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Rainbow Troops PDF fix. REGISTER JOURNAL IAIN Salatiga. R. IAIN Salatiga. All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reprinted or reproduced or util. Troops, an autobiographical novel that sold a record-breaking five million copies in his native In- dren—nicknamed the Rainbow Troops—who defy all odds. Published in Indonesia in , The Rainbow Troops, Andrea Hirata's closely autobiographical debut novel, sold more than five million copies, shattering records. Ikal is a student at the poorest village school on the Indonesian island of Belitong, where graduating from sixth grade.

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The Rainbow Troops Pdf

The Rainbow mtn-i.info - Download as PDF File .pdf), Text File .txt) or read online. THAT morning, when I was just a boy, I sat on a long bench outside of a school. The branch of an old filicium tree shaded me. My father sat. View rainbow-troops for mtn-i.info from MATH at Makati Science High School. All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reprinted or reproduced or.

Jason Beerman From the Reviews: "This is a charming and uplifting book, full of exotic Indonesian words, references to Islamic prayer times and ethnic groups that peacefully coexist Malays, Chinese immigrants, native Sawangs. It makes for a refreshing break from the middle-class navel-gazing of most Western fiction. Like a good fable, the book imparts a simple moral" - Jason Beerman, Toronto Star Please note that these ratings solely represent the complete review's biased interpretation and subjective opinion of the actual reviews and do not claim to accurately reflect or represent the views of the reviewers. Similarly the illustrative quotes chosen here are merely those the complete review subjectively believes represent the tenor and judgment of the review as a whole. We acknowledge and remind and warn you that they may, in fact, be entirely unrepresentative of the actual reviews by any other measure. Almost all the action revolves around the tiny school he attended, Muhammadiyah Elementary School, and his classmates -- a ragtag bunch nicknamed 'Laskar Pelangi' the "Rainbow Troops" by their teacher. From the beginning, the school's very survival -- and with it the possibility that these children can even get an education -- is in question: the story opens on their first school day, when everyone desperately waits to see whether the necessary minimum of ten children can be found to even keep the school going; later, it is imperiled by the local mining company's interest in the tin on the school grounds.

They enjoyed each bite of fruit carelessly left behind by the parakeets, then defecated as the y pleased—even when their mouths were full. Those bloated little birds, full of f ruit, meandered about, to and fro. As afternoon approached, a few ashy tailorbirds birds would land in silence on t he branches of the filicium.

Calm and beautiful, they would peck at caterpillars crawling on the tree, eating less greedily than the parakeets, and then fly of f again, as noiselessly as they had arrived. Like those birds, our days were oriented around the filicium. That tree was a wi tness to the dramas of our child- hood. In its branches we constructed tree hous es.

Behind its leaves we played hide-and-seek. On its trunk we carved our promis e to be forever friends. On its protruding roots, we sat around listening to Bu Mus tell the story of Robin Hood. And under the shade of its leaves, we played l eap- frog, rehearsed plays, laughed, cried, sang, studied and quarreled. For us, school was amazing. I often heard that kids complained about going to school. Bu Mus and Pak Har- fan made us f all in love with school, and more than that, they made us fall in love with know ledge.

When the school day was over, we complained about going home. Bu Mus and Pak Harfan told stories all day long. They touched our hearts and taught us empathy. Then, the first day of our second week. I came really early. I was surprised when I opened the door to the class. Off in the corner was a drowsy cow, and in the oppo- site corner, sitting just as calmly, was Lintang. Even though his hou se was the farthest, he always came earliest. We chanted cheerfully.

The next week, slowly, we learned to write the first seven letters of the alphab et, from A to G. I only saw these new letters in Indonesian sentences every so often.

The Rainbow Troops | Andrea Hirata

Why did they make something that was rarely used? Just to make our lives more difficult. As I was sighing about that, someone sitting beside me raised his hand.

I want to fill it ou t. Later, in second grade, when you learn how to write, you can fill it out. I alrea dy promised my father. Even though Lintang insisted he was able, Bu Mus was still doubtful.

She opened her desk drawer, pulled out the form and moved toward Lintang. We all got up at once and crowded around him. Bu Mus set the form on his desk. Lintang took a pencil from behind his ear, bit the end, and reached for the form. Name of Student: Lintang Samudera Basara Name of Parent: Sya hbani Maulana Basara We could only gawk at him—Lintang could write, and he could write well!

