Saturday, December 30, 2006

TV Host

Natural TV Host?

I am very proud to be called that way. Yesterday, the organization I work with organized an event, 2nd tsunami commemoration. I was the Master of Ceremony. Initially, I was not chosen to be the MC or presenter, yet I was saying to the committee that I would be more than happy to be the presenter together with my crazy, talkative colleague, Mey.

Thus, it happened yesterday. In the beginning, it was a little bit awkward, because it was a commemoration, a remembrance. I supposed it would be a mourning, serious event. Then, we realized that it would be a little bit boring if we were just being serious. In the end, we improvised.

I kept saying to Mey, “we are like Indy Barens and Indra Bekti”. *laughing*

We were presenting like crazy. All the lines that we have prepared were left out. We were very creative and spontaneous. I love that very much!

Back to Indy Barens. She is my idol. I like her very much. If I see her on TV, I always imagine being just like her one day. She is talkative, crazy, creative, comic, brave, dare to do embarrassing things, and SMART. Some comedians or funny presenters are just foolish. They just do funny or crazy stuffs without realizing what they do or know what they say. Yet, Indy Barens is one in a million.

My career to imitate Indy Barens can also be seen last Christmas. I voluntarily acted as a ‘zwarte piet.’ Zwarte Piet is a Dutch thing, or in Indonesia, you call it ‘Piet Hitam’. In English speaking country like US or UK, people are more familiar with en Elf. Thus, what Zwarte Piet does is accompanying Santa Clause (or Sinterklaas, in Dutch). Yet, unlike an Elf, Zwarte Piet is very mean; he will punish naughty children.

So, I was the Zwarte Piet in one Christmas celebration. Funny! Initially, I just had to accompany the Santa Clause; in the end, I turned out to do CRAZY THINGS, like doing Indian dancing, scaring the children, walking around the room, and doing other crazy things with the Santa Clause. VERY EMBARASSING -.-

And, yes, here I am, now famous as Zwarte Piet. Since the town where I now live is a very small town, everyone knows everyone. If I walk down the street or do my grocery shopping, some people will look at me, some will say hi, and laugh. -.-

Anyway, I can put that on my CV if I want to apply in replacement of Indy Barens. *giggling*

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Saturday, December 23, 2006

My Christmas story

I am not sure how many people in the world have to wipe their tears when the Christmas day is approaching.

A child, in a cold weather of Amsterdam, could wipe his tears when he realised that he would not get any Christmas present from his mom, a single-parent mom, who worked as a dish-washer in a Chinese Restaurant.

A Chinese single-parent woman would wipe her tears when she knew that this year she had to see her only child secretly crying because there was no present for him. Moreover, her so-called husband, who happened to be her child’s father, was nowhere to be found.

A beggar would wander around the Chinese restaurant, or sometimes a bakery, to adore the food they have in the display or just to see a family dining out together. He would wipe his tears and hold his stomach, which had not yet been filled since two days ago.

Two elderly people, man and woman, who were ever called ‘Grandpa’ and ‘Grandma,’ sitting near the Christmas tree, holding presents, would wipe their tears. They were wondering where their grandchildren, sons and daughters were. They were forgotten.

Two children in the hot weather of Africa would notice no different between Christmas and non-Christmas day. They were sitting in front of their refugee camp, wipping their tears, and saying to each other, “I am hungry.”

A baby, lied on the cold floor, in one of the barracks in the province of Aceh, was not only wiping its tears; it was crying out loud. He would even know what Christmas supposed to mean; neither would thousand other people in this province.

I wiped my tears this morning, after reading e-mail from a family the Netherlands. I miss this family very much. Actually, I also miss the cold weather of Amsterdam. I miss wearing lots clothes underneath my winter coat and walking on the snow. I miss spending my Christmas night in this family’s house, watching cartoon ‘Snowman’ and playing with Emily, Hannah, and Tim, their kids.

One man, an old, unnoticed man that might sit on the back row in the church would possibly wipe his tears. He was seeing all the crowd and busy activities in the church. Some groups were preparing the show: drama, choir, and the band. Some would sit and discuss about the food they were going to serve after the service. Some people would just sit, gossiping, while waiting for the service to begin. Some would be busy fixing the decoration. When the band played the first song, no one seemed noticing or even caring. This old man was still sitting at the back row. No one had greeted him. No one noticed him. No one would even care to say ‘Hello’ to him. No one.

He stood up.
He walked slowly to approach the main door.
He was about to go.
He walked slowly, passing all the people with fancy dress and suit.
He walked.
He might have hoped to be greeted; but, still, no one ignored him.

He was in front of the building, when he heard a little voice called him.
Sir! Where are you going? The church is about to start. You have to go inside.”
A little boy.
He walked back to come near to this little boy.
Merry Christmas” said this old man. He shook this little boy’s hand and turned around to get going.
Sir! Sir! Why do you have holes in your palm? Does it hurt?
This old man smiled, just smiled.


