A REPORT FROM OUR SINGAPORE AIRLINES 5Cs GROUP ON THEIR RECENT VISIT TO ROSLIN
Written by on Monday, August 13, 2012 at 12:52am by the group member
27th July 2012, the start of my five days trip to Kupang, West Timor with SIA Cabin Crew Club for Community Care (5Cs) along with 17 other volunteers. Honestly, I was quite apprehensive about going on to this trip. I have never heard of West Timor before, simply because all I have heard about was the war in East Timor a few years back. I didn’t know what to expect and the only thing I known, was that I was visiting an orphanage, Roslin Orphanage.
The orphanage was founded by SIA pilot Captain Budi Soerhadi and his wife, Peggy. When finally the date arrived for me to board the plane to Indonesia, I decided to not thinking about anything else. I told myself that once I am there, I would do my best to serve, to give and to try in my small little ways to make a difference to the children there.
I thought I could maybe teach them something but how wrong I was. They ended up becoming my teachers instead. It was only a five minutes drive to Roslin Orphanage and I couldn’t wait to see the kids. I haven’t even met them yet! When I first saw them, they were sit nicely and neatly in the common area. Some of them were doing homework while the others were having some fun at games. When they saw us, they were surprised and quickly, it became excitement!
The rest of the volunteers and I went around mingling with the kids. Some were shy but many more were friendly, super friendly indeed! They started asking us our names in very simple and broken English and we them. Due to the language barrier, I couldn’t converse much with them and some times had to depend on the elder kids to translate for me. However, that didn’t really bother the kids or me too. A few young ones wanted a hug from me, some wanted me to take their photos and many others wanted to play games with them. Their smiles were so heartwarming, I secretly chuckled at the ridiculous “me” who was anxious about coming here the day before. We went back the next day and most of the children were more delighted than the night before and many of them started calling my name non-stop and some were grabbing me, some wanted to see the photos I took of them! Then we met up with Peggy and had a little chat with her. Her story is truly inspiring. She has been doing social work for 12years and Roslin not only supports 116children but also supports more than 3000 villagers in the remote mountainous area of Kupang. Every fortnightly, Peggy would bring some supplies up to the mountains to help out the villagers. I asked her whether if she ever got tired of it, doing all these. She said “When you like it, when you love what you are doing, you will not get tired at all.” She was such a motherly figure, it was no wonder everyone respectfully address her as “Ibu” Peggy, which means mother.
That afternoon, we help to lay the foundation of the new school building that Roslin was trying to build, using very hard and heavy rocks. It was tough job and I was astounded to find out that the older boys would help out with such works every other day on top of their studies. They are truly fighters because after just one afternoon of work, the volunteers and I were exhausted.
We then had a dance workshop after dinner where some of the other volunteers taught the children some simple dance. It was only after that we realized that some of the kids have some amazing talent. A 5 years old child could do some awesome break dancing and many of them could sing extremely well. At that moment, they impressed me because as compared to kids in Singapore, they have so much lesser and yet they do not complain but live their life the best they could. They find joy in simple things like singing and dancing. They have only themselves to count on most of the time. The elder kids are like the parent of the younger ones. They are truly strong in body and soul.
On the third day, we went to a mountain village to distribute water buckets to the villages so they could collect and store more water. We realized that Capt Budi not only supporting the 116 orphans, but Roslin Orphanage is supporting 3000 over villagers in Kupang. Upon seeing the smiles of the villagers and how grateful they were, by giving their crops to Peggy, we all felt immensely touched. Those crops could have meant everything to these villagers and by giving them away showed how much Capt Budi and Peggy have done for them. They are an inspiration. The children at the orphanage are given an opportunity to have papa, mama and family even though their destinies did not give them parents. They are given education until university level if they so choose, indeed, there are a doctor, a nurse and a sailor in their midst.
The motto that Roslin has for her children is “Be somebody.” It taught us that no matter where we are from, we could dream big and make it big. Time flies and very soon, it was our last night in Kupang. We headed out to the beach and beach to have some fun and catch the sunset. We had games, we danced, we sang and we said our thanks. Amidst all the songs, surrounding the fire, we managed to tell them: we love them. They too, showed how much they love us for being there with them. A teenage girl stood up and made a speech and the one thing she said made me tear. “Here in Roslin Orphanage, we are children thirsty for love…” I was touched and also upset by what she said. Kids like her ask for the most basic and simple thing all children should have, love. They have to ask for it and sometimes, might not get it. Yet we have children everywhere accusing parents of not loving them just because they do not get a particular toy. People need to know about children like those in Roslin Orphanage.
The last morning we went out to clear the fields so that the orphanage will be able to use them as rice paddy fields! It was tough work but at the end of it all, it was all worth. Most weeds were cleared out and we all got a great sense of achievement. But nothing ever last and it was time to say goodbye.
I went there wishing to serve, to give and to make a difference. Yet, in these 5 days, I learnt more from these children than I could have ever taught them. I left a little bit more touched, a little bit more grateful and a little bit more changed. It may be only a short 5 days and we may forget what we did and what we said many years down the road but we will never forget how we made each other feel. All I can say is that love truly has no boundaries. We said goodbye and we came back with our hearts filled with love and our life a little brighter.
Helping to make the playground area at Roslin Kindergarten
Teaching a new song and dance
Ready to work for whatever it might be
Visiting Oenesu water fall
picnic at the beach with the children
Our children were so thankful and so happy with your visit and especially the new games that were passed to them and the quality time that have been created for the children
on the way to the mountain area to distribute the plastic bucket for the villagers
distributing the plastic buckets for the villagers for free. If the villagers must go to the city and buy the bucket them self, it cost them a transport fee to get to the town, buying the bucket then on the way home they must pay another transport fee for the person and must pay for the bucket's space in the car.It can be some
RP 300 000 rupiah instead of about RP 97 000 to 115 000 Rupiah . This bucket is to store their drinking water and it has a lid so that the cat and the dog will not drink from their drinking water storage. It took us some 4 -6 hours of driving to visit the targeted villages. We left at 1 - 3 am to avoid the traffic . The maximum buckets we can bring on each trip will be 20 - 40 buckets depending on the other items that we are carrying for them.
About 65 % of the 1700 buckets were donated by pak Hendra, ibu Sakura and friends and some friends of Roslin as far as Japan, USA and many other countries. Our thaks and our apprectiation to All who have participated on the purchasing, sending them to us and on delivering them to the ultimate receipients
bringing cooked food is not appropriate so we cook some where in the jungle area with woods that we can find in that area .
Horray the meals is ready