LontArt studio, Desa Nggorang

November 26th, 2017

In the morning I had a call from Mart Sakeus, He is an Artist, we’re from the same Art Institute in Yogyakarta, Central Java. He asked me if I can come to his studio and share my time with children, of course I love to come and share, so I ride my bike and it’s about half an hour  from Labuan Bajo

Arrived at Nggorang, LontArt Studio, Some children already there with Mart and Boe too, so I grabbed scissors and paper start to make a paper butterfly and taught children how to. They really surprised to what I’ve done, just a simple things but made them happy. I asked them to draw a line and put color on their paper butterfly, we show and take pictures,

Thank you Mart Sakeus and Boe Berkelana for bridging myself to the kids in Nggorang, I love to see one of you become a great artist and wish Nggorang to be one of a nice art spot in Labuan Bajo region.

Advertisements

Sekolah Dasar Negeri Nanga Boleng

November 25th , 2017

Around 10am I went to Rumah Kreasi Baku Peduli (The Creative House of Care) and 7 young volunteer are ready to serve others to SDN Nanga Boleng which their school are broken, damaged and depraved , the roof dissapear by a strong wind couple of days ago. We rent a pick-up car with driver, the volunteer grab their guitar, bass, cajon and amps and also generator because there’s no hydro in the area.

Books, pencil, crayon and eraser are packed and ready to go, we get there about 2 hours but it’s not an easy way to get to the location. The road condition are beyond my imagination, close to the area, there’s no road but a mud path some covered with grass, some just rocks and muddy. About 500 meter from the school, we had a car problem, the slippery mud made the car can’t move, sliding and stay.

From distance the principal ride his motorcycle with students running behind coming to the car, They tried to help with their bare hand, find something to stop the mud and finally they found a rope and all of us pulled the car and yeeeahhh we did it. Every body happy and the children with the warmth smile welcoming our team.                       Principal and teachers prepared the event, they provide us with coffee and kompyang (Manggaraian small round bread with sesame on top) and bananas too. While team preparing the sound system, we chit chat and talked about the damaged school a week ago, how things are gone bad and children had to study under the tree with nothing to sit but sands and a drift wood.

I checked their classroom and my jaw dropped, speechless.. How come in the year of 2017 a classroom in this area, only about 2 hours from Labuan Bajo and the condition is the classroom with no floor just sands, the bench and desk are broken, the smashed bamboo wall with big hole on it, just a small classroom maybe about 2,5x3meter each class. And 5 classroom in total.

img_2328

Across the classroom they built their office for principal and teachers, it’s safe because they built with pressed brick. Our team played and had some quiz for the students, the students got their books, pencil, crayon and eraser and some small toys for the winner. The Principal and teachers get their special treats from the team and also we paly some songs and sing together with teachers and the students

I had chance to introduce myself to the children and some of the thought I am tourist. I explained why I am here, and how happy and sad I am to be here to see them and their school, hoping I can continue to share my mission Ride for Others to my friend.

Nanga Boleng… The Fisherman’s Village, Wish to see one of your boys stand for your village, wish one of them success and lead the village to become a better place to live.

Kampung Naga, Sano Nggoang

November 22nd , 2017

Boe Berkelana asked me to spend time with community at Kampung Naga, desa Sano Nggoang, Flores. So we ride a motorcycle and carried donations for children. We start from Labuan Bajo around 10am and stop by at Mart Sakeus’s small gallery at Nggorang. The way to kampung Naga is not that easy, from Trans Flores road we turn right via Desa Waemata and a bad road begin… pot holes here and there, my new NMax was jumped here and there, some bad road with rocks, some no asphalt just rocks and mud, some just muddy and we continue to the end of the road where a new bridge will build this year.

