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A Journal of a

Young Lecturer

Sometimes in life, you need to take a leap When opportunity arises to do so, take it and dont hesitate Because it could be once-in-a-life-time lottery or it might become a life-turning experience Better regretting something we did than something we didnt do
When the sunset comes. Priceless scene.

Bayu Adi Persada


A Journal of a

Young Lecturer
The story of a young man in nding his passion and the very true meaning of life.

Bayu Adi Persada



A Journal of a

Young Lecturer
The story of a young man in nding his passion and the very true meaning of life.
At rst, the idea of me living in a place that has never been heard before was preposterous. For the techno-geek and gadget-freak like I am, living a life without electricity, signal, and internet is not a life. I expressed my intention of this crazy idea to my parents anyway. My mother was in doubt the rst time I mentioned Indonesia Mengajar. Because the program was just launched few months back and there was no example of this young lecturer or Pengajar Muda, she was not in full comfort to let me go.

How to get there?

You need to take a plane from Jakarta to Ternate. It takes 3,5 hours. If you take Garuda Indonesia, you will be arriving there in the afternoon. Next, you wait for ferry until night. The ferry sails o the harbor around 8 or 9 PM. It is a long voyage on that ferry. Ferry will take you to Bacan Island in South Halmahera regency for 8 hours. You will be likely to arrive in Babang, a port city, around dawn. No, you are not there yet. To get to my village, Bibinoi, you still need to wait until 2 in the afternoon to board on small boat. Yes, it is tiring. Of course. A dock to nd a small boat is still located in Babang but more to the east. If the sea is calm, it just takes an hour to get to Bibinoi. After two whole days of a journey then you are there! Bibinoi, a lovely place to spend the day!

On boat to my village. Rainbow sighted

After I gave her some explanations, she gave me an okay. She found out that this program was Anies Baswedan idea and its purpose was concrete and sincere. Moreover, my mother is fond of Anies. She always says he is an intelligent and A view from my window in the morning. humble person. Unfortunately, my father did not react the same like mom did. He described my plan as ridiculous and silly. He said, You are gonna waste 5 years of studying and working in IT by being a teacher! It was harsh but I appreciated his opinion. I intended to prove he was wrong. Well, my intention was clear and my heart was rm. Without full permission from my parents, I kept going and still believed that being a teacher for the kids in needs was the right choice. Turns out, I was right. I experienced the best one year ever in my life. An amazing journey! HOME I was assigned to Desa Bibinoi. I just heard the name when I got the deployment paper back in Bogor. Stated there, no signal, limited electricity and transportation. Sighed, I did. Since then, I often told myself to be ready and always remember what my objectives were. I needed to prepare for the worst in everything and expect nothing. Bibinoi is a coastal village located in middle east of Bacan Island. The topography in that area is quite unique. You can nd a beach and a

mountain at the same time. Beach is at the north while mountain is separated by eight kilos at the south. With population around 1300 people, there are many tribes living there. Most of them are Tobelo, Makian, and Bacan while Islam and Christian are two main religions. Finally, I could tell you that all the worries were gone when the rst time my feet touched Bibinois sand and my eyes saw their people faces. Those soothed me. I was grateful, really.




It is true that I could not nd a single bar on my phone. Although electricity had been installed there, but still it has never been stable. The installation passes through the jungle so befall of tree branch on wires could make big news. Electricity will go o for days. Well, I was not there to nd luxury and comfort. I was there to give kids dream, a real dream that they can hold onto their entire life. I was not gonna back down, not now, not ever. SCHOOL A public school, SDN Bibinoi, was a best place for me to start my teaching career. With the total student almost reaches 250, it is considerably a big school.

I remembered Voltaire once said, With great power comes great responsibility. I did not possess power that great, I just had faith that I could give hope for this kids, school, and society. Now God, please bless me with power. STUDENTS There are many reasons why I always like kids there. They are cheerful, bright, and skillful. Regardless of their potential, the rst two weeks teaching in that school was a nightmare. Kids there do not speak proper Indonesian. They call Indonesian language as high language. So yes, most of the time, my students did not understand what I was telling. Without mutual understanding, my lesson had no point. With an intense interaction with people and kids, I was able to master their language in just three weeks. Important accomplishment, I must say. I could speak, understand, and interpret their language into Indonesian. Good communication made everything easier. In a short time, I could become closer with every kids. In school, I treated them as my student, but outside, I tried to befriend with them.

This should be a pride, SDN Bibinoi.

The building is proper. There are four main buildings, three are allocated for classrooms and one for oce and library. Large eld and a small wooden home complete the school compound. Ten teachers are listed along with headmaster. However, the same problem existed in almost every school in South Halmahera, a dedicated and discipline teacher is rare. Most teachers do not know their value of their profession. Teachers should be the best model for the student, not the otherwise. Teachers not attending class is normal and people do not really care about it. Teachers acting as stranger to student outside school is common. They shout and hit at them, like there is no other way to give lessons. Such a pity. I came there with numerous problems. None of them was easy. Low-capable students, lack of discipline teacher, less role of parents, suspicious headmaster, and so on. The list were not getting less.

Amoi and Natalia studying at night with a charged lamp.

Together, we took a bath in the river, played along on the beach, or shing in the middle of the sea. Any activity would bring joy and fun. After that, it was very easy persuading them to study. My rst target was to escalate their willingness to learn. Because only with spirit and willingness, they have strong foundation to grow and become better. For some reasons, I felt that I was doing a good job to make studying was a pleasure for my students. I taught my students after school almost everyday, did not matter whether it was weekend. Most of the time, they came to my house at night




after dinner. Usually, I ended this additional study hours after they, or me, were sleepy or tired. I might be tired after non-stop teaching activities all day but their huge spirit to learn could not be bought. I learned value of dedication from them. PRIDE Teachers pride lies on their student. When student can achieve something, priceless happiness will surely appear. When a child can spell his rst simple word, work on Math, memorize Pancasila, or understand science well. Our pride is, not surprisingly, simple.

