On 21 September 2016, an Indonesian novelist, AyuSha has published a book with the title of Mimpi itu Gratis (dreams are free). This book is about her past experiences as a teacher who teaches in remote places of Papua. In this book, the author describes the hardship of her students in their pursuit of study and how they could overcome the challenges.
The story starts when the author became a teacher in Alang-alang Elementary School. One of the schools in the remote places in Papua of Alang-alang Village. During her time there, she met a couple of students. Their names are Salomo Telenggen, Annike Kogoya, Yomis Telenggen, Yotinus Telenggen, Dahlia Teleggen, Nelson, Desi, and Yundion. This novel is telling us about the lives of these children and about their own unique personality has amazed her. Stories like Salomo Telenggen’s. Although he is a slow learner, but he never gives up and he is always passionate to go to school.
There is also Annike Kogoya, who is determined to learn and read. The reason is somewhat comical, in the past she used her older sister’s powder, not knowing that it was an itching powder.
Yomis Telenggen, is a boy who aspires to become a priest. The priest in his village is already a senior and he wants to be his successor. Telenggen is a bright child who always get good marks in his studies.
Yotinus Telenggen, is determined to learn how to read and also loves to write, play drama, and write. She likes to display his writings on the school wall. Yotinus promised her teacher that he would be able to read in four months, but unfortunately failed, because his mother is sick so she had to take care of her at home. However, that did not stop her to study. Although there’s no one to help him at home, Yotinus keeps learning how to read and write by herself.
There is also Dahlia Telenggen, a diligent student, that always wakes up before the sunrise to finish her homework faster than other kids. Hence, she can tutor her friends.
Nelson is also one of the students with a big dream. He wants to become like his idol, Nelson Mandela.
Desi is a student who has a dream to further her studies to reach her goals. Her learning passion is admirable.
Last but not least, Yundion, a student with a unique method of learning. He uses singing to help him study.
From this novel, we can see the passion of these children in studying despite of their lack of facilities and access. With this novel, we can learn from their perseverance that we can always dream big. We must continue to fight for that dream, despite of the odds that are against us.