Water Here and There

From my traveling, I found several interesting topics that I want to dig in and Messi challenged me to write more serious stuff once in a while instead of just fun traveling stories. So yeahh, umm oke laa. From several topics, I will just write about water which related to my recent journey.

Lesmurdie Falls National Park

I chose to come here on my day off back in March because when I Googled it, it looked so pretty. Even though I knew there was a high probability of no flowing waterfall, I still came here because I needed to stay active. I was the only visitor at that time lol! I hesitated because I had to trek but I did it anyway. Besides, it’s only bushes in there and the trekking path is nicely visible tho, I was just hoping not to meet dangerous animals.

Ascending path. See? Only bushes everywhere lol.

It was a short trek up to the hill and Perth CBD was visible from far, pretty. Once I got to the waterfall, I only laughed to myself: See, no waterfall. It’s still summer! Anw, I met another ONE person and we took pics of each other.

Can you spot the water?

Talking about waterfall, that was the second time I visited waterfall in a wrong season. The first one was when I visited Jim Jim Waterfall in Northern Territory (NT) which I couldn’t even hear a single droplet fell down. It’s kind of serba salah, while in NT several waterfalls don’t operate in dry season but in certain days in wet season, the access to national parks will be closed due to flood or even scarier: CROCODILES. In certain parts of WA, you won’t see the water flowing during summer. You have to wait until Autumn or Winter which you would rethink if you wanna swim anyway. Serba salah. Maybe I should do more research to meet the needs tho.

Jim Jim Waterfall, only drips heard.

But seriously, I suddenly remember about waterfalls in Indonesia (especially in West Java). Those are non-stop working waterfalls and I just want to remind you who are in Indonesia right now that in this MATTER, you are so blessed. I remember when I was still in Indonesia, it was so easy to see rainforests and once I walked in the forest, I was always hypnotized by the scent of damp woods, the leaves. Green color dominates everything and the air is so cool. It is also easy to find water, the spring water from the mountain. And our waterfalls are always noisy, high debit of water always flowing 24/7.

The trek at Merbabu Mountain. I love rainforest.
Oenesu Waterfall in Kupang.

In contrast, Australia is a water poor country. I will talk about Western Australia (never been to any other states other than WA and NT lol) which is said as the driest state in Au. There are no countless big trees like in Indonesia, only bushes everywhere. Desert dominates the area and I can’t imagine living far from coast (85% of the population living within 50km of the coast of the very large continent with vast empty areas in the middle). Good thing that the government takes water issue SO SERIOUSLY and we live conveniently. No money to buy spring water? Drink potable water from your kitchen sink. The Swan River in Perth is also clean, not turbid or even looks so dark like in Ciliwung, no trashes, and maybe almost zero waste. I remember Indonesian boys really like to swim in river, which would be even nicer if they did it here, in a sense of cleanliness. But if I remember how the people in Indonesia treat our water makes me feel sad tho. There are still so many people near my house who throw trashes right into the river (the trash collection points are also located by the river and whenever the pile of trashes is too high, they will fall down to the river). Many women use detergent and wash clothes in the river and I also saw black-colored water (maybe waste) comes from a factory near Kalideres. I just can’t imagine how stupid we are just because we (still) have access to get water. We’re just being ungrateful right now.

In Australia, the government works so hard to give the best for the people. You can see the feedback when water sports in Australia are working. Every afternoon, you can see people kayaking, canoeing, or sailing with small ships in Swan River. They trust the water and find it enjoyable. But the good environment here is not something that happened easily; it took them hundreds of years to work on it and the consistency to give the best, a strong policy from government and obedient citizens make clean water accessible.

Where do you think we should start straightening out the tangled threads about water issue in Indonesia?

My Tribe

See the faces up there? Those are who touch my soul and I can’t tell how grateful I am to have them. Family alone has done too much to support me and I’ve got those guys too, wooo.. what a lucky bich I am :*. Sadly, it would be a hundred-thousand-word blog post if I write about them all so I hope I’ve done good enough by putting my tribe’s profile pics here (I didn’t even ask for their consents but I think they wouldn’t mind xD). And I’ve got more pics than that but hard to compile them all here >.<.

