If I could have one wish, I would wish to go to as many countries in the world as possible. After participating in all those international conferences (IC), I realize that, the more you go, the more you learn, the more you grow. My first experience with IC started in Thailand – the most interesting ASEAN country so far, with sacred elephants, sawadee krup! (Hello), songkran festival (traditional New Year’s Day) and homosexual people :)). Everything initiated with a call from Vietnam Youth Federation, asking me if I wanted to be their student representative to take part in the Asean Youth Seminar on Global Warming, which would be held in Nakorn Pathom, Thailand from 28 – 31 March, 2011. It got me thinking: “I’ve never been abroad by myself before, I’ve never presented anything in front of foreign countries’ representatives before. I may totally ruin our nation’s pride!” :)). But finally, after endless strugglings :)), and careful preparation, I was on the airplane heading to Bangkok. And every memory I got there, from the conference, will accompany me till the end of my life, cause they were so valuable, and they were the stepstone leading me to other different ICs afterward.
My most recent IC is the APYA (Asia Pacific Youth Assembly), which was held from 6-10 Sep, 2011 in LSPR Campus (London School of Public Relation Campus), Jakarta, Indonesia. The conference also opened up a brand-new perspective for me. Never before could I imagine that someday I would fall in love so deeply with those Indonesian people, who live 1900 kilometers far away from me, who speak a totally different language, who mostly don’t eat pork (my favorite la) and who pray 5 times per day. I thought they were black people, madly in love with Agriculture and Fishery (!). Now I know more than ever that I was so wrong, and to judge people by their appearances is a totally absurd motto to live with…
Sep 7, 2011
Sudirman Park Complex, Jakarta, Indonesia
Day 1: Arrive @ the airport; Opening ceremony
I don’t know if it is a judicial choice to travel by Garuda Indonesia airline cause it landed so roughly. Feel like the plane was abt to crush and I was gonna shake and break and die! :-ss. Whatever, finally I was on Soekarno-Hatta airport and heading to the immigration. Luckily they didn’t make it hard on me at all and I was officially in Jakarta, Indonesia! My L.O (Liaison Officer) had already waited 4 me with the “Haylie Armstrong” so big in her hands. So glad to meet each other finally, we shaked hands and she took me to see other friends who were also waiting 4 us. I met and got to know Hafiz (Fish) from Indonesia and Nina from the Philippines, then we headed to LSPR Campus. My 1st impression abt Jakarta was that the traffic was also as crazy as in HN :)). My 2nd impression: they were much richer than our people! And the 2nd impression was strengthened when I arrived at the campus! The more I explored it, the more I felt it looked like Hogwarts! Antique and modern architecture coordinated so smoothly in every corner of the school. Paksi (Papa Raddel) was the 1st lecturer that I met. He showed us around and led us to our apartments. I stayed with sister Kin (from VN) in Mam Roweina’s apartment – here – 11st floor, CB! [Thanks to Edwin, Kin’s L.O for bringing my heavy luggage. He was so kind and nice :”>]. We didn’t even got time to change our clothes cause it was almost half past 6 then. So we headed downstairs and went back 2 the campus again 4 the Opening Ceremony. There I met Lord from the Philippines and Cea from Indonesia again! (We participated together in the IC in Thai :x). Don’t have to say how happy we were to see each other. We hugged and shared what we had done since last March. Then dinner and Opening Ceremony started with Mam Candy – the project advisor and Cea – the project initiator. They introduced their campus and the administrative arrangements. Then each country’s representatives received name cards and training kits from the committee. At the end of the ceremony we had a small ice-breaking game and got to introduce each other. By now I think we’ve already broken the surface of the ice :). It was great 2 get to know all the new friends here. Up 2 now I can remember Hafiz, Nina, Edwin, ..also…let me see, Fakhri, Jonathan (Jojo) and Vika ^^. Now I’ve been back @ the apartment and so damn tired @.@. Really need some proper sleep. Gonna rush back to u 2morrow night Journal!.
