Sunday, April 28, 2013

Recesky Twin Lens Reflex Kit

My Sunday project: making a Recesky Twin Lens Reflex camera. After a struggle with the shutter knot, I finally finished it with the help of SUPER GLUE!

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Nine More Weeks

...Actually, eight weeks and six days more.
Before I actually leave United States. Leaving the status of being a KL-YES 2012-2013 exchange student.

Before, I never actually think about the difference of going back home. Because really and truly, deep inside, I am positively believing that near in the future, my life will revolve around the world. Literally. And I am ready to make it that way. That's why I want to be an exchange student, to become a part of the world itself. The universe itself. Although it may sound very dramatic.

And yes, again, I was never paying attention to the fact that there will be great changes in my life, soon. Just like several weeks before I was coming here. I wasn't paying attention at all, that something's big was coming. Same case here.

But then, last Thursday, was the last home game for our softball team. Basically, the JV team is released from duty and the Varsity has to focus on the conference game--the real battle. And I just realized that during the game.

As for being the last home game, we held our Senior Day--which is a thank-you ceremony for the seniors and good-luck good-bye party for those who are going to college--which was also awesome. Shockingly, the coaches told me to go in line as well, as a honorable mention for being part of the team. I got a box full of chocolate and bubble gums inside a plastic bat. Because of the short notice, I didn't even tell my host mom to come--because I didn't think there's a necessity for it. My coach as well as my homeroom teacher was walking with me instead, because she didn't want me to walk alone.

After the short ceremony, our varsity team played really well and won against the guest team by 15 to zero. In some ways, I felt like the game was pretty okay because the guest team was not that very good either, so it felt like we were really dominating the home plate. But then, that's a beautiful score for a Senior Day game.

Then, when it came to the end of the game, I just realized that, that's it. That's the only day I would probably be ever wearing my softball uniform again. That's probably the only day I would actually come casually as a softball team member. No more going home at 6.30, no more going to concession and buy some Snickers. No more getting out of class earlier. No more bringing bat and gloves to school. No more dressing up because it's a big game day. No more asking them whether we're going to have practice or not. No more stinky socks after game. No more changing in the locker room. No more catching, throwing, or batting with the same girls I used to. No more getting tan. No more snuggling up together to fight the cold, windy night during the varsity game. No more screaming, "You got this, babe!" or something else. No more bees in the dugout--wait, NO more dugouts. No more Coach Norman, Coach Lemcool, Coach Seligman, Coach Jones. No more smelling the grass of the fresh-cut field, or the wild flowers that shyly popped out on the field. No more bruises of getting thrown at.

No more of that.

When I just realized, "This is indeed the end". The fact that I won't be as busy as before stung me a bit. I won't be doing these stuff anymore. I won't be doing the same kind of activities as I used to anymore.

The fact that things have slowly changed pretty much scared me, because no matter how hard I tried to neglect the effect of changes because life is about come and go and come again, my life has slowly changed, and it's approaching the rear end of my journey as a KL-YES exchange student.

But not as an exchange student. This journey is just the tidbits of the beginning as I am just starting my whole adventure as an exchange student.

Yes, people. Eight weeks and six days.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

What did they think?

What did those people think when he said that it was that race's fault for all the suffer that their nation had?
What did those people think when he said it was their fault that they lost the war, it was okay for them to take the blame, it was okay for them to be pointed finger at?
What did those people think when he said they're not supposed to be on the earth in the first place?
That they should be exterminated in the first place? And that his people--us, he said--are just doing a good deed?

Did he tell you with a soft, persuasive voice that none can even think otherwise?
Did he grab your hand, shook it firmly and said, "With me, brother."?
Did he hug your shoulder and said, "We can do this together."?
Did he smile at you, a smile that you remember seeing from your father when you had your summer holiday several years ago?
Did he make you feel that you are indeed superior?
Did he give you what you've always wanted before?
Is that it?

And when it went like he said,
What did those people think when they heard the painful roaring from innocent people who didn't even understand their fault in the first place?
What did those people think when they saw a man slowly crawled on the ground, seeking for a dip of water after days without one?
What did those people think when they saw bodies being stacked one after another in a hole that was dug as if it was a trash hole?
What did those people think after seeing emotionless and soulless faces of corpses that slowly burnt down in the crematorium?
What did those people think when they saw those humans hugging each other and muttering, as if there's no hope in tomorrow?
What did those people think when they saw a child as old as theirs rolling his body to fight the cold winter, and suddenly he stopped shivering, or even breathing?

