A couple months ago, I joined a work camp as a volunteer in Karimun Jawa Island. It is a small and beautiful island in the north of Java Island in Indonesia. I spent two weeks there with some friends from different countries. Two people came from Japan and the other nine came from European countries. There are also two Indonesian as the camp and co-camp leader. Many things I got and I learned there, that is for sure. I learned how to work in a team with sometimes extremely different point of view. I learned how to communicate with people in the island. I learned how to manage the garbage in other countries from my foreign friends. And the most valuable lesson I learned is how to appreciate the difference between us, European and Asia.
Many activities we’ve done there. Educate the people about garbage management, cleaning the harbor, cleaning the school, painting the garbage bean, playing with children, planting the mangrove, and so on. That’s all amazing. And I hope the advantages for the society will be amazing too. There is one activity that I bet I’ll never forget, that is playing with children of the island. Mostly they are students in kindergarten and elementary school while some others are student in junior high. We played traditional games together; we sang together, we made bracelets together, and so on. I loved the way the children speak, I loved the way they laugh, and I lover the way they smile. I loved every single behavior they did. They are human without sin. I was really having fun at that time, and the children too.
Until the day of farewell party came I just realized that two weeks were passed already. I had to leave the people there, I had to leave the children, and I had to leave all the things I loved in that island. I didn’t want to say goodbye. I didn’t want to leave all the body there. I’d really want to stay longer, but I knew I had to go. When we almost depart, some children gave me souvenirs. That’s surprised me. I was very happy and sad as well. I didn’t know what to do. I couldn’t give anything to them. I just wonder why they were so lovely. I said thank you and I promised them that I would come again in this island someday. I smiled, but they suddenly cried. I said to them, “Don’t cry, kids,”. But they even cried louder. Hey! Come on! Stop crying, kids! I talked to myself, “Don’t cry Mega, please. If you want to cry, not in here, not in front of the people, and not in front the children,”. I didn’t want to cry. But my tears just fall.
(Mega Aisyah Nirmala)