Boe go first with his Yamaha Mio crossed the river with rocks at the bottom and it’s about 30cm deep, After Boe crossed the river, then my turn… what an experience. Maybe I am the first biker who brought a brand new NMax in Manggarai who use it as an off road vehicle. After 4 hours riding, finally we arrived safe at Kampung Naga, desa Sano Nggoang. Afternoon finally we met Boe’s mom and dad also his relatives and childrens in the neighborhood. They’re so kind and friendly, some children are shy and hiding behind the bamboo wall. Coffee is number 1 social media in Manggarai, anytime, anywhere you go, coffee and cloves cigarettes are there with you. If you invited to someone’s house, first you have to do is node, smile, sit and then give your hand, shake and wait for a while and they will say “Sudah disini” (now you’re here)… and you reply “Iyoo” (yess…) with the smiling face and put their chin up… While they asked where you’re from, do you speaks Indonesian etc, the wife or sometime daughter busy in the kitchen preparing coffee and banana or steamed cassava or cookies or whatever they have depend on where they live and what they have in the area. And the conversations roll together with smokes in the living room.

The village houses mostly simple, foundation from mortar and stones, some part are smashed bamboo and wood, the roof they use unfinished tin roof. You can notice some of them are worn out and rusty. The door and windows usually from piece of wood, no glass in this village. The cement floor and no ceiling, barely you can observe the construction. The living room is the room where you entrance the house, open space, no furniture but a traditional wild grass mattress (tikar) and at the same room there’s a simple wooden bed with mosquito net. Inside the there’s no more door, but a curtain another room for sleep, with mattress on the floor and there’s kitchen with no stove but a stone and dried wood for cooking, beside the stove, there’s a plastic buckets for water and wash the dishes. The washroom are outside, beside the house, a smashed bamboo wall and tin roof, you need to hold and drag the door, made from bamboo frame and plastic bag. The water they collect from the dwell in the area, not too clean but ok.  People have their own land, and some of them own hectares of candlenut trees, coffee, banana or use for the rice field.

Kampung Naga don’t have their own market, they have to go to other village which open once a week for them to buy sugar, kerosene or salty fish for the meal. There’s some small warung (simple shop) for them to buy cigarettes or soap and cookies. Meal is also simple in Kampung Naga, almost everyday they cook young Moringa leaves, rice and sometime with salty fish. If you’re lucky sometime people go for deer hunting and they only serve for a special occasion… I am the lucky one to have the deer meat while I am among them in the Prayers Community to give thanks to the Creator in Moslem way.

The village own 1 Mosque and 1 Church built in 1960’s as a Thank you by a German Pastor who bought lumber from the village. 1 Moslem elementary school and 1 Chatolic elementary and junior high school.

The road is unfinished; rocks, sand and mud , so it will be difficult for people to go in and out of the village, only few had a motorcycle. If people want to go to other place they have to walk distance, hours or if they lucky there’s a truck back and forth for the bridge project, they can ask to go with them.

Boe and I brought the donations for the children and community, tooth brush, soap, shampoo, books, pencil, crayon and some toys. Afternoon Boe asked children to come over and gather at his Taman Baca Lalong Beo construction site. The unfinished floor and wall but tin roof and pillars.

Boe introduced myself to the community, men, women and children they’re seem so happy to meet someone from far, I don’t see teenager or young adult, they work and study in Labuan Bajo or even to Sumbawa, Bima or Makassar. Boe had a quiz for the children to answer and they’re excited… most of them get their book, pencil and drawing book, some of them get their soap, shampoo and tooth brush and tooth paste, and I heard from Boe the next day kids are smells good because they washed their hair early in the morning…. I am happy to hear that. There’s a strong connection between Naga people and Bima, Makassar. They said their ancestor are coming from Minangkabau, Nias in Sumatra and fled to Sumbawa and end up in Kampung Naga with no obvious art left. I can’t find any art objects in the area, not even 1.

I tried to find a way to catch the kids attention while I sat in the unfinished Boe’s reading park (Taman Baca) and finally I found a stick for carpenter use it for construction, made from strong wood. 3 kids beside me and I started to hit the stick and made some noise, the kids start to follow and in a few minutes 8 children surround me and happy playing sticks and sing. They sang Indonesian and Manggaraian songs too till evening comes, we stop and I promise to play with them again tomorrow. Morning mist covered the village, I Grateful, feel peace and content, happy and proud to myself to what I’ve done so far, I ride for others became reality.

