Tranquil and authentic to this part of Batam where I went on my overseas school trip in May is the Telunas Resort where we stayed at for a week. I really loved the place because I felt so much more closer to nature than I could be where I live.
Also I videoed a crab burying itself into the sand. This struck me as a sense of protection a crab tries to attain by simply concealing itself. And this made me think. As humans we do not protect ourselves by hiding ourselves all the time. Yes, we do in certain situations, but in common terms like dressing, we don’t protect ourselves by concealing. It’s a psychological thing, is it? Why we feel a sense of safety by being out of sight? So what about this paradox between dressing and concealing?
My trip in Batam was a memorable one, needless to say. I went with my class for a trip where we helped the poorer people in Batam. During this trip, we visited two villages and helped them to build walls and teach their children in an elementary school. This was definitely meaningful and I was glad to be able to help them in some way or other. Although there could definitely be more things I could do if not for the time constraint and many other factors, doing my best for the less fortunate people certainly brought satisfaction and joy.
I still keep in touch with one of the boys I met and interacted with in middle school. This was one of the boys who could speak English and talk to us because there was a common language between us. He was a curious boy who wanted to know more about me, but who was also willing to learn things that we could teach them, such as a few words of the Chinese language.
Telunas Resort was an interesting place to stay. It was wonderful staying there, enabling me to be close to nature which is what I really like, to be away from the city and enjoy life (or at least feel like I enjoy life when I went there). There’s no air-conditioning at all throughout the whole resort, only fans. This is because the resort has their own electricity generator to power the small numerous light bulbs which provided the only lighting around the area, and also the numerous fans around to cool us down in the tropical climate. Batam being a developing country, that island had no mass power plant to provide electricity, nor was there any roads linking parts of the island together, resulting in boats being the only form of transport possible.
The room which I stayed in was a bunk (of course there are normal bedrooms but ours was a school trip), where there were 6 bunks and 12 beds besides having a balcony and 2 attached bathrooms. It’s interesting because nearly the whole resort is made out of wood, built well out over the water to prevent mosquitoes and to lower the temperature. As seen in the photos, the whole walkway and all the huts are built out of planks of wood nailed together. This makes this a refreshing place to stay in – even if it’s not that suitable for children because of the uneven flooring.
There is a lack of amenities though – there is no swimming pool because the sea is the pool all around you. It’s possible to jump off 3m and 10m from the front deck into the sea, and that’s really thrilling – I tried both and my heart was in my mouth and my stomach was clenching way too tightly when I leapt off the 10m high deck into the sea. That was definitely not for the faint-hearted. But swimming’s alright and other sports such as table tennis, soccer, volleyball, badminton and more are available on the beach itself. There’re chairs and hammocks to rest on the beach as well, and fishing’s possible on the front deck too. There’re enough facilities to tide any tourist over for a few days, but the truth is it would get boring after a while. I have to admit that even though I really love the place.
I loved the trip, not just because of the meaning in it, but because of the experiences I gained through the trip as well. I got to know my classmates better, particularly one person, and it was filled with a sense of release, away from reality and life and my family for just one week.
If I could go to such places where I could feel free and star-gaze and actually have a holiday without work and worries with someone I like, that’d be fantastic. Travelling the world is great, it’s what I like to do, to see more scenery and different places around the world such as Petra, Finland, Sweden, Denmark, Canada and Japan… but travelling with a partner would be awesome. That’s something I believe in, and something I guess you could say I dream of.