Pertama Kali : Adventurous April

I have gone through a series of exciting experiences this month. It all started with taking part as one of the dancers in “Ketoprak Utah Ludiro Batavia” – a Javanese comedy play, joining the “Big Durian Race”  (click & you can see our crazy pics), presenting my job as a Special Education teacher in “Kelas Inspirasi” and finally, creating a workshop on autism awareness at Sekolah Cita Buana. And to make it more interesting, in between these events, I was still able to manage my own business, develop a photo exhibition and publication for Autism Awareness at Sekolah Cita Buana as well as give private lesson.I joined “Ketoprak” & “Big Durian Race” spontaneously to my friend’s invitation. Without much consideration, I immediatelt said “Yes”. It seemed that I had all the spirit it took to make my April full of schedule. Honestly, I don’t have any experience in dancing. I joined the activity with the intention of relaxation by listening live “gamelan” music. I only played small part in this “Ketoprak” and danced very simple movements for 1.5 minutes (including “sindet” and “trisik”), but I needed to practice for 1 month to memorize these steps. It was quite enthralling, though I had to  stay up until late night and did not get enough sleep. One thing I really enjoyed from my “Ketoprak Utah Ludiro Batavia” experience is that I can have quality-chats with my old friend – something I would not have if I hadn’t participated at the first place, since most of the time both of us are occupied with our job and business. Moreover, I feel so blessed and grateful to have been acquainted with professional dancers who perform their job with such passion.

the bouquet is mine *my wish

The following day, after my “Ketoprak” performance, I joined the “Big Durian Race“. At the beginning, I was torn into 2 options, whether to join “Big Durian Race” or “Smart Wonderful Women Financial Workshop by QM Financial”. Eventually, I chose “Big Durian Race”.  Why ? Because I wanted to challenge myself. Am I really entitled to be crowned as a real “tukang ojek” (a biker who knows a lot of places in Jakarta) or am I just being a snob?

The “Big Durian Race” itself is a competition similar to the “Amazing Race” show on TV conducted by American Chamber of Commerce Indonesia. Participants earn points by taking pictures in various places around Jakarta. They also give bonus points if we can do several tasks mentioned on Twitter. Thanks to the “Big Durian Race”, my team and I had the time of our lives. We had the chance to be heard by Jakartans via a live-interview on I-radio, dipped our heads in the famous Bundaran Hotel Indonesia fountain and even took a picture in front of bank Papua. It was a very exhausting race, but it was proud and joy to be the runner-up of this competition. The big prize? Definitely not money : D It was simply a fun-frenzy activity!

Four days after the “Big Durian Race”, I went to SDN Rawa Badak Utara 02 Pagi to serve as one of the volunteers in “Kelas inspirasi” program, an event created by Indonesia Mengajar – a group of people who are concerned of education in Indonesia; pioneered by Anies Baswedan. This event is aimed to enlighten primary students about various kinds of career. I didn’t think that I would stand a chance to pass the selection to be volunteer because there were 600 applicants registered for this event, with only 200 accepted. They derived from different backgrounds and occupations. It never crossed my mind that I could be volunteering at the same group as Vice President of XL – Indonesia’s leading cellphone provider – or even the Editor in Chief of Fit magazine. A student asked a very good question to me:

“Ibu, does a kid with autism enjoy being autistic?

A sincere question which made me realize that there are tons of information about autism that need to educated to people.

To sum up April, finally on 28th of april 2012, I presented my first workshop in front of teachers to share the knowledge regarding work assembly in jewelry making.

jewelry making workshop

As I look back, it all comes back to me. These activities represent small steps to make my dream come true, just like what I have written earlier in my scholarship proposal (which I didn’t get):

I proposed to study Inclusive Education because I expect this field will help improved my skills in engaging the community in supporting teenagers with special needs. These skills improvement will benefit me both personally and professionally as I will be able to apply them in my work environment and in my community by joining an education team which conducts varied kinds of workshops and trainings for teachers all around Indonesia. I have read about finding of approximately 1300 children with special needs ranging from learning difficulties to behaviour problems in four districts of Central Java. The information represents the fact that there is a great probability of the occurrence of similar issues in other 32 provinces in Indonesia. With adequate coaching from expertise in special education for teachers (both in mainstream and special schools), I am convinced that children with special needs will be able to learn knowledge in effective way.

This post is edited by Ayu Miranti

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