Sorong and Manokwari, Trips to Diversity

Alhamdulillah, I finally unlocked Papua (West Papua, actually) in September 2016. I got chance to visit Sorong, Sorong Selatan and Manokwari to spread the information about KIP (Kartu Indonesia Pintar). I visit those places with staff from Directorate of Senior High School and really we had blast time there.

For someone who never interact heavily with Papuans, it really is exciting experience for me. As you know, at that time, the distribution of KIP didn’t do well. Moreover, there are so many people who complained that they didn’t get KIP or didn’t know how to use it. When we share the information through meeting with school principal, some of them really scold us because of it. However, interacting with Papuans make me realize that diversity really exists and it is beautiful. Though I was scolded, I know that they don’t take it at hearts, we still can interact amicably after meeting it’s done. In my humble opiniom, because Papua has suffered for a long time, the Papuans want to be heard.

Beside the process of spreading KIP’s information, I have good experience travelling in Sorong and Manokwari. In Sorong, I was accompanied by beautiful lady named Sayang. I called her Kak Sayang (see my photo with beautiful lady). FYI, She was just given birth a week before we came. I can’t imagine  if I was her. However, she treated us well. She showed us the beach in Sorong called Tembok Berlin (since it was bordered by a wall). We drank coconut water there. She told me that this place would be more active at night since there would be many fisherman who open ‘instant restaurant’ here and we could eat fresh fish from the sea (I don’t have that chance, unfortunately). Kak Sayang also accompanied us to Gift store. It sold Koteka (please look for more information in google if you don’t know), root-made-bags, and batik. I bought beautiful batik from the store.

In Manokwari, We also had chance to take trip around Manokwari. Mostly, we visited Beach. Manokwari was known for its white sand beach. We got introduced to a lady that can call fish to the shore just by using whistle. At first we didn’t believe it, however, after 15 mins, Many fishes come to the shore, too bad my camera couldn’t capture it clearly (see my last pict). We also had chance to visit Mansinam Island. It was said that this island is become the main source of Christian religion in Papua. At the top of the hills, there was Jesus sculpture (almost the same with the one in Rio de Janeiro). I think if you are christian or Chatolic, visiting this Island would be a pleasure experience since it was so authentic.

In Manokwari, there is one place that I would like to visit but didn’t have time to do it. It is Pegunungan Arfak. When I look up at google, it was a natural preservation in Manokwari. It was more special since there are some traditional tribes that lived there. I really want to see and know how they live,  what they wear, how they interact, anything related to them. However, the trips to Pegunungan Arfak takes three day trips and I should rental special car (the car that allows you to travel around highlands) that was sooooo expensive if I traveled alone. huhuuhu, I should say goodbye for now but I’ll be back to visit it for sure. Manokwari was also known for its fresh sea fish. My companion bought two octopus and some fresh fishes. Luckily, our guides was kind enough to wrap them hence we didn’t face the problem when we go home.

In my opinion, visiting Papua is a must when you like to travel. Manokwari and Sorong are the one that I can recommend if you are not keen of traditional way. Hopefully I’ll have chance to get back there. I will, insyaAllah.

(Senayan, 2017, when I do miss travelling so much)

Iklan

Good Food, Good View, Good Life (Experience)

 

South Sulawesi is a place that I frequently visit in 2016, compare to other Provinces in Indonesia. Besides Enrekang, Tana Toraja and Toraja Utara, I got chance to visit Makassar (heol, people know, but trust me that it will be different as I will tell you in this article), Pangkep and Gowa. This lovely places is a target of my research in gender topic with Aa Andi, Mbak Ari dan Mbak Tanti.

Though the population is Districts, in fact, we only choose two villages in each District to represent the topic, however, since it is not a research report, I won’t write the detail for you. In Makassar, we got chance to take data in place called Kodingaren Island. It was located two-hours-trip from Makassar by boat. Don’t imagine Ferry or Speedboat like Jakarta to Thousand Island, it was literally boat that was made from wood. The departure time itself is so rare. From Kodingaren Island to Makassar city, the boat will only departure at 6.30 am and got back from Makassar to Kodingaren Island at 10 am. There will be no boat that will sail after that since the wave condition is soo dangerous for sailing.

