At the beginning of this May, I left for Puncak Jaya, Papua. Puncak Jaya is one of the districts in Papua highlands. Puncak Jaya is accessible by a small aircraft, occupied by 7-9 passengers on a one-hour trip from Sentani, Jayapura.
This would be my second visit to Puncak Jaya after last year’s with Mbak Eka. This time, I would visit Rainbow Reading Gardens library at SD Inpres Mulia. After a year, we would like to see how the books provided and training to teachers give impacts to the children.
Before leaving for Mulia, I have been staying at Sentani for two months while establishing two libraries. During the meeting with the community, I loved to share my experience of the trip to Puncak Jaya.
“Before taking off, I surrender to God,” that’s how I started the conversation while telling myself that I indeed surrender.
Just a few weeks before, I heard a news on the aircraft accident in Pegunungan Bintang, and the debris was found some time later. It is indeed not an uncommon news to hear.
After hearing the news, I questioned myself if I have surrendered to God. I often talked to myself: “I wanna live.”
I found out that to surrender is much more easier said than done. To surrender is to give everything up. I was still worried and afraid if anything unexpected is to happen. However, I cannot wait to see the kids in Mulia. I even had a look at the pictures of the kids from my last visit.
After surrendering and telling myself to be strong, I finally booked a ticket and set the date to go. “If the time has come, it does not matter how I avoid or delay, it will come anyway,” I said with such a strong sincerity.
The day has finally come. It’s time to leave for Puncak Jaya. It still took some time to calm myself that everything will be okay. Until a few moments later, five passengers were on board. One among the passenger is a three-year old girl. I get calmed suddenly. Hahah…
I told myself that this flight will be a safe one to Puncak Jaya. This little girl is the reason. Why? I believed just because. After the plane took off, I fell asleep and yeah… I arrived at Puncak Jaya safely.
Mulia is no different from last year, it is cold. I visited the school as soon as I landed. Some students remembered me, while some seemed to forget who I am. It’s tolerable since we haven’t seen each other for a year. Heheh… but it didn’t take long to talk about those moments last year. We made friends once more. Friends in terms of sharing stories, laughing, and of course visiting the library together. It is indeed full of merit. My worries at the plane finally pays off!
Together with the principal and teachers, we had a discussion and worked on the solutions to issues in the past year. May everything be even better than before.
After around five days in Mulia, the capital city of Puncak Jaya District, I had to rush home for an activity in Labuan Bajo, Flores. Those worries came once more. “Will I safely land at Sentani?” There were nine passengers that day, including one little girl. Hihihihi… And once again, this little girl made me calm.
At around 08.00 WIT we left for Sentani in Jayapura. I did not fall asleep this time. I saw the gigantic mountains and acrobatic clouds. I tried to close my eyes, yet I still cannot sleep. I tried to have an imagination of good events, but it did not work as well. Hahah…
One hour felt like hours. It got even longer when the plane had to pass dark and thick clouds. Gosh!… I got butterflies in my tummy. I held the metal next to my seat strongly.
I remembered when I asked the officer during last year’s flight whether the plane has life jacket or not.
“Nope, Adek. Even if we fall, we will fall to the mountain, not the sea.” Oh no. I answered softly with a grin, as well as laughing for this non sense. So, people of Papua put their lives at stake everyday, even when they are on the plane. The guarantee is on God’s hands. They believe in that.
After seemingly hours of worries and heart beating fast, we finally reached Sentani area, above Sentani Lake. At that time, I had a thought that even if the plane crashed, it would be fine as the area is accessible by rescuers. I was not aware why I have that thought. Was that me giving up after being challenged for one hour in the air?
It turned out that I still had to wait until I breathe a sigh of relief and smile. While witnessing the greatness of Sentani Lake from the plane, I captured some pictures with my camera. However, getting closer to the airport means more challenges. The plane had to turn left. At this point I felt quite a sensation of fear and butterflies in my tummy.
When the plane turned left, I felt like riding motorcycle on a sharp turn. So sharp that Valentino Rossi’s knees make a contact with the road on those circuits. What makes us different is the fact that I am on a plane. Can you imagine?
I held the metal door as tightly as I can. I took a look at the little girl from behind. I also took a glance at the gentlemen sitting next to me, who were just awake from their sleep. Finally, we landed. I sighed a relief and thanked the captain for taking us here safely.
My both legs were shaking when getting off the plane. I secretly paid my gratitude as I survived the trip and I planned on having porridge + salted egg at my favorite restaurant in Sentani.
That day, I also managed to meet my lovely cousins who happened to be around Sentani. Ahhh… I am more than grateful.