Posted by: nyomnyom | October 28, 2009

The Story of Us

My name is Pinus. I am 54 years old. And this is my story.

It was a sunny bright day and I was still 19 years old when I met him for the first time. He and two friends were coming to our village from the city with his big fancy jeep and stop it in front of me. He actually was coming from this village, my mom told me that, but he went to the city since he was in high school because his parents find a better job there. After fifteen years, it was his first time coming back. So, they went to meeting place and talked to villagers who already gathered inside, mostly were men. The head of village welcomed them and explained of their purposes of coming. I didn’t hear clearly what they were discussing about. I think the meeting was not running well because I heard some arguments and some people walked out from there with angry faces. Later on after the meeting was finish, I saw the head of village was given an envelope from him and he was telling that everything will be fine because he works for government and the project is for the sake of many people. He also said that he will coming back within several days with some more friends. Although, I was still young at that time but I could sense that something is going to happen and I am starting feel anxious.


My name is Willy. I am 40 years old. And this is my story.

I was born to be an adventurer. I have been everywhere. I love when I was on the road and I could feel the air against my face. I have been visited many places; cities, villages, towns. Most of those places were interesting. Everybody was so friendly, except her. I met her in a village, very small one but has beautiful landscape and you can see a famous mountain called Bawaraja closely from there. I don’t know why she didn’t like me. When I saw her for the first time, she was standing very near to me. When others were coming together to see me, she was staring at me with her cold look and I could hear that she was mumbling some words. She was so silent and was only looking to a house where so many people inside. I thought she was trying to hear what people are talking about because I could see her face was so curious. It was an awkward situation, me and her very close but haven’t talk a word. So, I started to speak to her.

Willy : “ Hi, my name is Willy. What’s yours? “
Pinus : “ Are you talking to me? “
Willy : “ Yeah, I am introducing my self. You know, I am from city. “
Pinus : “ So? “
Willy : “ Well, maybe you’ll be interested to hear something from the city. “
Pinus : “ Why ? I am happy here. I have my family and friends here, I don’t want to know anything else !”
Willy : “ Ok..ok.. I am just trying to be nice. Can you tell me what is your name and why you always stare at those   people inside the meeting place? “
Pinus : “ I am Pinus. And I don’t have to tell you what is on my mind. “
Willy : “ Oh, cmon. Just because you live here and I am coming from city, it doesn’t means we cannot be a friend, right ?”
Pinus : “ Can you tell me why you and your friends are coming to my village? “
Willy : “ Aahh.. You want to know why people are gathered inside? “
Pinus : “ Yes, Can you tell me? “
Willy : “ Of course. My friends and their other friends in the government are planning to build a great
dam to provide farmers with irrigation system, provide people in city with electricity and wa-
ter. Is it great ? I mean, imagine how many people will be get the benefit from this dam? One
of my friends is coming from here actually and he will help people in this village to get com-
pensation for giving their land on the sake of public interest. “
Pinus : “ But, if the government will build a dam here, it means all the villagers should displaced to
another place? And this village will be drown with water to serve those in the city? “
Willy : “ Yeah, but they will get another land for plantation, a house and get some money, too. Most of
people here are poor, and if they move to the area that government provide, they will get triple benefit. Isn’t it great ? “
Pinus : “ So, about 8000 people will be displaced to this new area? “
Willy : “ I think it a good thing because they will help hundreds thousand people with this dam. It’s
a heroic thing, I guess. “
Pinus : “ Then, why some people are disagree with it. I saw them walked out from the meeting. “
Willy : “ Well, maybe they don’t understand how important this dam is. “
Pinus : “ And, how the government get the money to build it? You said it will be a great dam, right? “
Willy : “ Don’t worry, I heard my friends said that the government will loan some money from Japan
Government. It should be no problem. “
Pinus : “ Hmm.. I don’t know. I am not sure about this dam thing. I have a bad feeling. “
Willy : “ Hey, don’t worry mate. Everything will be okay. At least we can have more chances to
meet again, right ? “
Pinus : “ If they are doing that plan, I will insist to stay here. Because this is my village. “


My name is Joko. I am 65 years old. And this is my story.

I was born in a nice village called Jambo Land. It wa s a hilly area and had a river named Berang-berang. I remember when I was a kid, I used to swimming with my friends and then climbing guava trees around the river. My family and I moved to the city because my father got a job in factory when I was in high school. I went to university and worked as civil servant in government office in city. I worked for Department of Public Works. About 35 years ago, the central government approved our proposal to build a great dam where located in my former village. The government got loan from Foreign Government and they asked me to talk to these villagers about the plan. Actually, this great dam will contain 357 million cubic water to serve people around the dam and people in the city. So, the government should relocate about 8000 people from five villages and drown the area with water from Berang-berang river. Then, I came to my village, invited all the head of families to discuss about this plan. There are some people disagree with this plan, but mostly were agree because I told them that they will get triple benefit from this project and it was for public interest. I also gave some money to head of village to persuade his villagers to sign the contract of displacement as soon as possible. Soon after they all signed the contract, the government started to drawn the area. Almost all the pine trees were fall down with the stream, but there is one tree that still standing hold until now. I recognize this pine tree because I parked Willy, my jeep near this tree when I came with my friends at that time. It still the same tree but taller and no leaves. It was 35 years ago. So many things happen after that time. In March 2004, the Bawaraja mountain was eroded and swept all the village of Lengset, the nearest village to the mountain, killed 30 people and the worst thing that it brought the mud to Berang-berang river. The river is the main river in city and bring water to the dam and irrigation. So, the dam started to filled with mud, the water stagnantly flow and even stop. People who had been displaced before are made complaint about the new area that really far and remote. Anopheles mosquitoes are everywhere and ready to killed people with Malaria. And the loan has not been paid and the government had to borrow some money again to fix the dam. Ooh, if only I know it would be happen, I will ask my government to not build this dam and all people will live happily in their villages and I will also live happily without this regret haunted my mind since that. It is only damaging environment, displacing people from their home, bringing diseases and adding the debt of my government from other countries.

Now, everytime I pass the street to dam, I can feel the lonely tree is staring at me with her angry eyes.

Note :

– Did you know that Pine trees are long lived tree (100-1000 years)  and can reach about 15-45 meters tall ?

– Did you now that I really want to have a jeep and name it Willy?


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