Nias, A New Beginning
I have special place for Nias, the small island located on the west side of Sumatera for some personal reasons. First of all, it was my very first time to travel far away from my comfort home. Second, it was also my first time flying with the plane, and alone. I had no clue how the airport looks like. I knew nothing about the check in process and I had nobody to tell me.
I left my home with mixed feelings, between sad, excited and happy. My sister dropped me to the airport and I couldn’t stop praying to God to smooth everything at the first place. My pray came true once I arrive at the airport and met my old buddy from college. Guess what? He would go to the same place as me, also for the same job. Bingo. This is miracle.
PP and me, we did all process together since he also never had flying experience in his life. Having partner for doing something at the first time, enable us to not show how stupid we were. When the aircraft started to take off, my heart stopped beating and I could see how pale he was.
Nias is beautiful island, that’s what I thought when our plane landed safe and sound in Gunung Sitoli, the capital of District. Despite had many damages everywhere after big earthquake occurred couple of months before, I could see the beauty of its nature among the ruins. Along the road, long beach showing blue Indian Ocean afterwards.
The organization where I worked for provided free guest house to live in. It’s within compound of Pusaka Nias Museum, only few steps from the sea. I always spent my afternoon sitting by the sea, to enjoy the breeze or swimming when the wave was not so high.
The museum is easy to reach. It was managed by Pastor Yohanes, a priest from Germany, that had spent his life in Nias for couple of years. Its location is not so far from city center, and less than half miles to Angin harbor, the only harbor in Gunung Sitoli, bringing passengers from/to Sumatera Island. There was inexpensive entrance fee for visitors, even though I could come and go whenever I wanted. Pastor Yohanes never allowed us to pay the entrance fee :-).
The museum has many historical goods and tools used by Nias people in the past. One library is also there enabling visitors to get more information of Nias. At the other hands, small zoo is also there, a place for some turtles, crocodiles and varies of birds. Our guest house is in the back yard. In the evening, I even could hear the sound of the sea from my bedroom. It was like working and having holiday in the same time.
The guest house belonged to us during the week. Yet, in the weekend, it became so crowded by local tourists. Usually, during this time, my friends and I would run away to other places, to find the other solitude within the sea.