Ngomongnya capslock gitu seakan-akan lagi marah. Tapi serius. Karena saya pengen dikomentarin (dan susah untuk mengomentari tulisan di blog ini), saya buka blog baru di http://kaveling58.blogspot.com. Saya akan meninggalkan blog ini kecuali blogspot bangkrut dan saya harus pulang balik kesini (yeah right). Terima kasih sudah mengikuti saya selama di sini. Kalian akan bisa tetap bareng saya. Bookmark aja blog baru itu :)
Sampai ketemu di rumah baru saya! Lagi mau syukuran pindahan nih, main-main ya!
Anonymous asked: Bagaimana cara kamu memantain mood menulis? Apa yang kamu pikirkan saat ingin menerbitkan buku pertama kali? Thanks
Banyak baca dan banyak menganalisis pengalaman sendiri. Karena dua hal itu sumber utama tulisanku. Waktu mau nerbitin, aku cuma mikir, “Aku pengen tulisan ini sampai ke orang, karena aku pikir ini penting!”. Pretensius, tapi kayaknya perasaan seperti itu yang mendorong untuk menulis dan diterbitkan. Perasaan ingin berbagi dengan orang. Ya kan?
Anonymous asked: How do you manage your time to write thesis and novel? Give me idea! x)
I didn’t really write novel much when I wrote my thesis tho, although I managed to finish my novel in really short time because I didn’t want it to bother my thesis writing. I think it’s just management of time. Make sure you got enough time to write your thesis, and spend some time to write your novel. Be sure to have fun when you write tho, so it can count as a recreational break after working hard for thesis. Right? Good luck!
ahps asked: Kangen baca tulisan kakak :") Kak sampe skarang saya belum nemu buku kakak yang "Karena Kita Tidak Kenal" lhoo :( Tetap rajin ngepost disini ya kak :D Tulisan kakak sering menginspirasi saya :))
Haha thanks :) Itu buku emang susah dicari. Btw, saya pindah blog. Ini blog baru saya http://kaveling58.blogspot.com. Biar lebih mudah dikomentari :)
Sukses nulis terus ya!
Cerpen yang ditulis pada sesi menulis Reading Lights Writers Circle 10 November 2012, tema romance, “Cinta datang karena terbiasa”.
Tuntutan sosial memang hal yang paling membingungkan untuk beberapa orang, termasuk Mikail. Mikail baru menyadari bahwa dengan usia, orang-orang di sekitarnya mulai mengharapkan macam-macam darinya. Harapan itu menjelma jadi pertanyaan. “Kapan cari kerja?” Mereka dulu bertanya selesai dia kuliah. Padahal Mika ingin rehat dulu. Tapi pertanyaan itu akhirnya terus merongrongnya dan membuatnya cepat-cepat mencari kerja agar berhenti ditanya. Ternyata pertanyaan itu seperti buntut cicak, dipotong, tumbuh lagi. Beberapa bulan berselang, pertanyaan baru muncul, “Kapan menikah?”. Kali ini Mikail menepuk kepalanya.
Dia mengerti keluarganya sudah ingin menimang bayi, tapi kali ini tuntutan mereka membuatnya pusing. Dia tidak pernah punya pacar, apalagi cari istri. Jauh. Sesuatu yang selalu dia hindari. Satu-satunya perempuan yang dekat dengannya cuma Tini, tetangganya sejak kecil. Tini tidak bisa dibilang cantik, tapi dia mungil dan pemalu, dan untuk beberapa orang, itu dinilai menggemaskan. Tapi tidak pernah ada apa-apa di antara dirinya dengan Tini. Mereka telah melewati masa kecil, masa remaja, dan masa dewasa bersama, tanpa rasa spesial di antara mereka. Mikail melihat laki-laki datang dan pergi dari rumah dan hidup Tini. Dia tidak pernah terlalu peduli, kecuali ketika Tini putus dan menangis meraung-raung di hadapannya, dan sesekali dia menawari Tini apa dia harus mendatangi laki-laki yang sudah menyakitinya itu. Tini biasanya menolak tawaran itu, tapi dia akan meminta Mikail untuk berpura-pura jadi pacar barunya kalau nanti mantannya datang lagi. Mikail menganggap permintaan itu kekanakan, tapi dia selalu menyanggupinya.
Hanya seperti itu hubungan mereka. Hubungan Mikail dengan perempuan lain jauh lebih parah dari itu; dia selalu kehilangan kepercayaan diri di depan perempuan, bicaranya jadi gelagapan dan keringat deras mengucur di kepalanya. Jadi dia sengaja menjauhkan diri dari kaum hawa daripada mempermalukan dirinya seperti itu.
Untuk pertanyaan kali ini, Mikail tidak percaya diri bahwa dia bisa memotongnya lagi.
