Mother, how are you today?

Mother, how are you today?
Here is a note from your daughter.
With me everything is ok.
Mother, how are you today?

Mother, don’t worry, I’m fine.
Promise to see you this summer.
This time there will be no delay.
Mother, how are you today?

I found the man of my dreams.
Next time you will get to know him.
Many things happened while I was away.
Mother, how are you today?

So.. How are you today, Mom?

I could only sent you an Al-Fatihah and pray for you endlessly now..

But, let me tell you a story…
I am now a mother too, Mom.
You have a grandson that you could call ‘Zhaf’.

He is such an active teenage-baby and i love him more than I love myself sometime – especially when he is already fast asleep (I know you understand what I mean, rite?)

I am now a wife too, Mom.
You have a son-in-law that you could call ‘Ji’.

He is such an amazing human being that maybe you won’t understand why he agreed to marry me at the first place – especially because you really know how grumpy I could be sometime.

I am now a teacher too, Mom.
You are my aspiration.
You are my deep obsession.

You are my muse.

 

All in all.

I am fine, Mom.

More than fine : I am happy.

Just one thing to tell you,

I really miss you!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU, MA..

Much kisses,

Adek

Love, not Hate

.

No, you don’t know my struggle.
No, you don’t fight my war.
No, you don’t hear my fear.
No, you don’t see my nightmares.
.
But
Yes, I don’t know your struggle either.
Yes, I don’t fight in your war either.
Yes, I don’t hear your fear either.
Yes, I don’t see your nightmares either.
.
.
You and me,
We have our own struggle,

our own war,

our own fear,

our own nightmares..
.
.
But
You and me,
We share this life,
We share this world,
We share this stage.
.
Let’s not be harsh to each other,
Let’s not be rude to another,
Let’s not be a judge to the other.
.
❤️❤️❤️

originally posted here

Love,

@darkJasm

 

Gio and Lia

Okay, since I already begin writing about SabangMerauke, I couldn’t stop now without telling stories about these two girls! They couldn’t be any different. One is very mischievous while the other one is more of an uptight kind of girl (I don’t want to detail which one is which 😆 )

Gio, like what I’ve written in the last post, is the ASM from Maluku and Lia was supposed to be her best friend for 3 weeks in Jakarta. Lia is the KSM. Her full name is Nurul Amalia and she is a Depok Girl. Their relationship wasn’t easy at the beginning – later on I found that the relationship of ASM-KSM was supposed to be hard to build so that it could be last forever. yes. Gio and Lia are now BFF and I know that it will be last forever. You can spot a genuine feeling when you see one!

First week was a week from hell *derived from their own dialogue 😀

Second week was the crucial week in their relationship. They began to know more about each other’s background, they started to share their story, and the wall between them was starting to brake.

Third week? Gio said that it was like she was flying and the farewell was coming too soon.

What I really learn from them : communication is a key to a good relationship. At first, they tend to not speak up what they have in their mind to each other, maybe to avoid hurting other’s feeling, but circumstances grew them closer and they began to trust each other. I could say that because I witnessed how their relationship evolved, even if they didn’t recognize it themselves. Lia was transforming to a great older sister for Gio, and Gio (used to be the oldest between her siblings) was also adapting to the new role she got in being little sister.

It is a fun thing observing how Lia taught Gio to be tough: facing the hectic morning in Jakarta, surviving morning Depok Train, enjoying their busy schedule, and squeezing “steak time” for them to pour their heart out. It is also fun to sharing stories with Gio about the programs and how she will implement the positive things in her village, also hearing how mush she loves to play guitar and watching horror movies. 🙂

For those 3 weeks, I feel blessed that they come to my life with their unique personalities. I feel blessed to know them both. I really want to thank them for everything they have shared with me. I really want to thank them for all the great things that taught me. They taught me if we want to find a common ground between all of our differences, it will be easy if both part agree to make effort to understand each other. We are not born to hate but we are born to love, so it is way easier to find something that we could work on together, rather than only talking about what set us apart.

Thanks for those great lessons you both have taught me. I am looking forward to hear great news about your journey to your wonderful future!

