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NEW FAMILY (again)

Patrya Pratama 30 November 2010
Another twists and turns. My second week in Labuangkalo was marked by my moving into another hostfamily. I moved out from Pak Wahyu’s house to Pak Haji Taming’s. This is the second time I change hostfamily after previously I moved out from Pak Kades’ house to Pak Wahyu. If moving out from Pak Kades was driven more of a social reason (and also because Pak Kades’ house does not have separated room for me), now moving out from Pak Wahyu was more of a long term reason. Indonesia Mengajar opines that by staying in a normal family, I will have better opportunity to learn from the society and maintain my relationship long after I leave Labuangkalo. I have to say that staying at Pak Wahyu was like a short course on how to be a real man. I fished, I cooked, I washed everything myself, I shop,,,pretty much everything people do to stay alive each day. Pak Wahyu had been a good mentor, especially in getting ideas of how Labuangkalo is more or less. I never felt lonely even a bit during my stay at Pak Wahyu. The man got thousands of stories to share with me. I feel bad because sometimes I fell asleep when he was telling me stories. His personal life was quite adventorous. He seems to finally find someone to tell those stories when he met me. He, I think, was actually quite dissapointed about my leaving. Living at Pak Haji Taming’s, on the other hand, is quite different to living at Pak Wahyu’s. Pak Haji Taming is the richest man of the village. His house is pretty big, bigger than my Bogor house. I remembered when I arrived for the first time at Labuangkalo, I said to my friend that I wish I could stay at that big green house (Pak Taming’s), well next time I should be carefull with what I wish. He gives me separate room for myself, whose size is bigger than my Bogor’s house. Pak Haji Taming has a good reputation not only among Labuangkalos but also among other villagers because a lot of the fishermen sell their catches to Pak Haji while Pak Haji supports them with their daily needs and fishing equipments. I was, again, a bit irritated when people think that I should be ok and happy by moving into Pak Haji Taming’s house automatically. It can’t be any more shallow than that. It has been another late adjustment again for me. Wealth only plays its function to an extent. The family is definetely not the warmest kind. Family time is very limited because everyone seems to be always busy with their business. Pak Haji is always busy working at his office, managing his fishermen and making sure they get their work done. Bu Isa (his youngest daughter) is busy with taking care of his warung, along with his husband (Pak Haji Adi) who often goes back and forth to Grogot or Lori. Practically my best friends during my stay at Pak Haji Taming’s are Dika and Nugi (Bu Isa and Pak Haji Adi’s sons) as well as their friends. Dika is in Grade 2 whereas Nugi is in Grade 5. The kids are adorable. They teach me Bugis and I teach them English. I use flashcard to memorize words where english is on one side and Bugis/bajau on the other. I teach them Solat and Wudhu. I can even open my own school at Pak Haji Taming’s frontyard (3x6 meters). When i was cought with alergy all over my body, some of the kids even gave me free massage, haha... Life is indeed a rolercoaster. God seems to want me to understand the world from both side of the world and teach me to see well-beyond the material aspects. I understand Labuangkalo that is harsh to its immigrant where making our way up is such an uphill task. And now i’m trying to understand Labuangkalo from a family that has gone through the trenches and is already “up there”. I don’t see this hostfamily changing as “moving into the better”, it is just giving me another thing to understand the village from the other perspectives.

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