1: 09 a.m
Sep 8, 2011
Sudirman Park Complex, Jakarta, Indonesia.
Day 2: Campus tour; Guest speakers; and night @ Old Town 😡
Today was gr8, journal! I can say that I have already fallen in love with Jakarta n mah Indonesian friends here <3. Our day started with bread and butter 4 breakfast (T.G no more spicy food!), then ready for Campus tour! In LSPR they have 3 campuses: A, B, C. And our main activities in the next 3 days will happen in campus B. Frankly, I wondered how the students here can concentrate on their books! The school had its own movie theater, radio station, audio room, adequate cafeteria and musical instrument was everywhere! It kept me thinking maybe I should flirt an Indonesian boy, got married and send my baby here 2 study :)). Jk. After a short break with snack, we headed 2 the conference room and were joined by the guest speakers. The 1st one was the representative from the U.S Embassy. She clarified the policies of USAID and emphasized its aims to help combat the Environmental issues, esp the Climate change problem in Indonesia. But, hehe, who didn’t see the political conspiracy underneath? After that, we got chance to meet 3 young Environmental leaders in Indonesia and hear their inspiring stories regarding Environmental and Social activities. For the 2 men: Mr. David Sihombing and Mr. Goris Mustaqim, I almost fell asleep during their presentations :)))), but the little girl had drawn my considerable attention :). She told us abt how she had made the possible from the impossible by organizing Indonesian Youth Day with almost no money at all. But guess what? Finally, the conference had attracted more than 200 youths from all over Indonesia! Her speed gave me strength and faith. So inspiring! I hope one day I could be sb like that, raise my voice and prove to the world my ability, my existence :). At the end of the session we were joined by 3 professionals in Environmental field. The interesting middle-aged man from WWF Indonesia – Mr. Nyoman Iswarayoga, one man from the Ministry of Environment – which I don’t remember the name :”>, and Ms. Gracia Paramitha from Bureau for Planning and International Cooperation, Ministry of Environment also. The session closed with questions fr the participants n relevant answers fr the guest speakers.
But the most gr8 part of today is the night! After just one day working together I had become close to some participants fr Indonesia n we made a date 2 hang out :x. The venue is the Old Town (The place like Pho co in HN :)). After dinner, we: Me, Kin (VN); Hafiz, Fakhri, Jonathan, Amy, Windy (Indo), gathered at the lobby and headed to the bus station. In Jakarta they have the bus 24/24. So we didn’t have to worry, we owned the night! :x. The bus was much cleaner and more organized than in VN. We hopped in and were talking all the way 2 the Old Town. We told jokes, we laughed, we took “jejemon” (funny) pictures together. It was like we had been close friends for years instead of just 2 days! I knew right from that moment that I’m gonna miss those faces so much once come back 2 VN :).
JoJo could really become an awesome tourguide. Felt like he knew everything abt Jakarta. He took us out of the bus @ the Old Town entrance. There he showed us the Museum of Bank, the 1st coffee shop in Indonesia and so many other interesting things. We went round the Old Town look at various kinds of gifts and souvenirs , enjoyed the Jakarta night atmosphere and the cool light breeze :x. I got chance to try many special street food there. Like the chopping ice-cream :x, and some other kinds of spicy dishes that I didn’t remember the name. I also, for the 1st time, see with my own eyes how they made a permanent tattoo :-ss. Trust me, it hurts! We then bought each other one ring with our names carved on it (another special service in Jakarta: carving ur name on rings, necklaces and whatever on Earth u want). Then finally, before coming back 2 the campus on the last bus, we bought funny glasses together. We also took many funny pictures on the way home :)). The trip was awesome. It’s gonna be one of the gr8 experiences that I will never forget :). Love those guys so much much much :x. Really can’t wait till 2morrow 2 see them again!.
Sep 9, 2011
Sudirman Park Complex, Jakarta, Indonesia.
Day 3: Visit Taman Mini_Photo competition; Tree planting; Clean up competition; Karaoke @Plaza Semanggi ❤
Another busy but awesome day journal!
