Monday, 25 February 2008

Wednesday, 27 Feb 2008

Hi Guys!!

I know that all of you want to do something different for your training.. so.. I suggested to K' Indra to do something different next Wednesday (if you think it's OK..)

We're organising a trip to have a look at several community projects in Cipete Utara area. The projects are:
1. Family Medicine Garden (taman obat keluarga)
2. Family Health Centre (posyandu) and,
3. Rubbish Separation Program (pemisahan dan pengolahan sampah rumah tangga).

All of these programs are run and managed by the local family welfare social group (PKK).

Don't worry about lunch and snack, because we will have it ready for you when you arrive. Just remember to come on time, so that the food will be warm when you have them.

We can also do some camping techniques if the weather permits. You don't need to bring any equipment. We will use K' Indra's and mine.

For your information (and your parents), here is the address of the site:

Lapangan Villa Sawo
Jl. Sawo, Cipete Utara
Kebayoran Baru, Jakarta Selatan

Your parents/drivers will be able to come and park the cars conveniently if they would like to come to see you or pick you up.

Should your parents need to contact me, here are my address and phone numbers that they can contact me at:

Indria Ekawati Hutapea (Indri)
Jl. Damai 2 no. 4, Cipete Utara
Kebayoran Baru, Jakarta Selatan

Telp. 021-724 6580
or 021-6857 6553 (flexi)
or 0818 48 7712 (pro-xl)

K' Indra and myself really hope that this can be a very good opportunity for you to have a good feel of doing activities in real social environment and experience a great teamwork, although for a really short period of time.

So... I guess, I'll see you all on Wednesday.. :-)

My First Hike & The Fear of Height

People say that when we do outdoor activities, we can learn more about ourselves and people around us. To certain extent, I believe it is true, as some of my experience proved it.

When we do outdoor activities, we often come across situations that are different from situations we face in our normal day-to-day routines at home or workplace. During these different situations, we will most likely react according to our natural instict, since we are not trained to react towards them. This is how we can learn further about ourselves and others around us.

I joined the scouts & guides when I was 6 years old as a brownie. As a brownie, I was taught survival skills one thing at a time. I went on short-term camps and other things, until I was 12.

I went on my first hike when I was 13. The whole group consisted of 10 patrols (5 boy patrols and 5 girl patrols), each patrol consisted of 6-10 members. We camped in a real mountainside for three days. On the second day, we were scheduled to do a 4-hour hike. My patrol was the second girl patrol to leave the camp site (the order was girls-boys-girls-boys, and so on). There were 6 of us in my patrol and I was second-in-command so I walked last.

Since we left the camp, I was shaking the whole way. I felt that everything around me spinned around every time I had to walk a down-sloping land or rock. The boy patrol behind us finally went passed us and so did the girl patrol behind them.

Every time we reached a post, where we had to do a skill test, I always felt very happy because I could breathe freely. We successfully completed the tests in the first and second posts, which were first aid and ties and knots.

When we left the second post, we tried to move faster in order to catch up with our overall time. At the same time, the path that we walked on was getting smaller and smaller, until at a certain spot, we had to place our feet one after another because there was no space for them to be side by side at all..

At first, the focus on the speed got me occupied and I managed to get over most of my fear, although I still wasn’t walking as fast as my friends. However, after seeing the down-sloping cliff underneath my feet for a while, I started to shake again and this time it was really bad because the pathway was slippery from the mud and wet grass.

I could feel my steps were not grasping the ground very well and I slipped a few times. My friends would wait for me everytime they could find a spot where they could stand comfortably but, it wasn’t something that was easy to do in such ground.

Then, it happened when we almost reached the 3rd post..

We were pacing ourselves to the post when we could hear others talking and we knew that the post was near. Right then, I was trying to focus on the speed and staying steady. I could hear the next boy patrol approaching behind me and I didn’t want them to go pass us because I couldn’t find anywhere to stand while they walk pass me. For a while, I managed to keep my pace and walk steady enough to stay with my patrol but suddenly, I realised that I was sliding down the cliff!

