My Adventure Tragedy #3

Ambai Island

ENGLISH

Ambai Island, Yapen Islands Regency

Year: 2014

Ambai Island is part of the Yapen Islands Regency in Papua. We arrived at Ambai to cover the local cultural party – there were traditional dances and local theatre that was performed on sea. We were standing on the wooden bridge pier and was on the process of shooting for one of my traveling programme called Pelesir. It was such an interesting scene where the locals perform a theatrical story about ‘The Abducted Slave’. The talents were performing at the sea on traditional boats and they continued they’re act climbing up to the wooden bridge pier to where we were standing.

So, there we can cover closely about the act. I was standing beside a local friend who we ask earlier to be my co-host, so he can tell us more about the local’s culture and nature in Ambai Island. He was just standing only inches away from me at my left side. All our eyes were locked with the theatrical moment’s just infront of us. In SECONDS, Yes SECONDS! The bridge pier broke because of overloaded people. It had broke continuously for three times. Well, I had the first one and if ONLY I had stepped back for just ONE STEP I will be safe. But, oh well I fell! – without letting me the chance to think on how to survive myself or even to just let me have time to step back for just one step. I fell for 3 meters down to the sea surface and another +/- 3 meters down underwater. Far as I remember the bridge instantly wobbles uncontrollably and caused a lot of people to fall. I could feel while I was drowning, the chaos of heavy iron wood splashing producing white bubbles underwater. Up over there the falling bridge scene was possibly more or less like a domino effect. It gave me the feeling that I was pushed down because of the pressure of the falling woods. All I can do was pray to Allah. As I was still going down, all I can pray inside of my head was, ‘I hope I won’t be drowning too deep. I hope it’s not deep!’ All I could see was dark blue seawater with a little light somewhere, shadows of falling iron wood and white bubbles coming from the splash. Suddenly, I was up on the surface. I saw my local friend who logically should be next to me was actually standing with his sunglasses still perching on his forehead but rather far away from me. This is strange I thought! People were everywhere on the water and some were safe up on the bridge and what I can hear was people shouting here and there all panic from the tragedy. Surprisingly, I was quite by myself standing and still at the straight vertical line from where I had fell. My local friend called me, ‘Fiona!’ And as usual I acted cool and everything was okay. I tried to collect myself and look at my surrounding, then he approached me and kind of dragged me away keeping me safe from the broken bridge because apparently some were still falling down. My biologist friend- who also fell but was okay from it- came running towards me and checked me just in case of any injuries. He probably had seen some blood pouring at my arm or leg because he directly checked at my wounds on my right arm and said this is a big cut it must be stitched. He directly asked me whether I felt dizzy or hurt. And I said no. I neither can’t feel my wounds and actually don’t know if there was any. Once I saw my own trickling blood at my right arm, right knee and my left calf, I realised that I was injured. People was running and gathering towards me some shocked and some surprised that I was wounded. My back shirt around the back of my shoulder was teared from a hard bump that I tried to recall it was from the broken edge of the bridge when I fell down. The rest I don’t know how I got my cut from. Mostly they said I got the cut from bia bia (local language for a type of white shell -shape like a clam but rather small that usually sticks at wooden bridges) which is poisonous. I was guided towards the traditional house area not far from the bridge where the locals live by the sea. I climbed one of the nearest stairs and went in from the back doors. The local Papuan women were all busy and panicked at the same time preparing a cure for me which is HOT BOILING water! They said that to lose the poison they usually use hot water on the wound. So, they made me a whole BIG boiling hot water as you can see it steaming. And a woman brought a towel and dip it into the hot water ready to clean my wounds. I tried not to look surprised because hot boiling water equals big cuts doesn’t seem a good idea. So, I asked my biologist friend that they don’t need to do it but we thought that it would be considered rude to reject their kindness. My friend said that it’s probably their way in cleaning the wounds. And then I said okay although with my cringing look and because of my expression they said ‘Jesus God! Jesus God! Sayang…. It’s going to be alright.’ My friend suggest them to do it slowly. Not long the Regent of Serui Island came running-still with the beaded ornament attached at his hip – came to the kitchen where I was and he instructed the people to escort me to the speedboat. I felt relieved and said thank you to the locals. As I was escorted to the backside of the house again and ready to climb down the stairs except this was on the other side, one local Papuan man came rushing to me while munching bettle nut and vine – I remembered his face instantly because he was one of the main talent of the theatrical show but I didn’t notice there was a bump on his forehead which my friends told me afterwards – and then took out his munched bettle nut from his mouth towards his hand and put it at my calf while mumbling some words as he tries to help me heal. Well, it felt like a burning sensation and my friends told him that it was okay because we have to leave and go to the speedboat soon. We approach the nearest clinic, instead the Regent directed his subordinates to call all the clinic member to clean up my wounds inside the speedboat. There were also one local Papuan woman who join us in the speedboat lying down in shock. They said that she got knocked somewhere in the stomach area from the wooden log. At first, I thought they were going to stitch me right away because I saw all the stitching tools. Then the Regent immediately said ‘No! We already called a skin doctor to come over to my place. So, you will be stitched there.’  The clinic team cleaned my wound with alcohol 70%. Yes! Alcohol 70%! It hurt sooooo much until I sang it off to make me feel better and not worse. It felt like a squeeze of lemon was poured into a cut. And that how it feels like! You know when they say sing, or think and try to feel positive as could be when you are in pain then the pain will lessen. That’s what I did. I didn’t cry but sang it away. It stings like crazy I tell you! Then we arrived at the Regent’s place. I try to clean myself first from the saltwater while waiting for the doctor. Besides that, I ate RAW ALOEVERA like a jungle-man which I usually bring in my bag during my adventures . And because of this accident I regretted that I had brought only one leaf! Aloevera is known for its miraculous healing for the body inside and out! I ate it to prevent any serious injuries that I don’t know and to help the healing process for my wounds.