I spontaneously shouted, I am the world champion! BRILLIANCE Genius kids are everywhere. Every kids has potential. Every kids is smart. I purely believe those statements are true. But we can not simply deny that some kids are better than the others. Bibinoi has few, this genius kids. I called them the brilliant kids. I was lucky to meet those kids. Kids that are not only smart, but also humble, obedient, kind, and cheerful. Their good characters are countless, serious. Beside Olan, there are Munarsi and Dila. Munarsi, just turned 9 last May, is Mathematic Munarsi with his rst enthusiast. I did not know trophy when his interest started growing, but when I gave him exercises, he always nished ahead of his friends and rarely made mistake.

Munarsi is a son of a tailor. He is lucky to have his father. Even his father did not get proper Olan, eight years old, was recently able to read. education, he cares very much about Narsi. He One thing for sure, this boy has outstanding always tells Narsi to nish homework and read one potential. Diligent, kind hearted, persistence, and or two page in any book rst before Narsi goes out fast learner. He was the best in my class, among 3rd playing. Yes, not all parents in Bibinoi are not grader. I had no hesitation to include him into my attentive towards their children. team to compete in National Science Olympic. Another genius kid is Dila. Dila really likes to I had been teaching Olan along with ve other read. He loves encyclopedia and story book. He students about science for a month or so. The team always spends his time in a school break reading had to learn many general knowledges, do books in library. I often chose interesting books for experiments, and nish practices about science. him to read. Some of the time, he then told me Among the team, Olan was the one to put big everything he just read. A really nice boy. interest in science, like he was born to learn this subject.
Olan and Munarsi studying fruits and vegetables

I did not want to expect much. After I scrutinized the questions, even I was not sure to be able to answer those correctly. Then I thought, how about my students? In the end, I was embarrassed by optimism and hard work. Everything was changed when I arrived at the dock in Babang. Signal exists there. I could not describe how happy and proud I was that time when I got an email from a friend. Its content was to congratulate Olan for achieving the Seminal Round of National Science Olympic!

Olan, Narsi, and Dila in academic competition.




One time, he tested me with a question. He said, Sir, do you know which nation has a symbol of Garuda (eagle-red)? Of course Indonesia, my dear, I replied. Then, how about a bald eagle? I was in silence for a moment, thinking. Well, to tell you the truth, I do not know the answer. It is United States of America, Sir! He giggled and ran.

song. Surprisingly, or not, most of them did not know our national anthem, Indonesia Raya. Then came the most shocking experience that day. I asked them, Kids, what is the name of our nation? Their answer was beyond expectation. They shouted, BIBINOI, Sir! Oh, dear God. I was standing in front of the class, frozen.

It did not become a surprise The problem I stated before was though when Olan, Narsi, and proven. I did not want to blame Dila were the champion in limitation, isolation, poverty or academic competition in Middle any inadequacy. Teachers had to East Bacan sub-district event. I know Indonesia as our nation but gathered this three brilliant kids how come they had not yet told in one team. Competing with their student. This was real matter teams from other schools, their The rst ag-raising ceremony. and real action needed to be done, hard work was paid o as they could immediately. answer most of the questions correctly from the Teacher was not my number one priority for jury. the rst three months. My students were. Before I I am not trying to be conceited here but I have could teach math, science, social, art, or even full faith if they are in the same team, they can English, I thought that time I needed to encourage compete with any school, even from town or lets my students to know their nation, to gain say, Java Island. With Olan covers science, Narsi nationalism. takes math problems, and Dila answers the general I initiated ag-raising ceremony every Monday, ones, could I ask for more? I do not think so. taught how to sing national anthem and other I am so grateful God chose me to be their partner national songs, told stories about proclaimer and in discovering knowledge and learning the world national heroes, and encouraged them to speak more. Indonesian properly. It was indescribable feeling when I heard some kids humming one of national song, Indonesia Pusaka on the way home after NATIONALISM school ended. When I rst came to the school, I entered Indonesia, our homeland. Eternal and glorious fourth grade class. Because I did not really prepare legacy anything to teach, I tried to teach them national Indonesia tanah air beta. Pusaka abadi nan jaya.' PARADISE ON THE BACK OF MY VILLAGE For us villager, we do not have the luxury to choose our amusement. We do not have malls, recreation park, or zoo. However, we can be proud of our nature. It is still, well, natural. I had redened pleasure for myself since the rst time I stepped on Bibinois sand. Beach was just twenty steps away from my house. You could always ask any kids to climb to bring you a fresh coconut. If I was bored with beach, I could just go to the back of the village. Hidden paradise was there as the locals say. I am glad to say that it was true. I have never dreamed before I could have mount, beach, waterfall, and river in my ground yard. I can go to those places only by foot. Wonderful. A trip to Bibinois waterfall starts by walking to the west side of the village. The distance is approximately 4 kilos, that means 2 hours walking. To get there, we better start going in the morning so we can reach the waterfall exactly when the sun is on the top. No need to worry because the ambience is cool there. We rarely feel the heat. Then, we can have lunch under the waterfall. I bet Second waterfall, a twin. that will be our




best lunch ever. Does not matter what you eat, even noodle tastes like spaghetti with pasta. We can nd shrimp or eel under big rocks. If you are dared enough, you can roast them right away. It must be once in a lifetime experience. You are not satised with one waterfall, arent you? We have two! Just by walking through the river ow for 20 minutes, we will reach the second waterfall. This second waterfall is unique because it has literally two waterfalls. I had been there three times and I never got bored. I always found it relaxing even the trip was surely tiring. RELIGION South Halmahera region was deeply aected by horizontal-conict between religions one decade ago. Up until now, even there is peace among people but it can not be denied that the horrible tragedy still remains in everyones head. In Bibinois people is no exception. Bibinoi is a home for more than thousand people with dierent religion, tribe, and origin. They live in undisturbed peace and mutual respect. As a teacher, I have to guide my students not only to be good in interacting socially with parents, friends, elderly, or common people, but also how to maintain relation with God. I always tried to instill them how important it is to pray and believe in the Creator.
Ajrun with his calligraphy.

