Sunday, July 1, 2007

Dhanu, a 'Santri'

This morning we waved goodbye at Dhanu, who sat in a bus with tens of other kids, departing to Ciwidey. Today is the day these kids started a program called Salam (Pesantren Alam), this year the 6th since its first one in 1996. Perhaps Dhanu's participation in Salam 6 raises questions such as, "Why a pesantren? What will Dhanu do there?"

First, practical answers:
  1. It's a three-weeks holiday and Dhanu needs an activity to fill his days
  2. Salam is held by EcoEthno, an organization led and mobilized by a trusted friend of mine, Ihsan
  3. Dhanu is allowed to join even though he's not a Moslem
  4. I and Syb looked through the program schedule and agree that it is good for Dhanu to join (more about this, below)
  5. When explained and asked about Salam, Dhanu said he's willing to join this program

Then, answers with slightly-deeper thoughts:
  1. Although called pesantren, this one is unlike the usual ones that make the kids sitting neat and chanting prayers the whole day and night, learning religion and disciplines in closed doors. Salam is a practice of religion in real life, emphasizing closeness and respect to nature and (consequently) gratefulness to The Maker. Moreover, Salam also offers outbound activities, which is a way for a person (even a young child) to discover him/herself. To know their own limits and abilities. We've observed that - especially in physical activities - Dhanu is very cautious of everything he's about to do. However, appearing somewhat reluctant, he doesn't give up until he achieves his aims. He has his own way of calculating his moves - although seemingly slow and even frightened. So we think this trip is a good training for his confidence. 
  2. The fact that he's not a Moslem doesn't seem to be a problem for the organizer, and I'm glad to know that. Here's our view. Dhanu is now living in a country with the highest number of Muslims in the world. He might as well be familiar with their customs and learn to live among them pleasantly. I think this is no difference from me going along with neighborhood girls of my age to a Qur'an class when I was a little girl, or from when my Moslem cousin joined a Vacation Bible School at another cousin's church during a school holiday. There's no harm in learning to know each other, isn't there.
  
Here's an overview of Salam's program from 1 to 5 July 2007:
In the first three nights the kids will stay in local people's houses and living according to these people's rhythms and activities (farming, minding livestocks, etc.). They will mingle and play with local children; eat what they eat and sleep where they sleep. In the fourth (and last) night, they will stay in tents, learn to make fire and cook outdoors. They will do 'outbound' games in the forest, make bamboo rafts and sail a lake.
In the last day, the 5th, parents are allowed to pick up their kids at the location. We'll see if I can get a ride to Ciwidey that morning and fetch Dhanu over there. That day, parents are allowed to 'taste' some outdoor games as well. I'm looking forward to doing it!

Dhanu has been looking forward to this event. The way he talked about it, he seems to have a scenario in his head already of what 'camping' is. Only after seeing some photos from previous Salam that he knew that this is not the one with marshmallows-on-fireplace variation. But he's still eager to go and kept singing, "Camping, camping, lalalalalaa!". He asked me to pack also a notebook and a pencil so he can draw what he sees that day ("Perhaps an owl!", he said).

So, this morning he was sitting in the bus, paying attention to his surroundings. He's the youngest of the pack, and whose Indonesian language skill is the lowest. I hope he doesn't feel outcasted when he doesn't understand his peers. When the bus left, he waved at us with a straight face. Lindri, on the other hand, screamed and cried while stretching her arm to the direction of the departing bus: she didn't like Dhanu leaving her behind. She expressed loudly what I felt deep inside. Separation anxiety happens to adults as well and we just have to face it, one way or another. 
Gladly Lindri could be calmed down a few minutes later, when we were about to catch an angkot. This is Dhanu's first night in Ciwidey and I'm curious about how he's doing. May he fare well and return healthy and happy!

Photos coming up (from previous Salam, courtesy of EcoEthno)

46 comments:

  1. Wow, a big adventure for Dhanu! And a new experience for the rest of the family.. heheh... kita selama ini blm pernah ngelepas anak2 (nginep) sama orang selain sodara.. *hiks* Hope Dhanu (and parents) will have a good time :)

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  2. That feeling reminds me of my own, as Naradi spent a whole week in a castle with her classmates and teacher in Spring. We were a bit worried, because we were not allowed to visit her in the 'camp'. When I fetched her in front of her school, her skin was getting real dark, she smelled and her clothes was dirty, but her eyes were glittering with excitement and a big big smile greeted me, followed with unstoppable stories of her experiences, until her voice was 'gone' as she fell into a sleep in the car! :D
    Hey, Dhanu made an example of tolerance and understanding within different religions! Respect to his parents! :-)

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  3. I am glad that Dhanu is experiencing this pesantren, and I am looking forward to hearing more about his experience. In my last year at a catholic high school in Jakarta, I went through a retreat weekend, something borrowed from catholic tradition but designed for non-catholic students of the school. We stayed at a convent in Sukabumi. I gained a unique insights on my own religiosity and spirituality, something that stayed on until now.

