Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Journey To The Clouds

I count every single day by thinking about my trip to Mount Semeru next month. Alright it’s not my first experience hiking there. But still I need to prepare anything since it had been six years I didn’t go hiking. I did it during my years at uni (eventhough my parents had never permitted me to. I was the black sheep of the family). That time I joint KAPA ’85, the nature lover club at my campus. Our activities were not only hiking (mountaineering) but also rock climbing, caving, white water rafting, outdoor journalism and natural resources conservation. I had tried them all though finally I chose mountaineering and rock climbing as my specialization. Semeru is one of the highest mountains in Indonesia located in Bromo-Semeru-Tengger National Park, East Java. Later I will write further about this beautiful mountain

I went hiking and climbing regularly along my uni years in Malang-East Java. I totally stopped doing it when I did my final thesis. As I graduated from the uni, I went back to my hometown, Balikpapan-East Borneo. I worked as a journalist for about four months then working as a teacher till now. There’s no mountainous area in my hometown and outdoor activity wasn’t as popular as in Malang. Fortunately, my school has an annual field trip program. It’s like a summer camp in US but this program is focused on environmental education and character building.

I always give a hand in this program since it reminds so much of my uni years I spent mostly staying outdoor from one mountain to another. I like to take my students jungle trekking along Sungai Wain Protected Forest and showing them how to tie webbing into simple harness we used for rapelling and flying fox. I am so glad to find that my outdoor skill is useful for others.

One day, Odah, one of my teacher friends told me her dream to climb a mountain. Surprisingly, she had been dreaming about it since she was in high school. At first I couldn’t believe what she said. You know, Odah is so calm and feminine, not the black sheep like I am :p. Beside that, Odah is married woman with a five-years-old-son. Man, I couldn’t imagine what she is going to say to her hubby about hiking. My parents had four children and they never permitted me to go hiking. It must be uneasy to her hubby, I told myself.

“There’s nothing to worry about my hubby and my son,” Odah said for sure. “I don’t want to live in dream. I should live this dream. And you’re the one here who can help me.”

I was speechless for a while. I wasn’t sure what should I say. I spent five minutes only to gaze at her figure from top to toe. She looked more like a porcelain doll, how can she dream to climb a mountain? No way!

“It’s okay if you can’t take me to the mountain soon. I will wait till that time,” she shrugged as if she understood what I was thinking of.

I was still quiet. At one side I couldn’t believe what she said and on the other side I felt proud of myself. Gee, I had never been so important like this before. It felt like being invited to the Annual Academy Award :p.

“Umm, I can’t decide it yet. Sorry.” I broke the ice.

“Come on, don’t you miss to go hiking again? Don’t fool yourself. We should do it soon before we’re getting older, you know?”

I bit my lower lip in hesitate. I felt the black sheep inside me was waking up from its hibernation. For a moment I heard Britney Spears’ Oops I Did It Again played over my mind. All I could imagine next was the yellowish green savannah and the gorgeous evening sky. In front of me, Odah made a smiley face.

“Gotcha! So, when will we go for sure?” she burst into laugh.

I sighed (but smiling on my mind!).

“Please don’t look so happy like that. At least, give me a chance to check my saving account, okay?”