Saturday, 26 November 2011

Fragrance of Christmas

I can smell Christmas already. Firstly, It is positive, that me and my friends from high school are going to spend our Christmas in Boolingbrook, Illinois, a suburb 30 minutes from downtown Chicago. We are staying in my-far-away grandparents, this must not make sense for Americans how anyone who is in the same level with my grandparents are called grandparents instead of great uncle or great aunt. So, there will be a high school reunion in the United States. Two are from San Fransisco and one is from Iowa.

Secondly, I added my wardrobe collection from our shopping spree last Black Friday. I just got five new pair of clothes and a pair of shoes, and a speaker. We did not really have enough time to shop, since we went in a big group. But, it does not matter, I know that Christmas sale is coming and I will be in Chicago for that, so more options, more stores, more stylish city! Excellent.

In 5 days we are entering December, while I already listed 7 big tasks to accomplish before winter break. I hope my first Christmas in the United States would be amazing!

I put the pictures of the clothes I bought, but I did not show the details until Christmas!! Be curious!

I am not yet familiar with American brand. But, I definitely heart Ronson! by Charlotte Ronson

BISOUS BISOUS by Michelle Bohbot. The designs are pretty exclusive too.

Another pair of Bisous Bisous. Something furry for Winter.

Found this cute top at TjMaxx

And this patent Union Bay shoes.

Little fragrances from The Body Works.

Thursday, 24 November 2011

Happy Thanksgiving

This is my first Thanksgiving post out of four ( I still have three other years to be here at Wartburg College, the plan of going to a grad school and working here are not yet included). I woke up today at 11.30, it was pretty late for a Thanksgiving lunch at 12. But I made it tho.

The weather was really nice too. It was breezy but sunny. Heidi and Lee picked us up to the Peace United Church, somewhere in Waverly, ten minutes from the campus. When everybody had arrived, Heidi's husband, Jonathan, said a grace and his father said prayer. Jonathan said he is thankful of getting to know us, the international students and having us here. I can't remember the last time when I prayed communally before eating with my family, probably my last farewell before heading to the America.

Lee said Thanksgiving is an American culture when family always gets together. His son who is in marine in North Carolina wished that he could be home, but he is on duty.

As an Indonesian, I know Thanksgiving from American movies or TV series. Everybody wants to be home for Thanksgiving, just like Christmas and New Year's Eve. I watched in Eat, Pray and Love that before the dinner, they usually say what they are thankful for. from the Gossip Girl, it is a moment when the busiest New Yorkers get together, even just to eat french fries together around the table.

After the lunch, we headed by to the campus. It was already 3pm, still sunny. I decided to enjoy the sun and had a bike-riding around Waverly. At the back of the Nestle factory, there is a long bike rail. Something that I always wished we had a kind of one in Jakarta. To the right and to the left, there are trees, empty green field. Once, I saw a beautiful small red bird. The rail's length is 7 miles. I touched down until Prairie Run, I had to go back because it started to get dark. I took a lot of picture of myself. Since it's Thanksgiving, my first Thanksgiving, I want to make it memorable.

So, let me saying grace what I have been thankful for.
I am thankful for my my beautiful famliy, my mother, my father, my brother and my grandparents.
I am thankful for making it this year to the United States, my parents were really worried I would just be in the waiting list of all the colleges that I applied to.
I am thankful for getting B+ in Math class, what an improvement!
I am thankful for today when I called my relative in Chicago, she offered us a place to stay for the rest of the three weeks and Sherika's uncle would drive us to Chicago!
I am thankful for my first article in In My Opinion Blog The Jakarta post received really good responses from many people. Thirteen people liked and share it on Facebook.
I am thankful for my new life I am twenty now, and my birthday party was a blast.
I am thankful for every breathe I take, for all friends I have, for Mother Earth.

No matter how good or bad you have it, wake up each day thankful for your life. Someone somewhere else is fighting to survive. Happy Thanksgiving to all!!

