Compassion Fatigue (2)

A journey to serve the IDPs or internally displace persons continued to Buru Island located in Maluku Islands. Since being placed in West Timor, condition of violence conflict in the

islands had been imagined about how a bloody tragedy occurred due to civil war.

Towards Ambon Island at the end of 2014, security condition had been recovered. However, it was heard once that a sniper still operated in Buru Island. Arriving in Ambon Island at night, it was looked that security posts were guarded with armed personnel. The Ambon city was dark.

At last, a trip to the island well known as Cajuput-producing Island took place. Many interesting stories about Buru Island, starting the island inhabited by political prisoners (tapol), one of them was Pramoedya Ananta Toer, koin child, until kawin piara.

000_0572 copyA story from freedom fighter, the island that was inhabited by the tapol once staggered at that time. He told that there was a foreign journalist made a visit in order to interview the tapol about what the tapol had for a meal as a prisoner. The prisoner uttered “Mice” for a question delivered by English language that could not be understood clearly. The journalist was shocked hearing the statement. Result of the interview was published by international printed newspaper. Even though the prisoner wanted to say a word “rice.” The word “mice” is a plural noun for a word “mouse.”

While travelling in northern part of Buru, there is an area, which was looked like a place of birth in Sleman, Yogyakarta. Green paddy fields in a village that no longer leave a trace history of tapol.

000_0576Many sad stories during violence conflicts occurred. There is also a story that cannot be understood by common sense. The story of a young man who only shared with other two leaders of the local tribes kept bravely their village. He told how the three of them kept the village from attacks by outsiders. Then, the story of the people who viciously kill the opponent suddenly become insane or killed tub into the earth for a justice. However, peace commitment was rebuilt immediately post-conflict. The peace process was recovered soon due to a background of blood relationship or similarity of the tribes that inhabit the island of Buru; even though they have different beliefs. The violent conflict happened because one party was provoked a very savage outsiders to attack their own brothers.

Stories of human life Buru began to unfold, as another story about a Koin child, a chosen boy guard ancestral customs. A boy had been designated for generations to live according to their traditions without modernity. There is also a touching story about how girls are exploited in the name of tradition of local men.

In villages far from the city Namlea, known as kawin piara. This phrase describes how a grown man paying some property in the form of money and goods that have been determined by custom so that he was entitled to bring home his wife, who is still very young and even children. Marital status will be ratified when the wife was at the mature age physically.

Still remembered about a wife of the head of a sub-village was sad that she could not give up his daughter to marry a man from another village. Another girl deliberately ate sand for ending up her life because she did not want to marry and had a status of kawin piara. She still wanted to get education in school with her friends. Her action was finally made his father yield and granted her daughter not to marry. Remember when looking into the girls’ eyes that were growing up. Telling her gaze that she was enthusiastic to study in school. This may be different from those who were married at age of children, did not know what was really happening with the future.

kelas gambar 2One more of the indigenous Buru children were about their eagerness to with education. To provide support services and education is not only done in one village. Some villages in North and South Buru encroached upon. There is one village that the children were introduced with color pastels and drawing for the first. They were very happy when we provide the tools to draw. The most we are excited as our organization would build a school in a village, which was located very remote. To reach the village took 2 to 3 hours away by walking up and down hills. Children walked alongside us were gasping for breath while they remain powered. Adolescents and adults raised one to two sacks of cement; there were also other materials carried with bare hands. Still remember when we’ve had time to go back to the city, children accompanied us with a passion.

Collection of experiences on Buru Island was written together with friends of Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) in a book entitled ‘Women Seribu Impian Buru’.

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