Wednesday, September 17, 2008
Short Trip to Bima
Bima, NTB. 2008
Last week probably was one of my busiest seven days in this year. But busy doesn't always mean stressful and exhausting. Well, it was tiring a bit but it didn't drain all my energy, yes I had fun too.
It all started with Bima, Nusa Tenggara Barat. I was there for a short assignment. I would be there for the next three days. The assignment was quite simple: to photograph several local community projects in the area. But on the contrary the journey was not. I was travelling with a writer and we have to spent almost 5 hours flying and on the road to finally arrived to Bima. Since there is no direct flight to Bima, we have to fly first to Denpasar and connect our flight from there with Merpati to Bima.
It was three O'clock WITA (Central Indonesian Time) when we arrived at the small, casual but tidy airport of Bima. But it wasn't until tomorrow for our travel around the area, I spent the rest of the day resting to charge my stamina back.
On the next day we travelled to several spots to see the local projects. It was really hot and dry, which reminds me of Banda Aceh and Yogyakarta. But by far this is the worst heat I ever experienced. It was like hell but the views were heaven.
When we arrived at the first site it was almost noon. The infrastructure project were simple and it was built by the locals themselves. Besides the heat everything was casual, normal and a bit boring. But then the extraordinary (read:the fun) started when the smooth journey to a village outside the city was disturbed with a flat tire. And of course the fun didn't stop there. When we arrived at Ntori village, a lot of people have already gathered at the local office.
Leaving a foot trace during a flat tire break. Bima. 2008.
The head of the village greeted us along with several elders. It seemed that everyone misunderstood thinking that we are representatives from the NGO instead of a 'mere' writer and photographer. Even after Evi, the writer, explained about our false 'celebrity' status they still want us to give a speech in a formal conference event. Fortunately for me, a person who is holding a camera, I could find an excuse to get out of that. And yet the suprise still continued. They gave us presents and souvenirs in a formal ceremony way. I felt really uneasy about this. People just smiled and very generous, something that I rarely finds in the city like Jakarta.
Afterwards, we travelled up to the hill to see the infrastructure project, a tunnel bypassing a hill to flow water from the source to the village downhill. The people were very proud to tell us that they built it using their own hands. I still couldn't believe that these people could do the work without any heavy machine. It's just 'luar biasa' (extraordinary) as they said repeatedly.
The water pipe tunnel at Ntori village.
During this trip I learnt a commonly used yet unique local sentence: Kelimpo Ade, which has a lot of meanings. In general people in Bima use this sentence to say sorry or to say be patient. Our driver who is a native of Bima said that the sentence is perfectly used for a conversation with a debt collector. Well, they did say it has multiple meanings :D
The rest of the day it's just a normal job. Except before we left, one of the villagers gave us another souvenirs, bottles of Honey from Bima. We are very grateful although very uneasy yet again. I must say that people in Bima are one of the most friendliest people I've ever met. They really treated us like VIP guests and they were really sincere.
On wednesday, the next day, we left Bima for Jakarta. I didn't have too many adventures there but surely I brought something back.
For facing the following days of the busy week I could say to my self and fellow friends, a local wisdom from Bima, be patient, be brave, be persevere, Kelimpo Ade.