At first, I have no expectation by visiting Kodingaren. Mbak Ari dan Mbak Tanti only fulfilled my thought about how hard to get there and I didn’t look any info to it. After two-hours-trip with slee-wake up-sleep cycle, finally, we arrived aaaaand I was veryyyyyyyy happpyyyy. WHY?

The Island is sooo blue, beautiful and I was so excited to explore the island. When the boat docked, the sea is so clean (hmm, yeah there are definitely some rubbishes float or settled on the beach, however, the pollution is not thick so the sea water is so clean) and I could see Nemo below the dock. In Kodingaren, we should do questionnaire surveys to some people and we can finish 41 people in 5 hours. Because there is no boat after 12 pm, we decide to stay at Kodingaren Island. We don’t get any Inns and homestay. The leader of Kelurahan was so kind to lend us Balai Desa in the beach for us to sleep. And tada! that is why I can get beautiful photos of sunrise at the beach

Another Island that I visit is Mattiro Baji in Pangkep regions. Not like Kodingaren, it only takes 2o minutes trip for Pangkep Port. That is why, I think the water is not as clean as in Kodingaren’s. That is too bad actually since the Island is also beautiful. I can see the shipwreck from far away. The sky is blue, the weather is so nice for Sea-trips. In Mattiro Baji, a couple are so kind to offer us some fish and crabs as you can see in photo above. Unfortunately, I didn’t eat the crabs because of my allergic 😦 (Well, I’ve just realized that me eating crab doesn’t show any allergic reaction, aiisshh). However the fish is soo goood hence it compensates the crabs

Those experiences really teach me that usually I get beautiful experience in unexpected ways. I kinda hope that in the futures, life will be so kind to get me more good experience. Pray for me, will you?

Balikpapan, going to sleep

 

 

 

Trips in The Land of The Death

 

Visiting Toraja, is one of the exciting moment in 2016. It is unplanned, like most of trips that I did before in 2016. In September 2016, I become a part of team that has task to campaign and spread information of Kartu Indonesia Pintar (KIP) for Ministry of Education and Culture. Luckily, I got to choose region that I want to visit and yeaay, I directly choose Enrekang, Tana Toraja dan Toraja Utara as regions that I should visit.

Business trips itself was planned to be held in 5 days. We landed on Makassar  on 8 pm and continue the journey by using rental car to visit Enrekang first. It takes 6 hours trip to reach Enrekang and in the morning, we directly had to show in front of District Government and principals to tell them about KIP (and practically beg them to help us register student’s KIP in education’s data portal). After that, we directly go to Tana Toraja.

In websites that I have looked, they said it only takes 8 hours to reach Tana Toraja which I had spend 6 hours to reach Enrekang, therefore the rest should only take 2 hours right? However, rainy condition and muddy road let us take 6 hours more to reach Tana Toraja. There was a time when I had slept, then woke up then slept again and the cycle continues. However, on the way to Toraja, we passed the Butu Kabobong and chalk stone that looks exactly like my macbook’s desktop background. The view were so beautiful. Butu Kabobong is like yellow hills that were spread beside the road that people use to go to Tana Toraja (see 1st and 2nd pictures). We spend the two days to promote KIP in Tana Toraja and Toraja Utara, the event finished around 2 pm.

Then, I decide to spend one day alone, without my partners in Toraja to travel. My partners decided to go directly to Makassar on the 4th day since they have flight to catch tomorrow. I don’t know what comes into me, but I was sure that I would be fine, alone (If my mom knew, I know that business trip won’t be in my list anymore hehhehe). To travel in Toraja, I decided to rent a car from hotel. The price was rational and around my budget. However, if your budget is so tight, you can rent motorbike that only takes 1/5 from rental car budget. Unfortunately, I can’t ride motorbike.

Besides visiting the graves, Tana Toraja was famous with The Land Above The Clouds called Laloi. I do want to visit that place. For me, who hasn’t got chance to climb a mountain, to be in a land above the clouds will be a nice experience for me. I have woken up since 3.30 am and BAMM! it was raining so heavily and It hadn’t stopped until 6 am. Then my plan was ruined :”(. Really, I was sooooo disappointed and I knew one day travelling is not enough in Toraja.

