After a very loooong process of documents, financial and projects preparation, July 2nd 2015 me and my community service’s team called NAD 02 went to Sabang Island. It took us almost 10 hours (flights and delays) from Jogja to Banda Aceh.
To go to the Sabang Island, we need to take flight to Banda Aceh first and then sailing by boat to the island. But the boat only sailed at 2pm, so we need to stay a day at Banda Aceh.
It was around 4pm when we landed in Sultan Iskandar Muda international airport Banda Aceh but the atmosphere was like 2pm in Jogja. And what surprised us more was the fact that the ‘azan ashar’ was just reverberated!
Sultan Iskandar Muda International Airport
Like it was not enough, my friend, Dian, told us “Be patient guys, azan maghrib is around 7pm” and he giggled. We, the 22 persons whom never stepped our feet at Banda Aceh, started to feel blue. Well we were fasting, and after the looong way of our course, we definitely felt really hungry.
Once we done with our baggage, we were welcomed by Dian’s family and they took us to the hotel (which I forgot the name) by bus. Apparently, the hotel was so close with the legendary Masjid Raya Baiturrahman. We were soooo much excited to see the mosque from the bus’es windows.
While the bus was moving to the hotel, Dian’s father told us about what happened along the Banda Aceh road when tsunami attacked the city.
“Ini dulu ada mayat gelimpangan disini”
“Di bawah jembatan ini isinya mayat semua”
“Dulu banyak mayat nyangkut di got ini”
“Airnya dulu disini sampai 5 meteran”
“Ada kapal nyangkut di ujung jalan ini”
And many more.
Honestly, I didn’t know what to feel at that time. I feel really amazed with the might of Allah. How He showed us His greatness. We, humans and every little things He created was just nothing. That we, humans had to always be bent down to Him and never ever ever forget about Him. At the same time, I feel soooo sad. I don’t know why I felt like crying when I was listening to the story. In my head played pictures of the past time at the location and I couldn’t help it to not feeling sad.
Ok enough about sad things.
We put our bags at the hotel and went to the restaurant to eat. That was the very first time I ate Aceh meals which was literally at Aceh! I always loooooove the taste of Aceh meals that is served at rumah makan masakan Aceh in Jogja (fortunately near my house). You know what, the meals was waaaaayyyy better. Whereas the Aceh meals in Jogja was already super delicious. Please imagine how the Aceh meal original from Aceh tastes like heaven. Hohoho
Me and NAD 02 open fasting for the very first time in Aceh
After we enjoyed the meals, we went to the Masjid Raya Baiturrahman, the one and only building in that area which was totally fine when tsunami attacked, Subhanallah. We did sholat taraweh in that place and off course we went there to take some photos.
The mosque is one of a kind! Sooooo beautiful! Like that was one of amazing mosque I’ve ever known. And we had to use proper clothes if we want to go there. No pants for women, no tight clothes. We must wear loose clothes and close the aurat. If we break the rules, the guard will reprimand us. So cool yet scary, because at that time, the girls of our team mostly wear pants and we got the warning.
However, I was very happy to have the experience of praying at the mosque. I felt small in the greatness of the mosque environment. I felt nothing when I compare myself with the muslimah here.
Take a selfie before got the warning :3
Inside Masjid Raya Baiturrahman
Me and the legendary mosque
After we did the prayer, I ate one of my favorite meals ever : mie aceh. The special thing here was that the mie aceh I ate was original from Aceh!!!!! Wohoooooowwww. Words couldn’t express how amazing the mie aceh tastes!
Mie Aceh original from Aceh tastes like heaven!
I was so impressed with Banda Aceh. How the city could make me feel lacked in terms of my relationship with my God, make me feel amazed with the coolness of the city and the deliciousness of the meals.
And yeah, I got a very nice sleep afterwards.