The first tunnel of Waverly Rail Trail

Those bikes were hanging

Catching up with the self-timer

My body hurts since I laid on an asphalt.

I was so glad that I saw a deer very close to me. Something I wont see in Jakarta

I am thankful for the beautiful view that I see that afternoon

I am thankful for the lunch-box from the Thanksgiving Feast

Knight Smile: Happy Thanksgiving again!!!

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Friend of America and Freeport?

Today was probably my first time asking question in my Inquiry Study class: The Governing Crisis. The reason why most of the time I kept silent because it has been usually somehow more interesting to me to listen to what my fellow American classmates think about their own country, and I would rather to observe their discussion as a “foreigner”. I don’t like making unnecessary thoughtless comments just for the sake of getting participation points. It is always an interesting class; there is one student in my class who always brings up discussion about America as a bully. We call it as the “bully-analogy”. America is a bully because many countries hate America, so in order for America to keep them as a leader they have to scare the people – but from what I learned today, it is not the case, you have to be friend of America, so they won’t scare you.

I might not be the most knowledgeable person to write about this “friend of America”, America as bully, and many other topics that I bring up. But, I can assure you I know a little-bit-more about everything, not just a little bit, but more. Since tomorrow is Thanksgiving Day, the classes were shortened. When the classes started, our professor asked us about the last book that we read, “Washington Rules” by Andrew J Bacevich. One guy in my class was asking about one of the topics that were discussed by Bacevich with relation to the Vietnamese war. It is about trinity. America is the internationally-responsible country to ensure the world peace.

The world wants the United State to lead (p. 21). We went for a long discussion. One of them is how important for America to maintain their interest in other country’s territories. My professor brought example about the how the Cuban knew about the assassination of Kennedy, and this is why America has to keep its eyes towards the Cuban. Another example was the nationalization of United Fruits; why the Guatemalan government did it because they saw it as a capitalist trick that won’t benefit their country. Until at one particular point my professor stated, if I can still re-phrase it would be, “The reason behind the Washington Rules and why our country keep their defense amenities throughout the world could be capital, money,” We only had around ten minutes left and he continued saying, “You should make me feel useful, do you have any question or concern about this?”.

I have been thinking before that about the money that America borrowed and spent for war and to build their military base all over the world. They have 761 “sites” in 39 foreign countries; no other country comes even remotely close to replicating this “empire of bases” (p. 25).

“If the reason of the thing that the Washington does is money, do you think all the money that the USA has spent worth it? Does America actually get more money by doing this? Because the US in a big debt right now”

My Professor said that’s a great question and there is not an easy answer to this. He brought the illustration of why Sadam Hussein was arrested and some other examples. At the end the, thing that I can remember that my professor said was, “I think, it is not worth it,”.

I kept thinking about what he said. How I actually I adored Guetamalan government’s action toward the United Fruits, since I think a government is very responsible for the welfare of its citizen, and they have to fight for their rights.

I have reason to say this. If I compare this to what happened in my country with the Freeport Company who has been operating on mining gold for the fourty-two years. The fact that after the second exploitation in 1988, Freeport gained around 7,3 million tons of copper and 724, 7 million ton of GOLD. In contrary, the people in Papua can be considered as the poorest people in Indonesia, they cannot enjoy the enormous valuable resources of their own land. No wonder if at some point they asked for separation.

So, I talked with my professor after the class finished. The first thing I said was, “Have you ever heard about Freeport? It’s an American gold mining company in West Papua, a province in East Indonesia”. He said no.

“I think it is one of the examples of an American capitalist company. It’s not oil, but it’s gold,” and I told him the facts why I think it is a capitalist company. About the exploitation they did.

“When you were talking about Guetamalan leaders, I actually at certain level adore them. They at least have the guts to do something for their people, unlike the Indonesian government,”

Then I also explained him how complicated it was because there was a thirty-two years contract sign by Soeharto and the representative of the USA about Freeport. Stupid is the government. Everybody knows Soeharto was a dictator anyway.