 

Love, Zesta.

SabangMerauke : The true unity in Diversity

Bhinneka Tunggal Ika is the Motto of Indonesia which means Unity in Diversity. We, as an Indonesians have known, learned, and read many articles trying to describe the meaning. Do you ever give a thought about the real implementation of these motto?

Only couple of people have a real experience living with people from different backgrounds: faith, religion, race, accent, and others. For 3 weeks in last July, my family have an amazing story. We are living with a christian junior high school girl from Maluku. What an amazing 3 weeks! We are still hang over by the greatness of this experience.

Could you imagine? For me, I would never imagine the real feeling until I get to feel those roller coaster of life. Those days weren’t easy at all – suddenly become parents of 13 yo-girl! All of those years studying about adolescence in the developmental psychology classes are finally making sense. Teenager is a whole different creature to handle – although we were all once a teenager.

Let’s not focus on how to parent a teenage girl – we need to focus on the program instead. I know about this program from a picture that was posted by my friend – Prie (which I adored so much, btw) in path and instantly caught my attention. I was discussing about it with Le Husband when I got struck by his question : “why?”

This question got me. I really want to join this program without any hesitation that when I was asked a simple why made me wonder. Why?

The first and only reason that I can came up with to explain my instant attraction was I wanted to do something for Indonesia. Cliche? yes. But for me it was the truth. We are now living in a post-truth era, where everyone has their own version of truth. With every person has a mean to tell their version, everyone else has their own way to only see evidences of their vision. Turn back hoax is an urgent thing for us to do now and what is better than experiencing it ourselves?

We have been reading many news about how one faith is so violence toward another; how one race is superior than the other; how we are really different from one another; and so on. In this post-truth era, everyone feels certain that their version of judgment is the truth. Deception is common and many people fell in to the framed trap : we are now framing one another. I am an Indonesian Moslem, part of the majority and I am sure that once in my lifetime I have stereotyped other people who is different. And now – more than ever – I need to make sure that those labeling will discontinue.

SabangMerauke is an initiative that select 15 junior high school students from all over Indonesia to come to Jakarta for 3 weeks and live in a Family which is different from them (either by race or religion) thus they will experience how to work on their differences and be a true family….because tolerance is not something that you can understand by only learning about it – you have to experience it to really feel its true meaning. Every weekday, these teenagers got to visit different places to learn about Education, Tolerance, and Indonesia : 3 main values of SabangMerauke. Weekend was family time and most of us will take those children to places that they really want to visit in Jakarta, or take them to our family gathering. Other than these teenagers, volunteers, committees and us – the Families, there were also “brother and sister” of SabangMerauke which accompany the children towards their program – act as a tutor, counselor, and the most important role : best friends! *The children is called Anak SabangMerauke (ASM); Family is Family SabangMerauke (FSM); Bro/Sis is Kakak SabangMerauke (KSM). To understand more about the program, visit http://sabangmerauke.id/

Being part of this initiative gave me opportunities to meet great people from different background. The ASMs are not your typical junior high school students. They are energetic kids with great visions and very motivated to achieve their dreams. You will be very optimistic about Indonesian future if you talk to them. The girl who was living with me, my daughter, is Giovani Kapiluka. Gio – her nickname – is in her third year in Junior High School in Ketty Letpey – a village in Lakor Island, Maluku. She loves to play guitar and really into music and singing. She wants to be a singer one day, but also has a vision where all the children in her village could get an access to proper education. She wants to make sure everyone knows that education is important and every children in her village has equal access to school. But when I ask whether she want to switch from being a singer to an Education Minister, she still aspired to be a singer (typical teenager 😆 ).

Many stories about how joining this initiative affect my life in a very positive ways. I could finally write this post in more than a week after the farewell dinner due to my full mind and full heart : resonated from this program. I literally caught in tears every time I remember the joyous feeling of being a part of SabangMerauke. Many stories. Much Laugh. Much Tears. Many years to face until we could finally see the real impact of this positive vibe shared by SabangMerauke. For now, I am most grateful for the new family I found in SabangMerauke. Bravo SabangMerauke!