-miki-

My other self. She’s like a walking diary. She knows literally almost everything about me. Everything. She has ears to hear and the heart to listen. She always makes time for me and even if she can’t, she does her best so she will. Referring to my Aussie life, I still remember she OFFERED me money so I could live in the first 2 months here. She used her savings to help me even when I didn’t ask anything about it. She waited patiently until I was finally able to pay her back and she even let me postpone the due date because I had to go back to Indonesia to see my dying grandma :'( She could tell every sh*t about me in front of my face. She’s the type that could slap my face to make me realize of my wrongdoings and I didn’t know why I can never felt offended by her lol. No one is like you, gurl.

-messi-

My adventure buddy. Crossing the same path, climbing the same mountain, and having the same lifestyle made us connected. Well actually I am exaggerating, we’re not that extremely similar but still yeaaa kind of xD! Nature has a very big portion in our friendship and that’s what I like about us. Talking to Messi is like opening so many windows, I always learn much from her and since she’s older than me, it was not once or twice I was surprised by her wise advice. She listened about the hardship I had here and even I now walk in a way that doesn’t match to her value, she still understands and supports me. She cherishes friendship so much that I feel so so so thankful to call her my bestie.

-hery-

Oh, Hery is the wisest coz he’s waaaaayyy much older than me (I think Messi thinks the same XD). I’ve known Hery for years in PALADA — where Messi spent her youth at too –, and Hery might can tell my mental growth, from a very annoying girl to a bit less annoying girl I am now lol. Now I am 28 years old, I’ve heard a few people who are younger than me praised for my maturity, leadership, way of thinking and etc (well, it occasionally happens tho). It is because of him! He’s like a teacher and I’m his pupil and I still remember his comments, response of my stories, and his advice were things that I anticipated so much. Even I could be dumbfounded only by him opening his mouth lol! His signature to advise me is to let me be :’) Have you ever felt so happy to be nakedly accepted by someone?

Messi-Heri and Miki finally met each other for the first time this year.

They are my jewels now and then 😉 Even if I’m far away now, I won’t forget my roots.

During my time living here, I’ve met so many good friends but most of them come and go, just like the wind. So sad we’re not destined to keep each other company longer for now. Nevertheless, their kindness stays forever inside me. Since life here feels so fast and I couldn’t meet at least one friend to cling on to, I was pessimistic when I started working at the hotel; plus, we basically work alone when cleaning the rooms. A week after I started working there, the number of Indonesian employees was rising lol and it was very convenient to talk in Bahasa Indonesia so much again. Our manager and supervisor had an idea to go on an outing and hell yeah, of course I was in!

Went to Litchfield National Park and paid a visit to this giant termite. COOL huh

LOL

Florence Falls

The outing was really helpful to break the ice and maaannn, my workmates were so funny lol. I’m glad I was be able to know more about them. However, my life soundtrack was still All By Myself and I told Mark I missed Perth so much that I failed to see beautiful things in Darwin. Even I wasn’t that enthusiastic when my housemates asked me to join group dinner at home or to go to market on Sunday. I wasn’t really sure when but I began to be more open and gosh, it was a very good decision! Now I am confused how to write this post lol. It took longer than I thought because I couldn’t find a way to write efficiently to show you my gratefulness. Let’s try this way:

Best friends at hotel. So nice to hangout with them. Cia is the always-be-there friend, Lisa is mak-rempong-yet-so-caring friend, and Rusi is everyone’s happy pill!

Enjoyed the Territory Day with them (pic by Rusi)

And Darwin has beautiful beaches to visit (sadly crocodile warning is almost everywhere). Casuarina Beach was one of them.

This is Gwen, he was one of my housemates and I am forever grateful because he helped me convinced myself to go home and see my grandma. Gwen and Okta were unforgettable friends whom you’ll find out soon in the next post 😉

With Connie. OMG, Connie is the most innocently funny girl I’ve ever met. So many funny stories with her xD. Plus, she’s very nice and kind to me. Actually I was a bit skeptic every time I met people from her country. When I was at the farm, I didn’t really like Chinese people but Connie broke my (bad) idea of them. Plus, she’s pretty huh?

