I have never written journal for quite a long time. But I can recall my Indonesian teacher in High School once told me to get used to the activity of writing by starting a daily journal. As you can imagine, I just like everyone else in the classroom who never took the suggestion seriously. Even though I did nod when she asked if I was willing to start it up, I thought doing that kind of thing as girls business. So it did not crank me up. In the other part of the world, once again, I was told to write down my everyday schedule in the last session of our YES Programs Welcoming Orientation in Georgetown University, Washington DC. I believe it was fall and the date was around twelve of August that year; 2004. Every YES student received a thick book with lines, it was covered with dark blue leather fabrics and people notice one logo in the cover. The logo was pressed onto the book and made a façade look of AFS logo. But then again, I was only wrote number of days, the very first days I breathe the air of Northern hemisphere in a country called United States of America.
Today, about five years after my exchange year in the US, I was moved. It is motivation that come from inside of our heart that was heard time after time but we often just let it go without even consider. There was a series of events that made me start what I am doing right now. First, I have been personally recognized by the organization in which I have spent sometime of my life by very important person; and if it was to be named, I was moved after I actively engaged in a session with Anies Baswedan in YES Alumni National Workshop and Training in Yogyakarta. There were lots of important points I noted in the session; just for your information, I did note take note in a piece of paper. He mentioned, well he was exactly answering my question of, how are we suppose to keep our positive spirit in negative environments and it was about having a ‘tool’ to recharge our energy of positivism. Well, we can have a special story about Anies Baswedan sometimes. Second, I was moved by a chit chat with my college friends about changing our country. Sounds a heavy talk huh? But it was actually flowed from one short conversation after another. What is our main topic? It’s about how ugly the civic and political culture in Indonesia was and is.
One important thing to consider is I was never thought of having this kind of talk with my friends whom I usually hangout with and doing sports. We talked about how the West generalized the Islam world and vice versa. How corrupt the Religious Department in Indonesia was. How the culture of nepotism and bureaucratic politics distort the process of transparency, good governance and democratic consolidation in Indonesia. How the newly elected Member of House of Representative spent 46 billion IDR (equal to 4.6 million US$) just for having an inauguration ceremony while in West Sumatra and Jambi provinces the victims of 7.6 Richter scale of Earthquake experience moral devastation. To make a long story short what we did was talk. Yes we just talk, but we don’t want this facts, this not-going-to-be-proud-of-facts of Indonesia erode our idealism and our will to live ‘clean’ even if we would be in the center gravity of corruption.
What I learned from the YES Alumni TOT in Redondo Beach, California was finally can be implemented in some extent. And if you are asking what is it? I will tell you that it was about starting to actually do something after we equipped with certain knowledge. It does not matter what we do for living, as long as we are still on the right path we’ll be happy.
It is now 1.09 am in my laptop clock, but I still composing words to make good sentences. I wonder of my physical ability that fascinating for some friends. O yeah, I forgot to tell you that my conversation was in the small store after playing futsal for two hours. I don’t know what will happen when I start to sleep, probably I wake up late again after all of my muscle strained so much. Well, I guess it’s time for a rest.