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David is picking up stones at KM 18 for his family's life needs. This work is his routine to finance his children who are still studying (Photo: Ian)

Sending Children School by Picking up Stone

Ende, VoxNtt.com-This time, the story is about a father who works as a private laborer.  He makes a living for his family by picking up stones along the state road of Ende-Maumere.

That morning, it was 5:30 am. Tomberabu residents in  Ende District began to walk to their fields to conduct their daily activities. This basic routine can not be avoided by local people because in order to meet the economic needs of the family.

Unlike the activities of David Anggo, 55-year-old man. The same time he left his wife to KM 18 to pick up stones along the country road.

In his daily life, this middle-aged man spends his time collecting stones for sale. To him, the work was a noble job that is not done by everyone.

Every morning at 5:30 am, David moves from his house to the workplace which is about 7 kilometers away. With a fairly extreme topography down and climbing he traveled only 30 minutes every day except Sunday.

He walked bringing his food and drink. Cassava and green vegetables are never been absent from his meal every workday.

He starts working from 6:00 am to 1:00 pm. According to him, this time is somewhat effective to perform his activities. Then continue until 4 pm and back to his house.

In a day David is able to collect stones half the size of a dump track. The stones collected are the same kind. Some large stones are separated and put together. Neither are the gravel stones.

According to his story, his income is always uncertain. Large stones are usually sold at a relatively small price of 100,000 IDR to 150,000 IDR per dump track. While pebble type is 450,000 IDR to 500,000 IDR per dump track.

“The price is just like that. What can I say? Buyers have to offer so, “said David to the author.

Her dull face, and eventhough seemed exhausted, David kept the spirit to collect the rocks by the side of the road. The remaining stones of the road widening work became David’s quarry every day in the last ten months.

For this middle-up-aged man, the work is legal. The most important thing for him is to be able to meet the family economy.

Around 10:00 am, both David’s palms looked dirty. The cloth he worn looks dull and torn in the  left side. He loves to work without wearing footwear.

Sweat pouring down his face and all his  body looks dripping wet his clothes and pants. Nevertheless, he continued to gather the unmarked stones together.

“I work this to support my wife and children. I’m not ashamed, because I do not steal,” he said as he wiped the sweat off his face.

It’s not David if he just stayed at home expecting the mercy of others. He remained strong and determined to go through the work.

From his marriage with Veronika (47) he got two children. He really loves them, so he is determined to fight for their study. He belives that education will make his children get better life.  Her first daughter, currently completing her studies in Midwifery at one of the universities in Surabaya. While his second son is still taking junior high school in Ende. That’s all the blessings of his work every day.

“Yes if I am strong, I will send all my children to university. Pray for me. They should be better than me and my wife, “David said excitedly.

He said that beside working as stone picker, their another job is selling candlenut. He and his wife have already shared the duty to work to make money. His wife searched for and broke the candlenut while David gathered stones.

As the age which is increasingly aging, and no longer as strong as before, those reasons did not stop him to work. To continue his family life especially for his two children, David remains committed to be responsible as the backbone of the family.

David is a big-minded and  hardworking person even in his advanced age. He continues to struggle to keep his life, he works picking up stones eventhough for most people it is not valuable, but  he made a living for his family from it.

His struggle to stay alive makes him stronger, braver and patient to continue his  live which is harder and and cruel.

Sovia Miso, David’s neighbors,  admitted that David’s struggle to finance his children is still passionate. Sovia also recounts the work of David and his family.

“He works picking up stones everyday.  He  finances his children, one of them is now in college. This is the result from the stone. His wife in the village looking for candlenut to pay their children’s tuition. They come from a simple family. They also live in peace. In his house it’s only two of them.” Sofia told the author.

(Ian / VoN)

Translated by Rini Kartini/HOS

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