I was dispatched to Tunas Hijau head office in Surabaya yesterday and I love it! It feels good to be back in a big, crowed, and vibrant city. Other than its size, the first impression I got from Surabaya is that there is a huge wealth gap. The last time I visited here for a day, I didn’t try to see the things beneath big shopping malls and Starbucks coffee shops.
But when I think about it, it is kind of odd that there are not a few, but a lot of people who casually spends 50,000 Rupiah for a cup of coffee when you can have tasty nasi goreng for only 5,000 Rp. And my unbelievably rich temporary host family in Surabaya is definitely a part of those people. At first I was surprised to see their huge and ostentatious house – more like a castle – they live in, but soon I was more surprised to discover that there are hundreds of other houses as impressive as this one.
The second thing I noticed in the city is of course, that it is dirty. Streams I’ve seen were all either brown or dark green in color, with lots of trashes floating on the water. I’ve also heard many people complaining about mosquitoes, but it is no wonder why there are so many of them in Surabaya.
Leaving my woes behind, I went to SDN Kaliasin 1 Surabaya to help promote Komodo Island campaign among kids. It was wonderful how schools in Indonesia cooperate so well with an environment NGO like Tunas Hijau. Seeing the pictures of komodo dragons drawn by the kids, and watching them participating the online signature campaign, I knew that this is yet another successful project of Tunas Hijau.