Back to Basics in Mligi, Claket, Mojokerto

by Pasquelle van der Jagt

The last three days we spent in Mojokerto, the rainforest area where I have been before. We went really back to basic by sleeping at a local host family and helped them with their daily work. So I will report about these three unique days.

But before we went to Mojokerto we had another super great activity planned, we went to Probolinggo for rafting!! And that was super cool! I already did it once before in France, but here the experience of rafting through the rainforest and the great nature was different and really nice. The water was pretty rough, but luckily there were enough spots to relax a bit and take a breath. Or we just tipped over the boat and swam for a while. Even Mandy and Yvonne went for swimming with their life saving vests on, so we all were in the water. We ended with a huge mud fight, which was really cool and Pippin, Curtis and I climbed up a rock from where we could jump back in the river.

After the rafting we hit the road again for going to Mojokerto. In the upcoming two days we all stayed at a different host family, which was a really unique and special experience for me. The people live there so simple and just everything is about their daily needs; get up early, milk the cows, bring the milk to the milk office, go back to the house and prepare breakfast, after breakfast you clean the house and do some laundry, get food for the cows, and in the afternoon you milk the cows again and have dinner. And that is about it.

The first evening we (the family and I) tried to talk a bit to each other. Luckily one of the daughters could speak English for a bit, so it was possible to have some kind of communication accompanied by hand and food signs. In the morning I got up at 5 am to help them milking the cows. I never did it before, so I was not very good at it, but at least I could get out some milk. Only very little, but on the second day I already got more milk. After milking we brought the milk to the milk office. Here the temperature of the milk is measured as well as the amount of liters milk.  Afterwards I helped with cooking. They couldn’t really explain me what to do, so I just kept me busy with frying tempeh and chicken, which was of course not that difficult.

On Monday (15/6), we went to the hot springs nearby. We had to walk to get there so meanwhile we could enjoy the views from the mountains, an active volcano and the surrounding nature. We first walked to a waterfall, which was a pretty high one actually. And a pretty cold one, but Pippin and Curtis went in it.. brrr!! We also had a look at a deer farm. Here sick or harmed deers are treated for a while and then they are released in the wild again.  Then it was really time to get in the hot springs, which was really nice. One of the hot springs was really too hot to handle for me, it felt like it almost burnt your skin. In another one you could just sit and relax, super relaxed. We also enjoyed the normal pool for just swimming a bit.

Tuesday I went up early again for milking the cows and helped them with cooking. After breakfast we went to a school in Mojokerto and did some activities with them, like ‘cat and mouse’ and ‘dollip dollip pan’ (Pippins game). We also planted some seeds with the children in the nearby plant nursery. Furthermore it was a pretty relaxing day. On our ride back we visited another Candi temple from the Majapahit dynasty, which was really nice to see.

In conclusion I can say that for me it was a really cool experience to live with this host family in Mojokerto for two days. It makes me think about my own life, which is so completely different from theirs. I enjoyed the three days Mojokerto really much (again) and of course the rafting as well.

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