However, it didn’t stop me to continue grave-visiting trips. The driver picked me up at 8.30 and luckily I got knowledgeable driver so he also acted as Tour-Guide for me. We visited Londa, Lemo, Kambira, Kete’kesu and Bori as a grave sites in Toraja. Personally, I think each grave sites has its own characteristics. For example, for Londa, The grave site is a chalk cave so you can put the coffins inside the cave or making a hole in cave walls. For Lemo dan Kete’kesu is  a wide chalk wall (actually it looks like a cliff if you see from above). The torajans buried the coffins by making a hole in the wall. One wall can be used by more than one coffins. Kambira is a baby grave sites that use tree as a coffin for those who died at baby age. My tour guide said the practice was common for lower level of torajans (like slave or commonal). For Torajan nobles, they could easily buy gold teeth to be planted in baby, so the baby soul will live, however, for commoners, buried baby in tree means a hope that the baby will still grow as long as the tree was alive. However, the practice had stopped. In Kete’kesu, they were also a bunch of Tongkonan, traditional house for Torajans.

At first, I thought the Torajans really live in Tongkonan, then how can this small size house can contain the whole family (really, the biggest Tongkonan that I saw in there is only around 100 m2)? It turned out that nowadays, Tongkonan was used as family meeting place instead place of living. Tongkonan was usually surrounded by  house of family members who owns the Tongkonan. I really was touched that this traditional house contains beautiful meaning for life and death of Torajans. Usually, wood pillars at the front of Tongkonan House was hanged by buffaloes’ horn that was sacrificed during death ceremony of family members. According to my tour guide, the buffaloes’ horn that was hanged as a symbol of stairs (really it looks like a stairs) that help souls to go to the sky. The Tongkonan’s roof itself looks like Buffalo horns. It was the symbol that The Torajans was a descendant of the sky (The Almighty One) that should go to the earth before the time that they should go back to the sky by embracing the Death. That is why they celebrate the Death, because embracing the death is the only thing that they can do to go back to the sky. I really was touched by that. I feel like there was a longing feeling from Torajans to meet the sky after the Death when listening to the story and I was soooo lucky that I had chance to see Rambu Solo, the burial ceremony.

I feel like there was a longing feeling from Torajans to meet the sky after the Death

The Torajans, really celebrate the Death, in my opinion, more than birth, marriage or holy days. They sang, jumped, did some dance by holding the coffins together before putting in Tongkonan-coffin-likes, and last held buffalo fight in the honor of the Death one and then sacrificed the buffaloes and pigs for the Death one. Sometimes burial ceremony takes a week. Burial ceremony itself is a must in Torajan people, so don’t be surprised if you see the preserved dead body inside Torajan house just because they still haven’t got any money to buried him/her.  Burial ceremony is a pride, a proof of Torajan’s status in society and a proof of Torajan’s love to the death one.

Burial ceremony is a pride, a proof of Torajan’s status in society and a proof of Torajan’s love to the death one.

Besides cultural sites, Torajans was also recognized for its beautiful scenery. You can visit Lolai, as I’ve described earlier. You also can visit Batutumongga, a village in the uphills and you can see Toraja’s regions from above. I didn’t have chance to visit those places, unfortunately. I think two days trips are the best time to spend the time in Toraja. So, to sum it up, Toraja’s trips really  a remembrance of the death for me. Death should not be a sad moment, but a welcome gate to meet the Almighty ones for them, and for me moslem, a looong (hopefully peaceful) rest before I met you, Rabb.

Balikpapan, while waiting for Evaluation Time

Ps: the source of information of this article is My Tour Guide in Toraja, so I really welcome your feedback and correction regarding this.