The rst waterfall. Nice.

Going on a trip with my students, friends, or locals would bring ultimate refreshment to mind and soul. Sometimes, I fell jealous with people in my village who have their own place to seek tranquility. CAKALELE DANCE Cakalele is a traditional dance from North Maluku. It is a war dance performed to greet honorable guest who visit some certain places. It could also be performed on traditional event. The men dancer use chopper and shield. This shield is called salawaku. Meanwhile, the women use handkerchief or so called lenso. Men dancer must shout quite You may laugh. Yes, loud like really it was me dancing facing the war. The musical accompaniment is unique. By using big drum (tifa), ute, and large shells (bia), the dancer movement must adapt with the music. I did this Cakalele Dance once in front of South Halmahera regent. It was very exhausting because you needed to work all of your muscles. I had never learnt this dance before. I just saw people doing it then I came to the center of the crowd, dancing with condence. After that event, one of senior Cakalele dancer, Mr. Anwar (57 years old), came to me and said, Your dance is better than many locals here, Sir. Ah, I was over the moon.

half Christian. I simply could not treat them dierently. So every Monday, I always checked which Christian students did not go to church and gave a warning for those who neglecting worship week.

The same treatment applied to those Moslem students who did not go to the mosque and join tadarus (reading Quran). I personally think that behavior enforcement is necessary because many parents do not I took over Islam subject in take this matter seriously. I my class. Outside school, I also believe with constant taught my students how to read habituation, their behavior and understanding of religion would Quran and sometimes I told them stories about Islam with become better and better. interesting way, like imitating I hope someday this kids sounds or making funny faces. would sow seeds of peace and They liked it very much. goodness to everyone without Nevertheless, my students looking any background and in school are half Moslem and uphold their religion at any time.





South Halmahera Regency

North Maluku Province

Middle East Bacan Subdistrict

Desa Bibinoi

source: Google Maps

Complete itinerary : Jakarta-Ternate (by plane; Rp. 1.100.000; 3,5 hours), Ternate-Babang (by ferry; Rp. 100.000; 8 hours), BabangBibinoi (by sma$ boat; Rp. 20.000; 1 hour) A$ prices are a$ in economy class in November 2011.

ART I have been given understanding about the concept of left brain and right brain. About the left brain associating with analytical capabilities, such calculating or dening science. Right brain is related with creativity and imagination. Again, I have limited knowledge in this, so correct me if I am wrong. Based on this comprehension, I tried to develop priority and proportion of subjects taught in the
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class. In my opinion, being a homeroom teacher brings big benet. I was a homeroom teacher for 3rd grade students. So I could create detailed planning for a whole semester to be implemented and evaluated. Art is one of my major concern in my development agenda. Because as expected, students there were rarely getting art subject whereas art approach would balance the curriculum.

3 ART PROJECTS 1. Kids after creating little windmills. 2. This is you, Sir, Siane said to me. 3. Coloring by imagination




This art subject was getting much attention from my students. Unsurprisingly, of course. I used things that they might never see before like paran, origami paper, and crayon. Along with them, I was getting more and more interested in art as well. Honestly, I was not into art before I was a teacher. We drew together, made little doll using colorful paran, or created birds with origami. Kids can push their creativity ahead by making new things. Realized or not, they learned a EVENTS There were very few educational event in Bibinoi. As far as I had seen, the society was not prioritizing education. They were more interested in talking about politic. Some say, local politic is their only entertainment. With limited signal or unstable electricity, it is very possible though. One of my mission was to promote people concern in education. Children must grow to be better in every aspect than their parents. Their parents might not be educated, but their children must. Their job might be only farmer, sherman, tailor, or even blue-collar worker but their children must reach the highest dream. Creating an educational event is one way to upgrade their awareness. So with Adhi, a fellow Pengajar Muda, we initiated some events. We hoped those events would bring good impact and raise enthusiasm about education as a whole. Independence Day Independence day was commonly celebrated only by ceremony. Nothing more. It had just been ceremonial event. I thought it was a pity in this big moment, kids were involved only

lot in a fun way. After spending most of the time study mandatory subjects, doing art is very likely to be a refreshing moment. It was very interesting to see my students expressing their imagination into a piece of white paper, through crayon scratches, or paper folding. Sometimes, their creation is out of ordinary. They could think out of the box. That is truly sense of the art. Without any limitation or rule, creating anything what comes in mind.

as ceremony participant by standing two hours or more listening speech which might likely be less interesting. Why not involving kids in more useful activities, like lets say, a contest. When I asked people around why there had not been held event like that, they answered, No money, Sir. Money is important, but not the only thing that matters. Their mind set was already mistaken. With limited fund, we insisted to organize some Independence Day typical contests, like sack race, tug of war, and frog-catch. Of course, with additional nationalism-theme contest. We chose reading proclamation text and arranging disordered proclamation text. The atmosphere in every contest was extra ordinary. It was really festal. Even though that event was held in the middle of fasting month, it really did not lessen enthusiasm from kids to join. Locals also came to the event location in droves. They cheered up for every contestant. Joyous and entertaining. Good news, Dila became the second best in reading proclamation text and the best in arranging it.