My professor said, “I know about Soeharto. I heard he was a prick,”

“That’s true. But you know what; he is a friend of America. We learned in history how Soeharto got some help from American most powerful Intel to take over Soekarno’s presidency, because in 1955 Soekarno shown some ideology that is related to Marxist. While this might be not the case about what happened with Sadam Hussein, Castro, and other considered as dictator or communist leaders of the world,”

Reading Washington Rules is always enjoyable with a cup of Indonesian tea.

The whole Soeharto issues happened around fourty years ago. And we are already thirteen years forward after the New Regime had ended. But nothing has really changed about the Freeport situation. The people around the mining are still always be poor and the company is getting richer by transporting the natural resources outside Papua, Indonesia.

Go back to the “friends of America” topic. I totally support how our government tries to maintain such a really good relationship with the USA. Especially, lately, when Barrack Obama was elected as the President of United State and he has a close relation with Indonesia, since he spent part of his childhood in my hometown, Jakarta. I think this situation has to be used wisely by Indonesian politicians, diplomats, and lobbyists in the US to re-evaluate the policies that affected the three million of Papua people. It is time for Indonesian politicians to re-think about this. And we should be confident enough of doing this, if we believe that relationship is something mutual.

I do not ask my government to be as radical as some others leader, since we are famous as a very friendly, diplomatic, neutral and democratic country with the most Muslim population in the world. During the revolution in Libya, a famous person mentioned Indonesia as a new Switzerland in Asia. If this is true, we should apply this to first fix the issues in our country, rather than thinking too much on building images in front of the world. This is not what we need right now.

By fixing this, the world will see us as a country who takes the most care of its own citizen, a country who tries to combat poverty, a country that is fair to its citizen, and a country who tries to protect its people. True, it is important for our government to maintain good relationship between another countries and becoming friends with them, but what is most importantly after all is to built a trust, a comforting relationship between Indonesia and its people, without any exception. All we need are politicians who are aware and care enough about what has happened not just what happening. Because, what has happened is still happening until now, and we want to stop it.

Monday, 14 November 2011

A Letter to My Future Husband

I bumped into someone from my past who once I fell for. We were both in love. But as he said distance, time and communication just made the feeling gone. He is an Indonesian-German. All of the sudden I felt like sharing my current feeling for someone who I am having a crush on, here in the college, because this one guy make me assume that we do have the same feeling for each other - but really I don't want to expect. He wrote me his honest words on why that time our relationship did not work. Found out, I am the mean girl here. He tried so hard, I was not senstive and mostly cyncial. And as a fruit of Santa Ursula education, I have too high expectation for a boyfriend and how I value myself. So that's the end of the story. But you know what, I think we are friends now - and this usually does not happen when relationship does not work - you won't be friends with your ex or your lover.

He is still a very nice guy and now happy with his life since he finally has a girlfriend. I am happy for him! On Facebook message he sent me a link to his blog post about a letter that he got from his friend. I feel like I want to share this letter to anybody out there who feels like in the age of 20s or 30s still alone and scared of not having a boyfriends or life partners. The letter can also be adressed for the men not only for the girls. Here is the letter.

“You were made to be loved… and sincerely I have loved you, the thought of you, my life long.” Elizabeth Barrett Brown

If you are reading this letter, it is because you may become my husband one day. Lately, my mind and my heart have been filled with thoughts of you and the family that we will one day share.
I wonder where you are and what you are doing. Are you dating someone? Relationships have become so pressure filled, haven’t they? I mean, guys and girls alike treat dating as if they were married, expecting an instant commitment and sometimes sleeping together. I’ve heard that it’s easier to share your body than it is your soul. How sad that we are taught even in grade school how to share our bodies with the opposite sex, but not our hearts or our souls. Seems totally backwards, doesn’t it?