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  4. Tita, salut buat keberanian lo melepas Dhanu pergi camping kayak gitu. :)
    Mungkin someday kami juga harus menghadapinya, when that 'someday' comes, gua kudu banyak belajar dari lo, mungkin gua bakal banyak nanya2. :)
    Misalnya, gimana cara lo meyakinkan diri bahwa Dhanu bakal stay di keluarga yang baik yang bakal menjaga dia spt lo menjaga dia, hihihihihihihihi..... pertanyaan gua parno gak sih? :)

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  5. Hip Hip Horray for parents like you and Syb! BTW, bandung kayaknya tempat yg bagus buat membesarkan anak yah. Cuma kalo kayak gue, gimana bisa pindah bandung kalo kerjaan di Jkt? :D

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  6. hehehe.. seru petualangan dhanu ini...

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  7. Gue juga termasuk yang tega ngelepas anak pergi dengan orang lain, selain sodara, tentunya dengan orang2 yang udah gue kenal dan gue percaya.
    Biasanya anak-anak gampang menyesuaikan diri, pulang2 pasti ntar ceritanya seru. Kalo mukanya 'lempeng', mungkin krn ini pengalaman pertama buat dia. Penasaran denger ceritanya selanjutnya nih... :D

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  8. hahaha,
    meski suka berantem rebutan barang
    jadi pemarah kalo digodain dhanu
    ternyata Lindri nangis juga kalo ditinggal camping
    kekekekekekekek

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  9. Tita & Syb, kalian orangtua yang cool sekali ... :)

    Baca tulisan ini, rasanya indonesia-yang-toleran-dan-hidup-damai-berdampingan ga begitu jauh ya heheheh ....

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  10. waaa asik banget!
    ditunggu cerita berikutnya... ^_^

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  11. Bravo Tita & Syb !!!
    Gw baru denger ttg Salam, bagus ya programnya, juga menerima peserta non-Islam, salut !
    Gw jg ikut penasaran denger cerita Dhanu selanjutnya.

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  12. Menyenangkan sekali. Sejuk juga mengetahui ada program yang bisa toleransi seperti ini. Jarang banget soalnya.

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  13. lhaaaa.....kan? EcoEthno "brarti" Aa' Ihsan...

    gimana land rover-nya?masih diisi kasur di belakangnya? land-rover artinya kan "produk": ihsan,imam dj,bismo (malah ngrakit sendiri...huebat) dan land-rover pemoeda ra'jat-nya mBah Bram... ngomong2 si ihsan sdh punya ular baru, bude? waktu saya indekos di rumahnya ularnya wafat krn telah uzur. kalo belum, bisa mintak disuplai sama raja ular, klabang, kolojengking cak Andi Tumes grafis'85...

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  14. haha sama! sebelum ini juga dhanu cuma pernah nginep sendiri sampe seminggu lebih di rumah oma (roosendaal), dan semalem di rumah temen sekelasnya (waktu ada program homestay dari sekolah), yg masih deket rumah.

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  15. I sort of expect a similar thing with Dhanu :)
    Thanks MakPlon! *huuuggsss*

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  16. Mbah, meniko acaranipun pesantren, sanes no fear..

    eh eh kemaren dan hari ini sedang sidang TA, jadi para oknum yang kau sebutkan itu sedang berkeliaran di psdp :) (kecuali bismo, yg mungkin sedang jungkir balik nyiapin sidang s2-nya)

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  17. What a valuable experience to have refreshment for one's soul.

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  18. Hehehe.. If you believe the saying, It takes a village to bring up a child, you'd also let this 'village' take part in bringing up your child. Of course we (as parents) treat our boy differently from how these people treat him, and we're only glad to know that. This way, we hope Dhanu can grow up knowing different kinds of interaction and how to cope with each of them wisely :)

    As far as safety goes, I trust Dhanu's guardian angels to keep protect him from any harm (and these angels can come in any form! :D).

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  19. Emm gue lebih milih kerja dan tinggal di Bandung karena kita masih bisa mobile tanpa harus punya mobil pribadi. Masih bisa jalan kaki, nyepeda dan ngangkot, dan semuanya masih relatif deket. Terus, kalau mau ke alam bebas, nggak usah pergi terlalu jauh (kecuali kalo nyari pantai). Jadi gue senengnya anak2 masih dengan mudah bisa kenal lingkungan yg membumi :)

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  20. coming soon in theaters near you, dhanu's adventure, the sequel!