Did he come to you and say, "They're different from us."?
Did he come to you and hand you over some extra money to buy your child a birthday cake?
Did he hug your little boy and say, "You're a proud father."?
Did he give you what you think is yours?
Did he actually make you feel that the world you're living in is actually true?

Save the Orangutans

So, I was helping the Earth Day celebration in Kathleen Clay library last Saturday (April 13). When I said helping, it was picking up chairs, tables, helping out some cool exhibitioners, and taking a walk.

It was very interesting because I got to interact with some groups who are focusing on reshaping their environment. For example, I was very interested with the trash system in America, like how they have two types of trash bin that are literally being processed differently. It'd be super cool if Indonesia will ever apply that.

And then I stumbled upon this "Save the Orangutans" table. Even before the exhibition started, I was already interested with the hanging orangutan on the entrance without knowing that it... I mean she was actually a property to one of the exhibitions.

I told the exhibitionist that I used to live in Borneo and I was born in Sumatra, and where I used to live, Orangutans like to come by with their children within a seeing-range. He got very excited and we chatted about some stuff. I asked for his email address in case I can suggest him some conservation spots for Orangutans in Indonesia if he ever wants to visit.

Seeing a booth about Orangutans touched my feelings very much because there are actually people who care about Orangutans even though they never see one. Even people as far as Americans who actually care about animals whom they never see before. I suddenly felt a familiar feeling, a feeling that usually comes when I see an orangutan back in my backyard.

Caring about something is unlimited. You might even love something that you never even see before, fighting for someone whom you never even knew personally before. And that could mean a lot to people who actually have the personal connection with it. Like me.

D-Day Prom

Here's a short somewhat recap of what happened during D-Day of Prom, which was Saturday, April 13th 2013.

Me and my host sister found two couples who were very nice and pretty close to us that we're nice enough to grab us to join their circle to the prom (in exchange for taking their pictures, which I didn't mind at all). On the same day, earlier before prom, I had to volunteer for my Environment Service Learning Group on the library's Earth Day. I stayed from 9 till 3 in the afternoon. Something very touching happened during the Earth Day and I'd explained that in the later post.

So, my hostmum picked me up and we went to Target to get some foundation. Apparently it's so hard for me to find a right foundation because of my skin color and the sensitivity. Gladly I found Neutrogena Honey beige foundation. This Neutrogena brand is focusing for special need skin,no for those who need a foundation but doesn't want to encourage more pimples break-out, you might want to consider Neutrogena, even for regular use.

After taking a slight, fast shower, I was ready for the battle. Yep, battle with make-up. To be frank, that was my first time ever dressing up and putting make-up for a dance by MYSELF. Gladly it turned out to be pretty decent, for me.

Then it comes to the time when I have to put my dress on. And oops. I got two suntan line on my shoulders that were pretty visible because of the Earth Day. I was laughing so hard because now it looks as if I'm wearing attachable sleeves.

Then, matter comes to the hair problem. I'm so used with my short hair that now, since I have this length of hair, I have no idea what to do with it. Time was ticking so fast that I was going to scream in my hostmum's bathroom. My hostsister tried to help me with curling my hair but I was so scared since she put it so long, my hair started to feel like it was burnt. I decided to take the matters by myself. Time was still ticking, when our friend finally texted us that his date was still taking care of her hair as well, so he's adding extra 30 minutes. Fyuh, extra time.

I finally took my hair problem to an end and it looked pretty decent, again. At least that was my first. And I wasn't sure if I'm ever gonna do that again.

We finally met up in a quite pretty park, I took some of the two couples' pictures and my host sister's pictures as well. After spending some time in the park, we decided to have dinner in Olives Garden, some sort of an Italian Restaurant.

It was a very nice yet too much dinner. Our friend volunteered himself to buy the appetizer (although my dinner was an appetizer as well), which are salad and fluffy breadsticks. They're delicious but just too much! My main supper hasn't even come yet.

I ordered a Lasagna Fritta, which is basically slices of fried-breaded lasagna which is very good. But since I was very full, I only ate two of them. Three I gave to my friend who gladly accepted it, one I handed over to my host sister. The whole table were planning on ordering some deserts, and I'm pretty glad that all of us were really full.

We decided to go to our prom's place with one car, it was 9.30 already. Since everybody was so full, the car was pretty quiet. To be honest, I had so much fun already that I thought I'm okay with not going to the main prom.

After arriving in the prom place, I was pretty puzzled. I am not a party person, but if I ever had to come to one, it's probably an after party for a week-long conference or meeting. But this prom, it was dark and it was not that big. Not to mention, not so many people in it.