 

 

 

Ramadhan Mubarak

Assalamu’alaikum.. May peace be upon you. yes! PEACE. The one word that we’re using more often these days, in Indonesia and through out the rest of the world. Reading, hearing, and watching the news become more traumatizing and depressing. Terrorism, wars, oppressions, anarchist, and criminal acts are the main topic of almost all of the news’ outlets. I couldn’t help it anymore – wondering why it is so easy to spread hatred and negativity, without thinking about other’s feeling. One group’s claim to be the victim, while their acts scream villain. One nation is banning people solely based on their origin country or even their religion. One group massacred other group just because they were different. A killing spree in random places by a person, just to be accepted in one criminal group. ah.. I could going all day listing all the terror happening in our reality now, but what’s the purpose?

Here we are, living in a very divided world, yet hope is still here. We could see that despite – or because of  – all this cruelty, people begin to extend their help into a larger scale. Groups from different background are embracing each other more than they ever before. The phrase “faith in humanity restored” is getting its stage. People racing to show the warm of their heart to each other, just to make sure that we really feel that this life is worth living.

This is what Ramadhan is truly about : to bring the best of people. As a moslem, I believe this is what Rasulullah SAW wants to see : kindness, in every way of our life. I am no expert in explaining about what is Ramadhan, but I found a very helpful article if you want to understand about it more, it is this article from Vox. I like the closing line : “Because terrorists are assholes.” Don’t ever let terrorists act define what Islam is. This Ramadhan is our opportunity to unite moslems around the world to show the true face of Islam.

Terrorists. They have no religion, even if many will automatically link it to Islam – they are not muslims. Islam is a religion about peace and thaught us how to live peacefully among others. Terrorism rooted deeply within the society itself, not within Islam. It is an act of defiance, to scare people, to threaten another group for its own political gain. There are many kinds of terrorism, which cause expert to hardly agree on one definition. The fail to exactly define what is terrorism clearly show the complexity of its term, moreover its actions and its aim. One thing for sure, terrorist wants us to stop living. That is not Islamic teaching.

:sigh: I got carried away… I wanted to write about Ramadhan, but I was mumbling about these issues instead. My bad.. I am sorry, I guess I have been diving this issue for too long and I need to get it off my chest – to vent out. I need to write more about it later, in a better compose post.

Back to Ramadhan. It is a month of joy. Let’s bring the best of us and enjoying this closeness. We are closer to Allah, our family, our loved ones, and our fellow creatures of the world. Let’s observe Ramadhan by being a better human being.

Ramadhan Mubarak, Every one!

Salam,

The DarkJasmine

Dear Zhaf

Hello, little one!

This is your mom. We have been bonding just a little over a year. Yes. It is 3 weeks after your first birthday and I’m kind of feeling nostalgic that I need to write you this.

May is my magical month, dear. Because I got married to your father in May, 2 years ago – to be honest, we were officially a couple 7 years ago, also in May. And then Allah revealed His plan to bring you into this world on the fourth of May. (Oh yeah, May the Fourth be with you, Zhaf!)

“How do I get born, Mom?” You may one day ask this question.

O, sweetheart.. let me tell you a story about how you were born. You were supposed to be born on May 2nd, but you decide to stay a bit longer inside my tummy. The doctor said that you need a little push so I got Induced. Three times, dear. I keep my positive thinking that maybe you need more time, that somehow you will find your way out minutes later. After the third induction, you decide to make a move…but you are a little too active that you made my water broke and doctor told me that I have to be cut open in the operation room soon. That was 4 in the afternoon and it broke my defense – i cried a river. I have to accept that I am not destined to experience normal labour, yet. 7 pm, they performed the SC surgery and you were brought into this world 20 minutes later.

All the sadness is gone. I trully feel like I have been waste my tears for something so shallow. I trully understand that whatever the procedure was, the most important thing is the baby’s health. The second I look into your eyes, I know that I’ve been through enough struggle to give a damn about how other will judge me because I choose this way to gave birth.

