renungan / Writing

I Got the Sweetest Letter from South Halmahera

South Halmahera

South Halmahera (In Indonesian: Halmahera Selatan)

Today is Saturday and this morning it was hard to get out of my bed. It was so cold! I was rolling on my bed with my warm blanket when I checked on my phone. My friend wrote me on Facebook and then I opened it. I was so surprised! It was the sweetest letter I have ever got.

My friend, Towi, is one of the young teachers in Indonesia Mengajar and he teaches in South Halmahera. He has been posting his photos while living and teaching there for almost a year and I am a fan of those photos. The beauty of South Halmahera, the activities there, and my most favourite photos: those pure smiles of Towi’s students.

A month ago, I sent a postcard to Towi’s students in South Halmahera. After two weeks, I asked Towi whether my postcard had arrived or not but Towi told me that it hadn’t. I was kind of sad knowing that because I really really wanted that postcard to arrive safely to Towi & Towi’s students. I wanted to introduce Portugal and Porto especially to them through that postcard.

Few weeks after, Towi informed me that that postcard finally had managed to fly thousand miles away from Porto to South Halmahera! YEAAAY!

Olá, meninos!!! (Portuguese: Hello, little kids)

Olá, meninos!!! (Portuguese: Hello, little boys and girls). Courtesy of  Thontowi Ahmad Suhada.

Towi sent me that picture of his students with that postcard. OMG! I was exploding in happiness seeing that picture. I was captivated by their smiles, their innocent laughs, and their cute poses. How could you be so adorable, meninos? Towi also wrote a letter from one of his students, Yuyun, who took that picture and now she is participating on NGKids photography contest.

Halo kak Bela, nama saya Yuyun. Saya sekola di SDN Torosubang. Saya kelas 5. Saya hobi membaca, cita-cita saya menjadi dokter.”

(Hallo, Kak Bela, my name is Yuyun. I study at Torosubang Elementary School. I am on my fifth grade. I love reading, and I want to be a doctor.)

Saya akan menyeritakan tentang desa saya. Rumahnya di atas air dan banyak ikannya. Nama-nama ikannya Lambasa, Popogo, Cagalu, Mogo, Babesa dan lain-lain. Terimakasi kak sudah mengirim surat ini ke Yuyun. Salam buat Keristian Ronaldo. Wasalamualaikum.

(I will tell you about my village. The houses are on top of water and there are so many fishes, their names are Lambasa, Popogo, Cagalu, Mogo, Babesa, and so on. Thank you for sending this letter to Yuyun. Send my regard to Keristian Ronaldo. Wasalamualaikum)


Yuyun was the girl on the far-right. Courtesy of Thontowi Ahmad Suhada.

Yuyun was the girl on the far-right. Courtesy of Thontowi Ahmad Suhada.

To be honest, I was without any passion to do anything today. So many assignments, so many deadlines next week, and thesis thingies. I woke up with that negative thoughts on my mind, but after reading that letter I felt so ashamed. So many things are waiting for my contribution to my country. I couldn’t have been this lazy. That letter reminded me of my goals. I got out of my bed and told myself, “I should wake up and make my dreams come true.”

and their smiles told me that I should have been more grateful and think in more positive ways. So many positive things happen in this world. I was touched.

Oh, dear kids, I should be the one who thank you. From the deepest part of my heart, I would like to say: Obrigada (Portuguese. In English: Thank you). It was the sweetest letter I have ever got, accompanied by the cutest picture ever from Towi’s students in South Halmahera.

Belajar yang rajin ya dek. Tak lupa ibadah dan bermain. Nikmati setiap momen yang ada dan selalu bersyukur atas karunia-Nya. Pantang menyerah dalam mengejar mimpi.

(Study hard, kiddos. Don’t forget to pray and play. Enjoy every moment and always be grateful for what the God has given to us. and go get your dream).

Here is a video made by Towi about his students and their dreams and hopes of education in Indonesia.

I am this person who thinks that whatever things happen to my country, those things start from education, either a good one or a bad one. Yuk memajukan pendidikan di Indonesia.


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