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Rabu, 06 September 2017

Aku sedang menunggu tukang parkirnya memberi kembalian saat Papa menutup kaca mobil dan beranjak pergi.
"Loh, Pa. Kembaliannya belum?", kataku keheranan.
"Biar aja.."
"Parkirnya kan cuma 2000 Pa, itu tadi Papa kasih kebanyakan.."
"Gak apa-apa, Kak.."
Di malam itu, perjalanan pulang dari tempat les, Papa kembali bercerita tentang masa mudanya. Aku tahu bahwa Papa dulu sekolah sambil bekerja membiayai hidup di Medan, merantau dari Pasaman Barat sejak kelas 1 SMP.  Tapi cerita Papa biasanya sepotong-sepotong, sebagai pengantar kami tidur. Malam itu, Papa bercerita tentang salah satu pekerjaan yang pernah Papa lakukan dulu; tukang parkir.
"Dulu waktu Papa jadi tukang parkir, kalau ada yang lebihin uang parkirnya, Papa senaaaang kali, Kak. "
"Hmm, makanya Papa suka lebihin uang parkir buat tukang parkir ya?"
"Iya.. Gak ada salahnya kan Kak."
"Hmm, iya Pa.."

Cerita itu Papa kisahkan ketika awal-awal aku duduk di bangku SMP. Saat aku mulai diberi pengertian tentang perjuangan, bahwa hidup tidak selamanya nyaman. Sering cerita Papa membuat mata kami berkaca-kaca, kuat kami peluk Papa setelah bercerita, yang saat itu, entah sadar atau tidak kami seperti menunjukkan bahwa kami sangat bangga dengan Papa, bahwa kami ingin terus mendengar cerita Papa.
Tapi Papa pergi beberapa tahun setelahnya. Aku bahkan belum meninggalkan bangku SMP saat itu.
Kepergian Papa seolah memaksaku untuk mengumpulkan semua memori tentang Papa, semua cerita yang pernah diceritakan Papa, lalu tetap melanjutkan hidup dengan bekal itu.

Sudah 8 tahun kami tidak lagi bisa mendengar cerita Papa, tidak lagi bisa memeluk Papa, tidak lagi bisa melihat Papa memberi uang parkir berlebih, terutama jika petugas parkirnya adalah orang tua atau ibu-ibu.
Tapi cerita yang bisa diingat, berusaha aku ingat terus, dan jadikan tulisan agar tetap bisa kubaca jika aku lupa.
Kebiasaan Papa dulu, berusaha aku ikuti.
Papa, kalau dulu, ketika Papa kasih uang parkir berlebih, paling hanya anak Papa ini yang bertanya heran. Sekarang, aku terkadang bingung menyikapi tatapan bertanya teman atau orang yang melihat aku menolak kembalian parkir.
Papa, kami rindu. Tapi kami tetap simpan cerita Papa, kami coba ganti dengan doa untuk Papa. 

Sabtu, 19 Agustus 2017

How to Talk to a Stranger

Kemarin, aku akhirnya membuka channel TED Talk. Terakhir kali aku buka channel ini ketika masih di US tahun lalu. Woah, sekarang waktu di US udah terkategorikan "tahun lalu". So damn fast, isn't it?
Salah satu judul yang menarik perhatianku adalah "How to Start a Conversation."
Oke ini terdengar sepele. Apa sih susahnya buat mulai ngobrol? Tinggal bilang "Hai.", kalo dijawab alhamdulillah gak dijawab ya selesai.

Ya gak sesimpel itu, kalau di TED Talk ini.
It was a mind blowing talk. Seriously. Habis nonton itu, aku jadi langsung pengen nyari orang asing dan mraktekin apa yang barusan kutonton, tapi gak jadi ding. Soalnya aku nonton video itu malam-malam di rumah. Hahaha.
Tapi, hari ini, aku benar-benar dapat kesempatan untuk ngobrol sama a stranger. Perfectly a stranger!
Di American Corner.

