Over The Hills and Far Away

Over the hillsMy trip to Pasuruan as a part of our rural studio in urban and regional planning department has just ended. Live in a ‘real’ village is such a good experience and leave us an unforgettable story. Had a discussion and chit-chat with the people, lost in amazement of the nature, ride among the gigantic trees in the forest, meal served in every single house we visit, and many more.

We left Malang for some mission and stayed in a quite big house. Our village named Palangsari, located near the Bromo. We were lived in the altitude from 800-1200 metres above sea level, so it was quite cold there. It was quite difficult to reach some places from where we stayed due to the very mountainous terrain and bad quality of the road. Some road are crossing the forest, so it was very thrilling experience, especially if we ride through it at night. No lightning except from the motorcycle, no people except us, and it was all dark surrounded by trees and canyon. It’s very different from a city, which we are mostly came from. From downtown Jakarta, to a middle of nowhere in Pasuruan.

We may ‘lost’ many entertainment when we spent a week there. But there is a thing that we won’t found when we go back to the city: their kindness. They know each other from one house to another, even if they are separated by a hill. Their bond is stronger than steel. Suddenly, we as a stranger for them came and do some discussions with them. There was no suspicion from them though it was our first meeting. They served us tea, coffee, and even meal for a lunch or dinner. We discussed many kind of things in our PRA (participatory rural appraisal), such as natural resources, their leader, their trouble, their potential, soil, and their local wisdom.

“Monggo pinarak” was a very common phrase we heard there. It’s a Javanese phrase means “please welcome”. I was doing a land use and commodities observation and coincidentally I was standing in front of a house. Their kindness is priceless. Most of them are Javanese speakers and lacking of ability in speaking Indonesian. Luckily, I still could understand what they were talking about even in krama language as both of my parents are Javanese speakers and Indonesian as well, yet I was born and raised in Jakarta.

All things done in the last day and we were heading back to Malang. Togetherness starts to turn into individuality and stars in the sky starts to turn into streetlights. See you in November.

Thepragive out. See you next time.

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