Bu Mus was awestruck, she just stared at Lintang as if he were a stunning pearl in a clam. Chapter 8 Mental Illness No. Our poor school was still poor, but it was increasingly fascinating. His body was the smallest, but he ate the most. He never turned down fo od. It was baffling, he was so small— where did it all go?

It must have been because of the impoverished c ondition of his Hokian family. Nevertheless, when seeing A Kiong, anyone would understand why he was destin ed to end up at this poor school.

He had the appearance of a true reject. He loo ked like Frankenstein. His face was wide and box-shaped, and he had porcupine ha ir. His eyes were tilted upwards like sword blades, and his eyebrows were virtua lly nonexistent.

He was bucktoothed, and the rest of his teeth followed suit. On e look at his face and any teacher would feel depressed imagining the difficult y of cramming knowledge into his boxy aluminum head. His name was Kucai. Kucai was rather unfortunate: He suffered from seri- ous malnutrition as a small child—a condition that had a large effect on his eyesight. For that reason, we unanimous ly appointed him class president.

Being class president was not a pleasant position. As class president he was worried about being held accountable for his actions after death, not to mention the fact that he already loathed looking after us.

He stood up and said very pointedly: Borek acts like a mental hos- pital patient. Sahara and A Kiong fight nonstop. It gives me a headache. Harun does nothing but sleep. I demand a vote for a new class president! Years of built up frus- tration exploded from his body. He almost seemed to be having difficulty breathing as he huffed and puffed uneven- ly.

Bu Mus was shocked. Never before had one of her students protested something in such a direct manner. She thought for a moment, and then forced her face to refl ect neutrality.

She instructed us to write the name of a new class president on a piece of paper and to fold it in half. He believed that justice had been served and was sure that af ter years of wanting to not be class president, his suffering would finally com e to an end.

We folded up our pieces of paper and gave them to Bu Mus. The moments leading up to and during the vote count were tense. We nervously anticipated the results — w ho would be our new class president? Bu Mus opened the first piece of paper and read the name inside. Mental Illness No. Kucai was distraught. He was irritated with Borek, who was shaking from tr ying to hold back his laughter.

Ku- cai was trying to glare at Borek, but it lo oked as though Trapani were his target. But Bu Mus still respect ed his political rights.

She shifted her gaze over to Harun. He was as fascinating as the cinenen kelabu bird, and he was our class mascot. His hair, pants, b elt, socks and clean shoes were always spotless and impeccable. He smelled good too. His shirt even had all its buttons. He was a well- mannered, promising young citizen who was a model of Dasa Dharma Pramuka—the Boy Scout promise. He wanted to become a teacher and teac h in isolated areas when he grew up to help improve education and the condition of life for back-country Malays—a truly noble aspiration.

Trapani was very close to his mother. No discussion was interesting to him other than those related to his moth- er, perhaps because among six children, he was the only boy. Sahara, the only female in our class, was like the para- keets—firm and direct.

Sh e was hard to convince and not easy to impress. Another one of her prominent cha racter- istics was her honesty—she never lied.

Even if she were about to walk the plank over a flaming sea and a lie could save her life, not one would escape he r mouth. Sahara and A Kiong were enemies. They would have huge fights, make up, and then fight again. It was as if they Mental Illness No. There are too many names and places, difficult for me to remember them. My God! Where do you get off criticizing excellent literature, A Kiong?

On the other hand, Sahara had a soft spot for Harun. Harun, who was well-behaved , quiet and had an easy smile, was completely unable to comprehend the lessons. Nowadays people call it Down Syndrome. When Bu Mus taught, Harun sat calmly with a constant smile on his face. Then Harun clapped his hands. The two of them shared a unique emotional connection like the quirky friendsh ip of the Mouse and the Elephant.

Harun enthusiastically told a story about his three-striped cat giving birth to three kit- tens, which also had three stripes , on the third day of the month. Sahara patiently listened, even though Harun to ld this story every day, over and over again, thousands of times, all year ro und, year after year.

The number three was indeed a sacred number for Harun. He related everything t o the number three. He begged Bu Mus to teach him how to write that number, and after three years of hard work, he could finally do it. The covers of all his sc hool books soon had a big, beautiful and colorful number three written on them. He was obsessed with the number three. He often ripped off the buttons on his sh irt so there were only three left. He wore three layers of socks. He had three k inds of bags, and in each bag he always carried three bottles of soy sauce.

He e ven had three hair combs. When we asked him why he was so fond of the number thr ee, he pondered for a while, and then answered very wisely, like a village head giving religious advice.