We were doing the Early Initiation of breastfeeding when your father finally joined us in the operation room. He loves you from that moment on, Son. I can tell you that, even I was half conscious due to the anesthetic. The initiation was a success, you did a great job there, Zhaf! Then they measured you: 3300 grams and 49 cm. Welcome to the world!

 

Do you like this story, dear? I have many stories for you. Would you like to hear it?

Ah, it’s already late at night, I will continue it some other time. You are fast asleep beside me now and I’d like to enjoy your peaceful face.

I love you, dear Zhaf…

With lots of love,
Bunda

Canberra, I’m madly in love with you!

People say that chance will never come twice, grab it fast.That was exactly what brought me to Canberra last week. I see a chance, I take it…. and I felt in love again.

I need to write this, just so I can going back to my ordinarily wonderful life.

This is not a story about love at the first sight.

The first thing people (usually, folks like Jakartans whom so used to crowd and big tall buildings) will think the second they arrive in Canberra is: “where are all the people?”. Canberra is a capital city of Australia, which is one of the wealthiest country in the world (18th – based on this), so normally people would expect a grand and very busy city as the capital. NOPE. Canberra will never fit in your capital ideal – it is one of a kind. It is a quiet city, especially in Sunday. The traffic jam here is only last for 10 minutes (15 at peak hour). It is almost empty and kind of creepy-It is like a city in one of those horror movies, where zombie will pop out in a sudden (okay, this one is my friend’s imagination).

The drive from airport to city center is not too far, but enough to make you wonder whether you are really in a city or a deserted village. 😀 I need to begin this story with descriptions of Canberra International Airports. Please don’t get fooled by the ‘international’ branding. The Airport is not big, it only took us 15-20 minutes from plane to stand outside the Airport – waiting to be picked up (yes, baggage collecting is included!). I really have a nice experience in this airport, but my love for Canberra is not begin yet.

It was the vibe that took my heart.

I was lucky that at the time of my visit, Canberra is in the autumn mode: the leaves were colorful and the weather was very nice (although a lil bit cold for my Indonesian standard). After having lunch at Nando’s in Canberra Center, I finally realized that this City has stolen my heart. A carousel in the pathway, large public space, outdoor cafes, the smell of  freshly brewed coffee, gelato, cute cakes, and especially the breathtaking beautiful corners. Yes, every corner of Canberra is very lovely: buildings, houses, trees, lakes, and mountains.

Highlights from my visit are: Mt. Ainslie, Black Mountain, Parliament House, Tidbinbilla Nature Reserves, National Museum of Australia, and Canberra Center.

MOUNT AINSLIE

The Mount Ainslie lookout is the must visit place of  Canberra, because we could see the city horizon and how beautifully planned Canberra is. There is also the history of Canberra, the story of its designer and the original design of Canberra. If you really in for it, you could hike a little and if you are lucky (like me), you could see a wild kangaroos! It was my first encounter with kangaroos and I was mesmerized by these moment.

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BLACK MOUNTAIN

The main attraction for me in Black Mountain is the Telstra Tower. It has the lookout which give you a 360 degrees view. If you can stand the heavy wind, it is really worth your time to see panoramic view of Canberra and its surrounding from such distance.

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PARLIAMENT HOUSE

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LAKE BURLEY GRIFFIN

NATIONAL MUSEUM

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CANBERRA CENTER

Gelato in the autumn? Why NOT! 😆 The coldness were not scaring us away from trying the gelato in one afternoon. Canberra Center is a mall full of sweet smell and delicious food. Try Nando’s and PappaRich for starter. 😀

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Nando’s – my first meal in Canberra!

TIDBINBILLA NATURE RESERVES

If you want to see koalas in their real habitat, you definitely have to visit this place. REALLY CUTE! They are eating, sleeping, and climbing trees (just usual koalas’ business), but it made me speechless. Tracking around the reserves was really enjoyable, mostly because of the cold weather. 😆 Another thing you need to try is having a Barbeque lunch here. We are eating Kangaroos’ grilled meat while watching Kangaroos’ spending their day out in the cold.

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The Koalas really made my visit!

p.s. ANU, why you don’t have a Political Psychology master program?

See you again soon, Canberra!

Love, The DarkJasmine

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Staying Connected

How is life after baby? FABULOUS!