We have met our host mother_Mam Roweina. She is Filipino, middle-aged, beautiful but still single :D. She is also nice and very hospitable. We didn’t wanna wake her up early this morning so we slipped out of the apartment in silence lol. When we reached Campus B the breakfast was ready. It was something (I can’t recall the name =.=), from Chowking Restaurant (Filipino restaurant) in the campus, that we gotta eat by hands! It was the “mixture” of rice, noodle, meat or something :-s. I didn’t have the gut to finish it. Sorry to the Environment, I know it’s not sustainable :-<.
As soon as everyone finished his breakfast, we packed our necessary stuffs and headed to Taman Mini on the school’s bus. We sang all the countries’ traditional songs on the bus and really had a good and enjoyable time together. After just about 20 minutes traveling (plus a minor traffic jam), we reached the beautiful Taman Mini. It is a culture-based recreational area, with virtually all aspects of daily life in Indonesia’s 26 provinces. There we got chance to visit the most interesting and diverse landscapes in Jakarta ever: The iconic golden snail (wow it’s magnificent, for those who don’t know_ u really should google it lol); West Sumatra pavilion; Purna Bhakti Pertiwi Museum; South Kalimanta pavilion; Toba Batak house and so on. But the most special thing abt this trip, we could enjoy the view of the miniature of Indonesian Archipelago in the center lake from the cable car! Breathtaking indeed! We all took a lot of photos to prepare for the photo competition tomorrow_ each participant gotta submit one photo they took in Taman Mini with a short essay explaining how that picture related to the Environment! I’m managing to find one =.=
After having lunch in a windy pavilion everybody got ready for Clean up competition. We gotta find all the garbage in the surrounding area of the pavilion that could be recycled. All the participants were divided into 5 groups. Mine was group 4, with Jojo, Windy and Jin (Malaysia). Yea that naughty Jojo! While I was unaware, he took the big plastic bag (for containing garbage =.=; at that time_ still clean, T.G!), crept behind me and covered me with the bag from head to toe! Then he lifted me on his shoulder, brought me to the committee and said: “Our group has won the Clean up competition”! =)). Everybody shouted and clapped their hands. I crawled out of the bag and hit Jojo :)). Haha, he deserved that =)).
Quite tired after the Clean up competition, we climbed into the bus, came to the next destination for Tree planting. Luckily it was not very sunny so the Tree planting activity was lighter than we thought. I joined Vika (Indonesia) to grow a little tree. We then name that cutie “VikaHaylie” :x. I miss it already! When I come back to Taman Mini, I will defo visit it <3.
Rather exhausted, we came back to the bus again, heading to Pacific Place Mall. We visited the @america center there, beholding and chatting :)). Then we wandered around the Mall, contemplating the world’s most famous brands, eating ice-cream and buying stuffs. Almost crazy to see Green Day’s CD/DVD “Awesome as F***” :”>, I, finally walked out of the store in satisfaction with Green Day and The Beatles CDs in my hands :”>.
The most crazy part of today is the karaoke night @ Plaza Semanggi haha. Again, me, Kin, Jojo, Fakhri, Hafiz, Vika, Windy, Amy; this time also joined by Panca (Indonesia), Kheang (Cambodia), our cute L.O Edwin, and Cea, quickly left the Mall after dinner to travel to Plaza Semanggi for karaoke :”>. I swear to God I love karaoke in Jakarta! They even had “Don’t wanna go home” by Jason Derulo =), and all the latest stuffs by Lady Gaga, Beyonce’, Katy Perry and more :x. Me and sister Kin duet “In The End” by Linkin Park :))). Frankly, I never thought I could deal with the rap lines :)))). But we sang it quite well and hit 89! Not so bad for such a difficult song lmfao.
After playing Planking and taking ridiculous pictures, we_ so damn exhausted, came back to the campus to sleep. It was so late already. And now it’s nearly 3:00 a.m! I guess I gotta go to sleep now cause tomorrow is gonna be a very heavy day, with focusing on group discussion and national presentations. Sleep tight! :).
[to be continued…]