and we go inside. The children immediately arrange the box and the bags at the corner of our tiny room. They know the clothes are not for them (Sali immediately asked, “is this for La’i?”), nevertheless it looks like they are just naturally happy to be given responsibility to help. We start by doing some drawing then we revised some vocabulary from the previous lessons. Okay, I have collected some mispronunciations by the children that I find really funny! Because English is a new language for them so they tend to associate some of the words with familiar Indonesian words. (FYI, this is only funny for those who speak Indonesian and the slang!)

Semangka = wortel-melon
Anggur = grepe’
Hitam = belek
Mata = yes
Dengkul = kenek
Pemadam kebakaran = firman
Arsitek = (ar) ketek
Maling = kundang (??)

Their doing mnemonics! Brilliant, right?! Lol, these children crack me up everytime! There will be more coming up… :D

After the lesson is done, I pack up my things and prepare to go home. Next to our centre, there has been loud sounds of hitting, it sounds like a hammer, so I suppose the neighbor is constructing or nailing something. When I go out, apparently it is Dimas, the pantless toddler, who is by himself, “busy” hitting his toy with a wooden sandals on the wooden bench. The motorbike toy is already broken to pieces. No wonder I only saw him once at our door today. We call him, “Dimas! Pssst! Dimas!”. But he is too busy “working” he doesn’t even look at us. Hmm.. I always thought the poor children have some kind of benefit (over the middle/upper class) in terms of their freedom exploring the outside world. Many are also quite creative in making their own toys or inventing own games instead of being entertained by expensive but uncreative toys! They are also the ones who enjoy the touch of soil on their feet and the slap of the rain on their faces. There is even some extent of wildness that I envy. Not having everything and being free to do anything. When I am walking, I see two girls outside their home (one is probably 3 years old and I assume the other one is her sister, a one year old), discovering the joy of sliding. They are sitting on the ramp of a 3 steps stairs, sliding down, laughing, taking turns.


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