An old Indonesian proverb says,
“As the tree, so the fruit.”
This means that what parents do and say will affect what their children do and say. Whether direct or indirect, intentional or unintentional, what parents live out every day will influence their children. This is seen in the life of Nado.
Born into a modest family on Sangir Island as the youngest of three children, Nado asks to help his father, Sapta, fix small boat engines almost every day before going to study with friends at the Sesawi Student Center, the child development center where he is registered.
Sapta, is a mechanic who earns his living by repairing boat engines. He is gifted at what he does and his services are highly sought after. Many people travel more than 20 kilometers (12 miles) just to have Sapta fix their boats.
“I love working on machines and I have loved that kind of work since I was in junior high school.
“Not many people know how to fix machines, and I am thankful that I am blessed by this talent to help others who need their boat repaired, although it does not make a lot of money.”
Sapta’s life-long love of mechanics has not just blessed others; it has also affected his youngest son, Nado.
“Nado started by just accompanying me and now he helps me fix the machine.
“Nado loves to find out what makes a clock tick and he is curious about what made a little car run.
“He started to take apart every supporting tool that made something move and then gathered it again as one complete piece. He loves to try to find out how it works after he assembles it again.
“We were angry at Nado the first time because we thought he would break all things, but after we saw him assemble it again, we knew that he is only curious with it and wants to see what he could do if he separates the parts inside it.”
Nado’s curiosity to learn more about mechanical things is getting stronger day by day. Nado not only learns from his father, he also learns from the activities at the child development center.
Julian, Sesawi Student Center coordinator, explains further:
“We let children do everything that they love. If they love to play soccer, we let them develop it. By letting them do what they love, we actually help them to find their talent. We have seen it in Nado’s life. He loves mechanical things.
“We haven’t any program to let children learn about such things [now], but we plan to let children learn about computers in the future.”
Nado’s curiosity has resulted in a significant accomplishment for someone his age.
After watching something on television about a flood detector, Nado imagined how he could make a similar detector to track tidal waves.
“I dreamed about making something that was shown on television. I imagined how I could change a flood detector into a tidal wave detector. I started making it by using simple tools that could be easily found around my house.”
Nado felt that if he could make some modifications to the flood detector, it would be useful for people in the area where he lives, especially fishermen.
“This area rarely has floods. We are afraid of high waves from the sea that sometimes we can’t predict.
“I thought that if I can do some modification in the flood detector, then I can help others by telling them if the sea level has risen.”
Nado found a small jar, Styrofoam, cable, wood, rubber, small balls, batteries and other tools to help him make the tidal wave detector.
Julian shares further,
“We are all amazed with the creativity that he has. We never thought that his routine with his father and the simple activity in the development center will bear something that will bring benefit for people in this area.”
Julian and other child development center staff have supported Nado in developing his talent by teaching mathematics more specifically.
Julian knows the little boy who loves math has a big opportunity to make other tools, which could become an inspiration for other children.