Tapi lama-lama dia memperhatikan, bagaimana undangan-undangan pernikahan teman-teman kantornya berdatangan ke rumahnya. Bagaimana dia menyalami teman-temannya dan diberondongi pertanyaan yang sama, “Kamu kapan nyusul?”.
Mikail berlagak tidak peduli, tapi dia mulai resah. Bagaimana kalau dia tidak bisa menikah? Bagaimana kalau dia tidak bisa memberi keturunan untuk keluarganya? Kalaupun dia mau menikah, dengan siapa? Satu-satunya orang yang bisa membuatnya nyaman cuma Tini, itupun karena mereka sudah lama bersama.
Kali selanjutnya dia bertemu Tini, di suatu Sabtu sore ketika mereka sama-sama sedang bersantai di beranda rumah masing-masing, pikiran itu melintas di kepalanya. Dan entah kenapa keringat mulai mengucur di tubuhnya.
“Mikail? Apa kabar?” sapa Tini ketika mata mereka bertemu dari beranda masing-masing, yang hanya terpisah oleh dinding pendek. Tini juga jarang menyapa orang kecuali padanya; dia terlalu pemalu untuk menyapa orang-orang lewat. Dia sudah terbiasa pada Mikail seperti Mikail terbiasa pada Tini.
Mikail menemukan lidahnya kelu. Seperti seseorang membiusnya sampai dia kehilangan kontrol pada lisannya. Dia memaksakan diri untuk melambaikan tangan sebagai jawaban.
“Kenapa Mika? Kamu sakit ya?” Tini berjalan mendekat. “Sakit gigi?”
Mikail mengangguk cepat. Tini mengeluarkan suara oh pelan.
Agak aneh untuk melihat Tini seperti ini. Dia baru memerhatikan bahwa gadis itu sudah lebih tinggi dari yang diingatnya, rambutnya panjang, tubuhnya berlekuk. Rasanya baru kemarin mereka mandi bersama di kolam depan rumah, ketika tubuh mereka belum ada bentuknya.
Dan gadis ini satu-satunya perempuan yang bisa seramah itu padanya selain pada ibunya. Tapi kenapa pikiran itu membuatnya takut untuk mendekati Tini lebih jauh? Kedekatan yang aman dan familiar itu membuat mereka nyaman, kenapa harus merusaknya?
“Aku antar ke dokter gigi deh yuk. Lagi kosong juga nih,” ujarnya.
“Mak, maksudnya kamu nggak akan keluar sama pacar kamu?”
Tini terkekeh. “Aku nggak punya pacar, Mikail. Kan kamu pacar aku. Hahahahaha. Ingat nggak aku suka minta kamu jadi pacar-pacaran buat ngusir mantan aku?”
Mikail mengangguk. Entah kenapa perasaannya jadi berbeda sekarang mengingat fakta itu dulu.
“Yuk makanya, kita ke dokter gigi.”
“Kalau kita pergi, tapi nggak ke dokter gigi gimana Tin?”
Tini memandangnya tanpa berkedip. Tapi ternyata keringat yang keluar dari tubuh Mikail tidak sebanyak itu. Mata itu mata yang sudah dia hafal sejak mereka kecil. Mata itu tidak akan menyakitinya.
How it feels to be back?
I still can’t believe I’m laying in the bed of my own room now. Several days ago, I was still at Ramelau mountain, the highest mountain in East Timor, with sore feet, but smiling face, along with 18 other teachers of SOLS 24/7. Several days ago, I was still surrounded by 600 people in the school, chatting with the students, going to classes, having simple lunch with the teachers from various countries, under the fierce sun of Dili. Several days ago, I still went to the beach, talking with my good friend, reading book. Several days ago, I still walked in the city side of Dili, in the unpaved street, small shops, flying dust. Several days ago, I still went to look for some woods for the school, I still tried to build the concrete for the bathroom of the school, I still tried to help the kitchen even though my cooking skill is almost non existent.
But several days ago, I still devoted my time to help people I never met before in my life. I still tried to prove to myself that I am capable of going out from my shell, and devoting myself for greater good. I didn’t care about the lack of comfort, I didn’t care about the absence of the mall or the car or the air conditioner. I was so amazed that I was surrounded by hundreds of people who work day by day just to improve the community, without any payment. Just to be a full human being, who can benefit people around them. My life orientation changed. The emptiness, the anger, I suffered before I left Indonesia, suddenly shifted to a powerful energy to try to help. To improve. Day by day.
Is it hard to come back?
