TRAVEL: OUR MEKARSARI SCHOOL TRIP JOURNAL
It's been a long time since our last trip to Mekarsari, if I remembered it right, we had it on July 3, 2008. The girls were brimming with excitement. They wore new pink t-shirts and girly jeans that I bought only the day before. Yes, it was actually a school field trip for Dinda (3rd grade) and Zadia's (1st grade), so, we had to ride the tour bus together with, say, about half the school's population?
And you really, really don't want to know how super noisy it was! Uggh.
'Hey, our bus was the only one with a toilet! Woohoo!'
But the noise didn't even compare to what I had to endure during the trip.
You see, there were 4 big-sized tour buses for our transportation, and guess what? Our bus was the only one with a toilet!
Whoa! That sure brought our travelling experience to another level, right?
Although the extra comfort facility was deemed as a luxury, I for one, thought
Let me zip you back to the event of our arrival at the school yard. You see, we arrived late for the morning assembly. And because of it, we were the last to board the bus. Hence, all the front and middle seats were taken and the backseat was the only option for me to sit on.
And, ummm, did I tell you that the backseat was located right next to the bus' toilet? Horrifying!
I will let you do the math:
32 kids/bus (2 kids peed twice and once for the rest)
= stinky pee smell + utter desperation and difficulty in breathing (on my part) + limited water in the bus' water reserve
Lucky for my girls though. All students were instructed to sit in the front while all parents and teachers had to sit behind them. My one and only consolation was that the person sitting next to me (who had to endure the same torture) - was the school's head principle, Mr. Azwir. Well, it took 2-hour journey from the assembly point to Mekarsari and upon arrival, we were the only passengers left wearing sickly 'green' faces.
"Mekarsari Amazing Tourism Park (MATP) is a place where one can find the wealth of Indonesia’s fruit species gathered together in a single location. It is also intended to develop and breeding of superior varieties of fruit. Mekarsari is one of the biggest tropical fruit garden in the world.
The garden is intended to create a model market garden which will nurture germplasm collection representing fruit trees, vegetables, and flowering plants. The aim here is to safeguard the genetic diversity of these plants. The 264-hectare garden is conceived as a tourist attraction who will enjoy the recreational facilities which include Canal Tour, Kid’s Fun Valley, Country Side, Melon Park, Snake fruit Garden, Deer Park, and other facilities."
I am sure you get the picture of what the hullabaloo was all about - Ecotourism.
During the session, we get to ride a mini train to tour the facilities, went to Mekarsari's own harvest market, had some KFC lunch box, engaged in the 'fish hunting' in the mud ... MUD!!
[The picture of newly bought pink tshirts and girly jeans just flashed before my eyes].
As it turned out, the fish hunt was loud and fun. All participants must catch the newly released fish in the muddy water. To be honest, I could barely recognize the girls. They were all brown and icky and some other students even had mud from head to toe.
|Zadia - fish hunt|
Dinda succeeded in catching one fish though, so at least there was some element of victory after all. She was so proud of herself.
|Dinda - After|
|Zadia - After|
After the muddy session, the kids were led to a corner where they could communally gave one lucky bufallo his bath. Imagine. 32 kids scrubbing down a fully grown buffalo. Some rode on his back, the others tugged at his slightly curved long horns. Heck, I would be lying if I say I was not concerned about the whole buffalo idea. But the buffalo just took it oh so calmly.
A spa experience perhaps? Maybe.
Was I a bit paranoid? Yes. LOL.
Finally, after all the hollering and giggling and squealing, the kids had their fill and retreated to the restrooms for a shower and clothes change. They spent more time playing the bungee trampoline, pushed a giant transparent ball around, having more fun together.
|Strike a pose - giant transparent ball|
And as the day was ending, we all boarded the bus (this time I got lucky to get a middle seat, THANK YOU GOD!) to return home.
All tired, but happy.