With Yervan (left), my mate when attending WHV interview in Indonesia, the first familiar face when I was in Perth, and now he’s in Darwin.

At Dara’s (grey t-shirt) farewell dinner 🙂 Dara and Andit were my previous housemates at farm. Dara and I were fired at the same time and glad we could be able to work together at restaurant while Andit is now my workmate at hotel lol. These girls were also fun to hang out with!

Introducing Ayu (at the back) lol. She has the same age as mine and I discovered she’s so fun to talk with. It is so convenient to talk serious matters with her but she’s also silly at the same time. Her behavior is funny xD

So sad we never had a good quality pic with friends at restaurant T^T. The 2 girls at the back, Kriti and Asmita were my best Nepalese friends. They were SOOOO SUPPORTIVE when I was hitting on a male customer at restaurant lol! They were also very caring, always asked their husbands to drive me home at night :’) They are still soooo young but dunno why they were like my moms lol.

From those pics, you can see top 2 most seen faces and I am so glad to call them my closest friends here.

-rusi-

Rusi is a type of friend you want to bring anywhere lol. She’s calm but you’ll like every time she laughs so hard. She works smart and is a dedicated employee and now she became one of our supervisors. She is the funniest of all and I sometimes wonder how she can think so fast when she throws a joke lol. She also thinks about others so much like every time we went shopping from check out rooms, she could always bring home 2 or 3 bags of items and I wondered does she really need that much??. But later I learned she took pics of all the leftovers, uploaded and gave them away to friends who needed *wooooooo*. She also likes to be extra. I always asked for Rusi’s help when I needed my body to be kerok-ed lol. Even if I only asked for her help to kerok my back, she did it on my neck, my arms, plus she gave me full body massage and she took out a massaging roller and she made me feel like I was in heaven XD.

And at last,

-cia-

Her existence stimulates the youth in me. I still remember the first time I met her at hotel, she started working almost a week after my first day and she joined us to Litchfield. At that time, only Cia and I jumped into the water not long after we arrived and since Lisa and Rusi couldn’t swim, Cia was the only one I relied on to lol! I tell you again, water is not my element. I can swim but I need someone else beside me >.<. She became the first one who knew my story here; the obstacles I had at hotel, my dreams, my fears, etc. She is a really really good friend, she smiles a lot, she doesn’t worry about what others think about her, she gives much, and omg I am so grateful to know her. I absolutely look forward to have so many adventures to go on and so many days to spend with. I guess, we became inseparable? XD

VAYA CON DIOS!

People don’t take trips. Trips take people. – John Steinbeck.

It’s what Messi and I exactly feel! We are still amazed until right now and still wonder how lucky we are to have done the trip to Lembata. Continuing to the previous story, Papa Oli and Mama Gita are the biggest reasons we consider ourselves lucky.  I am sorry in advance; there are details of gratefulness we can’t share (although we’re dying want to). Some precious moments are meant for Messi and me to keep. Besides, if you are destined to go there you’d probably think it’s better to have your own personal experience in enjoying kindness from Papa Oli and Mama Gita. Everyone’s different thus let’s keep our blessings special.

“I’ve never received a love like that to me before. No one ever treated me like them before.” I said to Messi tearfully on the night after we left Lembata Island. We cried, again. It was our first time to experience such a life-changing moment. We knew we just have known Papa Oli and Mama Gita for a quite short time, we’ve never known how they were before. But our hearts knew best, conscience sense better than brain, and we knew that they were a truly kind couple. True altruists.