I’m still adjusting. It’s not that comfortable to be back to the “normal”, hedonistic society. Not that I reject comfort. I embrace it. I just miss that feeling, of being needed, of doing something meaningful. I know I got my own country, I know I can do something for people around me here as well. I know I got life to take care of. I still got some ongoing project for the organization. But I miss them. I miss the students. I miss East Timor. I miss the discussions about life and purpose of life. I miss the teachers. I miss the “me” in East Timor.
I still try to take it in, all of these experiences. I try to make the best meaning out of it, to direct my life to certain favorable direction. I try to observe how it changes me, what I can do to keep it. Ideas are flying inside my head, of what I can do now, of what I should do in the long term.
All I know is, apart from this change of the environment, something inside me also changed, and I just have to get used to it.
How are you? I’m sorry for not updating my blog for a while. I know that I said to you all before I go that I might blog about my experience in Dili. Well, there is internet in the volunteer compound where I stay, but somehow my laptop can’t connect to the internet here. I just recently succeeded in doing so. My internet “writing movement” was limited to opening Twitter on my iPod and informing in scattered bits about what I experienced here.
But it doesn’t mean I didn’t write anything. I wrote journal for a lot of days, about my experience, my feeling, things I experience here. I don’t know if you’re up for 25 new posts all of sudden, I don’t think so. I even wrote several essays and a short story about rain. My goal, because I ended up not making a daily blog, is just to write article about SOLS for a magazine when I’m home or if the content is long enough, probably a book. But most likely an article. Because some things I experienced here are very personal :p It’s like a self journey, apart from the social work and the things I discover about East Timor.
So, what’s new? I now live in a volunteer compound, with 65 other volunteers and teachers. 10 meters from my room, there are student dorms, for boys and girls, where 400 students spend the night everyday, except in Saturday and Sunday. The volunteer compound is relatively nice place to live in, albeit very simple, just walls made of woods, zinc roof, marble tile, a two stories bed (I share room with 3 teachers), and a shared bathroom. Electricity, water, and internet is also available in suffice amount, although we have to share with other people and our consideration is needed without written rule. At least in my room. There are other rooms, which is sometimes relatively worse, with no tile, more people living in one room, and so on. But I don’t mind, really. The best things I experienced here, I experienced it outdoor, not in my room. I think people don’t mind as well. What we try to do here is bigger than the room.
The simplicity caused by the school’s low budget is also reflected in the class rooms. There are at least 16-20 classrooms, and they are all just consist of woods, zinc roof, no tile (just land and stones as the ground), and a blackboard. You can just see and hear what the people in other class are doing, due to the lacking of separating wall between the classes. But no one cares, they try to focus solely on the teacher in front of them. “Revolution in Education”, is the tagline of this organization. Free education for those who can’t pay for formal school. They don’t bug the governments, they just do what they can with what they have, which really inspired me. Many people coming out of SOLS, speaking good English in merely 3-4 months or less. The results speak more.
Anyway, the organization I volunteer in here is SOLS 24/7, abbreviation of Science of Life System 24/7. It’s an non governmental organization running in the area of education. They have branches in 5 country, East Timor, Laos, Malaysia, Japan, and Cambodia. They first started in Cambodia, a country with lowest education rate around Asia (or so I heard), and continued their expansion to East Timor (currently poorest country in South East Asia, or so I heard), and so on. Their aim is to develop underprivileged youth. The lessons provided here is mainly English teaching, computer, and character development.
They have two kinds of student. The first is full time student, which means they live in the school during weekdays and go home during weekend. The second is part time student, which means they just spend about 3 hours in school. They usually study in public school during the day or afternoon, or already work somewhere. A full time student once told me that to see who is full time student and who is part time student, is easy. Just look at the girl’s hair. If it’s cut short, then it’s most likely a full time student. And it does exist, apparently, a rule that if a girl wanna be a full time student, she gotta cut her hair short. I suppose it’s because of the limited amount of water they got in the organization per day, washing long hairs consume more amount of water. Some female students told me how they cried when they had to cut their hair. But they said, it’s for their future.
Anyway, so for full time student, they just have to pay $1 for food (breakfast, lunch, dinner, imagine) and accomodation everyday here, but they don’t have to pay anything for their education. It’s like $15 a month. For part time student, they have to pay for their education, $9 a month. But still, SOLS is their good option when they can’t continue to university due to financial difficulty. English and computer skills are basic required skills that companies demand the job applicants to possess. Which is also the students’ biggest motivation to study: to get better jobs and get out of poverty. I even encountered some unique stories of the students, how they got to know SOLS, and what happened before and after they joined SOLS. But that’ll be another blogpost.