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  21. Iya ya LiTa. Tambah lagi emang karakter dia suka sok cool gitu :P

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  22. memaaang.. hahaha.. trus besok paginya yg pertama ditanya (setelah bangun tidur), Mana Dhanu? khekhekhek..

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  23. we wish, we wish.. hehe.. thanks cin! >:D<

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  24. Mungkin juga baru kali ini ada peserta non-Islam yang ikut, sebab nggak biasa mungkin ya.

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  25. Iya ya Jod. I'm glad we live within such an open community.

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  26. yiukk.. ala "summer camp" ada juga di ciwidey gitudey... melatih kemandirian.. lliburan sendiri ga perlu orangtua, padahal sih Lindri kayanya udah paten banget yah.. dengan kemandiriannya..

    Dhanu .. Dhanu... tante diCeritain dong.. tapi pake komik aja yaa... :)

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  27. Gue juga pengen sih. Sempet mau keluar dari Jakarta. Cuma untuk bidang kerjaan gue, gak ada yg pake di luar Jakarta (masa gue ke pabrik tekstil kayak teman Arie itu ? *ketip2*). Kok gue jadi curhat? Maaap :(

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  28. Wow, you actually sent Dhanu on a camping trip. Your move called to mind my brother-in-law's refusal to send his 12-year-old kid to a ONE-DAY exam coaching camp to learn studying techniques and the like.
    He was afraid to entrust his kid to the care of others. Of course there are concerns involved, but they are usually blown out of proportions especially if you're overprotective parents. At one point you need to let go.
    It's easier said than done....we'll see when my time comes ;-)

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  29. nah aku juga pengen tau dia udah nggambar apa aja di dalam notebook kecilnya, selama di sana :)

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  30. Indeed. I could let Dhanu go because I know people who are in charge and I trust them. It would be a different story, when this is not the case - with Dhanu's age right now. And a different story as well when Dhanu is older and can take care of himself much better.

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  31. fine! I'll storm to see his distinctive masterpiece!

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  32. udah dong oom wahwoy :)
    eh aku nggak ketemu kamu ya di konde hari minggu lalu, pas ada strip-jam?

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  33. program yg bagus.. apalagi dimulai di usia seperti dhanu.. :)
    *eh salam buat ihsan ya ta!

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  34. siap! :D gue besok ke sana, nebeng dodi sagir kalo jadi. blom sempet ke toko buku/ kios majalah yg lumayan nih nef.. mau nyari globe itu, smoga masih ada :P

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  35. Halloo... Saya lala. Kebetulan di SALAM 6 sekarang jadi ketua kegiatan.
    Tentang Dhanu....hemm, seribu kata kayaknya g cukup untuk cerita. Dhanu, seperti semua peserta SALAM kali ini benar2 anak yang istimewa. Awal saya kenalan di bis dengan Dhanu, dia gak mau liat muka saya ketika saya bicara. Dia cuma mau liat ke arah jendela. Gak tau apa yang ad di pikirannya. Kebetulan saat itu jalan menuju ciwidey macet total. Kita stuck selama beberapa jam di tempat yang sama. Saya pancing Dhanu bicara. Lama sekali. Sampai akhirnya saya membicarakan dinosaurus, dan surprise....Dhanu menanggapi. Wuiiih, seneng betul. Sejak itu sepanjang perjalanan kami menghayal bahwa kami berdua dan rombongan ada di bis jurassic park, dengan dinosaurus2 di luar sana. Seperti menemukan emas, saya langsung menceritakan penemuan berharga itu ke temen2 panitia yang lain, bahwa Dhanu suka sama dinosaurus.

