Kuala Lumpur: A Meeting After Eight Years

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Bhumy first trip overseas, the boy excitement at 12.30 AM

I haven’t seen my ex-housemate, Bebe, after eight long years. Or even more. I just remember the first time he met his now-wife, Ili. The stormy process of their love and suddenly photos of their first daughter, Sidra. And when I had my own son, Bhumy, they had theirs, Atari. Then not long after, Bima. I saw all the process of their family through pictures, facebook and blogs.

Then suddenly we’re doing our own gardening in our own lawns, his in Selangor – Kuala Lumpur, mine in Nitiprayan – Yogyakarta. Skype chats suddenly involves the updates of our latest garden design and trying the latest experiment based on the permaculture principles. We share ideas and updates on our kids, daily in the social media.

Excitement came when the Yogyakarta – Kuala Lumpur new routes are getting as cheap as going to Jakarta or Denpasar. So it was decided that in the end of March, we will have our reunion. There is also an international street art festival happening in KL which we could see while we are there. I had to take care my son’s first passport and it is our first trip overseas together. Things went well, preparations was simple.

It was just the three hours flight delay that makes Ili and the boys pick us up in the airport at the most ungodly hours especially for the children. Somehow Bebe looks the same, accept with the very fact that he is a punk dad with the additional three kids. I remember Ili with the long hair, but nowadays she cut it short. I guess I agree with Bebe, that this trip felt like a dream, or a long wake after a dream. The long years that separate us seems make the distance feel far away and unreachable physically. But then, we are here. Me and Bhumy together.

Suddenly the trip to KL felt like a time machine. Suddenly we are all above thirty and our kids are already knocking as our next generations. Suddenly our interest met with our hope of the future: our children’s lives. We talk about raising kids, domestic issues, healthy food, recipes to cook, urban gardening, permaculture, our old friends, art scene in KL, politics in general (blah), sustainable living and basically the latest update on anything.

The next five days felt so short but it create something huge. Time always passes by. But moments are  eternal. Despite all this technology convenient mobility thing, meeting your old dear friends and family is always become the best thing that we always treasure.

UntitledOur first morning: Munching roti canai in the garden

Our kids play together, share foods and toys while us the parents sharing all the stories of our lives. I didn’t develop the interest to explore KL that much this time, accept more to seeing Bebe and Ili. While Bhumy joining the Gang Chaos: Sidra-Atari-Bima. We also have the trip together with the kids to the Padang Jawa: Street Art Festival. The children are excited to take the bus and train. Play on the streets and under the rain with the kids in Kampung Padang Jawa. It’s a refreshing side of KL. It is the other side of urbanisation never advertised in any tourism pamphlet on Malaysia. But things feel connected, the reality is real, our problems are familiar and our discussions are to search the solutions together.

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Bhumy and Atari at Padang Jawa

UntitledThe boys practicing body surfing under the rain of Padang Jawa

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Taking the bus trip with Gang Chaos

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Bhumy being nice with the local kids

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Sidra, the big sister :)

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Sidra and Bebe in the garden after a moning rain

I somehow change my perspective on visiting Malaysia after this trip, the joyful trip to Kuala Lumpur this time really makes me to look forward for further of the many trips to the home of my dearest friends and their kids :) Miss you all!

Imogiri: A Visit to Bumi Langit Permaculture Center

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Mas Salas carrying Safia and explaining to Labodalih about the waste water garden

It was a sunny Saturday morning to start with. It was a date with my regular organic vegetable seller- the Bumi Langit Permaculture guys- and my favorite guys: Asabhumy (me son), Labodalih Sembiring and Paul Daley. Mas Adri was waiting for us in Milas after the organic market finish at 12 PM, Mas Salas end up taking us up to Imogiri under the slight drizzle not long after we had our motorcycle drive. Despite Paul having a flat tire and we had to stop for some tea/coffee, the way up to Imogiri worth the best excitement and amazement of my son pointing in to whatever directions of the green surrounding landscapes. We even have not arrive yet.

Entering Bumi Langit you could feel the change in the air, the slight mist and the smell of fresh rain on the ground. All the oxygen you can feel coming to refresh your lungs from the city pollution. You feel you are relaxed on your own skin. And mother nature says hi.

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Bumi Langit Biogas Tanks

While waiting for Khrisna to finish doing his things, Mas Salas carry Safia (Khrisna’s youngest sister) and took us for a tour in Bumi Langit. We went first to the waste water garden (well literally things grow above your septic tank :D) next to the biogas tanks. Then into the pool of ducks, where the filtered water create a little ponds.

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Duck Pond

This is where Bhumy getting so excited and he even pee near the pond. This area reminds me of my childhood. We used to raise chickens and my dad make the farm above water, putting the chicken in bamboo huts where their discharge fall into the water to feed carps. We had a great harvest back then. It is great to see Bhumy being comfortable running around the place and being friendly with the animals. It’s tragic and sad to see many city kids todays being so unfamiliar with nature. It feels so unnatural for a human being to be disconnected with nature. It is such a loss to our future generation to lost this kind of relationship with the earth. Our home. Our own mother.

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The view of the permaculture farm

Khrisna finally join us in the middle of our little tour. We walk and talk while seeing the amazing surrounding and the permaculture system set up in Bumi Langit. Khrisna took us for another tour, while the clinging Safia is forbidding Mas Salas to go home. Let’s the photo speak from now.

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Bhumy going up the stairs

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Put plastic in the right bin

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The view of Jogja sky from Bumi Langit

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A few days old lamb, photo taken by Labodalih Sembiring

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Khrisna and his cows, photo taken by Labodalih Sembiring

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Bhumy on his way up again

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Papaya tree on the wall

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Lushful mints and basil

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Khrisna new site

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The view from Khrisna’s house

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Amaranth seeds, 80 % protein and high antioxidant, very easy to grow

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End up cooking meals for the guys and family of Bumi Langit

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Late night talks and discussion on permaculture and near future plans, photo taken by Labodalih Sembiring

At the end of the day our experience with Bumi Langit really lived its name. Bumi means Earth, like my son (just different spelling) while langit means sky. It feels like you are among the earth and the sky while you are here. Appreciating the nature and being amaze with the ecosystem. Khrisna father’s, Iskandar Waworuntu, started this place with his own family and communities. While his eldest son and Khrisna’s older brother, Tantra, is based in Bali in a similar sort of setting and permaculture set up. There is a lot to learn in one day and we will definitely coming again as regular visitor. Do visit when you are in Jogjakarta area :) It is such an inspiring place to live in. Great and amazing people. Vibrant and positive energy for the planet.