Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Thoughts in jatitujuh

To say i have been a lazy blogger is an understatement. I love writing, but my inspiration for it has been diverted. I guess that's what happens when you take on a project of magnitude, whilst learning a language and a culture. To write in English, does not seem strange, it’s actually nice, like I’m talking to a friend back home for a bit. But it is a lot more effort, i forget words easily, I’m probably heaps shit at nice descriptions and my language techniques have jumped out the window like a cat escaping home for a nights prowl around its neighbourhood. 

Instead of writing a huge update on how well the building of Rumah Kreatif is going, (creative space jatitujuh) I am going to write reflections of my time here, maybe a 1 time per week update on different things im thinking about, go more with the mind flow. 

The coffee here is so sweet and false, but I’m addicted to it; it’s delicious in its powdered milk, creamy sweet, hot chocolate like-ness. They come in these tiny packet one servings, and you see them littered everywhere. If it’s not coffee packets i see thrown around the river beds, front of homes, street sides- its msg packets, mie goreng, ciggie butts, shampoo packets, and so on. The thing that is different about packaging here is money. If a person’s daily wage is low, and they are surviving day by day, and that person has a family, who need to eat- Do they buy a big 1 Litre bottle of shampoo that will last the week, and maybe in the end be a bit cheaper? maybe? no, they buy one packet for that days use, because it’s cheaper for that day. The problem does not stem down to the people here, yes obviously they have a choice; but I blame the rubbish troubles on the companies producing everything in such tiny packages.. And the extremely low wage work available in Indonesia, and mass amount of unemployment of the people living in rural or remote villages.

Rubbish is an interesting topic here. Now that I can speak more Indonesian, I enjoy having more cultural talks and learning about what Jatitujuh was like 20 years or so ago. Hearing that the river was so clean, the respect people had for it, the pebbles and big fish that you could see as you walked in for a wash. They drank from it. This doesn't mean that people are not still doing this, every afternoon and morning I see beautiful old women walking to the riverside to bathe naked in the waters, wash their clothes, clean their teeth and go to the toilet. I've talked to the younger people, the teenagers about this, and they say they are too shy to wash there, that only children wash in the river and the old women and men do it because it’s always been part of their daily routine. Another part of the daily routine is this daily rubbish dump, It is so AMAZING that a family can accumulate a big bag of rubbish, walk to the middle of the bridge, drop it in the river, and 5 minutes later it disappears, as if they never had the rubbish in the first place. 20 years ago this village was using banana leaves and teak wood leaves for all there packaging, to hold food, to eat off. They note to me that the dropping of leaves into the river was such a beautiful ritual compared to the plastic mass that they leave floating away nowadays. But there is nowhere else, nor a system that provides relief to the rubbish worries here, other than burning it of course.

The beautiful thing about rubbish though, and the fact that it is everywhere, is that some of the youth that i have been working with are very worried about it. We talk about solutions, the process of change, and time. How that in time, If the youth are switched on, and care for their village of Jatitujuh, that change will happen and that rubbish will not be something people will want to throw in the river or down the side of a hidden cliff. They are very interested talking about it with me, hearing about the solutions we use in Australia, and coming up with their own for here.

This is just one reflection i felt like writing about. I hope that whoever reads this tries to clean up somewhere, whether it be a stroll along the beach, a walk through the park, or around their own home. And remember to recycle what you can:)

a boat to cross the river
Rice field after harvest (November 2012)
Bawang Merah season (red onion) November 2012
A trip to a friends village on vespa, always a stop start journey
The children having their afternoon wash, at the river near creative space.
Red onion harvest!
The birds around the ricefield

Red onion watering

These trucks pass by my house daily, the bags are full of the outer yellow shell of rice.
The river that passes by creative space, and the geese that greet us with calls all afternoon
Rooftiles for Creative Space, donated kindly by Jatisura village Chief Ginggi. (this is not village chief ginngi in the photo, this is a boy who is both deaf and dumb, who helps out at the creative space every now and then)
Nich Shaw (Subita) 
Our vespa 'Ghandi' and the day before my dreds were cut off!
The boss! Om Ketut

Faisal and Teguh, help out daily at Creative Sace, and have the most beautiful personalities and sense of humour

Ibu Uius, and her big beautiful smile
Subita and his son Adean, two amazing artists
We want the same life as you!
Rizal out the front of our house

The temporary gallery/studio at our house. November 2012

The wedding of our friends
Dicka the most clever little girl
Lexa, who is obsessed with his pet chickens
Festival for children

Colouring in competition
A romantic birthday evening. (note om ketut is using a cake tin as a loudspeaker)
Makhan Bersama. Eating together
Ibu Nur, teaching me to cook Ayam Asam, Sour Chicken wrapped in Banana leaf, delicious
Ibu Ibu, Who want to learn Batik

Planting a tree, for the Hujan Keruh 10,000 tree campaign. Planted along the river to stop erosion.
Belentung (meaning frog) play in a waterfall at majalengka mountain

The Chop!
Om Ketut with my dredlocks
Some Random Rasta in the art space smoking something special
The art studio at our house.

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