The Family I live with

Nisa Permatasari 11 Januari 2011
I’ve just realized that I haven’t introduced you to the family I live with here in Suatang.  It’s been 2 months and I think by now I alredy recognized the permanent member of the family. I live with a young family. The mother in the house, I call her Kak Rina. She’s  my age so obviously I can’t her Ibu. She teaches kindergarten right next to my school. We ride together every morning to school. The amusing part is that she’s a lot like me. She doesn’t  fancy cooking; my issue is more on the ability side while hers is more on the interest, but you know, it’s similar, we’re not into cooking.  Kak Rina doesn’t take things seriously, she simplifies. She’s quite easy going, but not necessarily outgoing.  It might be rather difficult to interact with her because on the 1st impression she seems like someone who could care less; she never asks me to involve in household activities, as that could probably be the sign of acceptance. But she actually means what she says. So she probably won’t help me in adjusting myself to be a part of the family or community but at least she doesn’t do basa-basi. If I want to go clean the house or wash the dishes or anything, I’ll just go do it. It all comes down to common sense and that’s how i feel accepted. We could watch TV together and not say a word but she could also randomly and excitedly showing me a video of a huge crocodile form her cellphone. She’s cool. I like her. Kak Rina’s son, Zaki, is 4 years old. He’s the most active creature in the house. He wants to be a motorbike racer. His favorite video to watch is, obviously, big car or motorbike racing. He never misses any big heavy vehicles driven down the road in front of the house. He calls them Bumde; it means big car in his language. This boy has strong attitude, maybe because he’s half Bugis. When he wants something, he wants it  quick. He throws, kicks, and scream loud when he’s angry. But he’s also loveable and cheerful when he’s being normal. So far i got him to say please and thanks whenever he wants something from me. It’s so cute because he would say it shyly as if those words are strange to him. It’s ok, he’ll get used to it. Aside from his attitude, he’s not that brave. He needs company going to the kitchen for some water. He totally avoided me when i was having bandage on my chin from motorbike accident. I kind of felt sad during that time. But we’re cool now. Kak Rina has 2 nieces, Risma (Kemoy or Moy as her nickname) and Riska (Teteh). They’ve lost their mom 2 years ago. Their house is actually 20m away from Kak Rina’s. But they never really live in that house since their mom passed away. Their dad works almost all day everyday so they spend the day at Kak Rina’s and sleep at their grandma’s, right next door. Moy is cute you’d love her. But when she’s crying, oh dear Lord! It goes forever i swear to God. The best way to deal with that is just to leave her alone. She could amazingly cry in a constant tone for the longest time. Only Kak Rina can stop her crying. Moy is 5 years old. Teteh is the smart one. She’s in 5th grade, 10 years old. She got the 1st rank last semester. She goes to my school. Zaki and Moy are taking so much attention from the people in the house. Even when her dad is home, he would spend a lot of his time comforting Moy so she could let him go back to work later in the night. I could sense that sometime the situation is just unfair to Teteh. Her being the oldest who needs to take care of her little sister, but again, she’s only 10, I could imagine that Teteh would also love some attention for herself. Maybe that’s why she can be very selfish and bossy sometime. But so far I’m amazed on how she’s holding up with the situation. She’s a good sister. Papanya Zaki, Kak Rina’s husband, works in a ship. So he goes away for 20 days and has a break for the next 20 days. I think he’s a bit older than Kak Rina, although I’m not sure. He’s a cheery person, definitely more outgoing than Kak Rina. He’s still as easygoing as Kak Rina though. When he’s home, he’s always cleaning or arranging the house. He’s the type who can’t sit still. He often asks me this and that, trying to get me involve in the family crowd. Kak Rina’s parents are living right next door. I call them Bapak and Ibu. Bapak owns some areas of Palm tree orchard. He goes taking care of it during the harvest time, that is twice a month. He also does some building works if any of the neighbor needs him. Ibu stays at home taking care of Moy and Teteh. Oh, Kak Rina’s family is native Paser, while her husband is Bugis. I’m doing well in learning Paser language. Moy and Teteh’s dad is addressed as Uwa, as he’s Sundanese. So Moy and Teteh are half Paser, half Sundanese. He has his own truck to load palm harvest to the big factory. He sometime works until midnight. This place is full of vast palm tree orchard. With the twice a month harvest time, Uwa is quite busy with his driving. Most of Kak Rina’s big family live here in the same village. There are many nieces and nephews coming to the house everyday during the evening. The usual group is Fajar (11 years old), Surya (4 years old), and Nayah (1 year old). I’m a babysitter, that’s my community development activity.  Just joking.

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