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Article: My encounter with kapok vol.1

My encounter with kapok vol.1

"When you go through the tunnel,
It was snow, no, it was kapok.”

Here is how I and Kapok met for the first time in the field.
I am writing this now, just before crowdfunding. (October 2, 2019)
In vol.1, we encountered kapok that grows locally, not in a factory,
I decided to write about my encounter with a local family.

Image 1

July 13th 7:30am
I got out of bed and had breakfast at the hotel.
I went to bed after 12 o'clock yesterday, so I was pretty tired from the flight.
Hotels cost about 4,000 yen per night.
The room is quite clean considering its central location.
It's completely different from paying 10,000 yen in Tokyo and only getting a small bed.

Breakfast is buffet style and is more like Western food than Indonesian food.
(At this stage, I don't really understand Indonesian food.)

At 9 o'clock, I met Ippit in the lobby who would be accompanying me on today's inspection.
Ippit is a native Indonesian living near Jakarta.
This time it was a volunteer.
He will accompany us in our research.
Ippit is a member of an NGO that I have been a part of since I was 10 years old.
According to Facebook, we have 50 friends in common.
Ippit was very nice to me even though I met him for the first time.

Image 7

We headed with Ippit to a kapok growing area near Jakarta.
Drive for about an hour.
However, one hour by car from Jakarta is
I can't get a sense of distance at all.
Traffic jams, said to be the worst in the world, occur day and night.
Even after an hour, I still haven't made much progress.
The transportation system is also difficult.
There are many roads where you cannot turn right.
Even if you just want to go around to the opposite lane, you may have to take a fairly long detour.

We asked Ippit many things in the car.
Not only kapok,
The story of the country itself, Indonesia.
The story of Garuda, the sacred bird that is the symbol of the country.
The story of his volunteer work in the area called Sumba.
He taught me many things from a local perspective.

After a while, an area where kapok grows naturally came into view.
There are rows of kapok trees over 10m tall.
Kapok cotton was scattered on the ground, and when I picked it up, it was quite light.

Image 3

In the lower parts, kapok fruit grows to a height of about 3 meters.
I jumped at the chance to see this scene where I could show off my proud vertical jump.
Amazingly, I can't reach it at all.

In the meantime,
ippit spoke with a local mother who happened to be there and lived nearby.
Ippit: “These guys came all the way from Japan to see Kapok!”
Mom: “Oh, really!? I definitely want my daughter and son to match up with such a cute girl!”
(*I don't know the words, so this is just my imagination)

A young boy and a daughter around 18 years old wearing a hijab, much like her mother, appeared.
I heard that kapok is used for pillows and mattresses.
He even broke open a kapok that had fallen to the ground and showed me what was inside.

Image 7

When I tried my best to tell her that I wanted to see the pillows she was using, she readily agreed.
I was shown a kapok pillow on the spot.

Image 4

It was rare to see foreigners there, so I took quite a few pictures with them.
Furthermore, the tea party started on the spot,
We had nutmeg berries, juice, and coconut cookies.
they can't speak english but
He was very kind, cheerful, and hospitable.

Image 5

A boy who attends a local junior high school,
He called me with a carefree smile.
For some reason, a Japanese textbook had fallen nearby and he showed it to me.
Probably not his.
He told me I could take it home, but
As expected, I already remember hiragana. I'm sorry but I declined because it wasn't necessary.

Then he pulled out a thin piece of bamboo about 3 meters long and asked me to follow him.
(*Once again, all words in this area are speculation)
If you follow along, you will see how they make kapok.
He demonstrated it to me.
Using bamboo skillfully, he pulled the fruit and showed us his proud face.

Kapok that is not yet green and ripe is very hard.
Even if I tried to break it, I couldn't do it with my strength.

I came into contact with kapok and met a family who lived with kapok.
Even though we couldn't understand the language, he offered me nutmeg and juice.
Someday, after releasing Kapok products to the world,
It was a time when I really wanted to go back to see this family.

Image 6

We thanked our families and said goodbye.
Kapok creates a relationship that transcends borders and languages.
It felt very comfortable.

Continue to vol.2