SOLS has just been in East Timor for about 6 years, but it already got good reputation and popularity in the eyes of the citizen around here. When I first landed in the airport, and I handed a SOLS invitation letter to the immigration officer, the officer remarked, “Ah, teacher!”. And they treated me nicely. Apparently being a teacher in SOLS is something like street cred here haha. Later, everywhere I go, sometimes I bump into some students who will shout from the other end of the street, “Teacher! Teacher!”. I’m not even a teacher per se here, just a volunteer, but they treat me so nicely.
I have just been here for a month, and there are a lot of stories that I want to share. Things I see. I might will write more about it. To summarize in short paragraphs, I don’t know. So many details about the organization and my own experience that I want to share. But I’ll try to give some hints here.
It’s a challenge for me, for sure, to live with 600 people everyday. I was a hardcore loner back home, but here, I have to step up my skill in socializing and tolerating others’ presence around me. I live with Cambodians, Timorese, Spanish, and Malaysian people, and even with Australian, British, and Polish people too before. All under same roof, we have to work together, to interact in daily basis. I got my bad moment too, but most of the interactions are surprisingly delightful, and I learn to live like this. I learn to maintain good friendships with people with different backgrounds, even with the students. Me being a university graduate initially bothered them, but I keep telling the students that we’re all the same. I know that I might not go this far if my parents can’t pay for me. They have it harder, and I appreciate their daily struggle for education. I remember about my time when I took my education for granted, I remember about people who don’t even use their time to study well in uni while some people just can dream about it at night. It’s crazy.
The teachers too.. They’re humanitarian fighters. The teachers get so little money for what they do, and they don’t care. All of them were once students of SOLS in their country, and now they serve back to give the community what SOLS has given them. They can teach for 8 hours a day for little payment every month, and they can cope with it because they enjoy it. They wanna be a full human being, who can bring benefits for others, who can step back from the race to get more money and start serving the community. Greater good. Bigger concern than their own selves.
And what impressed me here is also the character building. How they form the students, who might have given up under the bad financial condition, who just wasted their time before, to possess a hope, will, and discipline to achieve more in life. To be a better human being. I spoke to some students and they said the education here gave them direction, new purpose in life. Like that Rihanna song, probably, “We found love in a hopeless place”. I don’t know if it fits the context. Nevermind :p
And anyway, so it changes how I feel about education. I was a bit disappointed and cynical with the concept of education I saw back home, that left the students uninspired, just focused on grades. Education means so much more here, for the students and the teachers.
DAMN, this post is so damn serious. Sorry. Apart from that, I just get really tan! The weather here is so hot, but that doesn’t stop me and my good friends to walk and walk a lot around the town. So many people to meet, so many things to see. That’s how I get tan. I visit beaches every weekend, read for hours, or talk about random things with my good friend.
I assist the teachers to teach here. I help them in classes, interact with the students and help them learn as well. I can’t get a class on my own because I’m just here for two months :p So yeah. There’s also a program to enhance the English skills of the teachers, so they have to make essays. My assignment is to check like 5 teachers’ essays everyday. But I have a good time. Everyone is like a family here.
I try to learn Tetun, but I suck. I stuck in, “Dia kalai, maun/mana?” (like what’s up bro?), “bundia, butarde, bunoiti” (good morning, good afternoon, good night), “nia doben dia kalai?” (how’s your boyfriend/girlfriend doing?), and “KABOSU!” (cute! I usually shout this to the young, cute students).
There is, of course, more personal stories about what happened to me here, special relationships with some people, galau story about my ex who lives in similar city, students I like, etc. But I’m not sure I wanna share it hahahaha. One thing is Timorese has a thing for Indonesian girls. They think Indonesian girls are fair skinned and beautiful. I’m super average for Indonesian girl, but I got certain degree of popularity when I just came, haha. Like, being flirted by everyone :)) But now as I get tanner, the popularity decreases (told you it’s just the skin!), and I start forming more sincere relationships with people, apart from the color of the skin. I’m kidding. We’ve always been loving and sincere towards each other. I like them a lot. Their brown skin. In fact, the obsession on having white skin in Indonesia kills me. I think Timorese people are beautiful with their beautiful brown skin and awesome smiles.
Anyway, I have written too much. I gotta go for a class :) I wanna help them in a conversation class today. I learn how to teach too here! Which is awesome, because I thought the only thing I can train is a tamagochi.
I miss the beaches already. I hope weekend’s approaching soon!
“I want to be great, to develop East Timor.
I want to be loving, to establish love and unity.
I will always have, intelligence and discipline.
I want to become, a leader with character.
I will be a friend, of the poor and ignorance.”
-a part of the school anthem. Badass school anthem. I want to have this kind of school anthem back then!
ADDITION: SOLS also plans to expand to Indonesia. I think it might be good too. If you know which part of Indonesia needs this kind of education (and with a good possibility to get a space to build the school and the compound), let me know!
ADDITION: Pictures will come up soon!