A Sidestep for a Move Forward


The foundational ideology of a poet is to arrange some beautiful phrases to spark the excitements of its readers. The foundational ideology of a company director is to achieve the weekly targets they have set. However, the ideology of a child that is newly introduced to this world is their admiration for the captivating beauty this universe has to offer.

Like a little kid, I love to question everything that is transpiring before me and the issues that I or people have with us. Day turns to night, night turns to days, time left us with a trail of mysteries and memorable encounters. Every step that I took along this road is a new experience that should only make me grateful for these life opportunities. Need not to care if the journey is not the same with what I had previously in other places, the change of our surroundings is not supposed to be cried or even to be avoided. I see this as a happiness that is not easily granted. And I could only sense the feeling in this particular moment. It is extraordinary.

The journey to cross the river took us for almost 3 hours. There is nothing to gain for the people who chose to be ignorant of the livings. Basing on my admiration that seems unquestionable for most of the people, this particular case where people would regard this way of living is normal is more worrying to me.  Just because one has reached maturity, they behave as if they already knew everything. Some people especially the ones that take interest in publicity might become weary of the absence of reception. After all, who is able to stand staying in remote places with no reception, because it would only create boredom for anyone.

This particular living condition is no horror story. Even with the existence of technology that has been beautifully decorated this world, that could guarantee a more convenient life, however cooking with firewood, foraging for the wood and any nature activities were among the activities that should be done. We couldn’t guarantee that everything will be fine by solely relying on technology.

Everything in this place seemed foreign, and I call this a spiritual reflection. I learned to adapt to the villagers’ way of living by entangling myself in any form of activities they did and one of them was to bathe in the river. Bathing in the river, while the local children were swimming along the river without any clothes on, I regarded this as a type of pleasure in life. The housewives were bringing their jerry cans here, filling the container up with waters as this river has become one of their main water supply. They drink the water straight out of the river and there is nothing to be worry of because this has become a tradition from their ancestors.  This tradition is with exception to the visitors because it will appear as a mockery. And I also didn’t regard it as a problem because we were perfectly fine after taking a sip out of the water. I think this is solely a matter of perception.

There is an expression that couldn’t be described with words, but with images and feelings. Everything lies in our own understanding of personal experiences. And words here are defined as some fragmentary representations that should not be taken as the benchmark for the aspects surrounding this world. It is just parts of this beautiful story that are written.

I found several kids stopped going to school, some of them didn’t continue their studies after finishing elementary school or middle school. Instead, they work for village infrastructure development. They even got the name “the village young men”. Ever since they were children, they were trained to lift heavy burdens to form their muscles. Their physical built are able to keep up with the demands of this work.

When we are faced with the unfamiliarity that some people reach their maturity in a distinctive way from the city folks who are full of imaginations about this universe, we often come across ambiguity in defining this life. And all the while, some of them didn’t even regard education as the one-way ticket to feed themselves, and they even think that education wouldn’t do much to their appearance. Because of these reasons, the local children especially the ones that are in difficulty to have access to the school stopped pursuing their education. And in the village, they are not spending their time standing idle, hanging out, or even turning themselves into narcotics because there are plenty of works to do. Some of them are also opting for marriage because there is a sense of encouragement from their environment to do so.

Each of us has our own life references that are different from one another. When some people think highly of education and even place it as the only pathway to prosperity, it would contrast to the views that reject the idea of education. There is no concrete reason in defining life because there are always differences in the life phases we are in and it will always far from parallel in every society. For me, there is no consensus in understanding life because I believe my own self is the real meaning of this life.

The forest that circles this place is thriving, sheltering and securing every aspect of life for this society. They co-exist with nature without having the need to worry about their days. We received a lot of gifts that are the farming, foraging and fishing products of the villagers in particular venison, freshwater fishes and vegetables. The moment when the local people brought their dishes to us is a pleasure beyond compare. Everything was gradually becoming familiar to me. This journey is an adventure to find my other home.

A story about The Placement in the Village of Sarah Baru, written by Kasumah

translated by Priscillia Sharon      











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