 

Something that I always forgot (to be grateful for)

Grateful in Islam is one of activities that are encouraged since it shows us how thankful we are for everything that God has given for us. For me, Grateful is not always saying ‘Alhamdulillahhirabbil’alamiin’ but also the reflection why we are thankful about this thing and understand that only because of His permission that good thing happen to us. For some thing or event, the benefit was clearly shown. For example getting the money (so you use it to buy other things) or meet your soulmate. However, some other are not that tangible hence need more awareness to realize and more effort for me to reflect why I should be grateful for this.
One of them are being surrounded by many good people in my daily activities. For me who is still learning to eliminate my insecurity, being surrounded by others can bring two sides of coin effect. The positive one is that I can motivate myself to be better and the negative one is I become insecure because they are ‘that good’. So far, surrounded by many good people bring many good benefits for me. First of all, they understand my insecurity. Instead of scolding me, they show many good things that are in me. Though I have many things to be improved, but I still have more things that I am good enough and these are something that I should be proud of.
They set me straight when I am drown in many negative emotion. Insted of belitle me, their good also motivate me to be better. They make me realize that I also have something that only belong to me that I can contribute to others. And they never let me forget about this. They understand my need to be nurtured, my need to ramble and getting out all of panic emotion when sudden thing happen to you. They can be harsh when giving feedback, but they do it with best intention at heart.
To know that every step I take, I was surrounded by this good people is just…amazing and I should be grateful for it. Hopefully, I also can be that ‘good people’ for other. Aaaamiiin

Cibubur,
Dedicated to many good people around me

It is not (all) about Money

My post in 2016 start with my worry and money. However, i hope my post become more positive and less materialistic. Since I promise to myself that at least, I produce one post in each week, any kind of post, though I hope I can produce more fictional story in this blog. My skill kinda rust, dont you think? Yosh, wish me luck in this target won’t you?
Anw, back to topic, Getting money become my concern lately. Since I dont have any regular job as a freelance (the consequencies that I am aware of), it made me worry. As a first born, there is unwritten task for me to provide money for the family. Even those money will be saved in the bank for future usage, but the burden to be the breadwinner (not the main one btw) in the family sometimes become a burden for me. Sometimes I feel ashamed if I don’t have any job on that month because I couldnt give money to my family.
Actually, the shame not having job kinda happen to me lately. It has been almost two months that I dont have any job to produce money. Being idle and achieve nothing is terrible plus I dont get any money. There are days that I want to shout, “How can I pay this bill if I dont have any money?” (Hyperbolic, I know). I also have so many plan that needs money. This terrible feeling even weighted me and affect my performance in the latest interview. I messed up, like really bad.
However, there is some points, between that worriness, that I remember him. You know, I was so nervous to attend my latest job interview because of many not-good-feelings surround me. Hence, I pray and pray and pray to God to make me calm.
After the not-good-interview done, I cried so bad since I feel like a loser and worried to disappoint my family. This awful feeling led me to read Holy Quran to make me calm. My crying become so hard when I read the verse with this translation as below

image

It felt like a slap in my face. I forgot there is The One who knows every thing good and bad for me. I forgot that He always find the way to guide me for the best choice. Then, if I have tried, I should accept whatever result He decide, right? Because He knows the best.
This acceptance don’t come easily for me. Being a hardheaded and low self esteem person, I know that I will bawl if the result don’t reach my expectation. However, so far, He never lets me down, why worry then? I just hope that I can learn and be enlightened after this process.
Then, problem to find the money is becoming less heavy. Currently, I have send cv to some projects. Hopefully, they will react positively to my application. One xperience make me realize that He never fails to show His way to show His Greatness to us. Since a year ago, I plan to buy my mom a smartphone, since almost all her old friends use it to communicate and it will be easier to her to do Silaturrahim by using smartphone. However, with my current condition, it is impossible to do do it. But, here come a good things. My brother’s friend let us buy his used smartphone with much cheaper price. We only need to repair some button and voila, the phone is as good as the new one. Then I realize, He shows His Greatness maybe not in the way that I want (e.g getting the money for buying smartphone) but sure the happy feeling can also be found with His way (getting smartphone for cheaper price). The only thing that I should do is believe Him, right?

Cibubur, contemplate

If Being Grateful is So Far Away, Then Find Something to Laugh at!

Started from the end of last year, work load in my previous working place was becoming more and more. Working overtime (arrive at 8 am and went home at 10 pm) was more frequent for me and my team. Pressure to my team to accommodate client’s need, company’s target increased. Because I am a person who try so hard to balance my work-family-myself life, that habit became unbearable to me. Hence, it was normal that I was soooo tired and sometimes, I wanted to quit (in fact, now when I am writing this, I have resigned, alhamdulillah). In opposites, the thought to quit couldn’t be done easily because I thought that I was still looking for something in that job, so I held on.

