Story by A. Ruwidrijarto
There are leavingology, stayingology, and homecomingology. As the name suggests leavingology is the whole body of knowledge and science that makes people leave their place in the community and go serve the powers that oppress the community in the first place. Stayingology is about those who stay in their community, in their place, no matter what, for whatever reason. Homecomingology is the one about people who return to their place in the community.
It’s tough. Very tough for me to talk about all these logys, science. As you’ve known all along, I am no good at counting, memorizing, and science. There are many many people who are far far more adept in science, like Nurkilah and Yusuf of the Rain Gauging Farmers Association in Indramayu, West Java.1 And, of course, there are Oji, Abdon, and others who are very deep already in this science, leavestayhomecomingology, as they are known in the academic circles.
Luckily, there is Yahya.
Yahya is originally from Adonara Island, east of Flores. He had a very good carrier in the development industry. Reached the senior management level at an international aid agency. A flourishing carrier. At one point he had three official cars assigned to him, real luxury cruisers, not the old and beaten crap saved from the junkyard like my 1983 daihatsu or my friend’s 1988 honda. That’s a period in Yahya’s life when every morning he had to choose between to reborn or to go high lux, or perhaps be a fortuner for more adventurous feeling for the workday.
Maybe I am dramatising (or imagining) too far here; the point is that he used to enjoy all that but he threw all that away by coming home, returned to his place in the community. Yahya’s homecoming is to Manusak Village, East Kupang, East Nusa Tenggara.
Thus, Sekolah Alam Manusak was born three years ago2. And, because of Sekolah Alam Manusak I got to learn firsthand about stayingology and homecomingology. The Noken in Timor Land which started on 23 and ended on 29 August 2021 gave me a total 7 uninterrupted day and night with Yahya, the master of homecomingology himself. How precious is that! With others too, students and PhD candidates on stayingology and homecomingology from Sekolah Alam Manusak, Komunitas Secangkir Koppi, the Adventure Inklusi of the mute-deaf community, Komunitas Mentari, Komunitas Film Kupang, Komunitas Soke, Komunitas Oat, (bakal calon) Komunitas Rapper, Pikul, etc.
Of course, there’s also Mama Aleta, herself a professor in stayingology. From her is the learning on how to stay in and with your community, and fight for your rights. For Mama Aleta the turning point to staying and fighting is a day in 1996 in Soe, Timor Tengah Selatan (not to be confused with the South Middle East). She was on her way to office that day when she bumped into to a childhood friend who is a descendant of a leader of their tribe long time ago. That friend told her a message from the ancestors, that she have to stay with Mollo People and defend their land rights, water, culture, existence against mining and other extractive industries.3
So, Mama Aleta stayed, got the master’s degree of stayingology.
All these about Yahya and Mama Aleta, homecomingology and stayingology were revealed during the noken, started right on the first afternoon when we sat around on the grass by the hall of Sekolah Alam Manusak. The Leavestayhomecomingology 101 was taught first by Abdon, and later in the evening by Oji and Torry.
I would bet that those with the best passing grade from this 7 day course are the young ones. Here’s them and their academic report:
Rian, Eu, Syair, Nong (Komunitas Secangkir Koppi)
no coffee place, yet, will document and publish poems and books and stories
Ester (Komunitas Soke Felakdale)
the Gewang Soke Felakdale Gallery and Coffee Shop coming soon
Heru (Komunitas Film Kupang) films coming soon
Yeri, Lyla, Fons, Wedy (Komunitas Sekolah Alam Manusak)
more sekolah alam in the islands, coffee corner and edu-ecotourism online already
Gista (bakal calon Komunitas Rapper)
to noken and rapping in Lembata, youtube videos etcetera
Cybil (student from Jakarta) keep nokening, wikipedia thing
Iman, Retha, Honing (Nausus)
Strategic planning of OAT, manage Nausus, secure IP territories, Kopi Bonle’u
Argen, Nina, Sira (Young Oats)
Learn and one day soon lead OAT community
Marion, Doris, Danial, Iksan, Ana, Mundus, Vivi, Wulan (Adventure Inklusi) with Manusak and Nausus on edu-ecotourism, make Timor disability friendly
Selvi, Serli, Seli (Komunitas muda Bonle’u) Kopi Bonle’u
Aryz (Rumah Mentari)
One Quote A Day Keeps The Noken’s Way
[INCOMPLETE LIST. PLEASE SUBMIT CORRECTION OR ADDITIONAL DATA TO THE SYSTEM ADMIN]
BONUS QUIZ QUESTION:
Please identify and match the names above with the picture below! Submit your answer to @noken.community and Menoken App. on Android.
As for me, with my lack of scientific capacity, I spent too much time during the Noken in Timor Land trying to learn, with little success, psikobiogerontology…