Friday, 18 September 2015

Love Not At First Sight

Ibu Tri Harjanti with her family.


To be an educator was not Tri Harjanti’s initial dream. However, her decision to take part in the Government’s transmigration program brought her to Sumatra and became the teacher at SDN 201/VII Pinang Belai, Jambi. She truly enjoys the work now.

Tri Harjanti was born in Solo, Central Java on December 24, 1972. She graduated from a vocational high school in this city. After graduation, she then worked as a clerk in a small photocopy shop. She also met her future husband while she was in Solo.

Supported by the income of her husband who worked as a meter man for the electricity company and her income as a clerk, they had to live a frugal live. The combined income was only enough for their daily needs. Tri’s dream to have her own house had to wait.
In 1996, Tri and her husband decided to take part in the Government’s transmigration program. Together with their two year old child, they moved to Tebo, a rural area in Jambi.
When she first arrived there, she was shocked. “I have never seen a river so wide in my life before. I said to myself, there is no chance I will be able to go back to Solo now,” Tri said. The area she lived in was really quiet and chaotic. All she wanted to do was cry.

The first years of living on this foreign land were hard for Tri. She had to travel a great distance to go to the city center or market. There was no school. She was worried that her child and other children in the area were not going to be educated.
In 1997, Tri was offered to teach those children. Although she did not know how to teach, she agreed to take the job. She used the village’s meeting place or villagers houses as make shift school.

“At the beginning, I did not know how to teach. As a graduate from a vocational high school, all I knew was financial administration. So I tried to remember how I had been taught back in elementary school and that was how I taught the children too,” said Tri.
Tri Harjanti’s journey as a teacher in rural area of Jambi continued to be challenging. Read the conclusion of her journey next week.

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