At some point, I felt like more and more project came and it wouldn’t finish. I was exhausted mentally and physically and all I wanted to do was escape, but I couldn’t and I couldn’t do anything about my situation. Until one day, when I got on a bus that brought me to my work place, I found something funny and I laughed so hard in my mind. I forget what the funny thing was, actually. What I remember is I saw something that I think is funny, I laughed so hard in my mind and it lessened my burden. I feel lighter, I mean the work load didn’t change, there were still many things I should do, but I felt that I gained more power to do it, that maybe in the end everything would be alright. At that time I realized, to find something to laugh at when you are in difficult situation is such a blessed things.

Though sometimes I am a reflective person, it is still hard for me to being grateful when difficult situation comes. I mean, logically I know that every problem, difficulties in our life will sharpen and upgrade the quality of ourselves. Somehow, when you are in the problem, to think logically is out of question. I mean, for me, how can I think logically when my problem is unbearable? I believe there is some reason or learning that we got in every problem in our life, but I usually get the insight in the end of problem or after the problem occurred, so being grateful in the middle of problem is quite hard to achieve. However, Allah swt is sooo kind to me that I usually find something funny to be laughed at in the middle of difficult situation, Alhamdulillah. It is such a bless because it is my way to cope emotionally. Maybe it lessen the tense, a reminder that this too will pass. Then if being grateful in the middle of our problem is so far away to be reached, for me, maybe to find something to laugh at is something that I should be grateful for, especially if you have friend to be laughed with.

Like now, there is a thing (sssh, I can’t tell you) in my job that requires me to re-do it over and over again. It feels like, “why this thing never ends?” or “really? Can’t I move on with this work?” and sometimes it becomes such a pain in my neck because I have given my best to do this work but why there is still something that I should re-do it again? Until last night, me and my friend (because of fatigue or maybe we had reached insanity level already) found this situation funny. We thing this work is like never ending story and we compare it to someone who can not move on after broken heart or soap opera in Indonesian TV broadcast and all we could do is laughing out loud after thinking about that. Once again, it eased my mind. It helped me to think clearly and not focus to my negative emotion. It eased me when I re-did my work again (and believe me until today, I still re-did it, uft).

What I want to say is…it is fine for you not to be grateful when difficulties come. I mean the learning process is different for one person to another, and we usually be grateful when aha-moment why this problem happened is revealed right? However, hang in there! Find something to be laughed by reflecting how silly the situation is or yourself or observe everything surround you to find something funny.Maybe it lessen the negative emotion in you. You know, this too will pass and maybe you finally will find the reason why this happened to you.

Cibubur,

After re-did the ‘work’ for…..many times (I lost the count) :p

“If it was defeat then you just need to train harder.If it was about your companions, then you just need to train harder to be stronger to protect them. If it was about becoming a hollow, then just become strong enough until you can shatter it in an instant. Even if you can’t rely on anyone else, just pull yourself together and roar. The you that still lives in my heart Ichigo, would do exactly that!”  
Rukia to Ichigo 

And I just feel moved when I read this. Currently, I am sooo into Bleach lately and I love the theme and its story brought. Moreover, i love one pairing in Bleach, maybe you can guess it by reading my quotes above. Yup! IchiRuki or Ichigo Kurosaki with Rukia Kuchiki. I know…some of you must realize that Bleach is Shonen Manga (so that romance is not the main theme in the story) and so far that I know Kubo Tite (the creator of Bleach) doesn’t intend to make it as a romance manga things. In story, Rukia has been Ichigo’s namka (comrade), closest friends that he trust to and it happens the other way around.

I don’t read the manga that thoroughly. I just read moment-moment when Ichigo and Rukia have scenes, either sweets or the hard one (mostly when Rukia kick or punch Ichigo hahaha) and i just love this pairing. They just act sooo naturally, sooo lovable in their own way. Rukia was there when Ichigo needs someone to kick his own stubbornness or sadness and make some senses to him. Ichigo, be the one that Rukia can count on.

And quotes above just..move my heart. It is so touchy.. to need someone who know you so deeply and sharing deep bond with you who can say like that. Don’t you think you will be happy to have someone like that?

 

Finishing everything in my thought.