He smiled whenever he saw me doing this. He was aware that he was the oldest amo ng us, Mental Illness No. There were times when his behav- ior was very touching. One time, unexpecte dly, he brought a large package to school and gave each of us a boiled ca- ladiu m tuber. Everyone got one. He himself took three. In the beginning, he was just an ordinary student.

B ut a chance meeting with an old hair-growth product bottle from somewhere on th e Ara- bian Peninsula forever changed the course of his life. On that bottle was a picture of a man; he was wearing red underwear, had a tall, strong body and was as hairy as a gorilla.

From then on, Borek was no longer interested in anything other than maki ng his muscles bigger. Because of hard work and exercise, he was successful and earned himself the nickname Samson—a noble title that he bore proudly. It was definitely strange, but at least Samson had found himself at a young age and knew exactly what he wanted to be later; he strove continuously to reach his goals. There are those who never find their own identity and go through life as someone else. Samson was better off than them.

He was completely obsessed with body building and crazy about the macho-man imag e. One day, he lured me in and curiosity got the best of me. He jerked my hand and we ran to the abandoned electric shed behind the school.

He reached into his bag and pu lled out a tennis ball that had been split in half. I looked at the two halves with surprise and thought to myself: It must be a great discovery. What is he going to do to me? I was hesitant, but I had no other choice. I unbuttoned my shirt. I stumbled back and almost fell. He had caught me by surprise and I was powerles s, my back against some planks of wood. To make matters worse, Samson was much b igger than me and was as strong as a coolie.

I wriggled around trying to break f ree. And then I understood. The tennis ball halves were supposed to work like that s trange thing with a wooden handle and a rubber cup that people use to unclog toilets. I felt the life being sucked out of my insides—my heart, liver, lungs, spleen, b lood and the contents of my stomach—by the cursed tennis ball halves.

My eyes fel t like they were going to pop out of my head. I choked, unable to speak. I signa led to Samson to stop. Oh man! Darn it! Counting names and parents was our own foolish cre- ation—doing something within t he amount of time it took to say the full names of everyone in our class and the ir par- ents.

For example: No way cou ld I endure these things sucking the life out of me for the entire amount of tim e it would take me to count names and parents. Malay names were never short!

I was a fish trapped in a net. My breaths became short. The su ctioning of the tennis ball halves felt like stings from killer bees. My body s eemed to be shrinking. My legs flailed around hopelessly. The suffer- ing felt a s though it would never end. Then, all of a sudden, one of the wooden planks behind me fell and gave me r oom to gather my strength.

Without stopping to think twice, I mustered the last ounce of strength left in my body, and with one roundhouse style move, I kicked Samson as hard as I could right between his legs—just like when the Japanese boxer Antonio Inoki took a cheap shot at Muhammad Ali in their fight. Samson howled and groaned like a bumble bee trapped in a glass jar. I broke free from his grasp, jumped away and bolted off. That genius body-building invention flew up into the air before sluggishly tumbling down onto a stack of straw.

I s tole a peek back and saw the boy Her- cules hurl over and clutch his legs before falling down with a thud. For days, my chest was encircled by two dark red cir- cular marks, traces of unb elievable idiocy. Muhammadiyah Ethics class taught us every Friday morning that we were not allowed to lie to our parents, especially not to our mothers. I was forced to expose my own stupidity. My older brothers and my father laughe d so hard they were shak- ing.

I think what you did with that tennis ball falls into the category o f mental ill- ness number five. Pretty serious, Ikal! But that morning it was quiet. Most of us came to school berkaki ayam—chicken footed, literally, but in othe r words barefooted. Our underprivileged parents deliberately bought shoes that were two sizes too big so they could be worn for at least two school years. By the time the sho es fit, they were usually falling apart.

Malay people believe that destiny is a creature, and we were ten baits of destin y. We were like small mollusks cling- ing together to defend ourselves from the pounding waves in the ocean of knowledge. Bu Mus was our mother hen. Harun with his easy smile, the handsome Trapani, li ttle Syahdan, the pompous Kucai, feisty Sahara, the gullible A Kiong, and the ei ghth boy, Samson, sitting like a Ganesha statue. And who were the ninth and tent h boys? Lintang and Mahar.

What were their stories? They were two young, truly s pecial boys. It takes a special chapter to tell their tales. We were dumbfounded when we heard his reason.

In the middle of the road, blocking my way, lay a crocodile as big as a coconut tree. All I could do was stand there like a statue and talk to myself. His size and the barnacles growing on his back were clear signs that he was the rule r of this swamp. Then suddenly, from the cur- rents of the river beside me, I heard the water rippling. I was surprised.