INDEPENDENCE DAY CONTEST 1. Ali competing in sack race. 2. Dila reading proclamation text like a young Soekarno. 3. People watching kids pulling rope against the opponent.




Rumah Belajar Bibinoi Inauguration & Sub-district Level Competition Another big event was Subdistrict Level Competition with inauguration of Bibinoi House of Study (Rumah Belajar Bibinoi/ RUBI). It might be said, this event was too ambitious remembering our time there just one month left, more or less. We did not have any resources, even in human and funding. By just having faith, we started this event from developing and nalizing ideas. Next step was look for partner as our vehicle. I was aware if we used Indonesia Mengajar as our front door, it would be very easy to gather resource and support.

However, we could not learn more by doing something the easy way. Our founder, Mr. Anies, said, Choose river with swift ow, you will be tougher there. So, we took the hard way. We engaged youth organization, called Bibinoi Youth League (Ikatan Remaja Bibinoi/IRBI), as a partner. We believed although they did not have experience, they had potential to create an event this big. We had the vehicle, we have human, then how about funding? We asked them to be initiative seeking ideas how to collect funding independently. Outstandingly, they did it! They

sold banana chips, pickle, and ginger ale. They gathered enough money to buy some equipments. Of course, we did not let them doing it alone. Using social media, I invited my friends to contribute succeeding this event. Thankfully, some of my friends were willing to donate their money. I owed them much. Thank God, I nally could collect enough fund. We were inviting neighboring villages in the same sub-district to participate in this event. Unfortunately, we could not invite them by sending mail. Location among villages is quite far and separated by either sea or jungle. So it was set then, we

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RUMAH BELAJAR BIBINOI INAUGURATION & SUB-DISCTRICT LEVEL COMPETITION 1. Guests and participants sitting in front of Rumah Belajar Bibinoi (RUBI). 2. South Halmahera Regent opening RUBI ocially. 3. Regent and some local government ocers talking about RUBI development in the future. 4. Participants in academic competition. 5. Rusmi ensoul her poem in reading poem contest. 6. Diala, Meme, and Norma, winners from coloring contest.




needed to visit those villages one by one.

In the day of the event, every preparation had been done. Three weeks of hard work was I always accompanied the beyond paid by the arrival of sending-invitation-group. We were exploring the sea to the east South Halmahera regent to to visit Tabapoma until Wayatim announce ocially Rumah Belajar Bibinoi and open Sub-district and going through the jungle at Level Competition. We did invite the west to visit the last two him to come but we did not villages, Songa and Tawa. It was expect that he would spare his unforgettable experience. The time. journey was quite hard core. His arrival made our I was seeing the same typical education advocacy advancing of people. They welcomed us thousand steps. Here comes the warmly and never treated us as reason. People there have topstrangers. They invited us for a down paradigm. They like to drink, taking some rest, even wait and ask for help from the having dinner. I saw true top, the local government. The Indonesia and in my opinion, eect is clear, there is no they are the real Indonesian. RUMAH BELAJAR BIBINOI

initiatives from people for their own development. Whatever their regent says, that is what they do. So when their regent stated to support RUBI fully then he even donated quite amount of money to develop our RUBI, people would also be encouraged to support RUBI in particular and education in general. Now, RUBI has been built with stout. It is ready to serve every person thirst of knowledges. Our hope is simple, so that RUBI can be used as a study center for everyone who wants to increase his knowledges and skills.

Dictionary Kita; kitong Kitorang; torang Tara Tarada Ngoni Ngana Dorang Dong Bikiapa Makang Dabu-dabu Rica Rica jawa Bakudapa Pigi Lao Dara Batobo Mengail Swanggi Babalumpa Uba So Tete Paetua Maetua Batatas Sogili Leper Forok Bakutumbuk Baramain Gorango Tuturuga Pele Sadiki Kase Sebentar : I, me : we, us : not (negative) : not, none, nothing : you (plural) (polite) : you (singular) : they : he / she : why : eat : chili sauce : chili : pepper : meet : go : sea : land : swim : shing : ghost : jump : medicine : already : grandfather : man (polite) : woman (polite) : cassava : eel : spoon : fork : hitting each other : playing : shark : turtle : stand in the way : little : give : later

The idea of establishing Bibinoi House of Study (Rumah Belajar Bibinoi/ RUBI) was started around April. After doing thorough assessment for more than four months, we considered one of the main problems for kids was they had never studied outside school hours. Their parents factor was being so much signicant here. Most of the parents did not get proper education even some could not read. They felt that they did not have responsibility to help their children study at home. Their work demanded them to rise up early and go to the farm or sea. Spending most of the time there then backed when

the sunset came. They did not have enough time taking care of their children. Their children education was just teachers responsibility. Then how if in school, teachers was absent from class? It was really sad just to imagine. One of the reasons why kids never studied outside the school was they did not have the place to do so. For that reason, we initiated to build a place for them to study. Developing our RUBI for months was not without problems. Partnering with IRBI, we had to bear many obstacles, from lack of resources to resistance and pessimism from some people there. But in the other hand, we




also gained many supports. Those were the reasons we still kept going no matter how high the wall was in front of us. After nearly half a year of development, I was so grateful and proud we could nally build RUBI. RUBI was ocially opened by the regent of South Halmahera, Muhammad Kasuba, on Ocotober 29th 2011. On that special occasion, he gave us full support and was ready to provide any assistance regarding its further development. RUBI is a library-based study center. Up until now, it has more than 900 books with various categories, from storybook, science, encyclopedia, English, general knowledges, to religion. Its book collection is quite complete. With those books stored safely in RUBI, every person in Bibinoi, from child aged 3 until the grown up, can come and use every facilities in it. Beside books, there are also some creative learning tools, musical instruments, and other creativity-enhancing games.

