She to Aunty, Letter no.1

Dear Aunty

Aunty, actually since three days ago I wanted to write this letter. nothing special, but I wanted to share a little experience that I get after much leave father and aunt. two hours after we arrived at Jatisari district, a white pickup truck took us to their village, for 40 days, we must serve the real work of this project work.

Our number a total of 152 people. we split 19 groups according to the number of villages in this district. Me and my seven friends to get the most remote locations. the way we had to go through very difficult; rocky and pebbly, muddy, winding and up and down hills. Our car ride can not enter the village we were headed. a large river that overflowed with water blocking us. at that moment, I was getting desperate. overview village called Balonggandu it conjures up images of scary in my mind. in my life, only this time I feel like a flounder worm loose soil loss, pain caused by sunburn. black stones and large, moss, large trees and lush, the sound of the owl in the dark, quiet gripping and only provide an opportunity to voice streams, make my heart seemed to stop beating. I almost cried. I feel my world lost and stranded in a country that is very frightening; hell.

this is hell, my mind screamed. and for 40 days I will be tortured in this place.

if I do not remember that I came here because the task of the campus in order to meet graduation requirements one, probably since before I would turn away, hurry up and running, and then back at the touch of your love aunty. see the sights of this terrible stranger place, I felt a very deep longing to go home. although the city skies are increasingly filthy by pollution, noise and congestion as well as by evil and barbarism, a thousand times better than the place where I am now; like the sound of birds singing voice of death, gusts of wind that danced like a dancing ghost.

but what my powers aunty?

like it or not, I have to cross the river which is annoying. increased annoyance when I see the joy on the face of my friends. they do not seem to feel the horror I felt. they can enjoy this trip. they joked and laughed and teased me endlessly. I was not tempted, even more annoyed with them.

one hour less, we have entered a village called Balonggandu. aunty could imagine how mess myself when my legs are stepped up the village street. my face is definitely a mess. I take a tissue that has run out. whole body feels pain and sweat. I wanted to pass it rather than forcing my legs to move.

aunty, I was really despairing. I’m going home. I’ll go from this village. I better not finish college rather than stepping on the village like this; horrible village of its own shadow.

my eyes dizzy. a few seconds longer I would have fainted ….

however, my aunt, my fears somehow slowly recovered. probably because some of the time we get into the village, the villagers lined up to welcome us. their faces were friendly without artificial. old people, children, youths and girls. they welcomed us and say welcome. We in their eyes are like a group of officials who have never met them before.

the village headman and the staff immediately brought us to the village hall, and followed by the villagers. I forgot my despair. forget the aches and pains all over my body. Our luggage was brought by villagers voluntarily. welcoming party at the moment started.


when I write this, I have lived three days with Balonggandu villagers. action plans we have been completed arrange. We have begun to execute them. I hope that this would be a good start for us, especially for me. only one desire now, hopefully I can blend with the village life.


to be continued

15 thoughts on “She to Aunty, Letter no.1

  1. Oh my..I started reading your story from the last chapter..and now I’m starting from page 1…hehehe

    in ‘She to Aunty no.2’ it is really a different story told.
    Here I noticed she grumbled a lot and seems to ‘chicken-out’ in few days of torment she felt.
    there’s so much of complaint rather then all the sweet talk to compare to the next chapter.

    I like your style Acep, but I’m not a pro to comment much..I’m learning myself…but I kind of agree with what Claire O’Brien has commented. She has got the point there big bro… 😀

    Hey, you did a good job..well done and you deserve a pat on the shoulder, or at least a sweet smile from your little sister here.. 🙂


    • Dearest Acep, This kind person is wrong. I got that whole story mixed up, not you. You were right. I’m sure he is well-intentioned, but don’t listen to him – or me – on this one.

      You were right about your story, dear Acep!



      • 😀 Okay..I will agree to that too dear Claire..the writer has his point and this is his story…my deepest apology to both of you.. 🙂

        *no heart feeling ya.. 🙂


  2. Hallo die Tage fliegen nur so dahin,schon ist fast das halbe Jahr vorbei ,und man wird immer älter dabei,genisse die schöne Zeit,und mach das Beste daraus viele Grüsse Klaus


  3. Pingback: She to Aunty, Letter no.2 « Sundanese in Actions

  4. Dear Claire..

    Claire, what you read here is just an opening, describing the state of my village. not the core of my story. wait and see. because in making a work that certainly there is an opening. it is wrong if I introduce my village? Did not you want to know about the state of my village?
    This opening I use other people’s character (she = rini) later in this story she was my girlfriend. oh one more, this story is based on a true story, a story that my own experience.


    • Sorry, Acep. Of course you’re not wrong: I’m an idiot, as everyone can see.
      I was a careless and overbearing (but enthusiastic) reader. I think it was a cultural thing – there’s a certain narrative tone I thought you were using, but it’s very Western and it’s not the way you write. You write straight from the heart, and I should have stayed on the path you made, but I got distracted by my own cleverness: see, that’s proof of impaired judgement right there


  5. Hey Acep,
    Is it autobiographical, or is the narrator a fictional ‘I’ ?
    What I like about the feel of it is the kid’s complete submersion into every scene.He’s a good age for that – it’s like each momemt becomes the world forever. He’s climbing up the hill and practically becomes a flounder worm, sinking into the soil, in hell forever before he believes the hill has a top – because he reaches it. Oh.
    And then the river is all there is and the kid is at this point taking nature personally. What makes him his own character already is exacty this intense, ferocious response to nature, how personalized it is.
    Because the other kids are like,not getting it that the sky may be falling. They’re thinking they’re aching, sunburned, exhausted, and their feet are killing them, but they don’t see the river as almost another character – and he’s personally affronted by it. They must know him well, I’m guessing: while he’s pissed off, they have a humorous momment, which pisses him off more.
    Nobody appreciates the intensity of life like he does, as he wades bittterly across. Then he’s in hell, it’s all over, life is a wrap.
    But wait – the people. The kind eyes, The village hall. Instantly the kid is a big fan of life, That;s his appeal for me. He may have been the only kid about to become a worm and diisappear beneath the earth, but his faith in kind eyes is immediate. He needs no convincing He;s right there.
    Three days later, he’s musing about “blending into village life”. This made me laugh, Oh, you’ll blend, all right, buddy. It’s the not blending part you need too keep an eye on.
    These are the kids who end up as artists.
    I like this boy, Acep.

    He’s a cool exageration of most teenagers: “Oh, everyone in the cafeteria saw that – does everyone on the planet have to have my luch period?My whole lunch on the floor. That plate is the size of a hubcap – it’s got like, a magnetic pull, sucking me in,,, I’m stuck at this center table for liife – shit, I can’t leave for 20 minutes, by that time my life will be ruined..I’ll never make it that long. . why do I always wear a stupid shirt? Why does it have to match the spilled jello?”

    Of course, your kid really is crawling up a mountain and wading across a river. He has something pretty big going on. Still, on the other side of the world, the universe is just as focused on the existental injustice of an orange shirt when a bowl of jello exactly the same color crashes to a cafeteria floor.

    Big Mouth O’Brien, signing off. (:


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