My country is made up of thousands of islands. Many of them are visited by domestic and international tourists. They go there for relax while enjoying the views. And the most popular one is Bali. I’m never bored with this place. It’s beautiful, exotic, and amazing. But I won’t write about it at this moment. I have another place which is more quiet and incredible to be seen.
Fasten your seatbelt! Just choose the plane. Fokker is landing in Ende (city) and the journey will take along 75 kilometers through Detusoko (sub-district), Moni (sub-district), Wolowaru (sub-district), Wolosoko (village), Masebewa (village), Aebara Mudetelo (village). It spends two hours. And walk about 3 kilometers from Aebara Mudetelo to Buganunggu (village). Or using bigger aircraft like Boeing, it will arrive in Maumere (city) and continue to Nita (sub-district), Lekebai (sub-district), Paga (sub-district), Maulo’o (sub-district), Wolowiro (village), Watuneso (sub-district), Liabake (village), Wolowuwu (village). Stop for a while to take a deep breath after drove the car for 65 kilometers, equivalent with one and half an hour. From Wolowuwu to Buganunggu has the same distance calculation, it’s 3 kilometers.
My father comes from Flores, East Nusa Tenggara and to walk atop Buganunggu, it needs 6 kilometers from his village, a secluded spot which is only inhabited by about ten families. Men and women doing farm work everyday, raising the pigs, chickens, and goats. They use traditional tools such as mattock, sickle, and trowel. Candlenut is one of their harvests.
When the rooster starts crowing in the morning, ah, it looks lovely. I can see the women cook by using firewood. Some of them are trying to combine the colors to make pretty sarongs. It’s from the root of kembo tree. Young girls take the water from spring, kids are running and jumping around, and the boys are busy to pick the cotton. It differentiates into two types. The small cotton is for yarn material and the big one is for making the pillows.
I feel the fresh air, smell the fried chicken, lamb soup, or grilled pork, from their modest kitchen in Buganunggu. Also, Beyonce, Madonna, Celine Dion, Michael Buble or Rihanna are not needed here as the men’s voice can be heard softly when they sing folk tones or church songs. It’s nice music indeed. Well, some of them still believe in God and go down every Sunday to Liabake or Aebara Mudetelo for following Eucharist Mass.
Their houses are built so simply. The roofs of straw, bamboo shaft, and to strengthen the pole, people arrange the stones river and becomes quite strong foundation. Additionally, it’s dark in Buganunggu as there is no electricity. They create simple lamp from a bottle. A secondhand tin is rolled, filled with the fabric, put it in the bottle that has been given a kerosene. Take the match and light up the top of fabric. It’s hung on each home staging. We call it lampu teplok.
I can hear the crickets sound clearly, the weather is very cold, and they often set the campfire, gather with their children, and feel the warmth. They also put the tubers like cassava, sweet potatoes, or corns and roast them. Yummy. This becomes their staple food on daily basis.
When the clock is ticking nine times, they began to enter the home to sleep. Their beds are from bamboo hooks and weaved mat which made of rea tree put on it. Meanwhile there is no thin blanket. They cover their body with handmade sarong which has two function here, blanket and clothes as well. It’s getting silent. People lay his head upon their pillows. It’s not nice at all in the middle of the night, scary and dark. Sometimes, suanggi is moving around, try to find human bodies that can be eaten. Live primitively means you have to deal with black magic.
Suanggi is incarnation creature which has frightening power to destroy other people. If they’re angry or jealous with someone who has prosperous life, then they start to kill. They can change themselves into animal, or it comes out by head along with all the inner organs and flies to hunt for human's livers. The purpose is for eternity and satisfaction. In daylight, they live normally like us and it can be recognized by their red eyes. But at night the difference comes. It’s like tale, unfortunately it happens truly. Buganunggu is not my destination for the next holiday.
J Wina Rome