OASEksplorasi Journal – Day 1

We’re back at it again

A few months ago, we held an event called OFest for funding our next OASEksplorasi trip. It was a success, and we discussed where to go for our trip. The ending result was in Pulau Harapan. The other two choices that lost were Pulau Pramuka and Pulau Untung Jawa. Pulau Pramuka is already far, and Pulau Harapan is almost twice the distance.

We had to bring specific items in our bags according to our output. Others’ output were mostly making documentary videos and photos, while a few did drawings and books. My output was making a half-infobook half-sketchbook kind of thing.

The day I took off from home, we went to a rather confusing labyrinth of a harbour. The harbour was Sunda Kelapa Harbour, and there were a lot of roads where you could easily get lost. GPS helped a bit, but it led us to roads that were blocked off.

But fortunately, Om Iyek appeared and we followed him all the way until we found Sabuk Nusantara 66 passenger ship at the edge of the harbour. There were also other ships that aren’t currently available docked on the pier. Apparently, I forgot my refill for my mechanical pencil, so my sister borrowed me her refills.

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We waited inside the air-conditioned boat until 8 AM, and that’s when the boat finally moves and takes off. The interior was pretty spacious. There was a snack bar (which also happens to be the place where you buy your tickets) and a musholla which was tilted to about 15 degrees and had 2 air conditioners for a small room, which makes it freezing inside.

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Go downstairs and you will find the sleeping quarters where you can sleep on the bunk beds. It’s also perfect for The Floor Is Lava due to the bunk beds’ arrangements and the metal pillars. Go outside, and you will be able to go up on the front deck to look ahead to the sea.

After about an hour, the ship stopped for a little while in Untung Jawa island. After a bit, we crossed a partition between the clean water and the dirty water of the sea. In my trip a while ago to Pulau Pari, I saw it clearly, but this time, none of us were lucky enough to see it because we were playing while in the sleeping quarters.

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After about two more hours, we arrived at Pulau Pramuka and stopped for a while. On the pier, you can VERY clearly see hundreds of fish swimming around under the bridges due to the crystal-clear water. I say crystal-clear because a crystal would eventually become foggier as it gets thicker. Yeah, the sea was very blue, but it was clear enough that I could spot a tiny amount of sea sponges on the seafloor. I was pretty excited looking at the water, just because it was that good.

After an hour and a half or so, we finally arrived in Pulau Harapan. Well, to be more exact, Pulau Kelapa harbour. It had clear water, and we could also see as many fish as when I saw it in Pulau Pramuka. This got me all excited, and I’m sure it got most of my friends excited, too.

The real dissapointment came when we got nearer and nearer to Pulau Harapan. On the bridge, we could see the water was becoming less and less clean until the point it was just ew. Sure, you could still kind of see through it, but it’s brown and worst of all, it smells.

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We were very tired of carrying our huge backpacks to all the way from the harbour to the middle of the island so there was a surprise when we went to a building where we were served juice and snacks. After we were done, we went to the national park office where we were divided into our own houses. My group (Alevko, Kaysan, Vyel and me) arrived in the homestay we’re going to stay in for the next few days, owned by Pak Askar and his wife, which (THANK GOD) had air conditioner.

We then had a meet-up with our friends and explored around the edges of the island where we came across a pool of trash with water so dirty it was impossible to see the base of the 10-centimeter-deep waterhole. When I stopped for sketching something, the group left me and Vyel behind. It would have been no-problemo if it was a straight road, but apparently we had to get lost at a 3-way crossroad.

Then, we stayed silent to see if we can hear anything. We heard sounds of our friends, but we didn’t know which way it came from, so we asked a person on the front of their house if a bunch of kids went right. Turns out they did go onto the road on the right, so we met up with them again.

We came across this tiny bridge made up of only 2 bamboo sticks. Under the bridge was dirty brownish-green water. It would have been fine if it was clean, blue, ocean water since we could just change clothes at each of our houses, but this was sewer and garbage water. Everybody tried all they could to not fall while on the bridge. Most of the small, skinny ones had no problem (Aza was a particularly nimble one when he crossed the bridge in under 5 seconds) but the bigger ones like Adiva and Ratri had some trouble crossing the bridge, but we all made it in the end.

After we crossed the bridge, we ate some street snacks like cimol, cilung and lekker. I bought an egg roll on a stick just for remembering the old days when I was still in school and 4 sticks costed about Rp2000, but here it costed Rp4000 for 2 sticks. It even came with the sweet chilli sauce!

After all of us went home, my housegroup had an awkward dinner. We weren’t very familiar with the Pak Askar’s wife so she just brought tomato sauce mackerel with *something else* (I forgot what it was) to our house. We all ate the fish, except Kaysan. See, he doesn’t really eat fish, so he ate the *something else* and left out the fish.

When we were done, she took back the plates and the remaining mackerel and she said “Oh, nggak suka ikan ya?”. From that day Kaysan will eat whatever fish is served. That night also, we told stories of bad times. And I mean really bad times. A lot of stories involved toilets and cockroaches, but it’s secret.

The mentor then came to our houses and evaluated our daily journal and let us call our parents. My mum, being a mentor, didn’t need to be called since all the mentors live an actual block away from our house. I called my dad instead, but he was driving, so that’s that.

We had more talks of unlucky stories and went to have a good sleep. We were supposed to have 2 people in each rooms, but Alevko joined in the air-conditioned room, leaving Kaysan alone in the other room. He seemed pretty happy about the situation though, because he could sleep in any position he wants.

That’s the end of day 1 in OASEksplorasi, see you in day 2!

Journal Day 2 can be found here: Journal Day 2

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