Aku lagi duduk sambil browsing di ruang multimedia. Ruang multimedia ini kayak ruang kelas gitu, tertutup dan cuma dipake kalo ada kegiatan mengajar atau English Club. Karena siang ini lagi kosong, aku duduk disitu. Pintunya kututup. Tiba-tiba, ada yang nongolin kepalanya. Aku mengalihkan kepalaku sebentar dari layar laptop.
"Eng... Ada yang bisa dibantu?"
Dia kemudian nyelonong masuk dan duduk di depanku.

Jumat, 11 Agustus 2017

End of Workshop Reflection

source: World Learning

During our 4 days in the busy Washington DC, we had a lot to learn. We had a lot to talk. Furthermore, we had a lot to remember.
We were looking back to the past 3 months of our life in here, United States. And it just instantly threw me back to some details that I will always remember for the rest of my life.

I let my self think about how nervous I was, sitting in the airplane alone without anyone I knew to talk to. I thought about the very first time I jumped out from the plane after a long long flight. I thought about the first hug I got from my UGRAD fellow from Dominican Republic. I thought about my first Walmart shopping. How big Walmart is, really got me speechless. I thought about my first night in my room, tired but couldn't sleep, just overexciting what I was gonna do and whom I was gonna meet the next day. I thought about my first class, was so afraid if I couldn't understand what my professor said. I thought about the nights I spent doing my tasks, online quizes, and staying at the library until 2 AM with my friends. I thought about my effort trying to go to the gym on daily basis, not because I want to lose weight, but just to prevent gaining more weight while eating all those delicious foods in the cafetaria.

I thought about all the goods and the bads. There was a time when I thought that I made the best decision to go to US, but there was also time when I wanted to go home very bad.
I miss several things back home, but I, for sure, treasure a lot of new things I found in here.

To be completely honest, I've changed. That would be a lie if I said I am the same girl as I used to be before I went to US. I encountered many things that opened my eyes to the new things of life. I was placed in situations where I had to stand on my own and take important decisions. I met a lot of incredible individuals, talked to them, knew them, and made space for them in my heart.  I will always remember them.

My exchange semester was a gem. Not to mention that I got to visit one of the most awesome cities in the world- New York, that I had never have a mind about. Spent 5 days 4 nights with 2 amazing girls from Kazakhstan and South Korea. Went to places and successfully awed many times. Finally saw the buildings, the streets, and the New Yorkers I once watched just from the movies. My world went from 2D to 3D. I would never be able to watch any movie which took place in New York without saying to myself "I've been there..."

But some people may have a thought that I was just travelling during my exchange period. Nope. I didn't travel that much. I enjoyed staying in Tennessee as well. I stayed in Cookeville. A great small city to live in. I got involved in local festivals, I went out with my host family and close friends to do Trick or Treat in Halloween. The childhood dream of mine which came true. I got a full big bag of chocolates and candies, couldn't be happier. People are so kind and helpful.
I had a chance to celebrate Thanksgiving with my American family. I didn't feel strange yet I felt like they are my family that I just found.

This is more than an exchange for me. This is a journey of myself, an adventure of my soul. A road that takes me to another home.  
This is one of the best decisions I've ever made in my life.
This is the time of my life I will never forget, the thing that will always be a part of me.


(Another delayed post. It's been 8 months since the day I wrote this. I just need to remind myself that, hell, life goes on.)

Rabu, 07 Juni 2017

8 Years

I watched Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close today. In the movie, the main character, Oscar, said this:

"If the sun were to explode, you wouldn't even know about it for 8 minutes because thats how long it takes for light to travel to us. For eight minutes the world would still be bright and it would still feel warm. It was a year since my dad died and I could feel my eight minutes with him... were running out"

Oscar, it's been 8 years for me, today.. I'm doing my best to keep my 8 minutes with my dad, I do everything to make it lasts longer. 