Instantly, I reached for the small tree that grew on the edge of the pathway, but the tree was actually farther than I thought. Then, I reached the closest thing I could see, the wild weeds. The action was useless though.. the weeds were pulled by my weight and went with me..

Right there and then I thought, that would be the end of me!

Then, all in a sudden I heard a voice, “Quick! Throw your sticks!”

After that I heard another voice, “Reach! Quick! Right above you!”

I don’t remember whether my eyes saw it first or my hands caught it first. The boy patrol behind me caught up with me at the perfect second. They crossed their bamboo walking stick right above me, and I caught the sticks right where they made the cross.

Then the boys pulled me up to the pathway. There I saw that the exact spot where I slipped was a piece of broken path, where it was impossible to position my feet well and I didn’t see it.

At that time, I also realised that the boy patrol who rescued me was the senior patrol (grade 8) and some of them were my friends’ brothers, whom I knew quite well. They decided to walk with me to the 3rd post, and talked to the teachers and rangers supervising the post.

My friends had informed the teachers and rangers in 1st and 2nd posts that I wasn’t feeling very well, but as the hike was the first time for all of us, we really wanted to do it as a team. Despite my condition, I kept saying to myself and my friends in my patrol that I would keep going with them as long as they would have me.

After receiving the report from the grade 8 boy patrol, the teachers and rangers suggested me to stay behind and go back to the campsite with them. This time, I decided to take the wise suggestion. I imagine that the path could get worst as we move up the mountain and things could be worse if we were in trouble and nobody was nearby. I didn’t want to get hurt and I certainly didn’t want any of my friends to get hurt trying to help me.

I stayed with my patrol at the post to take the skill test, which was a treasure hunt, and then waved goodbye as they left to finish the hike.

After that, I followed the rangers on a different route heading back to the campsite. Along the way, the rangers taught me hiking skills, so that I could handle various kinds of grounds with safety.

Finally, I reached the campsite. Another member of my patrol, Diah, greeted me. She didn’t go with us on the hike because she got her parents’ permission for the camp but not the hike. Not long after, some of the patrols arrived too. Then, we waited and waited for the rest of our patrol to arrive, but there was still no sign of them.

My patrol arrived last and quite a while after the one arriving before them. They looked exhausted and shaken. At that time, we had boiled some water to prepare hot drink and instant noodles.

I asked them what happened and they were in tears..

Ditta told the story in shaky voice, “We were walking at a rough spot, where we couldn’t really stay close to each other much. Suddenly, Lulu fell off like you did. I saw her falling and ran to her to reach her while calling the others at the same time. I did reach Lulu, but since she is bigger than me, instead of halting her fall, I ended up falling with her. After that, Farah tried to pull us up, but she could barely hold us both by herself, and almost fell too. At last, Ade arrived at the spot and managed to pull all of us back up to the path.”

They showed me their arms that were full of scratches. Their clothes were also very dirty with mud. We quickly brought them the drink and noodles which they accepted gladly.

After a while we finally could talk normallyagain. We agreed that all of us wished that in everything that happened we were together as we planned before we went on the camp.

On the other hand, we felt that we had made a wise decision to let the friends that weren’t in the best condition to head back early. By making the decision, apart from avoiding worse scenario, we were glad that the two of us at the campsite managed to prepare dinner and clean up the tent for the rest of us that night.

That hike made me aware that I was afraid of height. It also made me learn that it is human’s instict to save others, whether we know how or not.

Our every day routines might make us competitive against other human beings in studies or at work. It is the life we know and are trained to live as our ‘default’. However, when we are away from all of it, we can see that there is another side of human being that doesn’t come out often because it is often not needed in our ‘default’ lives. It is the need to be together and help each other. I really believe it, and I believe that many others do too.

Google Search