Its interior was designed with many colors. The purpose is clear, to make kids more interested to come. The environment is so cozy and pleasing so every visitor will feel comfortable spending time in it. RUBI is situated at the center of the village. It could be accessed from all directions with only walking distance. RUBI is never empty of visitors. Everyday, kids, teens, and adults come to RUBI to learn and do many things, from reading to singing, drawing to having discussion. Now, Bibinoi in particular and Middle East Bacan sub-district in general, have proper education facility. In the future, there will be more books to come, also many other additional education and creativity tools. In the end, I could leave Bibinoi with more relieved feeling. Seeing RUBI stood by gallant, I was really happy I could give long-lasting legacy in Bibinoi. Thanks God, Alhamduli$ah.

RUMAH BELAJAR BIBINOI 1. Two young man painting RUBI. 2. RUBI seen from the front. 3. Activity in the afternoon, reading books together. 4. A corner in RUBI. It is called a dream board. 5. Books stored neatly in shelfs. 6. RUBI banner. With knowledges, we can make our dreams come true.




IKATAN REMAJA BIBINOI teens. This bad inuence they got mostly from television and wrong social interaction. To deal with those challenges. A group of young man decided to create organization. Led by Syamil, a bright Bibinoi son graduated from university in Makassar, they set up Bibinoi Youth League (Ikatan Remaja Bibinoi / IRBI). them creating organizational structure and nding its vision and mission. It was an honor to be able to help these outstanding young men and women. In some routine activities, I gave lecture about computer and technology, English, Math, and self-development. Those were the least I could do. They had strong spirit to grow and it needed to be facilitated as well as tutored. Now, their member has reached more than 70 people. They are all active doing useful activities every weekend. I handed over the management of RUBI to IRBI. I had no doubt they could keep and develop RUBI to be bigger and better.

Our rst president, Soekarno, once said, Give me ten young man and I will change the world. For me at rst, that remark sounded irrational and exaggerating. Later, I nally realized Soekarno said that for a reason. During one year as a lecturer, I witnessed how young people could change civilization. Remarkably. Coming to a society to change paradigm has never been easy. We need to be patient and clever in making moves. The most important, we have to nd the reliable partner. IRBI was and will always be my partner. In Bibinoi, there are complete education units. From elementary school, junior high, and senior high. As the capital of Middle East Bacan sub-district, Bibinoi became a quite vibrant village. Many school-age kids there. However, they face juvenile delinquency as major challenge. Cigarette, alcohol, rough behavior, until free social intercourse among CULINARY PAPEDA is a traditional food from the people in east Indonesia, especially in Maluku and Papua. People living in rural area usually make Papeda as their main food. It is made from sago our. Its shape is abby with clear color. The rst time you eat, you will

Computer course every twice a week.

As predicted, IRBI was seen skeptically by some people. They regarded them as useless organization for just gathering teens around. It did take a lot of time until they had proved to be able to contribute positively to society. But it was worth the eort. They had been doing concrete and useful activities, such as village-cleaning movement, being caretaker for mosque and church, planting mangroves, and some more. I was appointed as coach for this organization. I helped feel like you are chewing glue. Anyhow, it is delicious. It is commonly served by yellow sauce from sh stock. This sauce will enrich its savory. To eat Papeda, you do not use spoon. Just use your two ngers, thumb and index nger. Do it like pinching. Finally, eating Papeda for lunch is perfect. Happy trying!

Me giving character building training

Well done, IRBI. Keep up the good work! Light up the candles for people in Bibinoi!

Papeda with sh yellow sauce. Yummy!




LOVE Love is all around. I personally believe love is what matters in our life. To be able to love God, family and friends, nation, football club, or the world is the greatest feeling in the world. After all, I have never felt to be loved this big by people around me beside my family. From my students and their parents, host family, teachers, and people in my village. It is indeed an exquisite feeling. --------------------------That day, I was not feeling well after having fever the day before and bad cough. I did take some generic medicine and multi vitamin. It did not work out. It was very uncomfortable to teach not in best condition. I thought I might need antibiotics. So I planned to go to the clinic after school. That meant in the middle of the day when sun was blazing his light. I had no choice. Clinic is located in the west side of my village outside people housing. The distance is not far, just half a kilometer. But still, walking by myself in the middle of the day was boring. I needed a friend.

to be picked. I did sweep out of this. Then I was asking all students to come. They were very happy like it was going to be a picnic.

they stayed in school by choice. They knew I always stood by in school to serve every students who wanted to learn something.

After the bell rang, some students came close to me asking to give them books. I always did We were really enjoying the trip. Even just going to clinic, but this with pleasure. with togetherness, it felt like Under the tree, we were going to the zoo. reading books together, joking around then laughing, or doing After getting treatment and anything interesting. That was medicine, we went home. But some clinic ocers there invited the moment when I was not their teacher but a best friend. me to ride on the ambulance because I looked pale and weak. My students said, Sir, you should ride the ambulance. We could walk home by ourselves. My heart cried feeling their love. I did not have heart to let them walk home alone. With the rest of my energy, I forced myself to walk with them. I refused politely to take the ambulance. After school ended, I still needed to do some routines rst, like tidying up my desk and closing and locking all doors. The best thing was my students were always waiting for me.