(if you scrap the zombie-sleepless night, cranky-post partum depression syndromes, a LOT of tears, and many other dramas of a new mom), but still, who want the true answer to a cliche question?

I could go on and on about my ugly truths of first days after Zhas was born, but I am saving that story for another post. This one is a post about how to keep my marriage sane after such a big change: Zhaf.

Me and my husband are an employer, that means we don’t have the luxury of being at home all day. Leaving our home around 6 a.m every weekday and if we are lucky, we could be at home again around 6 p.m – but mostly, we arrive home around 7/8 p.m. Zhaf is our main focus whenever we are at home: playing, biting, laughing, and of course cuddling. To say the truth, our romantic moments become very rare.

So, how can we make through our critical time as husband and wife? Talk. Talking is our main connection right now. Luckily, our office are near to each other that enable us to travel together every morning and sometime also in the afternoon.We would savor the precious journey and make it our moment to kindle the flame. We would share what’s happening in our daily life while in the office or simply sharing any story that cross our mind. I love these moments. It is our way to keep the bond.

Other than talking, thanks to our new gigantic internet package from a certain postpaid provider, we have a new routine: watching romantic movies or funny TV Show. Sometime, we would take silly snaps in the middle of the infamous Jakarta’s Traffic jam. Openness, laughs, and silliness are our charms.

That is our way, what is yours?

deer

 

Story from Cimory

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CIMORY

Cimory : one famous yoghurt brand in Indonesia. I used to think that Cimory only produce yoghurt and I have never been so wrong – (of course) they are a fresh milk producer, too! They also expand their products by producing delicious Chocolate Line : Chocomory.

Other than selling their products nationwide (and worldwide, maybe?), they have their own restaurants in Cisarua, Puncak, West Java.

My first visit was around 2010 and it made a long lasting great impression for me that I have an urge to go back. At my second visit, they already have “Cimory Riverside”Restaurant – the one that I visit in 2016. I love the vibe, it was a cozy afternoon and I remember feeling so nostalgic. They have indoor and outdoor dining area; also a large backyard with watery back sound which came from the nearby river. The dining area is large – it could cater more than 100 people in one time (a very raw estimation 😀 ). They also have a play area for kids, boutique, chocolate shop, and a market full of their products. They offer variety of food: from western to local cuisine, and also serve many kinds of yoghurt-based smoothies.

Last November, we were revisiting Cimory with Zhaf. He just started solid a few days before and Cimory’s plain yoghurt was his lunch. He was very happy to see all new things around him, since that was the first time we take him there.

 

With love,

#TheCheekFamily 😆

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Honeymoon Post #3 : Karma Beach Club

This is another #ThrowbackThursday post

One of the highlight from our honeymoon back in 2015 was Karma Beach Club, which we visit in our 3rd day in Bali.

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Karma Private Beach Club

Karma Beach Club is a private beach part of Karma Kandara Luxury Villa in Ungasan, Bali. The beach is stunning with clear water and many water activities offered. Like many other beauty things in the world, this grand view is come with a price: we have to pay each person a Rp 250.000 entrance fee (Rp 150.000 for entrance and Rp 100.000 for food and beverage credit) – now, the fee is Rp 500.000 each. The fee included a ride on the inclinator to take you down to the beach.

We opt for a laid back afternoon after we went to Garuda Wisnu Kencana in the middle of the day, so Karma was a great choice.

White sand and clear water were ready to treat our eyes – even le husband couldn’t resist the temptation to dip his precious leg. 😆

Sadly, we arrived there too late in the afternoon that we lost our opportunity to enjoy the water activities (snorkeling, kayaking, and so on). The plus side was we witnes a great transition of light: from a bright sky into a clear night sky. Candles were lit, adding a romantic vibe to the scene. *now, remembering this time make me feel nostalgic :blushed:

After such lazy but romantic beach time, we close the day with romantic dinner by the private pool in our villa – a honeymoon treat from Flamingo Dewata Villa.

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our meaty romantic dinner

ps. Thanks for the visit, Bang Yosh-Fanti-Nabel! ❤

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