TRAVELING, hm… Indeed, that’s one of my biggest passions. Thank God, that about in mid of this year, He lead me and met me with a bunch of people who have the same passion for traveling and we call ourselves as Travel Troopers.
CHARITY, for me is one of the best moments when I could see the happiness in people’s eyes because I gave them something of mine, even though I could not change their life as much as I wish I could. What a best feeling, when I could make someone’s feeling better and smile, even just for a while.
So when one of the troopers #Rozy came with idea, what we will call later as Traveling for Charity, no trooper couldn’t resist that brilliant idea and suddenly our little community filled with much excitement and happiness because we could do our traveling passion and yet still being care to people around us who were less fortunate than us. The idea was inspired by the theme of the Ramadhan month which is believed as a blessing month.
16 troopers and 1 guest gathered on Saturday morning and drove to Bandung heading to Ulul Albab Orphanage. Ulul Albab has about 90 children, 50 are orphans and 40 are from their poor family. Ulul Albab is located in Bandung’s suburban with narrow lane, uphill ride and ugly road. The view from Ulul Albab was pretty beautiful of the valley below it. Ulul Albab has several permanent buildings with some buildings were under construction and one small mosque. The condition of this orphanage, for me, was pretty good and yet they need more buildings and infrastructure because indeed the children deserve a safe playground and healthy environment.
We were welcomed by two Ulul Albab’s caretaker and tens of kids (toddlers to teenagers) in small gazebo and listened the caretaker told us the story behind the scene of this orphanage. The story about “angels” who were really still exist in this crazy material world, story about daily activities, story about the faith and story about their life.
Besides donating some proper used clothes, toys, books, groceries and fresh money, we also tried to make a connection with the kids and surprisingly (well at least for me) they were so welcome, active and always smile. Travel troopers held some kind like a quiz with of course a lot of gifts for who could answer the trooper’s question correctly. That session was full of fun, laugh and excitement.
One thing for sure, when I walked out from the orphanage, I felt so touched and their priceless gift for me was their truly happiness with smile and laugh in their face. Then I realized, if they could truly smile and laugh in their limitation, why couldn’t I?
Leaving Ulul Albab, we were separated in two groups. One group directly found some restaurant for lunch in The Kiosk – Dago, meanwhile the other group which was in fasting time, directly went to Eiger Store in Jalan Sumatera.
The Kiosk is like a mini food court with many stalls serving Indonesia cuisine. The price was affordable and tasty for some cuisine. Next stops were in Prima Rasa and Bawean Pastry, still around in Riau area, bought some brownies, pastry and the famous Bawean’s roll cake before we were heading to Eager Store in Jalan Sumatera to meet the rest of the troopers.
Eager Store in Jalan Sumatera – Bandung is a big store of Eiger and made me overwhelmed with many Eiger’s products displayed. The store also has some kind like Work Climbing simulator, in the back of the store behind huge artistic fireplace and café in the second level.
Personally I would like to come again sometimes, there was no enough time for me to explore the whole store because we had to go back to Riau area for fasting break in Bancakan Resto in Jalan Trunojoyo (around Riau Junction).
Bancakan means party with plenty of meals served and for sure Bancakan Resto has many dishes to offer in very cheap price. It is recommended to make prior reservation during meal times to guarantee the available spot. Bancakan Resto offer mostly Sundanese cuisine served with steam rice like traditional fried chicken, beef, beef offal, stir vegetables, fried shrimp, steam chicken in banana leafs, and dozens other choices, including many choices of beverages like black/green cincau, honeydew with basil seeds (recommended) and also less sugar dessert called Kue Balok.
It was around 7 pm when we left Bandung and went to Ciwidey. Back to Pasteurs highway gate then took around 20 minutes before we drove out from highway through Kopo highway gate, turning right to Ciwidey.
Took about an hour to reach Abang Hotel (Ciwidey Area) where we spent one night before visiting Kawah Putih (White Crater) and Situ Patengan (Patengan Lake) in the next morning.
Abang Hotel is one of the largest hotels in Ciwidey area, yet the room rate is so affordable. The room is big, clean, completed with hot water and has some plugs inside the room for our gadgets. We can reach Kawah Putih in about 30 minutes from Abang Hotel.
We did really have some great night with full of laugh between troopers and yes, it made our connection just getting stronger than it was. Thank God, during fasting month the hotel had less customers because I thought that we made a lot of disturbing noises haha.
3.30 am some troopers got early breakfast before start fasting time. The weather was chilly and thanks to Abang Hotel’s hospitality that the menu was pretty tasty and served warm with hot tea.
The sun rose up and we were ready to begin our trip to Kawah Putih and Situ Patengan.
For Kawah Putih review, please read my previously article ( Kawah Putih - Ciwidey West Java - Indonesia )
“Once told that there was a couple, Ki Santang and Dewi Rengganis, who were separated for a long time and because their love was so strong, they kept looking for their half heart then they finally met in Batu Cinta. A tiny island in a heart shape in the middle of the lake was told from a boat used by the lover”
“…and for those who come to Batu Cinta and sail around the heart shape island, would find an everlasting love”
Situ Patengan is located in Petanggan Village, it’s made some people call this lake as Situ Patenggan. Surrounded with hectares of tea plantation has made Situ Patengan has many beautiful spots with a tiny island in the center of the lake and the folktale about the lake and a rock called Batu Cinta (love stone). The lake is as clean as the area of the lake and the weather was so great that we decided to visit Batu Cinta on the opposite side of the lake with wooden boat.
Wooden Boat trip fare was IDR 20,000 per person for short track (IDR 30,000 per person for complete track) but because we were 15 persons, we got IDR 220,000 for one boat with 20 capacities.
The short track through Heart Shape Island then stopped by at Batu Cinta and back to departure point through another side of Heart Shape Island, which is a home for 5 monkeys. One of them was hopping on rocks surrounding the island following us on the way back to departure point, so cute.
|thank you to @ntho Photography Writings on The Screen for this pic of me|
Took a couple hours to explore some spots of this lake area and we had to go back to Jakarta. What a sweet and refreshing “Mix Juice” between traveling and charity and for sure it would be my mood booster.
Great purpose, great destination with great people, how could I ask for more?
For sure I want little moment like this … for more and more.
“Smile though your heart is aching, Smile even though it's breaking, When there are clouds in the sky, you'll get by, If you smile through your fear and sorrow, Smile and maybe tomorrow, You'll see the sun come shining through for you
Light up your face with gladness, Hide every trace of sadness, Although a tear may be ever so near, That's the time you must keep on trying, Smile, what's the use of crying? You'll find that life is still worthwhile, If you just smile
That's the time you must keep on trying, Smile, what's the use of crying? You'll find that life is still worthwhile, If you just smile”
Performed by Nat King Cole
Special thanks to Resviana for my English translation review