Daytime Boe and I went to Moslem school where the principal waiting and the children too, all children at school gather at 1 classroom, they’re so excited and happy.

I had a chance to share my Canadian experience with them, about the 4 seasons, transportations, specially winter time are the hot topic of the day. Share ABC spelling and some other simple English word, 2 hours gone so fast and I have to say good bye to principal, teachers and the children… all the children are out of the classroom and follow Boe and myself to the gate… see you again beautiful children, wish to see you again someday and wish someday one of you become a leader and do great things for your Kampung Naga

In the afternoon Boe and I walked and had a chance to observe the Catholic School and saw the progress of their chemist laboratory and Senior High school. On the way back to the house, we stop at GrandMa who kept Boe’s book while the Taman Baca to be build, She’s a happy person, she said she use to play Ukulele while she was young and joined the musical troop at the small theater from village to village. To spent her day, she made a wild grass Mattress by her own hand and so she can sell and support herself. Today she had 1 mango and gave it to Boe and I, we had a fresh mango and conversations.

Back to the house, there’s some children waiting and they want to play and sing again, so I asked them to grab the sticks and made some noise with a wooden bench. They’re happy, I am happy, the parents happy.. Thank God for your Blessings for us at Kampung Naga.

Thank you for giving me a chance to serve others.

November 21st , 2017

In the morning Jimmy Adhora, Mart Sakeus, Boe Berkelana and myself ready to deliver donations to Binongko, House for difable, we ride a motorcycle to Binongko and 2 big hearted Nuns with her open hand received us and told us stories about this difable house. Hope my mission not end only this time, but continue, whoever want to do the same thing, help and serve others, they can use my logo; RIDE FOR OTHERS

In the afternoon. Boe Berkelana took me to Rumah Tenun Baku Peduli at Nggorang, own and run by LSM (Lembaga Swadaya Masyarakat) They have a small gallery with traditional handwoven manggaraian ikat, local coffee product, gula aren (brown sugar from Aren tree) brown rice and Sorgum; a manggarai specific plant like rice.

We had a great conversations with guys who served coffee, tourist with his either driver with a little English language knowledge, group of Ruteng guys, just back from seminar.

Flores, hospitality and a welcome mud

Close to Labuan Bajo port I found my cell phone doesn’t work… I thought it’s a network problem. I use XL provider and finally around 11:30pm I touched down Labuan Bajo port, Flores east coast. Once again I try to use my cell, but then again no service sign on my phone. I decided to have my dinner and went to the same warung from 2 years ago. The warung seller still recognized, while eating I told him about my no service phone and he said there’s no XL tower here in Flores so it’s useless.

Had my dinner and there’s a friendly guy from Banyuwangi, East Java, his name is Jack Setiadji, a ferry mechanic… so we talked in Javanese language and I explain about my phone and I am thinking of just go and find my friend Marta Tuslin, a Dive Instructor at Wicked Diving Company in Labuan Bajo. This guy said OK I will accompany you to find Marta’s. so he took me to Wicked Diving office and for sure no one answer his knocking door and shout at Marta’s name.. it’s midnight already. I told him it’s better for me to find a cheap place to stay just for tonight. He show me the small hostel but a bit pricey, the hostel asked me Rp 300.000,- per night (approx.. CAD$30). Jack Setiadji said just come and stay at my house… , first I am not so sure because I don’t want to bother him and his family but this is Flores hospitality… they offered what they can offer with no pretend, it’s pure from the heart. I follow him to his house and he prepare a mattress and pillow and I fall asleep.