Selasa, 11 April 2017

Bagaimana jika masa lalu mu datang kembali, dan ingin memperbaiki apa yang pernah terjadi?
Membawa jawaban atas pertanyaan-pertanyaan yang selama ini masih terus kau pertanyakan.

Kau mungkin akan goyah, hal-hal terbaik dan terindah memang terkadang perlu sakit dulu untuk akhirnya dimiliki. 
Tapi, buat apa membuka kembali apa yang dulu sudah terlanjur kita tutup?
Di dunia ini, ada hal-hal yang sebenarnya sudah berakhir, dan tidak mesti dilanjutkan lagi. Tidak semua cerita memiliki akhir bahagia. Pertanyaan-pertanyaan itu pun mungkin sudah terjawab, hanya saja manusia terkadang tidak ingin menerima karena itu bukan jawaban yang diinginkan. 
Ikhlaskanlah, akhirnya mungkin memang harus begitu. 

Selasa, 04 April 2017

First Goodbye


Aku sangat sadar bahwa akan selalu ada perpisahan untuk suatu perjumpaan. Dan hari ini, aku melambaikan lambaian selamat tinggal untuk pertama kalinya semenjak aku di Amerika.
Workshop di Washington DC telah usai. Malam itu, malam terakhir, adalah waktu yang paling emosional. Aku berusaha keras untuk tidak menangis. Well, aku tidak menangis untuk orang-orang yang baru kutemui, camku dalam hati.
Aku baru bertemu mereka 3 hari yang lalu.
Tapi, kenapa di hari terakhir ini, aku merasa bahwa ada bagian diriku di mereka. Aku melihat diriku di diri mereka.
Aku merasa aku punya banyak momen "me too!" dengan mereka.
Momen "me too!" ini begitu terasa di hari terakhir workshop. Ketika kami sama-sama menuliskan perasaan kami tentang beberapa hal.
Ini menyangkut kembalinya kami ke negara asal kami masing-masing.
Di ruangan itu, ditempeli beberapa kertas karton besar dengan judul di masing-masing bagian atasnya.
"How I see my community"
"Returning to school or work"
"Family and friends"
"My future goals and plans"
"My personal growth"


Senin, 13 Maret 2017

Slight Reminder

We've got an e-mail from World Learning today. It's the best e-mail of the week, they said. Because it came along with our tickets to Washington DC.
I was so excited for the first seconds, and it switched to a reminder that my stay in this country is coming to an end. Yes, this workshop that I'm gonna attend is labelled as "End of Program Workshop."
I have to get ready for leaving.
God, even just thinking of it has made my heart beats so fast. It's not a happy beat, btw.
It was, a nervous. A got-some-butterflies-on-my-stomach beat.

In the afternoon, I skyped with Lauren, one of my advisors. She asked me some necessary questions about my classes, comunity services, and other school stuffs. Before we ended the call, Lauren said:
"See you next week in DC, Winni.", in a cheerful way of saying.
Yes, Lauren, see you next week.
Let me put aside my thought of leaving and write some happy things that I should be thankful for.

I'm so looking forward to see Lauren, Roya, and all World Learning staffs in Washington DC. All the people behind this exchange program, they work so hard to make so many people's dreams come true. They make our journey in USA possible, they are, GEM.
At first, I thought that it would be so fun to be in their position, I mean, to have that kind of job. Well, yeah it is so fun, they work on diversity, on mutual understanding, on helping great youngsters to pursue their dreams. But it is not only about the fun. They work hard. Very hard. They arranged our schools, they reserved our tickets, they made sure that we catched up our connecting flight, they stayed awake when we were travelling to US, from our home countries. They made sure that we arrived in our university safely. We talked for several times during the semester, they cared about whether we enjoy the foods, the dorm, or having some good friends. Yeah. We owe them a lot.
They are so kind.
I would hug them so tight when I get to meet them. I will never forget about them.
No, they give me love, help, kindness, and a feeling of being so lucky to be able to meet them in my life.
Thank you for helping us, World Learning.

I learn a lot.

Seriously.

7 November 2016