Driving Life in Baling Karang Village


written by Hilma Mahfuzah



Our departure stared at 20:15 (October 3, 2020) and arrives ad the initial destination at 04:00 at Indra’s house (one of last year’s Guru Dream volunteers). Then, the team that was dispatched to Baling Karang took a break and the plan was to continue our journey to the village at 14:00. Rainy conditions throughout the day prevented the pickup car from arriving, so our departure was delayed for another day. The next day, the weather was bright but the problem was that the car we had ordered since yesterday was giving rides to other passengers. So it was no longer possible for us to have a ride in that car. Hearing this, Pak Datok (the village head of Baling Karang) finally intervened to pick us up using his car.

At 17:00, Pak Datok arrived and we immediately said goodbye to Indra’s family. Then continued the journey which took more than 2 hours. The long journey was also a muddy road, the occasional uphill and downhill road surrounded by a lot of mud because of the rain that hasn’t stopped since yesterday. At 20:15 , we arrived at the border of Baling Karang village. To get to the village, we had to go through Getek (a means of transportation across the river). Apparently, yesterday’s heavy rain made the river flooded. The water was so swift that you could not see the beach around the river. Finally, Pak Datok’s car had to be left there, unable to get through the river because it was flooded. Finally, we only brought our backpacks, we stored other things in Pak Datok’s car. The next day we took it.

When she arrived at the riverbank to pick us up, it turned out that Bu Datok was already there with a beautiful smile on her face. After passing through the river with Getek, we walked to Bu Datok’s house. Bu Datok welcomed us warmly, even though this was the first time meeting each other, it seemed as if she had not seen each other for a long time. We were served delicious food which was prepared in advance. After dinner, we took a break.

The days I spent here. A different village atmosphere with a warm welcome from the community felt like a return to my hometown. Very comfortable. I didn’t hesitate to say hello, made friends, asked how I am, and even asked many things. The public response was so warm. Their enthusiasm when telling stories about the village, the economy in the village, the condition of the community made me discover a lot of knowledge and experience.



The children in this village had a great enthusiasm for learning. I saw their struggle when they went to school on foot and then crossed the river with glee, it was truly extraordinary. Such long trips often make them late for school. If the tide is high, getek can’t cross the river, if it’s like that they have to go home and not go to school. And so on. I was touched and stunned to see that. Makes me remember that my struggles at school were not that difficult. Sometimes we need to go a step further than just eliminating overly saturated thoughts. But to realize and be grateful that Allah has presented the chronology of life according to what we need. We learned a lot from the universe that in all corners of the world there are places for us to share our care, compassion and lessons. Furthermore, so that we realize that learning is not only in a formal place. It feels like learning directly from those who have experience driving the path of life will make us closer to God. I got it right here at Baling Karang. I felt happy here. When my time run out, then I did not want to go home alone. I wanted to be accompanied by a myriad of backpacks of knowledge and experience to meet God.

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