    Dua hari awal, Dhanu sulit untuk adaptasi. Adaptasi dengan kakak2 asuhnya, dengan teman2nya, dengan lingkungannya. Dia masih sulit diajak komunikasi dan hanya mau berbicara dengan orang2 tertentu dengan topik bahasan tertentu, Dhanu tidak mau sama sekali makan nasi, tidak mau ikut kegiatan, dan pastinya sulit menerima keadaan kamar mandinya. Yang membuat bangga, ternyata semua orang mencintai Dhanu. Peserta sangat menyukai keunikan Dhanu, kakak panitia benar-benar penasaran, dan penduduk setempat sangat memanjakannya. Alhasil, Dhanu jadi favorit banyak orang. Apa yang menjadi kesukaannya mulai terkuak perlahan. Dhanu sangat suka diajak berbicara tentang hewan. Saya dan Dhanu menghabiskan cukup banyak waktu untuk mengejar Labella, Flender, Springhan, Mier (ooo, mohon maaf kalau salah eja). Dengan adanya Dhanu, semua orang bisa les bahasa Belanda gratis :) Dhanu memang guru yang baik. Dia benar2 peduli dengan pronounciation "murid-muridnya". Inilah salah satu jembatan awal bagi Dhanu dan peserta lain untuk saling membuka diri. Peserta mulai sangat perhatian dengan Dhanu. Dhanu digendong, diajak ngobrol bersama, becanda bersama, dan peserta yang lebih tua benar-benar "ngemong". Luar biasa melihat mereka tertawa, melihat Dhanu berjoget, melihat Dhanu menanggapi pebicaraan teman-temannya, dan mendengar Dhanu bilang "punten". Warga pun g kalah antusias. Mereka membuatkan Dhanu kentang goreng, mengenalkan Dhanu kepada warga yang lain, dan mengirimi Dhanu stroberi--hanya untuk Dhanu. Tentang stroberi ini, Dhanu awalnya g mau makan. Katanya, "aku hanya suka strawberry milk." Wah, tapi kami g punya susu. Yah sudah saya ambil sebuah stroberi, saya cocol ke gula pasir, dan saya makan dengan mimik yang sangat nikmat...mmmmh. Dia tertarik. "Aku mau", katanya. Sampai akhirnya, satu box plastik mika stroberi dia habiskan bersama Aurum, sahabat barunya.

    Hari-hari terakhir SALAm dihabiskan Dhanu dengan antusias. Dia mau mengikuti hampir seluruh kegiatan, dari mulai mini long march hingga camping. Ngabedahkeun balonh atau menangkap ikan di kolam pun Dhanu ikut loh. Yah, memang sih awalnya dia g mau ikut. Jorok katanya. Tapi diam2 dia saya ceburkan saja sampai pahanya. Lalu dia pegang ikan-ikan di ember hasil tangkapan teman-temannya. Saya pikir, lumayanlah, setidaknya dia sudah merasakan lumpur dan sudah mau pegang-pegang ikan. Sayangnya Dhanu g mau ikut flying fox. Mungkin dia jadi manja lagi melihat orangtuanya datang.

    Benar-benar seribu kata tidak cukup, karena Dhanu begitu luar biasa, seperti seluruh peserta yang lain. SALAM 6 ini memang berbeda dengan SALAM-SALAM sebelumnya, berbada dengan SALAM 2 dan 3 ketika saya kecil dan saya masih jadi peserta. Sangat istimewa karena anak-anaknya pun benar2 LUARRR BIASAAA...

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  36. Wah ada Kak Lala mampir sini! Makasih banget ya cerita2nya! Terima kasih juga atas bimbingannya ke Dhanu dan sesama peserta SALAM. Selamat bahwa acaranya telah berlangsung sukses dan semuanya dapat pulang dengan selamat dan sehat. Acara yang sangat unik dan berharga, applause untuk kakak-kakak SALAM! \:D/

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  37. Makasih ya Mama Dhanu.
    Tolong sampaikan salam untuk Dhanu dan keluarga. Kakak2 benar2 kehilangan adik2 nih.

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  38. Wow !!
    Asik ya acaranya..
    Hmm..kira-kira di sekolahnya Luna nanti ada nggak ya acara seperti ini ?

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  39. lala: Terima kasih :) Bbrp hari lalu saya sempat lihat2 foto yg di Ihsan (hasil jepretan Kak Mei).. ada Dhanu di lapangan bola, sedang duduk cemberut, terus duduk dengan Kak Lala, terus ketawa2 sambil nunjuk :))
    saya: Dhanu, mau ikutan SALAM lagi nggak?
    Dhanu: Nggak, aku terlalu capek sekarang!

    chic: Kabarnya sekolah Luna juga suka bikin kids' outbound - kalo nggak salah. Coba tanya seniornya, Mas Acaca :D

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  40. Haha, saya juga inget tuh kejadian di lapangan. Dhanu lagi bt banget karena panas, dan gak mau ikutan main sama temen2 yang lain. Trus akhirnya jadi lumayan gak bt karena kita nyoba nangkep capung, belalang, dan berburu bunga liar. Kayaknya dia emang tertarik banget sama binatang ya, Mbak Tita? Mbak, kalo boleh, Dhanu-nya saya culik aja deh....hehehe. Ato pinjem deh beberapa hari :)

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