Monday November 20th , 2017                                                                                                Morning conversation and share stories with him, his wife and 2 kids made me comfortable and relax after a long ride and tired in the ferry. It’s raining hard in Labuan Bajo. At 9 Jack have to go to work and the sky was clear but because the road where Jack live is a temporary road, so it’s rocks, muddy and slippery. While Jack lead the way to go, I followed and I can’t control the mud on my NMax… the Love of the Mud is Happened, I fell off the muddy and wet ground. Not bad, just scratched my elbow and swollen from hitting the rocks, so we continue to ride. Jack Setiadji go to the port, I am on my way to buy SIM Card for my phone.

Stopped at 2 small phone shop and sold out, the found 1 at phone shop close to the port. After my cell work, I sent information to my sister and closed friends, I went to Wicked Diving office which is not too far from the port.

Perfect timing, when I arrived at Wicked Diving office, Marta was outside on her way to get her breakfast… I honk and shout Hey Marta, she was surprised, didn’t believe I was there already. Big hug to Marta and we had breakfast at Bajo Bakery 2nd floor facing Labuan Bajo port.

In the afternoon, Marta and I spent chit chat and talk about many things from the ocean to the land, from plastic to the landfill, from ocean trash to art and the highlight of the conversation is the plastic waste and I gave her ideas of make an art object from plastic waste, something huge represent Labuan Bajo resources or culture. I will make a sketch for this dream. In the afternoon I had a chance to meet her son Avilla who love drawing, so I spent time drawing with Avilla

Afternoon I met Jimmy Adhora, he work at Flores Exotic Tours branch office in Labuan Bajo where I asked Leonardus Nyoman the owner to use his office as a donation pool house. In the office, boxes of donations and stuff I bought for children already there, thank you to my Bikers Brother Joko Seputro and his team in Surabaya who taking care of shipping to Labuan Bajo, Flores. So I asked Mart Sakeus, a Manggaraian Artist, Boe Berkelana an activist and volunteers from Rumah Kreasi Baku Peduli to come and help to sort the need for children such as books, pencil, crayon, sandals, shoes, toys, tooth brush, soap, shampoo and clothing.

 

Bali to Lombok, Sumbawa and Flores island

Day the journey to the East part of Indonesia beginI ride my bike Yamaha NMax, 155cc on November 17, 2017 at 10am from my mom’s house in Denpasar Bali with God’s permit and Mom’s blessingsDistance from Denpasar to Padang Bai Part is 43.7Km by Google and it took 1 hour 30minutes with modest traffic. Padang Bai is a small port of east Bali to Lombok island

One of my friends daughter married to Padang Bai’s Native and run a small guest house. They asked me to stay a night, the next day at 11am the ferry will take me to Lembar, Lombok island’s east coast port.

“Tirta Yoga Inn” at Jalan Silayukti Gang Tongkol, a nice place to stay.

The gentle Ganesha statue sitting at the entrance saying welcome… a nice place to stay and clean right beside the port of Padang Bai, I heard the ferry’s blown it’s horn.

The next day they had a ceremony in their family temple, yellow flowers, offerings and smell of incense comfort my heart and soul, realized I am in Bali. 11am I ride my bike to the port, just 2 minutes from the Inn, paid Rp 130.000,- about CAD$13 and queue at the Port’s gate, have a conversations with local passengers, with the sellers beside the gate.    I saw couples of tourist on motorcycle and also backpacker. I sat on ferry’s deck and talking to Switzerland’s young couple, they surprised when I explain the reason I ride my bike to Flores. It took 5 hours to reach Lembar, Lombok island east coast port. Around 4pm I touched down Lombok island and continue my ride to west coast, Kayangan port.

Rain so hard don’t make me stop and in an hour I arrived at Mataram, the capital of Lombok island, stop at small “warung” not resto but a food seller using their portable stove, tables and chairs for customer. Nasi goreng (fried rice) and hot lemon for my hungry stomach. My ride in Lombok island was nice, smooth and cool in the rain and after the rain, took me about 3 hours from Lembar port to Kayangan Port 95,2KmArrived at Kayangan Port around 7:30pm parked my bike in ferry to Pototano, Sumbawa island east coast port. It take 2,5 hours ferry from Kayangan port of West Lombok to Pototano port of East Sumbawa, paid Rp 55.000,- around CAD$6 for 1 person and motorcycle and at 9:30pm landed at Pototano port, Sumbawa east coast.

