The week started out well. I went to the mall in Bogor to meet up with the Bogor crew: Imani, Jen, and Betsabe. We were all staying at Imani’s house for a couple of days. We stayed at the mall for some time soaking in the AC then went to a restaurant to get some Western food. It’s amazing how you miss food you didn’t eat back home. Try eating Indonesian food (or any regional food) for 4 months straight and see if you start craving Cheez-its and McDonald’s. Well we headed to Imani’s house in Leuwiliang. On the way our angkot got hit by a car and the tire blew. Luckily none of us were hurt but later Jen realized her laptop was stolen. Apparently this is par for the course with visiting Imani’s site. Someone will get something stolen. We decided to start the next day on a high note by going to Gunung Salak (Salak Mountain – salak is snake food because the skin of the fruit looks like a snake) to see the waterfalls there. It was really awesome, we saw monkeys and the views were amazing (surprisingly no salaks, I was quite disappointed because I love salak, tastes like a sourless pineapple).
Saw monkeys on the way. I was scared and made sure to zoom and not get close to their young. They were walking on the path with us too.
We got to the waterfall and it was beautiful. Lots of people were in the water, having fun, but then…Imani slipped on the rocks and fell backwards. It all happened in slow motion. Luckily she only hurt her hand. A bunch of guys showed up and helped us.One of them had a minature med-kit on him for some reason. My bahasa Indonesian is still poor so I didn’t know what he was saying. Betsabe played a lot of sports growing up so she knew what to do to stabilize Imani’s hand while Jen and I made sure Imani stayed awake and hydrated. After about 15-20 minutes she was well enough to walk so we trekked back to the entrance while on the phone with the Peace Corps Medical Officer (PCMO). It took us about two hours to get back to Leuwiliang and we went straight to the hospital. The PCMO called ahead and let the doctors know everything we relayed. She had a fracture in the palm of her right hand, which meant she would need to go to Bandung where Peace Corps has a medical hospital they work with to get it set properly since the fracture could affect how her dominant hand works for the rest of her life. Betsabe and I decided to accompany her to Bandung so she wouldn’t have to be alone.
The next day at 5AM we head to Bandung for the hospital just to be told that the doctor can’t see her for another two hours. Come to find out the x-ray machine was broken so the PCMO tells Imani she will either have to go to Bangkok, Thailand (that’s where all PCV in Southeast Asia goes for surgery) or Washington D.C. to get her hand set. We were all shocked and she really didn’t want to go back to the States because she has made so much progress here and was afraid the transition would be difficult since she wasn’t prepared mentally to go back now.
When you join Peace Corps you have to prepare yourself mentally to be away from home, familiarity, and your culture. To return back to the States unexpectedly and before you are ready could affect you emotionally so I understood why she didn’t want to go to D.C. so we all hoped she would go to Thailand. By this time, it was Friday and the PCMO said they wouldn’t know where she was going until Monday when she would be flying out. Since she was going to be in Bandung all that time we decided to have some fun. We did a lot of shopping (too much really), ate a bunch of unhealthy food (pancakes/waffles and ice cream are the best thing ever), and invited friends to go visit some Japanese and Dutch bunkers. Mike (ID8) showed up on Saturday and AJ (ID7) showed up on Sunday.
Met up with AJ to go to the Japanese and Dutch bunkers. This restaurant/hotel was awesome and had amazing views of Bandung.
This is amazing, it’s beautiful on the way to where the Japanese and Dutch waged war against each other for dominance in Indonesia. Of course, we ran into some monkeys again.
The Japanese bunkers were built quickly since they weren’t in Indonesia as long as the Dutch.
The Dutch bunkers were nicely built and maintained since they were in Indonesia longer than the Japanese.
Though this trip started crazy, with a car accident and then a slip at a waterfall, it actually ended very well. Imani went to Thailand for two weeks (free trip!) with a hand injury so she got to see Bangkok. Bandung was a lot of fun and we ate a lot of good food. I guess these are the moments they talk about in Peace Corps where something very serious happens, we handled it appropriately, but also got to have a lot of fun because of it. InshaAllah, there will be more good times to come!