Thursday, February 07, 2008

Pulau Weh

Returning to Nias on Saturday, 26. On 27, I and Eka, my deputy, leaving the island again heading for Aceh. There was another DRR workshop there. The workshop was cool. I met new people, got some ideas especially basic concept of hazard, vulnerability, capacity, writing plan with its tools. Basically the PVA (Participatory Vulnerability Approach) was a developed tools of PRA. And many PRA tools are used for certain analysis on certain focusing issue such as disaster by PVA or some call it PVCA or poverty by PPA (Participatory Poverty Analysis). The basic tools are pretty much alike.

Pulau Weh, Sabang
On top of things, the best experience is this, visiting Pulau Weh. Pulau Weh is an island on the top of Sumatra and it was on the west Indonesia. It's an Indonesian border with India, Thailand, Malyasia and Singapore.

What the amazing thing was that the island was just gorgeous. The sea was just fresh, clean and colourful. For swimming, snorkling and diving fans, the island offers you what you might expect or even more than that. IT WAS JUST BEAUTIFUL AND PEACEFUL!!!

Jihad. A great and humble buddy. He gave me a call if I would like to go to Pulau Weh after the workshop. Of course, I agreed. I heard about Pulau Weh even before tsunami. Yes, i read some article about it. Even, one of my colleague at LPAM, his name is Rara, is from there. Oh ya, by the way, I just knew there that his dad was one of the tsunami victim when Eka informed me about it. I never knew about it before. He was little bit closed with that story and I respected that. Again, until Eka told me about it and it made me silently surprise for a while. His home is in the island.

But again, I never had a chance to visit the island. I never knew exactly what it looked like until i was there. Man,.. what a wonderful place.. beautiful sea...clean, fresh and never been feeling amazing with the sea. never feel like that before. Yes, I do like Hawaiian seas; the beach and the waves were just spectacular,. and Pulau Weh offered another side of clean, fresh, peaceful and the rich of coral reefs with colourful fish and things.. Perfect place for swimming, snorkling and diving not to mention for fishing though. Peaceful...

I met Jihad when he visited Nias. Megawandi, Austcare Project Officer in Nias introduced me with him. As usual, it was a pleasure to discuss with anybody coming to office for information collection. But I knew something in the midlle of the discussion. He was different from others who often came to visit my office. I couldn't say it at that time but i could feel it.

Then we went to visit Teluk Dalam in South. There you go. On the way, I was exciting about his story as a Lebanese moving to French. Wow, we talked very much about Middle East from the first hand experience and I got a lot new sight about Middle East, syah and sunni, political situation and what things happen in there. That's how we started the friendship.

Back to Pulau Weh. On Saturday morning, Jihad, his girlfriend Asri, Kurniawati, Eka and me arrived Pulau Weh by ferry boat. Only took 1 hour from Banda Aceh. We went to Iboh Village where we stayed. On the way, everybody knows him. He was easy to get along with people. Man.., he was just so friendly to everybody and humble. He rent a bungalo there in which was very nicely managed. He knew where to go when he needed to go somewhere. I said, "He knows how to balance life". It's not like me in Nias, i often had no idea to go, no clue, no choice and stuck me in office day 'n night.

We swam in the afternoon. It was beautiful. Just couple meters from the beach and you could find how amazing of the coral reef and thousands of colour fish were. After lunch we went to Zero Kilometer Monument, starting point of Indonesia in West. Putting my feet there was kind of feeling to be already a half Indonesian :) I'm joking.

But the sunset that was fascinating. Speechless.. If I could, I would stay there longer.

Jihad & Asri in amazing sunset. This picture taken by Eka.

Sunday, Snorkling Day!

See.. how clean the water was
Snorkling at Gapang

We stayed here! Cool,. isn't it?

Jogjakarta for DRR Training


It's been two months I didn't post anything. Sometimes, when I'm 'disturbed' or 'distracted' taking very much thinking and energy, i'm not in mood to write things. Things are better now though. Yes, things are always better and will be always; (i don't know if perhaps it's too bad to be very much optimistic in life). At least i am always optimistic instead of letting things dragging me down. Not easy to rise up once I got down.

Last month, 20 to 24 Jan, I went to Jogja attending a workshop. The meeting was actually a meeting of GOLFRE participants and also DRR Consultation of 2008-2012. It's a distance learning about DRR (Disaster Risk Reduction). Anshu, the facilitator from SEEDS (, was always friendly and full of experiences. I met him when I visited India in 2006. He was a good guy.

I also met the gangs there :) I like to have discussion with them. Meeting old friends (not too old, actually), chit chat much about how unpleasant the world is and how the perfect way it should be and things as usual rising the spirit of being activist if you could say so. Comrade and Comandante air was there!

I also met Anthony there talking about the 'way forward' of the program. It's been stuck for a while. it's alright now. I just feel overload sometimes and the moral obligation (burden) for helping the affected people. No much burden on me now and that's a relief. For almost 3 years of this work, I can breath after all. I will have much time for myself, I do hope so.!