When the doctor came, I was asked to lay down on the couch and the stitching process begin. Of course, alcohol 70% was given again but not as much as before and the doctor gave me local anesthetic injections around my wounded area in order for the stitching process to begin. Anyways, I can feel pain at my knee for two or three stitches and the rest I couldn’t feel it. So, in total I have 20 stitches, 15 at my right arm, 5 at the knee, others were using butterfly wound closures. I have to drag my right leg every time I walk because I couldn’t bend my knee yet from the fresh stitch. I remember I was put in a wheelchair when we landed to Jakarta but only until the baggage claim area. Two to three weeks later I opened my stitches because the doctor in Jakarta said that my wounds were already quickly dry. I have to wait 1 month to heal but longer time until the deeper wounds dries inside by itself.

Moral of the Story:

  1. Spread kindness every where and anytime because we will never know which kindness that you have spread will help you in your hardship times.
  2. Never lose spirit in your adventures. Keep on traveling because this is the part of knowing your own self. It is a self journey.
  3. Bring an aloevera leaf if you can! Another addition for your first aid kit.

P.S

I lost a tote bag where I put my clothes and makeup bag inside. If I’m not mistaken, I had entrusted it to someone because I thought I might need it later for the shooting. But my tote bag was no where to be seen, lost and sunk. Well, I have never thought of it ever since and was okay about it. Then the other day, the local people of Ambai using their traditional boat – that might take 3 hours ride had found it and sincerely gave it back to me. They probably had dived to search my possession. The reason for this was they don’t want to have a bad impression because from all that had happen. I was lost in words.

Cuts and Scrapes
Cuts and Scrapes
Deep cut on the knee part
Deep cut on the knee part
My wounds after 2 weeks from the tragedy
My wounds after 2 weeks from the tragedy
My wounds after 2 weeks from the tragedy
My wounds after 2 weeks from the tragedy
Stitching process in the Regent's home
Stitching process in the Regent’s home
Injured local Ambai Woman in Speedboat
Injured local Ambai Woman in Speedboat
This is how I look after having 20 stitches
This is how I look after having 20 stitches
Clinic team cleaning my wound with alcohol 70%!
Clinic team cleaning my wound with alcohol 70%!
All shooting equipment were broken from the seawater
All shooting equipment were broken from the seawater
After it's being cleaned by alcohol 70%
After it’s being cleaned by alcohol 70%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How the tragedy looks like. Photo collected from the locals
How the tragedy looks like. Photo collected from the locals
My smooth right arm before the tragedy
My smooth right arm before the tragedy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Indonesian Summary

