In Wondama

I am in Wondama. I have been here for twelve days. I am going back to Manokwari tomorrow. This is a nice little town, located in a Cendrawasih Bay or formerly known as Geelvink Bai in Dutch era. Pick any place across West Papua, they all offer beautiful scenery. This town too is beautiful. Here Wondiboi mountain sets a small community in a little paradise. Here Kijne, a Dutch evangelist, dedicated years of time to empower the indigenous Papuan and built schools. Here I found a special place to get some rest from the mundane. Because though I was sent here for work, I had time for my own. I really like it that I have time all by myself, mostly spent alone and quiet. 

I would go to my office with bike. I hope the way to the office is farther because I enjoyed bicycling, soaking up the fresh air and the feeling breeze. I don’t know bicycling could be so sedative and contemplative. I am in love with slowness of this town. Few weeks ago, I was caught in a rut as usual with work. And on the weekend, when I was working something on my MacBook, writing for a deadline, in despair, I stopped and sighed. I was thinking, what the hell I was doing. I gave a thought about my progress. I felt shameful. I think I am living a constant irrelevancy. I knew that I was supposed to built a life somewhere else now. Back in Wondama, inside a little dimly lit room, in a little time resting between chores, that same thought came knocking and haunted me. I love living in Manokwari, or being in Wondama, but I am supposed to be somewhere else.

I got a friend here named Hengki. He works with me here. I would go to beaches on the weekend with Hengki and his family. Last year, we cruised the shores around in a speedboat, spending a good time. We stopped at a waterfall and a concealed beach. Last week, I went to a beach in a region called Sobey with the family. As usual, I always got curious mosquitoes bites and I came back to my hotel with my hands and feet swelling in pain. But it didn’t really bother me. I have learned what medicine to take heal them. And I had a good time.

Today is Friday. And it happens to be a local holiday in West Papua. I could go back to Manokwari last day. But I didn’t. It’s nice to stay a little longer. I never thought I will like this place. Two years ago when I came here the first time, I said: I will never want to live here, even if one pays me with massive wealth. All I am gonna have and see is just coconut trees and bare sky. This place is way too far, distant and bare minimum. And I thought the slowness would tear me apart. But now I do think this is a very nice little town.

Every once a while, being faraway from what is familiar is good, seeking for silence and quietness. Be in the solitude until its silence knock you down to abrupt loneliness. I think It’s good to hear the voices in my head more in such solitude. And to intensively hear inner voice is to resolve oneself. I feel at comfort in all of this. Quietness, slowness. It’s a liberation from all that is mundane. And I wish I would back to Manokwari stronger and less lethargic. And maybe work my way out of this constant irrelevancy. I hope.

Pantai Wasior

Wondama, the Senggis


Mes vacances à Makassar et Yogyakarta


Il était décembre 30 2017. Je suis parti à Manokwari le matin. J’étais heureux parce que je suis parti pour les vacances. Mes parents sont allés me chercher à l’áeroport. Je ne suis pas rentré dans ma maison depuis le mois de Ramadan. Alors j’étais content de revoir mes parents. Quand je restais à Makassar, mon plus jeune frère est parti à Bandung. Il rendait visite mon aîné. Alors, je passais beacuoup de temps seulement avec mes parents. Makassar n’avait pas les plages belles comme Manokwari. Nous aimions aller au café.

En janvier 5 2018, le vendredi, je suis allé à Yogyakarta. Dans le premier jour, j’ai visité le musée d’Affandi et la rue Malioboro. Je pensais que Bandung est la plus belle ville d’Indonesié, mais  quand je suis arrivé à Yogyakarta, je l’ai reconsidéré. Pendant la nuit, je suis parti à Yogyakarta pour Kutoarjo avec mon ami qui est arrivé de Sampit, Centre de Kalimantan. Il était une petite ville à Purworejo. Mes autres quatre amis ont arrivés à Samedi. Le jour suivant, nous avons attendu d’un mariage de notre amis à Wonosari. Le mariage était paisible et joyeux. Dans la même jour, nous avons aussi visité le temple de Borobudur à Magelang. Il était le premier fois pour moi de le voir. Je pensais qu’il était magnifique! Mais il y faisait trés chaud. Suivant, nous somme rentrés à Yogyakarta.

IMG 0196


Je suis parti à Yogyakarta à mardi soir. Je suis resté dans ma maison pendant un jour. Je suis arrivé à Manokwari dans le janvier 10 2018. Il y avait un an je suis parti à Manokwari! Mes vacances étaient vraiment impressionnant. C’est une histoire gravée dans ma mémoire.




A Trip to Samalona Island

I was in Makassar for eight days. As I have mentioned, I had an assignment, which is attending a so-called workshop. Some friends of mine went to Makassar too. They come all from all the east Indonesia offices. Including Dika, a friend who now works at Wamena, Papua. You should check where and what is Wamena. It’s so faraway. I went to the same class with Dika in my first year at the college. At the last day of that assignment, Dika told me he has never been to a beach for years, since college. I really can’t resist myself from beach. I enjoyed my living in Manokwari where I can reach any beach easily and our beaches are also nice. And I have had trips in recent years to Derawan and Lombok (twice). So I have been to beaches and I have seen enough beaches. So, I had an idea for a trip.

I asked my family if we could go to an Island not faraway from Makassar. I and Abrar, my brother, aimed for Panambungan Island because it’s a nice Island, not so many people have been there. And I think the pier of the Island looks great. But my parents wished we could go to another Island. Panambungan was too far. It took an hour to reach Panambungan. On the way to the port, we had a discussion and it led to a consensus: we’re going to Samalona Island. Too bad, Aldy, my older brother, couldn’t join us because he had something else.

We took a boat to reach the island. The wind is nice. The waves are friendly. It’s been midday when we reached Samalona. It’s sunny and hot too. I wish I am writing this in Indonesian, because I want to write: kami berteduh di bawah semacam pondok dari bahan bambu. It’s rather hard to say it in English. Or I am just too lazy to think for appropriate words for that!

We waited until 3 PM until we finally took our snorkling kits. And finally Abrar, Dika, and I dived! My parents waited for us at the bamboo shack. I must say the view are just amazing. I never really use snorkeling kit before. I have tried it before in Derawan with my Depsos friends, but I found it very uncomfortable. I can’t manage make myself breath. So there in Samalona Island, that was the first time I really had the use of snorkeling kit. It’s wonderful to see what’s living underneath the sea water. I usually use swimming glasses. With this snorkling glass with breathing tube, I could stay longer underwater. That’s great. My mother enjoyed her feet on the beach sand. She talked to a fisherman who was trapping fishes on the beach. The fisherman got some colorful fishes. My mother decided to buy the fishes.

The boat driver came to us. He told us we need to leave. The waves could be not so friendly. So, we spend the last minutes for a quick diving and taking photos. Then, we’re in the boat again and left Samalona. That’s a nice trip. I really value this trip I shared with family and friend.

My bother Abrar with Makassar city behind as the background