This experience began with my decision to take part in a service activities organized by BEM (Executive Council of Student) Kema Unpad (Universitas Padjadjaran) from Department of Social Environment in April 2018. This service took me to a place that was amazing to me and could not be forgotten because it gave so much memory to me.
On Friday afternoon, I rushed to depart from my dormitory to the meeting point of the departure to Cisanti, precisely located in Tarumajaya Village, Kertasari District, Bandung Regency. We gathered near the field of the West Student Activities Unit (UKM Barat). We went there by Unpad bus.
When we arrived, it was dark already and it was so cold. We were gathered in the soldier camp. Then we had dinner there. We ate while being watched by the soldier because we had to eat quickly so that we could get ready earlier for tomorrow. After dinner, female participants were directed to each of their homestay.
I, along with ten other female-friends, lived in Mrs. Ai’s homestay. We got a good impression here because when we first arrived at the homestay, we were immediately welcomed with warm cow milk by our homestay owner. Fortunately, the place we visited was a dairy farm so that cow milk production was abundant in this area. After that, we slept to rest the body after the trip and prepared the body for tomorrow, which was certainly a lot of agenda ready to do.
On Saturday morning, we all woke up from our sleep and we rushed to prepare ourselves for today’s agenda. The air was so fresh and it made me wanted to inhale it again and again. In addition, we could hear some dog were barking and it added my impression to this place. Just to tell you, there were a lot of guard dogs in this place, maybe it for the security of the residents who own them. Anyway, all of the participants in the homestay took turns on taking a bath. The water was so cold and it felt us didn’t want to take a bath for a while.
After that we gathered at the same meeting point as last night, the soldier camp, for breakfast. Then, we immediately left for our place in plantation area. Each group carried fifty coffee seeds. The seeds were divided into two large plastic bags, so each of the plastic bags held twenty-five coffee seeds. Our group consists of ten people, six were female and four were male. Then when we got there, we started planting coffee for half a day. We first wandered in the nearest hut that the army used to occupy as a place to shelter and rest.
At that time, we chatted with one of the soldiers, he called Mr. Iman. While we were chatting, we got a lot of new experiences. As the hut we visited was close to sugar cane trees, we were able to enjoy sugar cane directly from the tree. I just ate it for the first time in my life. At first it tasted strange because sugar cane itself had a hard texture, so we just bite and suck to take the sweet juice in it. In addition, we were offered some boiled potatoes and cereal drinks specifically made for soldier (not for sale). It felt like a familiar cereal drink brand but this one tasted tastier.
After we finished resting there, we continued planting coffee in a different place but not far from the place of the hut we visited. After we arrived, we started planting coffee again and didn’t forget to document it. We also took pictures with the soldier. Then after the activity was done, we went back to the homestay.
The day was not over yet, so the homestay’s member decided to play in Situ Cisanti/The Lake of Cisanti which was indeed not far from our stay. Situ Cisanti itself is the zero kilometer point of the Citarum River.
The place was also no less interesting. On this lake, the water was clear. We could see fish swimming in it. There were boats surround the Cisanti lake. If we wanted to ride the boat, we had to spend IDR 10,000. On the boat, we would be accompanied by one person who drove it and one soldier. When we boarded a boat, we were driven to look at the water springs that came from the bottom of the lake. Its position was at the opposite end of the spot where we were going. Because of the clearness of the water, we could see the springs. It could be seen that one of the sources of the lake water comes from the springs.
After being satisfied along the lake by the boat, we approached to Bahtera Cinta (Ark of Love). It was an instagramable place which was located near Cisanti lake. We captured and being captured by the moment there. After being satisfied, we went back to the homestay to rest without forgetting that the day was getting darker.
The next day, as usual we gathered at the gathering point for breakfast first. After that, our agenda this time was still the same as yesterday but in a different place, which was in a farther place than before. Because of the long distance, we used soldier cars to reach it. During the trip, our bottom ached due to the soldier car’s seat which was caused by the iron, the hollow, and the rough asphalt road. Furthermore, the road was not sloping. Because of that, we had to force ourselves to stick it on our sitting position. But even so, our trip was still fun because of the sufferings we were laughing, laughing, and laughing.
When we arrived there, we met many soldiers who were ready to help us. On this plantation the road looked more flat than the plantation we visited yesterday. The plantation area was so vast; here, you would be satisfied to see the natural scenery consisting of mountains with green plants decorated by blue sky and white clouds. During the planting process, we were greatly helped by the soldiers who helped us in planting. The soldiers helped provide hoes and fertilizers. They were also actively involved in the planting. Besides of the planting, we also talked to each other, joked, and being joked at.
The activity was completed around the middle of the day. Then we took a short break in the soldier hut. Everyone looked tired and focused on cleaning their hands. My friends and I washed our hands on the clear puddle near the hut. On this plantation, dogs were also could easily be found. In fact, my friend and I were followed by an adorable-tiny dog.
After we finished, we headed to the soldier car to go back to the gathering point when we first set foot in this place. After that, we went to the homestay to get ready to leave this place. I was grateful for being able to go to this place. The place had created new memories for us. The place was quite entertaining and could refresh our mind as students who are engaged in academic and non-academic activities, both in class and outside the classroom, in Jatinangor.
Photo by: Ahmad Zaki