I was frightened! The hair on th e back of my neck stood up as he walked in bowlegged steps in my direction. Not one of us could find the courage to comment.

We waited tensely for the s tory to continue. Then he ap- proached the ruthless animal blo cking the road. He touched it! He petted it gently and whispered something to it—i t was so bizarre! We were stupefied.

It was as loud as seven coconut trees cras hing down! If that an- cient animal had decided to chase me earlier, the only thing people would have found would be my decrepit bicycle. My courage collapsed; with just one pull, he could have drowned me in the water.

But he just passed by. Just like that? But I feel lucky. It was true that I had never witnessed Bodenga in action, but I knew him better than Lintang. Bodenga provided me with my firs t life lesson on premonitions.

For me, he symbolized all things related to the f eeling of sadness. His face was scarred with craters and he was in his forties. He covered himself with coconut leaves and slept under a palm t ree, curled up like a squirrel for two days and two nights at a time.

When he wa s hungry, he dove down into the abandoned well at the old police station, all th e way to the bottom, caught some eels, and ate them while he was still in the w ater. Bodenga was a free creature. He was like the wind. No one knew where he came from. His ears could not hear because one day he dove into the Linggang River to fetch some tin and dove so deep that his ears bled. And then, he was deaf. Nowadays Bodenga was like a lone piece of driftwood.

People say he sacrificed his leg in order to acquire more crocodile magi c. His father was a famous crocodile shaman. As Islam flowed into the villages, people began to shun Bodenga and his father because they refused to stop worship ping crocodiles as gods.

His father died by wrapping himself from head to toe in jawi roots and throwing himself into the Mirang River. He deliberately fed his body to the ferocious cro codiles of the river. The only uncovered remain was the stump he used as a secon d leg. Now Bodenga spends most of his time staring into the currents of the Mira ng River, all alone and far into the night.

Th ey had caught a crocodile that had attacked a woman washing clothes in the Ma nggar River. Its big m outh was propped open with a piece of firewood. When they split its stomach in half, they found hair, clothes and a necklace. He sat down cross-legge d be- side the crocodile. His face was deathly pale. He pitifully pleaded for th e people to stop butchering the animal.

They took the firewood out of its mouth and backed off. They also understood that for Bodenga, this w as the crocodile his father had turned into because one of its legs was missin g. Bodenga cried. It was an agonizing, mournful sound. Some wept with choking sobs. Bodenga and the incident of that evening created a blueprint of compassion and s adness in my subconscious.

Perhaps I was too young to witness such a painful tra gedy. In the years to come, whenever I was faced with heart- wrenching situatio ns, Bodenga came into my senses. That evening, Bodenga truly taught me about premo- nitions.

And for the first ti me, I learned that fate could treat humankind very terribly, and that love could be so blind. Nevertheless, he never missed a day of school.

He pedaled 80 kilom eters roundtrip every day. Thinking about his daily jour- ney made me cringe. Dur- ing the rainy season, chest -deep waters flooded the roads. When faced with a road that had turned into a ri ver, Lintang left his bicycle under a tree on higher ground, wrapped his shirt, pants and books in a plastic bag, bit the bag, plunged into the water, and swam toward school as fast as he could to avoid being attacked by a crocodile. Because there was no clock at his house, Lintang re- lied on a natural clock.

On e time, he rushed through his morning prayer because the cock had already crowed. He finished his prayer and immediately pedaled off to school.

Halfway through his journey, in the middle of the forest, he became suspicious because the air w as still very cold, it was still pitch black, and the forest was strangely quiet. There were no bird songs calling out to the dawn. Lintang realized that the co ck had crowed early, and it was actually still midnight. Another time, his bicycle chain broke. He pushed the bike about a dozen kilometers by hand. By the time he got to the school, we were getting ready to head home.

The last l esson that day was music class. It was a slow and so mber song: For you, our country, we promise For you, our country, we serve For you, our country, we are devoted You, country, are our body and soul We were stunned to hear him sing so soulfully. After he sang the song, he pushed his bike back home, all 40 kil ometers. His father now thought of the decision to send Lintang to school as the right on e. He hoped th at one day Lintang could send his five younger siblings—each born one year after t he other—to school and also free them from the cycle of poverty.