Have you ever felt overwhelmed by love and kindness from someone who doesn’t really do any particular act? We found it in Papa Oli. It was so strange. I even felt so happy without any clear reasons when he asked me to sit beside him, called my name, smiled at me, and touched my shoulder when he encouraged me. He was the most selfless man I’ve ever met in my 27 years of life. I’ve met some ‘influencing’ people; they carry their own charity organizations, their religions; they tell everyone how good they are in their religions and what they have done to contribute in their religions. They become public speakers, trying to make a change to other people, and eventually people will be moved to buy their books, videos, etc. Yet, sadly, when I get to know them deeper, I know who they truly are. More precisely, my heart knew from the beginning that there was something different behind the self they show to others.

Papa Oli has been working for Taman Daun for 30 years and it’s still slow moving. I hope you can guess why. Yes, as I said in the previous blog, he works in silence. He doesn’t let his noble intention forming another ego: ego of a good Oli. All the greatness of Taman Daun that I heard told by Bang Adjie; just like me trying to promote Taman Daun to others. Papa Oli was there when we listened to the story; he just smiled, laughed, and occasionally joined Bang Adjie. These young people: Bang Adjie and John S.J were the ones who tried to promote it on the internet. Papa Oli has a Facebook account and a cell phone, but they are also managed by his daughter. He simply doesn’t care about those things. He enjoys taking care of children. He is so down to earth, he never talks about his greatness; he serves best, and he gives a lot. He doesn’t wear sandals; he lets his feet touching the earth.

Mama Gita is also the same. When she taught us doing tenun, she always said ‘pardon me’ before she interrupted and corrected us. And she was sooo patient teaching us. Even when we screwed up the pattern, she said ‘that’s fine’ ?. She also has a serving heart. She cooked for us and made us lots of breads to keep our stomach full when we were about to go Pulau Siput.

 

A special dinner they prepared for us. (Messi)

 

I heard from Kak Nancy, there once a day when Kak Nancy woke up at 4 am to take over Mama Gita’s role to prepare breakfast for a group of volunteers. Kak Nancy was concerned about Mama Gita’s health. And you know what? Hot tea was even already served at 4am :’( Mama Gita always hugged us tightly every time she greeted us, not merely as basa basi, she hugged with her heart.

Papa Oli and Mama Gita is a perfect match to each other. Both understand about the Lamalera ancient tradition that even when Papa Oli told us a story, Mama Gita would add and vice versa. They did that in a perfect rhythm that didin’t sound like one interrupted rudely each other. Papa Oli also looked at Mama Gita with smile when she talked. They are old by age yet sometimes still teased each other. They always escorted us far to the front when we went home.

Time to part came. We would leave Lembata on Thursday morning so we spent some time at Taman Daun on Wednesday night. Suddenly, Papa Oli came into a room before he headed back to us and said: “These are for you…if I’m not mistakenly stealing (information)…” He gave Messi and me a wood necklace, carved with our Palada number. He must have seen our numbers on our shirts from the first day we came!

 

 

He said the gifts were for us, girls who concerned so much about nature and he said we were special. We were so surprised and so touched. We got so much that night and we tried to contribute too, even though our efforts would never be equal. Later, I aspired that I would come back again to Lembata someday. Papa Oli and Mama Gita said “Pasti.” at the same time ?. Definitely, they said ?. We talked much that night and we would come back again in the following morning to say good bye.

And morning had come, we paid a visit, short one, around 15 mins only. They gave us another gift, a gift that was so special to us and oh my.. Messi and I couldn’t stop saying thank you and we tried so hard to hold our tears. Lastly, I started to hug Mama Gita and she said words indistinctly while hugging me, perhaps a prayer. She later looked at me and marked a cross on my forehead. I started to cry yet I tried so hard to resist. Then I hugged Papa Oli, he prayed for me and crossed my hand while shaking hand. He did it while looking me in the eyes and I felt the love from those eyes.  Messi started to cry hard that I finally failed to act strong. It was a very touching moment to all of us. We were all cried and we were very sad we had to go.

While I was walking out, I rang 3 bells at Taman Daun. They were believed could grant our wishes. I have rung them a few times before, wishing things for my own. That morning before we parted, I rang them again and I sincerely wished that they will still be healthy when I meet them again. Messi and I were ready to go while Bang Adjie and Kak Nancy had departed; maybe, they gave us one last chance. We waved our hands to them, with eyes full of tears. They said go and don’t look back.