Some if our teachers were there as well, chaperoning. My favorite art teacher was there and I was so happy to see her there. We took several pictures together, and then the song was changed. I kinna like the song, so I decided to go to the dance floor and "exercise" a bit with my host sister. But then the song was changed again, and the scenery became... Pretty disgusting.

When I said disgusting, it's disgusting for me, personally. It's not that kind of hugging each other slow dance kind of dance, but it's the girls in front-boys at the back type of dancing. And they were all over the place. Even girl to girl, those people who didn't bring date. I guess that's what they called as "grinding". And it was... Disgusting.

And awkward to see. I went back to the spot where we sat, which is near my art teacher, and I told her it was so awkward. She laughed at me and she told me that it wasn't like that when she went to high school, which is several years ago.

I even spotted the guy who once asked my phone number and texted me if I ever wanted to hang out with him or whatsoever one day. He was dancing... Pretty bashfully that I converted my eyesight as soon as I spotted him. Eew.

We stayed there until 11.30 when we decided to call our hostparents to pick us up. Most of the people were still dancing crazily and awkwardly on the dance floor when we left, and frankly speaking, I was glad we finally left.

After that night, I felt pretty glad that I went because I got nothing to lose and I got things to gain, although some of them are bad ones. But I enjoyed it pretty much, especially our picture and dining time. It's worth a try, although you won't lose that much if you decided not to go.

Thursday, April 11, 2013


We've been thinking about this for the whole week, perhaps two weeks.
When I said "we", it's me and my host sister.

I am never a party person. And I hate wasting time at place that I know I won't have fun at all.
So we're trying to gather up some info from our friends whether they're going or not. Most of our friends said they're not coming.

And I was very bias at that time. What we're going to do if none of the people in there we barely knew?

Then I tried to ask some other friends and coaches, and they said I should go. It's worth a try. It's WIH the ticket. If you don't like it, you can go home (that's what my host mother said).

And we already bought the dress anyway.

So tonight, the last night for prom ticket sale, I was ambiguous. I was planning on knocking my host sister's door to ask and briefly tell her what I was thinking about the matter, when she suddenly knocked mine.

"I have the answer," she said briefly. And I knew for sure.

That she's going to say yes.
Slightly, I felt a relieved feeling passed through my heart. I told our host mother immediately so that she could drive us to the ATM to get some money.

For some people, deciding this matter is no problem at all.

But for me who values time so much (although now I'm wasting it through blogging), this was a big deal.

I felt like I just successfully made a decision between college or two future-boyfriend candidates.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Sports Photographer

Today was a wonderful, rare chance for me. Our JV softball team didn't have any match, but the varsity had one. While cooling off under the shed, I spotted a man with hits fancy camera and big lens. I have taken interest with sports photography lately--right after nature photograph--because if the speechless expression that you cannot even describe, or that magical moments when someone slides or do some crazy stuff.

My coach told me to gather up my courage to talk to him, but I felt like I might disturb him. I decided to talk, though. He was very nice and he actually had two Canon cameras with Ultrasonic lenses. Yes, the fancy, super duper long lens. I told him that I started to take a liking to sports photography and I took one during a track meet. He was suddenly so excited and immediately asked me, "Wanna try to shoot?"

I was... Speechless.
Me, shooting with such camera? It's gotta be crazy!
I asked him several times if he was really sure about it, and he was just laughing. He asked me whether I'm gonna be here or not next year, because he'd like to coach me to be a sports photographer. I told him that I had to go back home, but I'm pretty sure I'm going to pursue sports photographer as a hobby as well, and I'd love to get some of his advices for it.

So, I got some shoots that are not as good as his, though. I was using his Canon EOS1 DS Titanium or whatsoever it's too long with the 200 lens. It. Was. AWESOME.

He complimented one of my pictures although I cannot really see it on the screen.

He gave me his name card to get in touch through facebook and to see some of his sports photography pictures.

I nailed the day! Even though I left 5 home works today (but I made it to school since I redid them again), I felt really energized and excited. Yahoooow!

Sunday, April 7, 2013

When Someone Told You

"I love you."
Or maybe "I like you."
Or perhaps, "I really care about you."

