The Word of the Great Mountain

Mount Agung is reminding everyone of the meaning of balance. After the eruption a few years ago, the land around Mount Agung became very fertile. Plants grow green, and residents use various volcanic materials. Mount Agung erupted again a few weeks ago, causing uncertainty for many people. Locals are displaced, tourists are staying away, the tourism business is declining dramatically, and the government is trying to understand nature and its people. Volunteers and donors try to help, comfort and accompany refugees in understanding the words of Mount Agung.

After performing the plural-quasar prayer, I sat directly facing a towering cliff in the mosque's foyer and, at the same time, witnessed the beauty of the cliff and some people working in the mosque's courtyard. In my heart, I was surprised. It turns out that Bali is not just about tourism, culture and Hinduism. When we visit the area around Mount Agung, we will better understand why Balinese people refuse reclamation to be carried out in Benoa Bay.

No one knows what will happen in the future. This time, God gave this episode of life by stepping into a place where the people were grieving, leaving behind homes and possessions to save lives from the eruption of Mount Agung, which is balancing itself. Still, in the mosque's foyer, I remember the journey to this place, full of omissions. This trip brought me together with four friends. Fajri was a partner when running the Nusantara Jaya Expedition program 2016 in East Java. Dina is a nutrition student at the Faculty of Medicine, Universitas Brawijaya. Pandu and Ika were volunteers who were first at the refugee site.

This journey starts from Surabaya. I, who received the mandate for the coordination meeting to prepare for State Defense Day at the National and Political Unity Agency of East Java Province, missed the train heading to Malang. Finally, the trip changed to a more flexible bus. The first negligence began this long journey, he he he he.

We gathered in Malang, departing from Malang Station with the group. While waiting for two people who never came, I watched the activities of people around the station—from sellers who sell their wares, parking attendants who are busy arranging vehicles, and prospective passengers with various backgrounds.

Fajri's arrival broke the daydream. We haven't seen each other for a long time. I last met during the 2016 Nusantara Jaya Expedition trip in the Masalembu Islands. The departure time of the train is only a few minutes. But Dina never came. Finally, we decided to enter the carriage and leave Dina's ticket to the counter guard. We are trying to contact him. Finally, when this train started to run slowly, Dina arrived in front of the station.

While calming down, we tried to find the best solution for Dina. In the end, there was good news from him. The counter guard advised Dina to buy a ticket for Bangil. This train will stop for a long time at Bangil station to change the head of the train. Hearing this answer, we were relieved.

One station by one has been passed and arrived at Bangil Station. I tried to find Dina. Well, we haven't met before. We are helped by modern technology. While clinging, I looked for Dina around the train. Finally, there was a woman with quite a lot of luggage helped by station officers. I greeted him at the train's door to ensure he was not mistaken while receiving a suitcase from the station attendant.

The journey became interesting. We exchanged ideas about the expedition experience and how our efforts got here. Even though Fajri and I had known each other before, the conversation was still quite interesting because we hadn't seen each other for a long time. One participant also joined the story, adding warmth to tonight's atmosphere—a child of the passenger next door.

Time is getting night. Only the reflection of the image inside the train can be seen in the train window. It was dark outside; occasionally, light bulbs of houses and motor vehicles stalled at railway crossings. We lay down, looking for empty places to rest our bodies. Now and then, I talk to the gentlemen in front of me.

Not waiting long, the train stopped at the last station, the eastern tip station of Java Island. When getting off the train, the atmosphere of the station seemed deserted. The sun has no signs of ever appearing. We took a short break in the prayer room, cleansed our bodies and completed the pending worship obligations.

When the sun began to rise, we moved out of the station to the port not far from the station. A street vendor persuaded us to enjoy godong rice with typical Banyuwangi sambel. After eating, a pedicab driver offered us a ride to Ketapang Port. We also accepted because there were too many donated items. The rickshaw only needed to accommodate one person and all the luggage. The location of the port is not far away. And the father of the rickshaw driver gave us freebies. He said this was the first customer: Wah, very well, Dad.

We looked for a bus until we arrived in Denpasar. After we got a seat, the bus started entering the port and slowly entered the ship. All the passengers exited towards the boat's deck, and only a few remained on the bus.

Subhanallah. This is my third time visiting Bali. However, it is the best. The morning atmosphere when crossing turns out to present a magnificent view. There were three mountains lined up when the ship started crossing. Not a few passengers captured this moment. Practically, the crossing feels very brief. When it arrived at Gilimanuk Port, the bus drove fast in the middle of green rice fields.

Arriving at the Denpasar terminal, the atmosphere is immaculate and quiet. It turned out that this was a terminal that had only been in operation for three months. I only found out this after returning from Bali. We were surprised by the kernel fighting for passengers and felt played. Finally, we decided to order an online transportation mode. Similar to the general situation, the Terminal is a red zone for online transportation. We also had a chase with a driver who forced us to board his fleet at exorbitant prices.

We managed to escape and boarded a car with an amiable driver. Even the fare, we only pay half. Duh, it's good, this gentleman. It turned out that the location we were going to was on the eastern tip of the island of Bali. Since the news of Mount Agung, practically, tourist visits to Bali have decreased drastically. The highway was relatively quiet along the way, and we encountered no traffic jams.

Arriving at Mamed Square, the field was filled with refugee tents. We were greeted by refugees and two friends who had already been there. At the beginning of our arrival, everything seemed normal, like a regular refuge in general. There are invisible but profound barriers, especially for adults. For children, I don't think there is a barrier at all. Everyone laughed together regardless of the difference in status.

Being with refugees, especially children, has its impressions and memories. As a Muslim, I need to adjust to the local population who are predominantly Hindu. Of course, the stories in the Quran are impossible for me to tell. The struggle of the nation's heroes seems more attractive to children. Some processed beef food is also impossible to give in this place. Some residents returned it and exchanged it for processed goats.

We had stopped at the Muslim village area of Bali. Take a short break at the house of one of the residents who helped us while in Bali. Study and understand Muslims as a minority. The rules are stringent for me. According to residents, Muslims here who marry non-Muslims are not eligible to return to their villages. If parents want to see him, it must be outside the village area. In addition, be careful if you visit this village after 10 pm because anyone who still wanders without permission will be married immediately. Finally, may the word of Mount Agung end soon and the refugees return to everyday life.



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