 

Last picture of us

 

I’m crying again right now :’(

We became silent on our way to Larantuka while we crossed the sea. It was dramatic and I couldn’t help it. I am always true to my feelings. I spent some time to sit alone on the front deck and I was so grateful about everything. I flash-backed about Taman Daun and I said to myself once again: I.WILL.GO.BACK.

On that night when we were about to sleep at Kak Nancy’s house in Larantuka, I discussed again with Messi. We were asking what made ourselves special and wondering how they could effortlessly inspired us to be kind, like them. They didn’t preach us, didn’t lecture us; they simply effortlessly taught us about love and compassion by being who they were. They inspired me to be a better person, reminded me to be selfless (which i will keep trying to train myself, not easy), and they inspired me to be down to earth and has a heart that serves. We cried again and Messi hugged me. Oh well.

I’m still so young, and so is Messi. We’ll keep practicing and won’t forget to be happy too. Whenever I felt down, I touched the necklace from Papa Oli; and I knew…I’m loved.

We deeply thank Bang Adjie and Kak Nancy so much again and again. Kak Nancy cooked and did a lot to us. We thank Bang Adjie, for hosting us at his house, for accompanying us everywhere, and for washing our clothes with washing machine in so early morning ??. We thank Bang Adjie’s parents for letting us sleep there, made the room ready, for the breakfasts every morning. We thank Kak Nancy’s family for doing the same.

All these precious memories will forever be cherished. Even if we can’t pay back, God will.

 

With Bang Adjie's parents
Farewell with Bang Adjie’s parents. Ignore my legging please.

 

With Papa Oli’s father. His heart was so tender.

 

With Kak Nancy’s family.

 

Our last selfie.

 

Thank you so much.

Vaya Con Dios and till we meet again.

WHY I CHOOSE TO STAY IN BALI FOR A WHILE

I remember my cousin said going somewhere for a while helps you a lot, especially to find inspiration. She stayed in Bali for three weeks and also in Japan for the same period of time. She did it alone and I was in awe! She is such a brave woman even though she is 2 years younger than me. After that, I kept seeing posts especially on Facebook and Instagram that emphasized about the benefits of traveling: how traveling can change your life and helps you to know more about yourself. My heart was moved because of the latter reason; I want to know more about myself.

I’m going to be 27 years old soon yet I am far from the getting settled. I’m still trying to find my identity and what I want to focus on. From what I read, this kind of confusion is commonly happened in young adulthood, maybe you have heard of the term too; it’s quarter-life crisis. Some are lucky enough to endure and pass the crisis not far from their home while some has to take a journey.

Last December in 2016, I saw a friend’s post on Instagram and how living alone in somewhere far supports her happiness. She was in Bali too (and she still is). Bali is a good option, I think. The culture, the people, and the view (of course) are fascinating. So far, I got so many inspirations from talking with people, local or foreigner; because here I always find a reason to greet people: at the hostel or any where else by simply asking typical question from tourist to another tourists or from tourist to locals. Well no la, you can always get the kind of chance even in your hometown, it doesn’t have to be Bali. Haha.

When I saw my friend’s post, I could sense that it was the momentum and I submitted my resignation letter not long after lol. It was such a sudden thought and I even didn’t think about how my family would react. I kept talking to myself: ‘I have to do this.’ I’m lucky to have parents that accept me for who I am, they wait patiently for me and keep supporting me. I couldn’t ask for more. I love them that I want to be a whole person of I am by doing this.

I have to know where this path takes me to.

I’m sure the process, how scary it may seem, will lead me understanding myself better.

To any of you, who still seek for identity, please love yourself. Listen to your heart because it knows better about what you have to do. Maybe you don’t have to travel, but make a move! Do what your heart tells you to and don’t let your parents, family, or society define you. You are what you think you are. You deserve your love more than anyone else and believe me, self love isn’t selfish. It’s important. Do something that feed your soul then you will really really live. Never lose faith!

 

 

Love ya!