First of all, happy fasting to all my Muslim visitors. May we all have a blessed Ramadhan this year.
A shorter entry this time, but I wanted to talk about my jungle-trekking trip yesterday. (The particular hill we hiked was named Handkerchief Hill. I’m not kidding. ) It was a compulsory programme thing that involved 59 students (at a preserved forest 10 minutes away from campus) that clashed with everybody’s plan of coming home to celebrate Ramadhan, but anyway, the trekking was really, really tough at certain points.
Like the almost-vertical, super muddy, nowhere-to-put-my-foot-on, freaky cliff. The rest of the hike felt fine ’cause y’know, jungles aren’t hot at all, and we got to take breaks to wait for the people at the back to catch up, (and for certain members of the group; to take pictures ), and the speed was slow, but I think ’cause I went ahead to climb the cliff without resting for a minute (it didn’t really cross my mind to stand around like some of the others, I thought I should go ahead so that there won’t be a crowd and a jam), I struggled at the cliff near the top of the hill.
My body just went, “Eeeek!” and my legs felt so weak and my head was pounding and when I was practically crawling on all fours, it felt like there was a wall pressing on my nose. I bet that was a sign of lack of oxygen or blood or something. I slipped over and over again and ended up leaning on the almost-vertical ground (which actually felt good ’cause it was like lying down and letting everything go) but luckily the boys were around to help. When I reached the top, I just drank lots and lots of water and rested my head on the treehouse’s staircase, and just didn’t think of anything for minutes.
The trip downhill was way easier ’cause there was a paved road , but it still was longer than expected. ( “Okay, we have another hour to go.” “Whaaat?! Another HOUR? :shakefist: ” )
Then we had lunch and changed clothes (my pants were so muddy, and unfortunately I forgot to bring extra shoes ) and went to this fake climate thing (a building with a garden inside and artificial sun and air-conditioning to change the temperature, etc.), it was named House of Four Seasons but there was only Spring. I bet we’d have to visit the place four times a year or something to actually observe the four seasons. But right now is Autumn, so why in the world did the garden have blooming flowers (totally gorgeous, but I left my camera behind at that time )?
In the afternoon there were some games (my programme/group was so dang lucky with most of them; it was unbelievable), we won, got a big hamper, ate ate ate, and went back to the hostel. And this morning when I woke up, my whole body was so sore. As expected. One of the teachers already told us that “When you get back tomorrow, you’ll be seeing some of you walk like shrimps”, and though I’m not entirely sure how shrimps “walk”, I imagine having one’s legs feel like they’re disattached from one’s body would make one appear to be walking like a shrimp.
But I guess, like the previous programme I’ve been through, the people made everything worth it. My programme-mates (especially the boys, they’re crazier ) were so “semangat”, as we would call it in Malay, which translates to “spirited” or “enthusiastic”. They even had a cheer thing (I don’t know what you call it, but it’s like before a sports match, when the team members get into a circle and place one hand into the centre and then shout out their slogan or something and then lift their hands back up and breaks off — yes, that.) and I felt proud to be part of them. The students from the other two programmes who came along … just weren’t like us at all.
So yeah, oh wait — thankfully I didn’t have a single leech problem (I’ve come to the conclusion that mosquitoes love me, and leeches don’t), unlike some other people. One of my friends got blood-sucked in an … unusual area and there was blood everywhere and ergh. They say the hike was about 7 kilometres long, but it felt more like, oh … 4823 km. I also ended up with a very muddy backpack (we could’ve left our bags behind, but I didn’t want to have to hold on to my water bottle all the time, and I wanted to bring my camera along, and I had no pockets… I’m glad I brought my bag along in the end, ’cause it would’ve been impossible to climb that freaky cliff without having both hands free), which I have washed and can now proudly proclaim that the bag looks brand new.
This was just … probably my third jungle-trekking trip ever, but I’ll be very glad if I’d never ever have to climb again. Walking around among the trees and roots and thorns and bending down to crawl through holes is still fine, but the slippery mud and steep cliffs were just — no. Dowan. (That’s short for don’t want. )
The end, bye everybody, taa-taa!