Tick-tock. Time flies. My fingers have been numb for a long time. They usually dance on white alphabets of a Lenovo laptop every week or every other week, but for about four months they have been locked from playing with words. Not completely, they are still playing for reporting Urban Nomadizing or doing the “acronyms” – EE, IA, WA, etc. The victims are not only my fingers, but also my brain. My brain has been lost, missing the way to express itself. My brain wants to release the emotions. Letting the ideas fly roaming the air. And now, is the time for coming back.
It has been roughly 2 months since the school began. Even today is already the first host family weekend and Fall Break is coming in a week. But let’s take a step back before the school began because many things were happening, including Urban Nomadizing. For those of you who don’t know what it is, Urban Nomadizing is the name of a project of me going back from Indonesia to Germany without using airplanes. The whole thing can be found later in the blog once I update it (some parts are already there, including pictures).
But for now, let me just focus on one thing, something happening before all of the above: my stay in Indonesia. Perhaps, from the previous post, you can get a sense how it was: hot, humid, friendly, short, yet intense. My summer break was actually from May 28th to August 20th, but since it also consists of my journey and attending a summer university, I only had almost 6 weeks in Indonesia.
In the first week, what I basically do was just balancing between meeting my old friends and organizing the mangrove tree planting project. Before going back to Indonesia, I ran a small donation in UWC RBC for a mangrove tree planting in Indonesia. Muara Gembong, a coastal area just three hours away from my city, is hardly damaged by erosion due to a positive feedback of mangrove deforestation. This also causes many houses to be flooded all year round and even more, a habitat loss for Javanese langur. One possibility to help is simply by planting more mangroves there to give more protection and that’s why I was doing it.
After the first week, it was already Ramadhan – a month in Islamic lunar year where Muslims are fasting every day from sunrise to sunset. One of the nice things in Ramadhan is that people often gather together in the evening to break their fasting together, from families, organizations, to school reunions. This means, we have it all the time. I consider this as an easy opportunity to catch up with old friends in Indonesia rather than meeting one-by-one. It is always fascinating to see how people change when they are growing up.
In between, most of the work I did was a balance of my Extended Essay and the preparation for Urban Nomadizing (tickets & visa). This part of summer break might seem boring, but my stay was actually powerful. I have been constructing my perspective towards things in a rather liberal environment in UWC, without actually encountering the real-life situation in the society, especially the society of my origin. Let’s take my stance towards environmental issues as an example.
Being sustainable in UWC bubble is easy. We don’t need to worry about the meal option and transportation at all, as the environmental-friendly options are available. But the attempt back home is a different story. In term of food, literally no one in my surrounding is vegetarian and as in other cultures, there is barely vegetarian option available in the market. Luckily, my mom is very supportive towards this, so there is always vegetarian option on our table. The same was with transportation. Sadly, public transportation seemed to be an option only for economically poor people while using motor bike is so much more time and energy efficient, and even can be cheaper than public transportation, due to uncontrolled usage of personal vehicles.
After all, everything comes to an end, including my summer break in Indonesia. I had to take myself back from being comfortable at home and get ready for another home. I wasn’t going right away to anywhere though, but Urban Nomadizing. However, if I think about it, Urban Nomadizing makes road my home as well, so where is my home?