When Lintang was in first grade, he once asked his father for help with a homewo rk question about simple multiplica- tion. How much is four ti mes four? He gazed wistfully through the windo w at the wide South China Sea, thinking very hard. The pine tree man ran at top speed as swift as a deer to ask for help from people at the village office. Not much later, like a flash of lightning, he slipped back into the house and was suddenly standing attentively before his so n.

He felt a pang in his heart, a pang t hat made him make a promise to himself, I have to be an intelligent person. Sixteen should have been his answer, but his father could only remember t he number 14—the amount of mouths he was responsible for feeding every day. Instead, he sat on the bar that connects the saddle to the handlebars. The tips of his toes barely reached the pedals. Every day he moved slowly and bounced up and down greatly over the steel bar as he bit his lip to gather his strength to fight the wind.

The house was a shack on stilts, in ca se the sea rose too high. The roof was made of sago palm leaves and the walls we re meranti tree bark. Anything happening in the shack could be seen from outside because the bark walls were already dozens of years old and were cracked and br oken like mud in the dry sea- son. None of the windows or doors locked. They tied the frames shut at night with cheap twine. Their skin w as so wrinkly you could grab it in handfuls.

Each day, the four grandparents be nt over a winnowing tray to pick maggots out of their third-class rice, the onl y kind they could afford. They spent hours on that arduous task—the rice was that putrid. He was a man making a living by selling his bodily power. Lintang could only study late at night.

Because the house was so crowded, it w as difficult to find an empty space, and they had to share the oil lantern. He immersed himself in each se ntence he read. He was seduced by the eloquent writings of scholars. He gasped when he fou nd out that gravity can bend light. He was amazed by the roving objects of the skies in the dark corners of the universe that may have only been visited by th e thoughts of Nicolaus Copernicus.

When he reached the chapters on geometry, Lintang smiled cheerfully because his logic so easily followed math- ematical simulations of various dimensions and sp ace. He quickly mastered the extraordinarily complicated tetrahe- dral decompos ition, direction axioms and the Pythagorean theorems. This material was way beyo nd his age and edu- cation, but he mused over the fascinating information.

Each number and letter squirmed about and then lit up, transforming into f ireflies buzzing around him and then penetrating his mind. He had no idea that a t that mo- ment the spirits of the pioneers of geometry were grinning at him.

Co pernicus, Lucretius and Isaac Newton were sit- ting down beside him. In a very s mall, narrow shack of a very poor Malay family on the edge of nowhere far off on the seashore, a natural genius was born. The next day at school, Lintang was puzzled to see us confused about a three-dig it coordinate exercise.

What are these village kids so confused about? Just as stupidity often goes unrealized, some people are often unaware that the y have been chosen, destined by God to be betrothed to knowledge. One problem after another struck our school. For years, financial difficulty w as our constant companion, day in and day out. Plus, people always assumed our school would collapse within a matter of weeks.

However, we were able to hold on, thanks to the winds of determination blown our way every day by Bu Mus and Pak Harfan. We came to see school as the best thing that could have happened to us—it was much better than be- coming coolies, coconu t graters, shepherds, pepper pickers or shop guards. The difficulties came in waves, but we never took even one step back—in fact we be came more immune.

Yet there was no ordeal as difficult as this one. An old DKW motorbike with a sputtering exhaust pipe slid toward our school. Uh -oh. The driver of the DKW was an older man with thick glasses and a tiny body, his f orehead broad and shiny. The pulsing veins on his brow gave the impression that he often forced his agenda upon others. The fact is, people who are used to repr oaching others usually lose their grasp on good manners. He was famous for his i nability to compromise.

One word from his mouth and an entire school could be sh ut down. The si ght of his glasses made all the teachers in Belitong tremble. He was, none other than Mister Samadikun—the School Superintendent. Mister Samadikun was not happy when that happened. Those officials repeatedly pushed for our school to be banished from the face of this earth. With one kick I could bring them down. Sugar palm milk usually came as a bribe from teach- ers who wan ted to be promoted to principal or transferred out of isolated areas, or for the ir school to be deemed a model school.

So Mister Samadikun created an elegant and diplo- matic condition to shut down o ur school. The condition was ten students, a condition dramatically fulfilled b y Ha- run at the last minute. Mister Samadikun was extremely irked by our school , and especially by Harun.

Download The Rainbow Troops ebook {PDF} {EPUB}

In other words, we were extra work for him. In that case, Mister Samadikun was right. To make matters worse, she was by herself. Pak Harfan had been out sick for the past month. The traditional healer said he was sick because his lungs inhaled low-quality chalk dust for dozens of years.

