trails & tribulations

by Jakob





After a brief stopover in Kuala Lumpur I arrived in Medan, the capital of Sumatra. From the airport I walked to my guesthouse, the same guesthouse I had a year ago. It felt like I was here yesterday and at the same time I felt amazed to be back here.
I bought some snacks at the nearby supermarket and on my way I was waylaid by groups of students, asking me if they were allowed to interview me, in this way the students try to proficiency their English. One time I agreed, the remaining Five or six times, I kindly answered no thanks …. sorry students …

The next day I resumed my journey to my destination in Somosir: a bus ride of about 5 hours, then an hour in the boat.
Arrived at my destination in Silimalombu, I was quite surprised: a beautiful Batak house was built and Ratna (she organizes the volunteer project) left just an hour before to visit Singapore for a few days. … oops, I had sent my email about my arrival probably somewhat late. Anyway, it’s actually not a problem for me, it was my second visit here and was not alone, together with the permanent staff of Ratna, Rudie and Andie, I knew what had be done.

Lydia arrived moments later, she was actually with Ratna on her way to Medan, but came back to Silimalombu to accompany me here and I was quite delighted with it, especially since I had someone to talk to … nobody in the village masteres the English language.

Last year I stayed 3 weeks in Silimalombu, quite long, especially since not many people speak English, this time I want to stay for almost two weeks with a plan to spend some day in the tourist town of Tuktuk.

The activities were different than last year: the new house had to be painted and it felt pretty good to be busy with somewhat structurally.
Shortly before Lydia and I, after having done a few days of painting, were leaving for a few days to Tuktuk, Ratna returns back from Singapore and welcomed me very warmly and enthusiastically: “Hey Jacob, you came back!”

Tuktuk is a surprising beautifull and a quiet place with a lot of very cheap guesthouses and restaurants. Lydia and I stayed at Bagus Bay Guesthouse, the covered terrace there is truly a “chillout place”. And as always in places where you feel well entertained, time flies and we must return to Silimalombu, not for long, only two days to then return to Tuktuk, to travel from there to Medan, leaving Sumatra.

Silimalombu, I’m so glad I came back. Thanks Ratna and Lydia!

Lake Toba

Lake Toba

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