Wednesday, 24 August 2016

Book Distribution #2: Salio Village

Last Tuesday I returned to Salio with another load of books.  This week the reaction, instead of being shock and awe, was sheer thrill and excitement.  There was so much energy in the room and I was, once again, totally overwhelmed.

The children were climbing over chairs and desks to reach the teacher who had a pile of books in his hands.  Upon receiving a book to look at the kids jumped up and down with joy.  Some of them danced.  It was quite amazing to watch.  I don't think I've ever seen such a display in response to a carton of books before.  

Once the children were all seated and calmed down with their books, they poured through the pages oohing and ahhing at pictures and following the words with their fingers.  They swapped books with their friends and looked over each others shoulders sharing the discoveries each page had to offer. I sat down with the kids and we went through every encyclopedia - birds, insects, inventors, sea creatures - and they pointed at pictures shouting names in Indonesian, asking what the names were in English so I told them and they repeated my words and laughed at each other in absolute glee.  They opened page after page of glossy photographs and made up stories of what they imagined was happening on each page, creating tales and telling each other and building on and expanding each others ideas.  They piled onto me armed with English picture books asking me to read to them so I did, book after book after book.

They were hungry for it.

Afterwards I took out paper and a packet of pastels and we learned the names of colours in English and we folded paper into boats and the children coloured in their boats, a class of 30 sharing a 12 pack of pastels with such care and respect for the pastels and for each other. 

Talk about putting things into perspective.

I left the island on Tuesday, as I did last fornight, exhausted and with a very full heart.

Here are some photos of the trip out to the island, the village and the kids.

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