Living in a tropical country, I can proudly say that we celebrate summer all year round. But we do have seasons: dry and wet. During this time of year when the dry season is putting on its display, the heat is so unbearable that I often long for the rain to come and wash the dust away.
But last week came a pleasant surprise: a series of weather irregularities brought abundant rain and the temperature dropped a few degrees. So I decided to head to the hills to soak myself in a hotspring. Here’s my lovely spot for this ‘summer’:
After spending some quality time with family and close friends during Christmas and New Year holidays, it was time to go back to work. However there was still a little time for a small gathering on Saturday afternoon.
Suropati Park, one of the parks in an affluent area in Jakarta was crowded with people jogging, strolling, or just sitting around the open areas. Blogfam (Blogger Family) Community was no exception; occupying a corner next to lush trees and some artistic statues, around fourteen bloggers gathered for a smartphone photography crash course. Here are some captures:
The crash course lasted for about an hour and everything stopped when dusk descended and we rushed to a nearby restaurant. But the fun part of it was about to start: the heart of each gathering is always warm conversation around the dinner table. I felt it was a good kickoff for a fruitful year of blogging because I knew there were others who shared the same passion as I did.
Hope you guys have a good beginning of your own. ^^
After 2 hours of journey through the western coast of Papua, the speed boat finally slowed and prepared to anchor on Tarak Island, one of the three spots making up Karas Islands in West Papua province.
West Papua province has long history of Christian missionary and its capital city, Manokwari, is officially called ‘The Evangelical City’. Yet an hour-flight away from it is a whole different world. Fakfak was known as the point of contact between Muslim merchants and the locals. Therefore the population is an interesting mixture of native Papuans and immigrants from other places. Here the population is overwhelmingly Muslim with a distinctive character of Melanesian culture.
The residents of Tarak village were either tending the nutmeg trees in the jungle or out fishing so it was quiet. We were slowing down towards the jetty when my eyes caught a glimpse of something.
She looked focused on the tools she was using to catch the fish around the pier and totally disregarded our arrival.
Did you catch anything, sweetheart? No?! Oh sorry to hear that. Better luck tomorrow, yeah. 😀
Of the oddest places to gather your students, the mall must be on top of the list. Or is it not?
Photo taken in a book fair, these students were absorbed in fairy tales the teacher was telling. Her voice was calming when describing the sea breeze and roaring when thunder struck in the storm. You could easily forget that your class was, in fact, sitting on stage in a busy mall in downtown Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
One thing that I’m proud of my country is the relatively free democracy. I say ‘relatively’ because there are certain rules that Indonesians, or Asians, will never adhere to compared to the western-style freedom of speech. The government still routinely monitors conversation on several platforms although never interferes unless it involves defacing the country and the president.
Bloggers in the country take full advantage of this situation. After decades of cautiously conducting meetings in order not to attract the law enforcers due to lack of ‘gathering permit’, people are now free to hold public rallies or informal gatherings on many topics. Realizing the need to have personal contacts with other blog fans to talk about greater issues, many bloggers across the archipelago decides to create blogger communities and take up citizen journalism to share local issues and raise cultural awareness.
Today, bloggers gather in many areas of interests: politics, social media events, monetizing, cultural appreciation, or simply for fun. The picture above was taken from a digital marketing strategy class where bloggers gathered on a Saturday afternoon and the party later on continued over karaoke. 😀