They did not want to go home rst. They wanted to walk with me, walk me home before they could back to their home. We want to kiss your hand On the way home, Lia said to everyday, Sir! a student me, Sir, you must get married expressed why he and his friends here so you can teach us until we always waited for me after school. are adult. Girls there are When we arrived in my watching you, everyone in this home, they struggled with each village likes you, Sir, she added while pointing to a group of girls other to kiss my hand. Like to kiss my hand was to win a lottery. sitting under the tree. Again, a true love.

My students said, Sir you should ride the ambulance. We could walk home by ourselves. In the last subject taught that My heart cried.
Then, the others shouted, YES SIR, YES SIR! GET MARRIED HERE! They walked me home. They kissed my hand afterward and said, Get well soon, Sir. Be healthy and teach us again. A true love. --------------------------To be loved by their students is teacher greatest gift. It is indeed a pity for teacher who did not know how the feeling is because they do not ensoul their profession. I imagine if all the teachers, particularly in Bibinoi, do know how to treat their students with care and respect, then there will

day, I asked the kids who want to accompany me going to clinic. I did not expect anyone to join. Kids were surely tired and hungry. They might choose to go home, having lunch then playing.

But their answers were unexplainable. Munarsi came to me raising his hand, Choose me, --------------------------Sir. Choose me! Then many others ran to the front of the Most of my students did not class raising their hand wanting go home every school break. I knew they might be hungry but




I told the crowd to respect their teacher. Did not take my kindness for granted. I loved In the last hours before be a bright future for every single school day ended, I was teaching good students while bad students kids there. foreign terms in my class. I spoke had to learn how to behave. Yet, it is still a dream to have the word, then they wrote it on I was afraid there would be an ideal teacher in Bibinoi. the book. trauma from other students. Rice However, I believe hope is rising. had became pulp. There was no Then students from other I really hope teachers could at classes became naughty, trying to turning back. I realized least imitate how I had been consequences would follow and I enter my class. Some of them treating my students. Because needed to be ready to face those. even climbed the window and teacher is their light, their role went outside the school to peep --------------------------model. from the other side the building. After that case, there were A wise man once said, To This was unacceptable. no students brave enough to teach is to touch lives forever. Once, I tried to remind them disturb our class again. So it was I could not agree more. with kind words. They did it a good eect. again. Twice, I gave them a stern I did not have grudge against warning. They still did it again. REGRET Riki. I still cared for the boy. Third, I nally threaten them if Turns out, his family did not take I was not a perfect teacher they disturbed us once again, I care of this boy. Some of his even though I did my best trying brothers even left school. In my to be. Did not matter how many would not be hesitate to use my

To teach is to touch lives forever.

like math or science. That day was wearisome.

good things I had achieved, I had My brain was like an erupted volcano. done many misdoings here and there. I was not, simply, awless. I could not stand anymore. I could not help it. On several occasions, I admitted defeat with limitations as human. Human that has emotion and can get furious. Actually, I learned how to compromise many things and extend self emotionally. But sometimes, there were still factors making myself reacted out of control. --------------------------Just two teachers left, me and senior teacher Mr. Malik, in school that day. Two teachers teaching more than 200 students was as dicult as governing a country. You might say this exaggerating until you feel this yourself. Just kidding. I could not let classes left unattended by teachers. I did not have heart to watch kids going to school without getting anything. So beside teaching my class, I spared time to visit from class to class giving substantial lesson,

This attitude must not be compromised.

hand. Oh dear kids. They kept doing the same thing. opinion, his family took the biggest responsibility for his reckless behavior.

Its peak happened when I spoke the word, photosynthesis Regardless the incident, loudly, a kid outside shouted the every time I met him, I always same word then laughed hard. smiled. He replied with shyness. My brain was like an erupted This kept happening for months, us greeting each other warmly. volcano. I could not stand anymore. I could not help it. This attitude must not be compromised. He did not respect his teacher. So, I rushed out of my class and found the boy. Riki, 10 years old, 4th grade student. I asked him to come closer. I slapped him on his cheek. There went the deepest silence. No one was talking except me. Riki moved two steps closer to me. He cried. I still felt his tears on my hand. I was sorry. Really sorry. Two days before my last day in Bibinoi, Riki and three other boys came to my house. I just got rhomb-shaped cookie from my neighbor. I had four of it. Because I was not hungry, I gave them one cookie each. After receiving that cookie, Riki said, This is your last gift, Sir. I will keep it until you come back here. I was stunned. Riki, you should eat this. If not, it will be spoiled. No, I will keep this for you. In my heart, This kid must be joking.




Making mistakes is very humane. How we react after that is what matters.

Two days later, in the last minutes I was about to leave Bibinoi, there was Riki in sight. He raised his hand, waving. Wait, he held something in his hand. That rhomb-shaped cookie. Dear God. --------------------------Ajrul was just an example of a boy who received less attention from their parents. He often skipped school and just went out playing. Moreover, he befriended with older people even though his age was only eleven. In school, he did not put high respect towards his homeroom teacher, Mrs. Marwia. For me, Mrs. Marwia is the kindest teacher in my school. She cares very much for her student. A rare kind. One day, Mrs. Marwia told me about his mischief. He ran out of class and never went back while his teacher was teaching in front of the class. She gave him punishment many times but his attitude did not change a bit. This could not be allowed and needed immediate action. His mischief list was getting longer. Some kids witnessed him peeing in RUBI. I still could not believe his behavior was so bad. That morning, after every students entered classes, I asked him to follow me. At that time, I did not have any other way to urge massive change in him except the hard one. I asked him whether he had peed in RUBI. He nodded. Then, I told him, Ajrul, Im sorry. I have to slap you. He shocked hearing my word. Then, I did.
AIM HIGH. Our students need to be encouraged about their dream, their future. They have to know how it feels to have dream in their life.

