Proyek Kampung Loco

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Wednesday 22-10-2008

We had a pleasant sleep. Strange, for we have no air co, but probably it’s because we have the feeling to be home again.
First we have breakfast, like real Dutchmen, roti dengan keju (bread and cheese), after that we start working. Type the travel report. We know a lot of people are waiting for our first stories, so let’s work!
While we are busy, Eful and Cuk drop in. A few minutes later followed by Boung. Although we haven’t had the first official project meeting, we talk about the project constantly.
After 11 months we all feel the need to talk about the project.
I will collect all the information, and after the first meeting, Friday night, I will report it to you on Saturday.
We also invited Andrea for this meeting.
He has done a lot for our project, and is constantly thinking with us about ways to help Kampung Loco. Also we think it is very important to have one of the sponsors joining the meeting. 
Boung ask us if we will come to his house, sit down on the bruka (covered place outside, made of bamboo, where you can sit, eat, drink and relax).   Andrea will be there as well.
We want to, but first we have to finish the travel report.
Spending time is very different in Lombok, it takes us hours to talk with everyone!
After we finish working, we go to Boung. On the bruka pisang goreng (fried banana) is already waiting for us.
We talk a bit, and I cuddle little Ana, the youngest daughter of Boung and Sareah, she really is my favorite. 
Then it is time to put our stories on the internet. We drive to Millennium, the internet café we usually visit.  
Joep reads the notes from Tom (our webmaster), and tells me what to do. Yes, Tom gave us some instructions about how to put the stories directly on the website. We think we succeeded, but not completely… We hope Tom can put everything right, so you can see our stories. 
We also want to check our e-mail, but the connection is very slow, so we quit and hop over to another internet-café. Luckily the connection in this one is faster. We can also use Mohni’s office, but we want to try to do it ourselves.
Then we drive around a bit, (of course we have a motorbike (color purple!) at our disposal)
It is still very hot, and driving the motorbike, we feel a bit of a cool wind blowing… Typical Dutch, always complaining about the weather.
We decide to visit Graha Hotel, Hannie Nijzingh, a dear friend from Holland, asked us to send her regards to the staff.  We also know most of the staff for years, and it is nice to see them all again.
While we chat with Juliana, a boy in security costume walks towards us.
It is Herman (or Suherman). Let’s explain.
Last year when we were here, we had four friends with us, 2 of them were Maan and Monique.
While we were taking pictures of all the sponsored children, a boy came to Monique and asked her to become his sponsor. So Monique asked us to take Herman in the project. There was one problem, Herman was 20 years old.  Usually to old for Junior Highschool, but he would try to be admitted in Junior Highschool.
So we made a deal, if he would be admitted to Junior Highschool, Maan and Monique would sponsor him.
Some time later, we got a sms from Eful, Herman was not admitted to Junior Highschool, he was too old.
A few weeks later Eful sent another sms, Herman could take a course in Security, and try to find a job. So, would Maan and Monique be willing to sponsor that course? They agreed and Herman could take the course. Before we left for Lombok, Monique asked me to check on Herman. Well, Monique, Maan and other sponsors, you can imagine how very happy we are to see Herman working as security guard at Graha Hotel.   It feels like the first success-story of our project, because, main goal of the project, is to give children a proper education, so they can find a job and take care of themselves and their families. We are very very pleased with this success!
It appears, last summer family Geurts also met Herman. Marianne already asked me if the Security Guard at the hotel could be the boy sponsored by Maan and Monique. I couldn’t believe he would have found a job so quickly, so I told it was not possible. But it was possible, as we now find out.
With this great news in our mind, we go home. Tonight we have an appointment with family Antonijs. They visit Indonesia every year and their daughter, Pascalle, works for Google in Ireland and is a friend of Andrea.
That’s how we meet new people. Mr. and Mrs. Antonijs are born in Indonesia and Mrs. Antonijs even lived on Lombok until she was 6. They also brought one of their relatives who still lives in Lombok. Together with Andrea we are a mixed group!   We try to have the conversation in English as much as possible, so Andrea and the relative from Indonesia can understand our stories. But it is hard, sometimes we almost automatically go back to Dutch.
While we are talking, I realize every Indonesian in Holland has its own story and history. Family Antonijs also has a shocking story.
They now found out their family on Lombok has an orphanage for 20 years already, and they try to give 80 children a home. They had never told the Dutch part of the family about this, they wouldn’t give them the feeling they were begging for money…
Mrs. Antonijs was very sorry  she didn’t know about the orphanage. Recently they gave Proyek Kampung Loco a great donation, while their own family also had a beautiful project.
We really felt with them. The orphanage still needs a lot of help, and we promised to try to bring them in contact with LombokCare. A foundation in Holland of a group of wonderful people supporting a lot of different projects in Lombok.  
We will do everything to help them. These things make you think!
There are always people who are in greater need than the people in Kampung Loco, in our project. Andrea told us about a friend. When Andrea was collecting Money for Kampung Loco, the friend said: “You ask 25 Euros for one child. For only 5 Euros I can help a child in Africa.”    
Andreas answer was: “Well, do it, help 5 people over there, in Africa!”
It always is a matter of searching for a balance. Everywhere in the world people are in need of help, but we lost our hearts here, in this Kampung. And we feel this project is good, and is really helping the people.
Especially every morning, when we see all the happy children go to school in their perfect school uniforms. 
This is our choice to help, and we go for it, with all our heart!
After family Antonijs went back to Mataram, we have a chat with Andrea. He really is a man after our own heart. We really are on a par with him. He is bubbling over with ideas (Google experience!) and he wants to help us in every possible way.  This will be continued.
But also about traveling we can talk for hours. Andrea is traveling for nine months now, and his stories are very recognizable to us.
He tells how he grew in life while he was traveling, and with all the things he has been gone through.
Our conversation is so intense, we didn’t notice all tables around us are empty. But when the waiter asks us to pay, and Hamad’s father, Security Guard, walks by, we know it is quite late. Yes, 02.00 in the night. So we decide it is enough for today. More days will follow, we’ll have plenty of time to talk!