A Thread in Mappi Region - Part I...

Penulis: Ratu Atikah, 05 April 2022
November 3rd 2021

I’ve been to the most west part of Indonesia and never thought before I would go to the other one. During Patriot Energi training, my parent always told me their prayer for me not to be placed in the most far location, their wish came true, I was placed in the 2nd most far location which is Kabupaten Mappi, separation city from Kabupaten Merauke, instead of Merauke itself as the most east part of Indonesia. Therefore, here I am writing a hunch of my story inside a packed room of five Patriot, Kota Kepi km-1, Kabupaten Mappi.

It was always started on Wednesday.

But on these early Wednesday, November 3rd 2021 at 2 AM, the last time “pecalang” woke me up from IBEKA farm’s room. I’ve prepared for another long march, but again after all the comfort I’ve got, a little challenge seems too hard, support from my group mate and know these moment will be our very last together for some time motivated my every steps. Subuh waktu Indonesia panaruban, I’ve stepped my feet on the highest elevation of Panaruban, Subang, where the closing ceremony of our program was done. Every hugs, every photos, every smiles and tears happened in the exact same time. That was it, our full of love training had come to an end, we’ve separated our ways during the time when we should have been in IBEKA class.

Most of patriot flights were in midnight from Soekarno-Hatta International Airport, I thought that’s why I did not felt the farewell. It hit me when the airplane I’m in was took-off to Mopah Airport, Merauke on Thursday, November 4th 2021 at 3 AM. From 98 turned to 14 patriots, I felt grateful to be in the biggest sub-team, at least I could felt more warmth.

 Team Mappi Hepi Merauke Oke finally landed in Merauke at noon and we met our very first important contact person “Mang Iwan” whom The Desy uncle, he gave us advice regarding transportation to village and help us headed directly to Hotel Megaria, Merauke. There, our team open a discussion regarding sub-team coordination to specific government and department, also our mobilization to each villages. For dinner, all of us looked for appetite food that we found Deer Satay, it was my first time ate deer meat and it was the beginning of meat conversion, I mean ate deer meat instead of cow’s during my One year in Papua.

Next day, with the Desy company, we purchase plane tickets to Kabupaten Mappi and Kimaam, Merauke for the rest patriots, when we decided to have breakfast first, we met these middle-age woman who actually “tengkulak beras”, she gave us a permission to live in her rice storage located in front of our hotel for several days after knowing our condition (need to check out from hotel and depends on modal social), then we continue to visit KODIM and Dinas Sosial of Merauke. All team personnel gathered in hotel’s lobby for checked out, prepared ourselves to move to rice storage. It was not bad nor hot as I thought it would be, still glamorous for a free accommodation, even the toilet, fans and electricity were fine. We also met kak Litha, alumni of Wirabangsa, who gave us insight (the frighten one) regarding worst case that had been done by the villagers such as sexual abuse, murder and other criminal records. For sure I was trembled of fear, the thought of heading home as soon as possible came to mind, but is it?