“When you love what you have, you have everything that you need”
Immersion is one of the activities that is held at SMAK St. Louis 1 every year. Immersion is also an activity devoted to XI grade students to guide the character of students and to make the student’s personality better.
Seeing the lack of love between people or the decline of love for our neighbor, SMAK St. Louis made a theme for this year called “Love is Affective and Effective”. This is in the hope that children can have love both for themselves, family, and others. It is highly expected that through this activity the students can encounter God through their neighbors.
Immersion lasts for 5 days 4 nights. At this time, I got the opportunity to live in the village of Kalitengah, South Blitar. In Kalitengah Village, every house of foster parents will be occupied by 2 people from SMAK St. Louis 1.
The first time I arrived in Kalitengah village, I was quite tired because I had to travel for 2 hours and had to stand while I was in the truck. When our truck arrived in the middle of the village, many villagers were waiting for us. They welcomed us with joy. In that village, I got a partner named Cathy and we lived together in Sumadi’s house. His house is quite large consisting of a living room, 3 bedrooms, a kitchen and a bathroom. but the kitchen and bathroom are not still tiles.
In that house, there lives one family very harmoniously. His father was named Pak Sumadi, his mother was named Wagina, and his two children were named Joni and Dillah. They all struggled to live in this village in order to fulfill their simple needs.
One morning when Cathy and I had woken up at dawn, we saw our foster parents work. Our father went to the fields to look for hay for cow food and our mother cooked. Maybe what you’ll imagine is cooking just by turning on the stove, put the pan on the stove, put the oil inside the pan, then cook. However, it’s not like what you imagine. In this house it is still very simple. For cooking we use woods. We have to light the firewood together with a little oil, then matches and distribute it from one wood to another. It takes a long time to light firewood so that it can be used. Even though there was a small stove in the house, my mother, Wagina, used firewood because of the lower cost. At that time we learned a lot about cooking, starting from cooking kale, corn patty, coconut milk, porridge for cows and many other things.
In making kale that you might think is easy, it turns out to be quite difficult. The kale must be washed using clean water that we can get from taking it in a water tank. Then, to make corn patty, we have to try hard by buying corn on the market, cleaning the corn, cutting the corn, smoothing it out, then frying it on firewood.
Here I also learned how to make coconut milk, which had to be squeezed from coconut and stirred for about 2 hours on the furnace with a lot of smoke billowing around it. In Kalitengah Village, many residents use coconut milk to make their dishes. So, you are very lucky if you can enjoy and buy coconut milk without the hassle of making it.
Making porridge for cows, maybe you have never made it, right? However, making porridge for cows is fairly easy. We only need to use flour and hot water. Flour is placed in a container and then given boiling water and stirred regularly. This porridge is a cow’s snack, especially when dry grass is not available in the rainy season.
I feel very grateful for the many life lessons that I got during the immersion activities in Kalitengah Village. I got so much experience and memories during immersion that was so unforgettable. It did not change my life’s habits but it is enough to make my life more colorful and meaningful.
From here I got a lot of the true meaning of life. If we sometimes feel that the life we live is difficult, we must reflect and think again that many people out there live a harder life than us. We need to learn to appreciate life more and have the courage to change our lives to be useful for others.
I also get a lot of other life values such as the value of steadfastness, patience, and kinship values. Maybe I am quite impatient, but from this experience during immersion, I learned that patience is very important and needed. With patience everything will feel more meaningful. For example, if my food used to be prepared on the table whenever you want to eat, now in the village you have to be patient with cooking your food first. This way, I can also learn to appreciate food because making it is not easy. Maybe the water in my bathroom is usually clean, now you have to take a shower with a dirty water especially when it rains the water is very very dirty like the water in a river.
In Desa Kalitengah a kinship is very meaningful and upheld. For example, if you meet anyone on the road or in front of your house, you should be accustomed to greet the person whether you know that person or not. There, the mutual cooperation between people is also very high. For example, if a family holds an event, they will gather together at the person’s house to help. They were not half-hearted in helping others, they gathered from 4 a.m to cook, wash the dishes, and help build the person’s house and go home late at night. I really feel lucky and thankful for all the things I learned and gained during this immersion. I am very grateful of it.
My hope is that all the things and values of life that I got during the immersion can bring good changes in my life. I also hope that I can use it and make use of it for my future. This immersion also made me able to appreciate life more than before. I am very grateful and thankful for everyone, especially to my foster parents and the teachers that have accompanied us and have carried out their duties in assisting us during the immersion activities. I hope they will be given extraordinary blessings in their lives and they can live their lives peacefully and prosperously without shortcomings. And finally, I hope that my foster parents and I can continue to have good relations and not forget each other even though we are separated by the distance and time.
Lots of events happened both happy and sad, but I will try to continue the good and throw away the bad ones. And for you readers, start learning to be grateful for all the events that have happened in your life. Both good and bad experience have a differrent meaning for your own life. All of you must remember that our lives in the city are much easier than people who live in the village. So try to always be grateful for everything that exists because life will feel more beautiful when we try to accept everything that is and everything that happens.
And hopefully from my life experience during immersion, you can get a moral message that from now on you should make and change your life to be better than before. You also need to be more patient when you face the hardship of life. Don’t be afraid or worry if you will take part in immersion activities. Immersion is not a terrible event to go through but it is very easy if you are patient in facing it. Immersion is also a school activity to make students arrive at the stage of independence and maturity. Therefore, this immersion activity is very important and must be done to create students who are independent and mature both in faith and deed.
All of these things happened suddenly and unexpectedly. We must try to prepare ourselves from now on so that all of the obstacles in front of us can be faced easily. Last, be kind and try to love what you have because if you do, you have everything that you need in this life.