Archive | 5:05 am

First morning In the kampung

18 Aug

I should explain first that the work kampung is Indonesian for village. But if you’ve never visited a developing country then you might need further explanation. A kampung is in so so many ways just a completely different way of life.

A quick description of what we see when we look around – an eclectic mix of houses ranging from sturdy concrete Structures with tiled floors To basic basic bamboo shacks with woven roofs. Our place is somewhere in between – a wooden One bedroom house with Basic kitchen, living room and bathroom. Water is from the well under the house. We have A pump these days that means we don’t need to haul up water using a bucket like we used to in earlier visits (unless of course the power goes out, as it often does!).
Chickens and cats roam freely, laden banana trees overhang our roof and motorbikes are the only occasional traffic on the dirt roads that make up the pathways to houses. These pathways don’t have names and postal services certainly don’t deliver mail here although many folk selling their wares often do (from fresh fish to ice-cream to rugs to kids toys).

We are on the far side of a once pristine, now heavily polluted river that is used by many for bathing and washing – it’s etiquette to turn a blind eye to folk as they wander to and from the river in their sarongs with soap in hand. Kids play in the river too, but mine are not allowed anywhere nearby! The main road is on the other side of the river and until recently access to our little corner of the kampung was via a rickety old bridge that used to scare the pants off me every time we crossed. So grateful we have better option now!

All this is less than an hour from the city centre we left yesterday, on the outskirts of the outskirts of Medan in an area known for fruit trees, rice fields and the odd factory (muchly to blame for dirty river).

It’s beautifully green and of course very hot. Much has changed here since my first visit here 12 years ago and since my wedding day nearby almost 10 years ago. But it’s essentially still the same old kampung, about a million miles away from the life I lead back home.

Amir and I ventured out for early morning walk this morning and took a few photos. Can’t remember which shots were his or mine but he has a remarkable eye for a 2 year old!

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