I take a rest at Pototano Indomaret (one of popular small shop in Indonesia) had my nasi goreng dinner which I bought in Mataram, then had coffee and snack. While take a rest I met group of young boys ride a mountain bike from Lombok, at the same ferry and they will have a short ride to town north of Pototano. I take half an hour nap and at 10pm I put my clear riding glass, my army wind resistant jacket and neck protector, continue my ride. Around midnight I am so sleepy, I decided to find a place to sleep and finally foun a small bamboo hut which usually people use it for a neighborhood watch (Pos Kamling, Pos Keamanan Lingkungan) grab my backpack as pillow and covered my face with neck protector from the wild mosquito

Woke up at 5;30am and start to ride… then I found a nice place to stop, stretching and had my snack, take pictures and sent to my closed friends… it’s beautiful here in Sumbawa island in the morning, sunrise, coconut trees, beaches and green hills.         Cows, horses, local dogs and monkeys are familiar in Sumbawa on the main road, found the poor dead dog in the street…

Stop at Bima to have my lunch, local sell Satay Kambing (Goat Satay). Distance Pototano port to Sape, west coast port of Sumbawa is around 12 hours, it’s a long ride today…

Finally I arrived at 4pm at Sape port, west coast of Sumbawa facing Labuan Bajo, east coast port of Flores island. Ferry from Sape will take about 6 hours to Labuan Bajo and I paid Rp 186.000,- or approximately CAD$19 for 1 person and motorcycle

Surprised from Friends, Bikers and Shipping matters

Words spreading from myself to closed friends and friends getting bigger and bigger Almost everyday I received text from friend said that they want to support the mission, despite their belief and religion, they willing to help and do something for others. Boxes of soap, books, pencil, crayon, stationary and clothing arrived at Joko Seputro and Doddy Devrian’s house and I found the shipping matters while I am in Yogyakarta

I repacked 6 boxes into 4, 1 boxes approx.. 50x60x60cm with 45kg in total. I went to the shipping company and asked for the quote, it made my jaw drop when they said it’s Rp 7,780.000 (Approx. CAD$775) I asked for a review and asked an option… finally they gave me a good price CAD$200 in total and it will take approx.. 3 week from Yogyakarta to Labuan Bajo

The shipping from Surabaya is another story. 12 boxes ready to go to Flores but I worried and think about how much money I have to pay.. it’s all beyond my expectation and my budget plan. Except for the art supplies and paint and brush for the wall and other equipments. Lucky.. when I spent time in Surabaya, at Joko Seputro’s house, theres a shipping company and they ship to Flores and Adonara. With friends help finally I got quotes for the stuff, they charge Rp 9000,-/Kg (Approx. CAD 0.90cents) But… the problem is heavy stuff in those 12 boxes, or maybe about 250Kg my estimate. Djoko Seputro willing to help because I have to go back to Bali and looking after the other donations at my Mom’s house

My Mom is 84 years old this year, she is curious about my mission, I explained my plan and she said I have something for children, hope they will like it. She is so creative, she do beading, made a keychain, Rosario or any other Handmade products, she provide a box full of her own handmade to support my mission, made my eyes warm. But I am proud of my Mom even if she’s not so well but she’s willing to support, to donate her creations for children in Flores and Adonara. I am proud of my Mom as I proud of Oma Winn Fisher, Oma Joan Walker and Oma Edith Karpetz who spent hours to make a Handmade Comfort Dolls for children in Flores and Adonara. Proud of Deborah Kennedy and proud of Kingsway Baptist Church Family for fully support.. proud of my Kids ayu and Arya and also proud of my friends and fellas

This is my first time ever to do my own mission in Indonesia with trial and error, hope I learn from it and do better next.