The temptations we face are real and I know how hard it can be to stay chaste. I’ve been tempted too, but then I think of you and how I want our wedding night to be perfect. Maybe that’s why I wanted to write to you, to tell you that I am real. At some point in our future, our paths will cross, and we will eventually spend our lives together in marriage. It would seem a shame to go into our marriage with the baggage that past sexual relationships bring.

That quote I put at the top of the page – I mean it. Think about it. You were made to be loved – unconditionally loved, and that’s how I promise to love you. Where you have been before today, well… that’s all in the past, and that’s where it should stay. Maybe you had no idea that I was here. But now you know, and how you live your life from today forward matters to me a great deal. I know that the media, Planned Parenthood, MTV, your friends, and maybe others are telling you that sex before marriage is okay as long as it’s “safe.” Don’t buy it. The truth is that the only safe sex is inside of marriage. There are STDs, abortions, emotional scars, and teens becoming parents before they are ready. Sex before marriage leaves scars that are hard to heal, sometimes impossible.

To a lot of people it may seem totally crazy that I’m asking you to think of our future. They’d tell you to live for the moment. I’m all for living in the present, but thinking about the future can help you avoid decisions that may alter your future – our future. I want you to experience life, travel, figure out who you are, go to the moon if you want. Take advantage of this time in your life to learn everything that you can. That will only make our marriage stronger. Just don’t jeopardize us.

Becoming a man can be difficult. Some guys try to earn their manhood by compromising their values. Sex before marriage won’t make you a man. It will only serve to keep you a little boy who can’t control himself. That’s not the kind of guy that I want or deserve. I need a man who won’t compromise his family but will put me first – even before he meets me; a man whose strength lies in his virtue, his character, and his ability to be an example at work, at play, and most importantly in our home. A real man knows how to love completely – with his mind, heart, body, and soul. This may sound like a lot to ask of you, but it will all be worth it. I will love you completely – I can promise you that!

You need to know that I’m waiting for you. If there is one thing that I have learned through my dating experiences, it’s that you are worth waiting for. My heart, mind, soul, and body were made for you. We will complete each other in the most profoundly beautiful way imaginable.

From today forward, are you going to wait for me? Like I said, where you have been is in the past, but where you are going will affect our marriage. I need to know that you have learned self control. I need to know that you think I am worth waiting for. I need to know that you are a man who respects and cherishes women – all women. The girl you are dating right now, or are going to date soon, may be someone else’s future wife, and I need to know that you understand and respect that.

Real love is not a temporary feeling or emotion. Emotions and feeling change, sometimes daily. But true, unconditional love is constant. I met a coupled the other day who have been married for 50 years, have seven children, 23 grandchildren, and seven great grandchildren. They looked like high school sweethearts. I asked them how they did it, how they made it work when so many marriages are falling apart. You know what he said? He said, “She knows I’m not perfect and she still loves me. She’s my best friend.” How cool is that? That’s what I want. I want us to be best friends. I want you to feel totally free to be you when you’re with me.

Please read this often. Think of me often. I’m thinking of you. I can’t wait to meet you. I can’t wait to spend my life loving you. Thanks for waiting for me. I promise it will be worth the wait!

With Love,
Your Future Wife

I was still nineteen when I took this picture. Some weeks before my 20th birthday. 
I just realised by the end of posting this I am not a teenager anymore. This is also what makes me ask my mom - if that'd be ok if I am dating a Caucasian guy, a non Indonesian, not even Asian. And you know what my mother told me, "You know what Rut, I believed that your destiny is somewhere out there. It is already meant for you - it's a matter of time,". I was arguing what's destiny without effort? But, I believe what my mom told me, how he met my father and how until now they are still happily together and stronger and grow day to day in love.

This is just a liitle glimpse of so many reflection that I want to share entering an adult life.

I hope this would be useful for you guys!

With love,


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