Mister Samadikun peeked into the classroom. As soon as he saw the completely emp ty glass display case, a belit- tling expression came across his face, as he was used to seeing achievement trophies in the display cases at other schools. Because she was so nervous, Bu Mus made a fatal mis- take before anything else e ven happened. Mister Samadikun took out the facility inspection form. He sneered and shoo k his head repeatedly to make his disappointment known.

Translating this masterpiece was no easy task. It took seven months. This translation has seen its fair share of places. Some parts were easier than others, and I had a lot of help along the way.

The Rainbow Troops.pdf

Angie Kilbane — Jakarta, October 4th, ni potongan hasil jadinya Gan Spoiler for Ten New Students: The Rainbow Troops, chapter 1: The branch of an old filicium tree shaded me. My father sat beside me, hugging my shoulders with both of his arms as he nodded and smiled to each parent and child sitting side by side on the bench in front of us. It was an important day: At the end of those long benches was an open door, and inside was an empty classroom.

The door frame was crooked. The entire school, in fact, leaned as if it would collapse at any moment. In the doorway stood two teachers, like hosts welcoming guests to a party. There was an old man with a patient face, Bapak K. Muslimah Hafsari, or Bu Mus for short. Like my father, they also were smiling. Yet Bu Mus' smile was a forced smile: Her face was tense and twitching nervously.

She kept counting the number of children sitting on the long benches, so worried that she didn't even care about the sweat pouring down onto her eyelids.

The sweat beading around her nose smudged her powder makeup, streaking her face and making her look like the queen's servant in Dul Muluk, an ancient play in our village. Pak Harfan stared at her with an empty look in his eyes. I too felt anxious. Anxious because of the restless Bu Mus, and because of the sensation of my father's burden spreading over my entire body.

Although he seemed friendly and at ease this morning, his rough arm hanging around my neck gave away his quick heartbeat. I knew he was nervous, and I was aware that it wasn't easy for a year-old miner with a lot of children and a small salary to send his son to school.

Jason Beerman From the Reviews: "This is a charming and uplifting book, full of exotic Indonesian words, references to Islamic prayer times and ethnic groups that peacefully coexist Malays, Chinese immigrants, native Sawangs.

It makes for a refreshing break from the middle-class navel-gazing of most Western fiction. Like a good fable, the book imparts a simple moral" - Jason Beerman, Toronto Star Please note that these ratings solely represent the complete review's biased interpretation and subjective opinion of the actual reviews and do not claim to accurately reflect or represent the views of the reviewers.

Similarly the illustrative quotes chosen here are merely those the complete review subjectively believes represent the tenor and judgment of the review as a whole. We acknowledge and remind and warn you that they may, in fact, be entirely unrepresentative of the actual reviews by any other measure.

Almost all the action revolves around the tiny school he attended, Muhammadiyah Elementary School, and his classmates -- a ragtag bunch nicknamed 'Laskar Pelangi' the "Rainbow Troops" by their teacher.

From the beginning, the school's very survival -- and with it the possibility that these children can even get an education -- is in question: the story opens on their first school day, when everyone desperately waits to see whether the necessary minimum of ten children can be found to even keep the school going; later, it is imperiled by the local mining company's interest in the tin on the school grounds. The small island -- which, after all, gave mining giant BHP Billiton its name -- is dominated by tin mining and by PN Timah now PT Timah , to the extent that Belitong has become more or less "a corporate village".

The company staff live in a walled-off and guarded part of the island called the Estate, which is also where the PN School is -- "a place for the best", with all the amenities. Muhammadiyah Elementary School isn't so much a place for the rest as it is the last possible option, and the few children who go here come from extreme poverty -- and even then it is a great sacrifice for their families and them, with one of them bicycling huge distances daily just to get there.

Led by an idealistic new teacher, Bu Mus -- herself just fifteen and just out of junior high school -- they are united by a commitment to the school and to learning. It turns out that one among them, Lintang, is exceptionally bright and he becomes their star student; another, Mahar, is artistically very gifted though he and another student -- the girl Flo, a later addition who fled the PN School -- become rather obsessed with mysticism and the like, eventually losing some of their academic focus.

Some of The Rainbow Troops is about perseverance and overcoming obstacles, and there are small triumphs on larger stages, too, in academic contests with other schools and the like -- the long empty trophy case doesn't remain entirely empty -- but it's not entirely a feel-good novel of anything being possible. It is a realistic account -- clearly also autobiographical -- and not all the triumphs are complete, and this attempt to get an education isn't enough to change some of the island fundamentals for the students.

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