Pulai Ambai, Kabupaten Kepulauan Yapen

Tahun: 2014

Ketika baru sampai Pulau Ambai dengan menggunakan speedboat, kami lalu naik keatas tangga jembatan dermaga yang terbuat dari kayu besi. Disana, kami akan shooting tentang pesta budaya lokal untuk Pelesir yaitu program travelingku. Kami disambut dengan tari-tarian lokal kemudian dilanjutkan dengan pementasan teater lokal diatas laut. Jadi memang kami belum kemana-mana hanya di jembatan dermaga tersebut.

Teater yang terjadi di atas laut ceritanya mengenai ‘Penculikan Budak’, kami sangat terpesona dengan keseriusan akting mereka di atas kapal-kapal tradisional khas Papua mereka. Adegannya tersebut lalu berpindah kearah tempat kami berdiri yaitu diatas jembatan dermaga. Kami pun senang karena akan jadi sangat dekat untuk meliput pementasannya.

Saya ditemani oleh seorang teman lokal yang kami jadikan sebagai co-host saya di acara Pelesir edisi ini karena nantinya dia akan menerangkan lebih banyak lagi mengenai kultur dan budaya yang ada disana pada saat itu. Dia berdiri persis disampingku yang hanya berjarak beberapa sentimeter saja. Kita fokus shooting dan larut kedalam adegan ceritanya. Dengan hitungan DETIK, ya DETIK! Jembatan dermaga tersebut AMBRUK seketika karena kelebihan muatan orang. Ambruknya pun tiga kali ya semacam efek domino saja. Saya boro-boro diberikan kesempatan untuk berpikir mengenai penyelamatan diri atau diberikan waktu untuk hanya MUNDUR SATU LANGKAH saja karena pasti saya akan selamat. Jadi saya langsung terjun bebas -/+ 3 meter ke laut dan ditambah tenggelam -/+ 3 meteran lagi ke bawah laut. Saya hanya bisa berdoa kepada ALLAH SWT ‘Semoga nggak terlalu dalam, semoga nggak dalam!’

Keadaan dibawah gelap dan hanya ada sedikit cahaya saja. Saya bisa melihat kayu-kayu besi beruntuhan satu per satu menghasilkan buih –buih putih dibawah laut dan memberikan efek sedikit tekanan seperti mendorong saya ke arah bawah. Lalu, entah bagaimana saya sudah berada diatas permukaan laut lagi. Saya melihat co-hostku malah berada dijarak -/+ 1 meter di depan saya. ‘Kok, dia bisa berada disana ya? Padahalkan dia beridiri persis disampingku.’ kataku dalam hati. Kacamatanya pun masih menempel dengan lengket di atas kepalanya. Sementara saya berada di garis vertikal lurus dari asal tempat saya jatuh dari atas. Dia langsung berteriak ‘Fiona!’ pas melihatku. Sementara saya mencoba untuk terlihat cool dan melihat keadaan disekelilingku. Karena kayunya masih berjatuhan dia langsung mencoba untuk menyelamatkan aku dan menggiringku ke luar area. Teman saya dalam bidang biologist langsung melihat saya dan menuju kearahku. Dia juga terjatuh namun terlihat tidak apa-apa. Dia langsung menghampiri dan mengecek luka-luka saya yang tidak saya rasa dan yang tidak saya tahu sebelumnya. Ketika dia mengecek lengan kanan saya, saya baru menyadari bahwa saya memang terluka. Dia lalu bilang bahwa lukanya lebar dan harus dijahit. Kemudian dia melihat lutut dan betisku yang sudah berlumuran darah. Wow! Saya baru menyadari bahwa saya memang benar-benar terluka. Lalu, dia tanya kepada saya apakah saya merasa pusing atau kesakitan. Dan saya bilang saya tidak apa-apa karena saya memang tidak merasakan apa-apa. Berdasarkan pendapat orang-orang, saya terluka akibat dari goresan kerang bia bia (kerang berwarna putih yang suka menempel di kayu –kayu jembatan yang sangat tajam). Baju dibagian bahu belakang saya pun robek dengan perkiraan saya akibat hantaman dengan bagian ujung jembatan yang ambruk itu. Kemudian semua orang menghampiriku dan mengkhawatirkan keadaanku. Lalu saya digiring ke tangga pemukiman warga yang terdekat yang tidak jauh dari jembatan dermaga diarea pinggir laut.