He started to cry. I said to him the reason why I had to do this. Why did you do that? Why dont you respect your teacher? You dont respect me, Ajrul! And you dont respect Mrs. Marwia! What have I done you wrong? I asked. Nothing, Sir. Its me who made mistake. You repeat that again? No, Sir. The day after that, Mrs. Marwia came to me and asked, Sir, what have you done to him (Ajrul) ? Why do you ask, Madam? Hes really changed. Now, he wants to write and work on exercises. Wow, its a good thing then. Im sorry, Madam. I slapped him yesterday. She just smiled. I was not surprise with her smile. Teachers there used to do worse. I said to her although Ajrul had changed, I did regret. I was really happy Ajrul had became a good boy. Up until now, he always does prayer on Maghrib and Isya time. He even joins tadarus. One night after doing prayer, he walked with me and said, Sir, please dont go home to Java. I replied softly, Ajrul, Im not going anywhere. --------------------------Making mistakes is very humane. How we react after that is what matters. For me, I never let one day passed by without regretting what I had done to Riki and Ajrul. If I could turn back time, I would have treated them dierently. In any case, treating students with temper and violence is always prohibited. That must be another way to take care of reckless behaviors. At that time, unfortunately I was sorry to say I did not see other ways. One thing for sure, I did not do that because of hate or grudge, I did because I cared and loved them. Because if I let them doing that, I was




afraid what they would do next and the consequences might be more harsh. I needed to

and relief. I learned physical contact might be needed, but only in certain occurrence,

To know my student had changed drastically to be a better person brought huge satisfaction and relief.
explain them rationally why I had punished them harshly. They did need to know that so they would not do the same misdoing in the future. To know my student had changed drastically to be a better person brought huge satisfaction FAREWELL Leaving home without knowing when we could go back is killing me. It happened to me when I had to leave my beloved village to come back again to my origin civilization. After one year knitting deep relation with every single person there, my service time was nished and I needed to say goodbye to them. I hated this hardest part. appropriate time, and proper way. Having a bright brain is not the only important thing, but how to behave good socially takes signicant part in our child growth.

Me with the parish in a their small church.

Sir, in 30 years of my life, youre the best teacher speak in front of them. First, I was saying sorry for the mistake I for our children. Ive never seen teacher like you. had done, intentionally or not. I
I could not realize how that day was the best and the worst day of my life at one time. The best because I could go to my real home again, to meet my family. The worst because I had to leave my new family and did not know when to come back. --------------------------Oscar Siruang, Bibinois priest, asked me to come to the church. The parish wanted to see me for the last time. That morning, I walked to the east side of the village. I did not was grateful to be given priceless opportunity to teach their kids. I hoped parents would help their kids to grow by keeping them

People there did not only shake my hand. They handed me an envelope, from every one of them.
possess enough spirit to keep walking. Remembering I would not be able to visit them again. In the church, the priest began with speech about me leaving that day. The parish was in deep silence. Some kids and adults began to cry. I promised myself not to cry. If I did then they would do the same. I did not have heart to see them crying. Priest allowed me to study at home and giving more attention towards them. At last, I had to say farewell. I was giving my biggest appreciation and gratefulness for every support, cooperation, and love they had been giving me since the rst time I arrived. Then the priest gave a chance for the people to speak one word or more. A man stood up and said, Sir, in 30 years of my life, youre the best teacher for our children. Ive never seen teacher like you, who are willing

We shook hand and said goodbye.




to teach our children until night, playing with them, and caring so much. We are so grateful to have you here. Listening to this man, I was deeply moved. Another man rose and talked, If youre a president candidate, we are the people in Bibinoi will surely pick you, Sir. One last man said, Thank you so much for bringing change in our children. Im watching by myself how my daughters grow academically. I could not hold my tears from owing down. I cried, out loud. Then the whole church was lled by tears.

Some mothers shed in tears.

After I finished my speech, Thank you, my teacher song was played. Tears started to come again. Then, the crowd was in tears too.
I said, Thank you so much everything. I could not reply you no matter how hard I try. I was no one before I went here. But here, I feel honored to be called, teacher every where I go. Thank you, thank you. --------------------------After that, I waited outside the church to shake hand with every one of them. Some kids could not stop crying. refused it. He said, Those were yours. I did not have right to keep it. Sir, please use it to expand your church. You need this more than I do. Please. I replied. Then he rose from his chair and put them in my pocket. Keep it. This is a mandate from my parish. I kept that plastic bag in my pocket. But I did not want to keep it any longer. So, I excused myself to go to the bathroom. In that bathroom, I opened those envelopes one by one.

Bibinois people. They will always be my family. My tears were owing down again Olans mother was one of them who still sobbed. while I opened the rst envelope. She really trusted me in guiding Olan. Olan now That envelope was worn out and there was two has been a much better child to be a pride for his thousands bill in it. It was written in the envelope, family. For your cost to back home, my teacher.

People there did not only shake my hand. They handed me an envelope, from every one of them. I did not receive it and return it back.

Then, I kept opening those worn out envelopes. A thousand, two thousands, or ve thousands bill were in it. I was moved again with They were not out of option. They collected all an envelope and twenty thousands in it. It might be the envelopes and put them in a plastic bag. Then their whole earnings in one day but they gave it all they gave it to the priest. for me. The priest invited me to come to his house. We I collected that money and counted. It was had a tea and tasted some cookies while we were more than one hundred and fty thousands. After chatting. Not long, he wanted me to have that all leaving the priests house, I sought a young man the envelopes. I refused it. He insisted. I still who couple days before that day asked me to help




him creating Christmas event. I met and gave him the money.

one of the people here. If I could turn back time, I had no hesitation to repeat this one year again.