When a person whom you weren't growing up with,
Who doesn't know about you getting naked with your childhood friends in a bathtub when you were five,
Who never knows that you got stung by bee several times in a month that your friends started to call you 'honey',
Who just randomly knows you from one of your new colleague,
Who just happened to pass your favorite bookstore when you were there,
Who doesn't understand the origin of your hatred towards snake,
Or your affection towards lions;
Who hasn't listened to the playlist you're growing up with,
Who doesn't understand why you hate purple so much,
Who doesn't know how to treat you when you're crying,
Who were pretty careless on your next few accidental meetings,
Who never understands your obsessions with old books,
Who never understands why out of all places, you chose to stay in this city,
Who never realizes that you barely drink coffee or tea, but you adore orange juice so much that you bought the full box of kiddy-size orange juice boxes,
Who doesn't know that you care about your weight very much because you don't like buying new pants,
Who only thinks that you care about your weight because you don't want to look fat,
Who doesn't understand the reason why you hate wearing skirt,
Who doesn't understand why you didn't shave your legs,
Who doesn't understand why you're so eager on buying a pair of old, used duck boots,
Who doesn't know that you had a crack on your skull when you were nine,
Who never knows that you actually own action figures,
Or a person who just has no idea about your life,

Tells you that he/she cares for you very much? Love you? Like you?

A person who's pretty clueless of who you are.

When someone told you how much they care or how big their love is for you,

It feels like someone just opened birdcages right behind you, with hundreds--no, thousands--of birds fly towards you, pushing you forward. Their feathers tickle you as they pass your cheek, hair, arms. Not to mention, they're chirping right at your ears, giving that sweet feelings of calmness.

Or like eating a mouthful of your favorite sweets, in my case, Key Lime Pie. It just melts inside your mouth with that classic sweet and tart feelings, it makes your cheeks puff for several moments that you feel like you were gaining bunch of extra pounds just in your cheeks alone.

It's like preparing on doing a bungee jumping. You're either excited or scared. A possibility of very rushed adrenaline that makes you happy, or a possibility of a broken rope that send you straight to your death. Your gloominess.

It's like picking up college major. You're anxious and curious, also excited. You never know which one to choose, how to be in it, how to act for it, what's best for the future. You're slightly afraid, but still curious. You feel like this very moment should just stop so you don't need to think about it further.

It's like being pulled inside the water and you eagerly swim back up, widen your nostrils and mouth once you touch the air. It consumes your whole body's oxygen. The idea of dying has come to you and it makes your heart beats faster, and it makes you glad that it's over, that you can breathe normally now.

It's like having tons of butterflies inside your stomach and they're trying to get out, which is hurting you yet it's also ticklish.

It's like touching the cold sea water barefooted for the first time. It's shocking and cold, but then you get used to it, you started to move around because you're comfortable with the water.

And you know it's different. Because that person is not your parents, nor your siblings, not your cousin, nor people who used to express their caring feelings for you.

It's just different, because all of the feelings that you body contained when a person told you he/she loves you.

It's probably much more closer than you think. Yes, those indescribable feelings that made your world turns around? I bet they come as a person told you, "I love you".

And you'll never know from where, when, and why it's coming.

I guess so.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Live Skype with @binabudbdg

As always, like the past couple years, my dearly beloved Chapter Bandung held its annual Open House for exchange programs. They served a lot of informations about being an exchange student, experiences, and simply motivation.

It's probably one of the most fun day out of all volunteering work with them, and again. For two years in a row, I cannot participate. Physically.

So for this year, they gave me a chance to do a live Skype video call with them. Which is won. der. ful.

Like I always tell people, I cannot stop smiling while doing a video call, which is referred as "cengar-cengir". It was (gladly) a short call since I started to get sleepy as well. But it was pretty fun. Kak Vitara asked about my very first memory in America, which is the difference of driving direction that drove me crazy in the first time. One boy asked about bullying, which I answered that I never really see one, I guess that's because I always choose the good friends to hang out with. Kak Bije asked about my weight, which I told her that I gained 5 kg. NOOO I hope no one remembers about the bet of not gaining weight.

Another boy asked about shopping, which I thought he was asking about shopping food. But then he asked about shopping clothes,NAND I told him about the wonderful things of shopping in the thrift stores. It's just like a treasure hunt, you'll never know what you'll find!

Kak Irin asked whether I already performed some Indonesian culture in there or not (she's referring to my Bali dance practice), which I haven't. Yet. I don't know.

Another asked whether I have a boyfriend or not. And I shyly shook my head. There are people, but I rejected them, okay?

Lastly, Dion asked about school in America. I told him about the exchanging class, fun events that they often have, and classes that I take.

Surely, it was a great conversation. I'm glad I was able to make a quirky--ups, quick--video call.

Thank you Chapter Bandung! I love you very super duper much!

Thursday, April 4, 2013


Just had one of my best Skypes ever with a great friend who moved to USA. She's a very wonderful, open, straight-forward, and funny person, even at the beginning of the chat, we laughed at ourselves already.

I couldn't express the happiness over the video-call other than writing, so I dedicated this post for our long talk after such a long time.

Nice to hear you laughing again and hope to meet you anytime soon, Rafi!