Proyek Kampung Loco

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Friday 24-10-2008

Then at last it is going to happen…
After a great breakfast at Graha Hotel, we visit the swimming pool over there.
The bath-superintendent, Odjong, who also lives in the kampong, was still working as a cook last year. He already welcomed us when we had breakfast. Last year we delivered Graha some guests when we visited the kampong, what gave us the freedom to use the Graha swimming pool for free.
Now we are “alone” in Lombok, don’t have guests that stay in Graha, so we have to pay the normal fee when we visit the swimming pool.
After paying at the reception desk, we meet Graha’s sales-manager. He asks us if there is anything he can do for us. After thinking for a while, we say it would be nice to get special rates for Kampung Loco sponsors who visit Lombok and are going to stay in the hotel.
As we approach the swimming pool, we find a nice place set for us, deckchairs with towels, a parasol and even fresh flowers on the table, especially for us.
Odjong is waiting for us with a big smile. What a warm welcome, will this be because his child is in our Proyek? If Nick and Elise, who visited Lombok with us last year, would see this, they would burst out laughing!
Yes, I think we deserve this special treatment!
The water is very good, and Joep enjoys a massage from Ibu Iba.
It really cheers you up!
Straight after lunch we go to Cuk. We start checking the cash books. We wanted to do this quietly and before the official meeting, because it always takes a lot of time. All 4 project members from Loco are already waiting for us. The books are accurate. There are 4 cash books, the first is for the students, the second for medicine, the third for donations in favour off the whole kampung, like for instance the watertank, and the fourth cashbook is for interest. This can be used for emergencies, like other medical costs than medicine or contributions to a funeral.
Together with every cash book, Cuk has a map containing all receipts and invoices.
We check everything. The only confusing part is the fact that money they got in Lombok for the bemo, is put in the cash books.
So we have to check this very good, convert amounts from Euro’s to Ind. Rupiah.
As we now have enough money to buy a bemo, we also calculate the new amounts for sponsoring students. Because now transport will be free.
The boys tell us the amount of € 25  for elementary school is a bit tight.
We are not happy about this, but we have to raise this amount to € 30.
This amount contains things like school uniforms and study materials, no transport costs, the children walk to school in Senggigi.
The amount for Junior High school will decrease from € 120 to € 75. High school will decrease from € 210 to € 125. All these amounts are per year.
This gives us the hope we will find more sponsors (Junior) High school.
Finding sponsors for elementary school usually is no  problem.
At 17.00 we stop the meeting and go home. A bit later we collect again, and together with Andrea we go to Tenda Cak Poer for dinner. This has become traditional, having diner together at Cak Poer, and we (not the Proyek) pay the bill. 
Sad enough Adi is not present. He is looking for Miriam’s younger brother. He left with some boys from the Kampung, without telling where they would go.
As the boy comes from Bali, is visiting his family (Adi and Mariam) in Lombok, he should let Mariam or his mother know where he goes… 
As we arrive at Cak Poer (a small eating house they build up on the sidewalk every evening) it is busy as usual. We are a group of 6, they only use one wok-pan, so it takes some time… As we all finished our meals, it appears they forgot Boung. He hasn’t got his meal yet. He ordered a nasi goreng special, and we joke that his nasi goreng must be really special if it takes so long…
But they simply forgot him.  Then the always happy Boung gets mad. He was starving. But he cancels his order and we go back home. At our house we see Adi has returned, we find some food for Boung and go on with our meeting.
We donate the Euros we brought from Holland and chuck registers everything in the cash books. 
A few children quit school. There are 2 families in the kampong who don’t show any interest in their children’s education. From one family with 2 boys and one girl, only the girl still goes to school. The parents don’t want their children to go to school, but the girl insist on going. As long as she really goes, the proyek will pay for it, but Eful already warned the parents. The boys, who quit school, are already taken out of the proyek. We don’t want sponsors to pay for children who don’t go to school. We really hope the girl will be strong enough to keep going to school…
It is sad these cases take so much attention, it is only a small part of all the children. Most off the children are really happy to go to school, the parents are happy their children get the chance to have education.
To avoid problems in future, Eful wants to make some kind of a contract with the parents. For instance children who go to (more expensive) (Junior) High school. If they quit after a few months, they have to pay back the money they got from the proyek. Also if they have to repeat a class due to bad study or skipping school. If a child has to repeat a class, but really did it’s best, of course the Proyek will pay for this.
The proyek members will make a contract for parents and child. It is very earnest, but we think it is a good idea. We don’t want to give the money for education without any obligation.
We also have to make pictures of all the children that follow education. So we have an overview of the children who are not being sponsored yet (at the moment this are only (Junior) High school students).
If we find new sponsors, they can “choose” a child themselves.
As also Andrea mentions, the main problem we have, is communication Holland – Lombok in times we are not in Lombok. Every year when we are in Lombok, we try to discuss and arrange everything in one month. But sometimes that is not enough.
Andrea will try to put the administration on our website, in consultation with Tom, our webmaster. Then, when we are in Holland, we can check everything for instance every week, and, if required, talk things through using Skype.
Andrea will think of the best way to arrange this for us, because also the boys in Lombok are no stars in computering. 
It’s good to have Andrea with this meeting. He is more experienced in these things, but also because of his contribution to the proyek last year.
For Andrea it is also good to see how we work, which problems we encounter. Let’s be honest, we are no professionals, we are just some people trying to help a kampung. We also learn new things every day…
It was a long, enervating but very useful, successful day.
We decide to go shopping for a bemo tomorrow.
So, early out of bed, but it feels good to have a job in Lombok again.