Friday, 20 March 2015

Cibeureum Waterfall

Some people (namely 'me'), was so ready to leave the past behind when making a big decision in life. It just happened that life is so unpredicted and ready to give more than we ask for.

Thirteen years ago, I was so sure that I had all the experience I wanted in life, and I wouldn't have any time missing my past as soon as I started my new life as a married woman. I thought that married-and-working life would be so busy for me, that I wouldn't have time to think back on my time as a girl guide in a tent on a mountain.. Moreover, I thought that after I had children, I wouldn't have the energy of physical ability to go hiking anymore.

How wrong I was!

True enough, a few times my friends were going hiking, I was busy with a sick child, family events or other commitments. Other times, I could have gone in an easy hike or camp, but the thought of leaving my children for a day was just too much for me.

Every time these things happen, I only smiled to myself, feeling happy that I have had the experience and I wasn't missing out on camp or hike thing. In a few years, it would be my sons' time to go on such adventures and I would be ready to share my stories with them, because I would be too old to go with them.

How silly I was..

Two years ago, in June, a friend of mine, planned a kids' camp. Her company often organised activities for children, and I was looking forward to joining her events. My eldest son wanted to join the camp. The location was quite far and the traffic from our house to the campsite was very bad, especially on weekend, which was the camp time. So, I asked to be provided an extra tent, because I didn't want to make a second trip just to pick up my son. It turned out that another mother was thinking the same. We decided to share a tent. Some of the other participants' parents were also staying on site. We talked until late that night, and found out that I wasn't the only one with 'mountain-girl' life as a past. Another mother was still actively taking her sons hiking.

Last year, in January, My husband planned a vacation, a week after the new year. We went to a beach (Pangandaran), 10 hours from home. We went by car, stopping overnight in a nextdoor city (Bandung), so we could have an early start the next morning. The beach had a boat adventure around the long-round beach, with a forest walk back to the hotel. I was so happy watching my children enjoying their walk in the forest reserve. I was also quite amazed at the fact that I didn't feel too old for the trip..

These two events made me thinking, that I can still have the life I used to have. Not only I can share my stories with my children, I can actually make new stories with them,,

Late last year, a few mothers at school were thinking about giving their children a 'real outdoor' experience. They approached the mother who was still actively taking her children hiking. She agreed to help and ask me to assist. Of course, I gladly said 'yes'!

Then, in February, it finally happened! Really happened!

During a late afternoon snack, we decided to do a survey, and the survey happened on the 14th February 2015.. Only the three mothers (who were talking late at night at the kids' camp) went.

My feet were killing me on the way home from the hike. Fortunately, the pain was all gone the next morning. It was really amazing that I was fine the next day and .. really happy..

After the survey, we decided to make the hike two weeks after, giving all participants enough time to prepare themselves. During this time, more and more participants joined in. We ended up looking at a little more than 90 people, about 40 children (ranging 8 to 16) and their parents. We had our 'shaky' moments, realising that this time, we were not only going by ourselves, but with more people than we expected.. However, all the mothers and fathers who were hoping for a great adventure with their children were happy with the fact that we were going outdoor together, so we finally calmed down and started feeling confident.

Finally, the time came, 28th February 2015. Destination was Cibeurerum Waterfall (Air terjun Cibeureum), on Gunung Gede (Gede Mount), West Java.

For me, it was the second hike that I was going with my family.. My husband was walking with my daughter. He was ready to walk back down, if Kyra felt tired, or if she preferred to play around the Dragon tunnel in the villa area. I was determined to hike with the boys.

Prior to the hike, I had asked my uncle who used to hike a lot, and my yougest sister, who loves outdoor as much as I do, and they both agreed to go on the hike. During the preparation after the survey, as the number of participants keep rising, I asked three of my scout friends to come, in case I needed any assistance. Two of them were able to come, which made me very happy.

Coming home from this hike, really changed my mind..

'Mountain-girls' do not have to give up their mountain life after getting married. Taking a break.. yes, absolutely! Getting the marriage in order, taking care of babies and toddler for the first time, take focus and priorities. However, once the children are older, they would be happy knowing that they can go hiking with their mothers.

And last but not least.. Having teenager children doesn't mean the 'old mountain-girls' are too old to go hiking.. It might mean slower pace and more photo takings, but not enough reason to bury the passion for hiking altogether..

The most amazing part of this particular hike was that I had a chance to go hiking with my sons, their friends, their friends' families, my uncle, my sister and my scout friends, all at once! Something that I never thought could possibly be done.. ever..

Life doesn't always give us what we want, but we should think about the times when it gives us more than we ask for, because we might not know it, but life certainly understands what we need..

Friends at the school
(their children are my son's classmates)
Aza (white jacket), my uncle (red t-shirt).
my sister (pink jacket) and Ariq (orange sleeves jacket)

My sister and I

My sons, my sister and me
Never thought I'd be going hiking again.. let alone going hiking with them..

Indra and wife
(My scout friend who took all the nice pictures on the hike)

Jalu and family
(My scout friend, who always gives moral support at all times and conditions)

Love the nature and care about other human beings.. Diligent, skillfull and happy..

See you on the next hike!

-20 March 2015-

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