originally created by Yissa Luthana Prayogo
“It is all around us”
Latika, the nine-year-old girl, the eldest of four siblings pairs spinach vegetable seller at the Village Market Ambaraka. Five years ago, her father was sentenced to develop the disease of HIV / AIDS. And since four years ago, Latika’s mother is a “single parent” to feed her four children because their father was taken to the home government department of health officers specifically designated for people with HIV / AIDS. Latika can not continue her schooling, other than his mother could not afford her, Latika also has another name of the people around her, “Daughter of HIV / AIDS”.
Now, every day Latika had to help her mother sell vegetables in the market Ambaraka. Besides carrying a basket of vegetables that her mother plucked from the garden behind the house, during a trip from his home 12 km to the market, Latika must also carry her youngest sister. While her mother took her siblings.
When passing a neighboring village, near the market, Latika and sister often looked at the teaching and learning activities there. Children age of red and white uniforms, sit at a table, reading a book , or write what the teacher wrote on the board. Seen from the eyes of the little girl’s radiance, she also wanted to be like them.
Arriving at the market, Latika family wares (vegetables). Many people milling around, but very few mothers who come to buy merchandise Latika, despite Latika’s mother and her children were wearing plastic gloves and a mask made of cloth of their own.
One day, I was shopping at vegetable markets on Ambaraka and buy vegetables of Latika’s mother. I was amazed to see the appearance of the mother and children who wore plastic gloves and a mask of cloth. When I asked, a small Latika so innocent answer, “Our father was suffering from HIV / AIDS, Sis!”.
Hearing that, I was speechless. Unable to say a word-word.
“Miss! Do not Miss a buy vegetables? “Ask Latika mother casually, even though I knew it was sentimental sentences of those who discriminated. (Will not be buying vegetables Miss? If we understand it, it is the sentence of despair, but still look patiently)
“Oh … so.” I said softly, while direct sorting spinach.
“Spinach a bunch how?”
“Rp. 750, – ”
“Then I bought a 10 tie.”
“Sorry, just seven tie it.”
“Oh, all right!”
“Latika, how?” Asked the mother to offspring.
Latika who sat on the ground, near her mother immediately took the stick, and count (7 x 750) above the ground.
“Rp. 5250, – “said Latika
“Rp. 5250, Mem. “Her mother answered.
“Yes.” I gave her money as she smiled at Latika, who continues to write on the ground using a stick pencil.
If in the days before I was shopping at her booth Latika, maybe I’ll know if Latika often write on the ground using a pencil stick, not just for today. And the little girl has a “history” itself why he often wrote on the ground.
One day, every day, unbeknownst to her mother, Latika often came to SD Inpres Ambaraka to see his friends learned in school. While there, Latika standing near the window, peering silently teachers teach first graders write, read, and also counting. This had been done the last two years.
“Hey, the Daughter of AIDS men, what are you doing here?” A third grader yell Latika. He is Johan, the son of his neighbor. That morning, Johan was wearing a sports uniform.
Latika who is engrossed in writing on the ground with his stick pencil, because practicing what is written in first-grade teacher in the classroom there, very surprised because the bark of Johan. She immediately got up from her seat. Ran to the corner of the school.
“Basic child with AIDS.” Johan threw Latika with chalk.
Chalk shot Latika forehead, then fell to the ground. Latika took it. Then the girl ran from the school.
When at home, at night, in a dingy room, lit only by the dim light of oil lamps, Latika who sleep near the wall, was busy writing letters, sentences, and the numbers on the black wall (because moss) with chalk, to teach her younger sister, Andini.
“Andini, this reading, Mom. Daddy. ”
Andini, seven years old, nodding his head, whether she understands what is not. To be sure, Latika was similar to an elementary classroom teacher Ambaraka.
“Latika ….” Suddenly the mother comes, immediately throw a piece of spinach from the root to the daughter winnowing. “It has been several times .. you do not scratch the walls of this house. This house is ugly, do not you make more ugly! ”
Latika and her sister immediately to hide behind a blanket. Two little girls were very frightened. And the chalk is held Latika had been dropped. Chalk it down to under the bed. And after that, there is never again dared to pick it up.
My eyes were open,
“Mom, how many classes their children?” I asked to her mother, who was busy wrapping Latika spinach that I bought.
“He did not go to school.”
I did not dare ask why, because it’s a question that is not polite to people I do not know.
I smiled kindly looked Latika who also smiled at me (Latika open the mask cloth).
“You’re smart. Oh yes, I’ve just bought six notebooks and pencils for the nephew at home. You’re smart to help your mother count, I give one notebook and one pencil for you! “I give the” small gift “to Latika.
Latika silent, see his mother. Then she smiled (open mask) saw her and nodded.
Latika look very happy. She immediately received notebooks and pencils that I give.
Latika smiled to see me. “Thank you, Sister.”
I am going to leave the market Ambaraka.
Latika who previously wrote on the ground with a pencil stick,,,, now sit nicely next to his mother as she writes in the new notebooks with a new pencil, to help calculate the price of vegetables which prompted buyers to his mother.
“Rp. 4500, ”
“Rp. 4500, Ma’am. “Her mother replied to the buyer Latika vegetables