Saya naik dan melewati pintu belakang rumah warga dan masuk ke dapurnya. Para Mama-mama panik dan heboh untuk merawat luka saya. Mereka ternyata sudah mempersiapkan sebaskom besar AIR PANAS yang masih MENDIDIH dan ada yang sudah membawa handuk untuk membersihkan luka-luka saya. Saya jadi sedikit ngeri. Tidak terbayang olehku luka lebarku terkena oleh air panas. Lalu saya bicara sama teman saya yang biologist itu agar mereka tidak usah repot untuk membersihkan luka saya. Namun hasil obrolan kita menarik kesimpulan bahwa ini adalah salah satu cara mereka untuk membersihkan racun yaitu dengan air panas. Melihat mereka begitu peduli sama saya lantas akhirnya saya bilang ‘Ya, silahkan.’ Saya begitu ngeri ketika handuknya sudah dicemplungkan ke air mendidih dan saya sedikit memejamkan mata saya karena takut akan rasa sakit yang akan ditimbulkan. Teman saya kemudian bilang ‘Pelan-pelan saja’. Lalu Mama itu bilang ‘Tuhan Yesus! Tuhan Yesus! Sayang… tidak apa-apa.’ Selang beberapa menit kemudian, Pa Bupati lari ketempat dapur itu menghampiri saya dengan ornament manik-manik khas Kabupaten Yapen yang masih menempel di pinggulnya lalu memerintahkan kepada orang-orang untuk membawa Fiona segera ke speedboat untuk dibawa ke klinik terdekat. Saya pun merasa lega karena pembersihan luka dengan air panas itu tidak perlu saya lewati lagi. Kamipun lewat jalan belakang lagi. Ketika saya hampir mau turun lewat tangga yang satunya lagi, ada seorang bapak lokal menghampiriku dengan cepat. Dia sedang mengunyah sirih pinang lalu mengeluarkannya dari mulut dengan menggunakan tangannya dan menempelkannya pada betisku sambil komat kamit sesuatu. Rasanya ya lumayan perih juga. Tapi ya apa boleh buat. Saya lalu sadar bahwa bapak-bapak itu adalah salah satu pemain utama dari teatrikal tadi namun saya baru tau kemudian dari teman-teman bahwa jidatnya pun terluka. Kami pun sudah berada di dalam speedboat dan langsung menuju ke klinik terdekat. Pa Bupati langsung memerintahkan anak buahnya untuk memanggil orang-orang klinik dan membersihkan luka saya di dalam speedboat. Ada satu Mama yang juga ikut ke dalam kapal karena membutuhkan perawatan. Dia seperti kena shock dan katanya daerah perutnya terhantam kayu besi. Ketika tim klinik sudah datang, sayapun langsung dibersihkan lukanya sama mereka dengan alcohol 70%. Ya! Betul alcohol 70%! Mau tau rasanya? Rasanya sungguh PERIH sekali. Seperti jeruk lemon yang diteteskan ke luka!  Yang hanya saya bisa lakukan adalah bernyanyi. Karena katanya kalau kita bernyanyi atau mencoba berpikiran dan merasakan hal –hal yang positif maka rasa sakitpun berkurang. Ya, dan saya tidak menangis namun bernyanyi. Saya sempat melihat alat-alat jahit di speedboat. Spontan saya bertanya, ‘Apakah saya akan dijahit disini juga?’ Pa Bupati langsung menjawab, ‘Tidak! Saya sudah penggilkan Dokter kulit ke rumah saya. Nanti kamu akan dijahit disana. Sekarang hanya dibersihkan saja lukanya.’ Setelah sampai ke rumah Pa Bupati. Saya langusng membersihkan diri dari air laut sambil menunggu dokternya datang. Selain itu, saya makan MENTAH-MENTAH DAUN ALOEVERA (LIDAH BUAYA) seperti orang hutan yang biasanya saya bawa dalam tas ketika traveling. Karena kejadian ini, saya jadi menyesal hanya bawa satu daun.  Aloevera dikenal dengan keajaibannya untuk menyembuhkan badan dari luar dan dalam. Saya memakannya untuk menghindari luka-luka yang tidak saya ketahui dan membantu proses penyembuhan luka saya.