He was so grateful he could not say anything. After I nished my speech, Thank you, my That money meant a lot for the event because it teacher song was played. Tears started to come was really dicult to gather funds. For me, it would down again. The crowd was in tears too. I was always be nice to be able to help people. To see attered with all this warmness. What a feeling. them smile because of our simple action. Lovely. My boat was waiting on the beach. I started to --------------------------walk leaving that event. Kids and people are In Moslem society, there was an event to escort walking beside me. They could not stop crying. People from every direction came down to the me home. It was attended by South Halmahera regent. He spared his time not specially because of beach to wave me home. me. His purpose was to visit his family in Bibinoi. Anyway, in his speech, he said thank you to Indonesia Mengajar who was able to promote better education in this country especially in our village, Bibinoi. He ensured that local government would always support its movement. They helped me boarding my luggage on boat. I still had time to deliver my last words for kids, Kids, remember. You have to be kind and ...? They shouted, SMART! Alhamduli$ah, thanks God. This was the end of my amazing journey.

The rope was pulled back. Boat started to get I was given time to speak in front of the crowd. far from the beach. I saw a lot of people there. My kids. My people. My family. Good bye, everyone. I I told them the same thing I had spoken in the will come back one day. END church hours before. I added that I always felt as ABOUT AUTHOR Bayu Adi Persada was born 24 years ago. He graduated from Institut Teknologi Bandung in 2009. After graduation, he was working in a private company in Bandung for almost a year. Fate brought him to South Halmahera, to be exact in a small village called Bibinoi. It was all started when he received a letter in his mailing list. That letter was sent by Anies Baswedan, a gure that he has adored. Its content was to give chance to best university graduates to work as a teacher in rural area for one year. He did not wait a second to write essays and then apply. Luckily, he was chosen as one of 51 rst batch member of Young Lecturer (Pengajar Muda) after tough selection from 1383 applicants. In one year, he experienced the best journey ever during his entire life. Happy, sad, joy, grudge, brave, fear, pride, worry, delight, and many more feelings were mixing up as one. There, he found his passion in people. He wants to devote the rest of his age to the people in needs for a better future, better Indonesia. According to him, we are all created for a reason. One should nd his or her own purpose of life. The best person in the world is the one who gives benet to others. Even the smallest one, even just a simple but sincere smile.

@adipersada adipersada.wordpress.com BayuAdiPersada




School and Around
WE DID IT! Sixth grade students on science practical test. The light is on! Photo by Edward Suhadi..

THATS MY SCHOOL! SDN Bibinoi seen from the eld. Green is all around. Photo by Gatya Pratiniyata.

LEARNING BY DOING. We learned what motion energy is by creating windmills. Photo by Bayu Adi Persada.

TEACHERS Here comes teachers from SDN Bibinoi. Photo by Edward Suhadi.

OUR BELOVED CLASSROOM This was the place where I taught them everything. Simple but comforting. Photo by Bayu Adi Persada.




Daily Life
WITH VILLAGE ELDER Tete Haji is the most honorable gure in Bibinoi. One of our big supporters there. Photo by Gatya Pratiniyata.

HELLO THERE! With ipped-screen camera, we were able to take this photo after playing on the beach. Oh, so lovely! Photo by Bayu Adi Persada.

BESTFRIEND Even though they come from dierent tribe, religion, and origin, Narsi and Olan will always be there for each other. Photo by Bayu Adi Persada. TELLING RELIGIOUS STORY Kids were interested in listening religious stories with some silly faces and funny sounds. Photo by Mamun Ote.

WITH ADHI Adhi was the best partner to share and develop ideas. Great person. Photo by Edward Suhadi.




Events, here and there

COLORING CONTEST Kids coloring with their wild imagination. Photo by Adhi Nugroho.

BRILLIANT BOYS Olan, Dila, and Narsi received charter award from the local government ocer for being the best in academic competition. Photo by Nasaruddin Kamarullah.

SCIENCE OLYMPIC TEAM Our National Science Olympic Team posed before ghting against the test. Photo by Bayu Adi Persada.

BIG EVENT COMMITTEE All committee gathering around to take a photo or two. Photo by Mustawan HI. Ahmad.




My Football Diary

GIVING INSTRUCTION As a coach. Me giving instructions for the team. We reached the nal but unfortunately only made the second best. Photo by Adhi Nugroho.

COME ON GUYS! We were a goal down. I kept motivating my players to raise their level. Photo by Adhi Nugroho.

MY LAST MATCH I was playing my last match with these men. Unforgettable. Photo by Pardi HT. Kasuba.

GO CAPTAIN GO! My rst match in Dagasuli Cup. They trusted me a captain ban. An honor. Photo by Nasaruddin Kamarullah.





AFTER PRAY Kids were going home after nishing Maghrib pray time. Photo by Edward Suhadi.

LOOK, A DOLPHIN! Dolphins were my best friends while I was going to the village by boat. Photo by Bayu Adi Persada.

WAITING FOR THE SUNSET It was always my ritual, sitting on the beach while drinking tea to see the sun said goodbye. Photo by Bayu Adi Persada.

COCONUTS EVERYWHERE. Typical characteristic from coastal area, we see coconut trees everywhere. Photo by Gatya Pratiniyata.

ROWING RACE! Kids were rowing hard try to be the best in the race. Photo by Bayu Adi Persada.