Last weekend I shared a small story on Someday I’ll Be There’s facebook fanpage – a page that I highly recommend you follow if you haven’t already – about a simple sugar cane juice seller in a small village in Indonesia who speaks good English compared to half of the English teachers in my school.
He was a student of one of the teachers in my school, some 15 years ago, when he was in junior high school. And only one year after starting to study English in his school he saw three tourists on bicycles riding through his village.
“It was my first time to see any tourists in my life! I got so excited and I started running after them on my bicycle and shouting ‘Hello sir! Hello sir!’ until they finally stopped.” Says Indra
“I was very nervous! My English was very bad and I didn’t know what to say. So I started my conversation with ‘Have you lunch already sir?’ then I asked them where they were from, they were Germans…
I get so happy when I remember this moment, because since then I decided that I have to learn proper English and be able to speak English with foreigners when I meet them”
Not every local person that runs after you is trying to sell you something or looking for your money.
They might be just interested in meeting different people, and you being nice to them could be a changing point in their whole lives!
“I went to Mr. A and asked him to give me extra lessons after school. But I am very poor. He said it is no problem, and he started giving me lessons and not asking for money. Also Mr. S gave me lessons without charging me money. I only paid when I had enough money to pay.” Says Indra
That is very nice of them, I thought! That is how real teachers should be like, teaching is a noble message and not only about the money, if a student truly wants to learn they should be given the chance regardless of their financial state!
“And that is why, Mr. Mina, now I give English lessons to kids in my village, and they don’t have to pay if they don’t have money. Because I have to pay back! I am also very poor and I was always poor, I only sell sugar cane juice which is just enough to keep me and my family, but I have to pay back what has been giving to me, maybe one of the kids will do something great with it.”
Good things never die.
15 years later, the good that has been done is being repaid! A simple, poor juice seller in the slums of Indonesia is giving free English classes because the real teachers are too greedy to do that! But he sees it in a different way, like his duty to re-give what has been given to him! I personally think this is the best virtue of all!
This week I visited Indra at his home, and attended one of his classes. It was also the first time for these kids to see a foreigner. Although unlucky for them, I am not a blond German. But still they were quite amazed by my big nose compared to the Indonesian flat nose. 😀
What Indra does is quite amazing! The kids are happy! Personally, I think people like him, and kids like those, who seek education, are much, MUCH, better than Harvard professors and students who are only there because they were lucky to have rich parents.
Visiting Indra also gave me a chance to get a free bottle of iced sugar cane juice! Yummy!! 😀
Have you met people that nice that you felt like you have to share their stories? Share them with me! I love to hear about people like him!!
First two pictures were taken from Flickr and are licensed under creative commons