Setelah dokternya sampai, saya disuruh berbaring diatas sofa dan disanalah saya ditindak. Saya lalu diberikan alcohol 70% lagi. Ya tapi kali ini hanya sedikit dan disuntik bius lokal disekitaran luka-luka yang akan dijahit. Saya tidak merasakan apa-apa kecuali di bagian lutut dimana dua atau tiga jahitannya terasa. Saya jadi tau rasanya dijahit seperti apa. Total jahitan saya ada 20, 15 ditangan kanan saya, 5 dilutut, dan sisanya menggunakan plaster kupu-kupu. Saya pun berjalan kaki dengan harus menyeret kaki kanan saya karena lutut baru dijahit dan tidak memungkinkan untuk ditekuk. Ketika sampai Jakartapun pada saat mendarat saya disuruh duduk diatas kursi roda tapi hanya sampai pengambilan bagasi saja. Dua sampai tiga minggu kemudian jahitan saya sudah bisa dibuka karena kata dokter di Jakarta luka saya telah cepat sembuh dan mengering dengan baik. Dibutuhkan waktu satu bulan untuk sembuh tetapi lebih lama agar luka dalam bisa sembuh secara total.

Cerita Moralnya:

  1. Tebarlah kebaikan setiap saat karena kita tidak akan pernah mengetahui kebaikan mana yang akan balik menolong kita pada saat kita kesusahan.
  2. Jangan patah semangat untuk bertualang. Teruslah melakukan suatu perjalanan karena inilah yang namanya bagian dari pengenalan dengan diri sendiri.
  3. Bawa daun aloevera kalau bisa! Ini adalah tambahan untuk pertolongan pertamamu.

P.S:

Saya sempat kehilangan tote bag yang isinya beberapa baju dan kantong makeup. Kalau tidak salah saya sempat menitipkannya pada seseorang. Tetapi tote bag saya tidak terlihat lagi, hilang dan tenggelam. Namun saya tidak pernah memikirkannya lagi dan memang sudah tidak apa-apa dan ikhlas. Keesokan harinya, orang-orang lokal dari Pulau Ambai datang dengan menggunakan perahu traditionalnya yang -/+ memerlukan waktu 3 jam perjalanan. Mereka telah menemukan totebagku dan mengembalikannya kepada saya dengan tulus. Kemungkinan mereka menyelam untuk mencari barang milikku ini. Alasan mereka adalah agar tidak ada prasangka buruk dari semua yang telah terjadi. Saya jadi kehilangan kata-kata.

Fiona Callaghan
Model, TV Presenter, Actress, Ambassador, Adventure Blogger, Adventurer, PLAN+

2 Comments

  1. Wah mba. Liat lukanya. Ngeri banget.. untungnya pas jatuh itu g disusul ambruknya kayu lain ya.. bahaya juga.. wah..aku jg pernah kepleset d dermaga dan kena kerang2 yg nempel d tiang dermaga. Perih banget..

    Dan memang sih.. selama 3x ke papua, org lokal emang sangat peduli sm kita. Mereka terlalu khawatir. Pengalaman yg menarik mba!

  2. You poor soul. It sounds like a nightmare with kindness thrown in for good measure. ‘The Adventuress’ is a good name for you! Take care, my niece, and I hope your injuries feel less painful soon. Love from A.G. xx

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