Rianne Brink – Netherlands
The last couple of days I spent in Mligi Village, a peaceful place in the mountains near Pacet. The people of Tunas Hijau in Mligi Village learned me a lot during these days about the environment in Indonesia and especially in the neighborhood of Pacet. I didn’t know this area, just a few kilometers from Surabaya and Malang, had such a beautiful nature. I had a friendly host family where I could sleep during my stay in Mligi Village and together with the other interns, James and Yusuke, it was fun every day.
After my arrival we went for swimming and in the afternoon we visited a place where children are coming after school to do their homework. They showed us the way they were dealing with the environmental problems in the neighborhood and how they taught the children about it. There were a lot of books to inform the children about global warming and how important it is to do something against it. Before it became dark, we went to the ‘Mouse Temple’. The myth said the temple was the house of many mice in the past. I couldn’t help shivering while they told me the story.
The second day of my stay in the village I went with James and Yusuke to a biogas industry. It was interesting to see that you can produce gas out of nature. You only need a cow and a place to store the compost! They told us about the production of gas and showed us they use the gas to cook. Our next activity was the local crisps fabric. I love crisps, so for me it was heaven! We peeled the potatoes and sliced them. The people of the fabric fried the slices and finally we could put the crisps in the packages. Of course I couldn’t stop eating during my work. For me it’s normal to buy the crisps in the supermarket in Holland. Now it was interesting to see how they were produced.
In the afternoon we started hiking Pundak mountain, near Mligi Village. In three hours we reached the top. Because of the warmth and the thin air at 3500 meters it was difficult for me to climb in a fast tempo. Luckily there were a lot of beautiful plants and trees to see on our way. The people of Tunas Hijau taught us about the different meaning of each plant and in what case they use them; for example for eating or they use them as a medicine.
When we arrived at the top we made a fire and ate noodles, cookies and crisps. Together with James and Yusuke I slept in a tent while the others were sleeping outside. We woke up at 4.30am to see the sunrise. I’d never seen it before from the top of a mountain so it was a great experience. After breakfast we began our trip back to Mligi Village. The rest of the day we spent on swimming. In the evening we went to see traditional Indonesian music and dance.
My last morning in Mligi Village we went to visit two schools. We talked about our countries, the environment and played games with the children. All of them were excited to meet us and to play with us. After the last school it was time for Yusuke and me to go back to Malang to continue our internship. It was sad to leave James behind but we had to work on our ‘Go Green’ project the next day. I had had fantastic days in Mligi Village and was thankful for the information the people of Tunas Hijau gave me about their wonderful nature and their problems to keep it for the future.