I am not sure how you are going to spend you Christmas, but Christmas is not about present. Nor is it about fancy dress, suit or accessories. It is not about celebrating it with partying and drinking champagne. It is about remembering, respecting, and having faith in what happened 2000 years ago, in a little town called Bethlehem, in an ugly, smelly manger, where a little baby boy slept peacefully.

Merry Christmas, friends.


Friday, December 22, 2006

Christmas and New Year Greeting

I wanted to send some sort of Christmas and New Year greeting to my friends, but it is so difficult in today's world to know exactly what to say without offending someone. So I met with my attorney yesterday, and on his advice I wish to say the following:

Please accept with no obligation, implied or implicit, my best wishes for an environmentally conscious, socially responsible, low stress, nonaddictive, gender neutral celebration of the summer solstice holiday, practiced with the most enjoyable traditions of religious persuasion or secular practices of your choice with respect for the religious/secular persuasions and/or traditions of others, or their choice not to practice religious or secular traditions at all.

I also wish you a fiscally successful, personally fulfilling and medically uncomplicated recognition of the onset of the generally accepted calendar year 2007, but not without due respect for the calendars of choice of other cultures whose contributions to society have helped make our country great (not to imply that South Africa is necessarily greater than any other country) and without regard to the race, creed, color, age, physical ability, religious faith or sexual preference of the wishee.

By accepting this greeting, you are accepting these terms:

This greeting is subject to clarification or withdrawal. It is freely transferable with no alteration to the original greeting. It implies no promise by the wisher to actually implement any of the wishes for her/himself or others and is void where prohibited by law, and is revocable at the sole discretion of the wisher. This wish is warranted to perform as expected within the usual application of good tidings for a period of one
year or until the issuance of a subsequent holiday greeting, whichever comes first, and warranty is limited to replacement of this wish or issuance of a new wish at the sole discretion of the wisher.

Disclaimer: No trees were harmed in the sending of this message; however, a significant number of electrons were slightly inconvenienced.

[thank's to Kak Yoni for sending me this greeting]

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Suak Timah Beach Party

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Friday, December 15, 2006

Small vs. Big

It is indeed not easy to accept what God has given to me with prayer and thanksgiving. It is not always easy. It happens once in a while when God’s gift is fun, wrapped with happiness; yet when it comes to hard, difficult and far from our expectation, I do complain, once in a while (sometimes I complain even more).

This afternoon, I came to a very nice and sound conclusion about God’s gift. This principle is very familiar; I have heard this since I was going to Sunday school.

Have you every heard about Luke chapter 19 verse 17? “You have been faithful in a very small matter. So I will put you in charge of ten towns.”

God has entrusted me for a small thing, if I am faithful, He will grant me with a bigger thing.

I admit, I, sometimes, grumble because of the small amount of salary I receive every month. It doesn’t mean that my salary is too small, or not enough; I just wish that I could have more money. I want to support my family. That’s the most important thing. I thought that I can be the answer for my parents’ prayer. I can support them financially. Yet, I still cannot do that. I am disappointed.

Another voice that is sometimes tickling my heart is the fact that I can probably earn more money, have a better position.

However, I figured out that salary is not a standard of success. It is neither a standard of happiness. Matthew 16: 26 is telling me about this issue. ("What good is it if someone gains the whole world but loses his soul? Or what can anyone trade for his soul?”)

I, now, can be very thankful to what I receive and possess. I believe that God has entrusted me for this amount of money; thus it means that He knows that I am capable to handle this amount of money, not less, not more.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Back in Aceh

If you say that I am insane, I reckon you are right.
because I am now back in Meulaboh, Aceh, to work here for a longer period.
But, I guess I like to be insane.

If you are willing to pray for me, it will be great to pray for my health as my chestpain keeps coming back. I reckon it is because of the preassure and also weather condition in Meulaboh.
You can also pray for my relationship with Stefy, so that it will be okay while I am in Meulaboh. You can also pray for my work and friendship in Meulaboh. But please do promise me, please do not pray so that I can be normal.

Because I enjoy being insane, for HIM :)


Monday, December 11, 2006

Dove - Real Friends

3N (Nitz, Nie, Ng)

Saturday, 9th Dec 2006
Tunjungan Plaza Surabaya

Full Story of Dove - Real Friends is Coming Soon

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Quotes [birthday]

Christian Furchtegott Gellert
Live as you will have wished to have lived when you are dying.

Emily Dickenson

We turn not older with years but newer every day.

Bill Clinton
When our memories outweigh our dreams, we have grown old.

Douglas MacArthur
Years wrinkle the skin, but to give up enthusiasm wrinkles the soul.

Audrey Hepburn
Remember, if you ever need a helping hand, you'll find one at the end of your arm... As you grow older you will discover that you have two hands. One for helping yourself, the other for helping others.

Michael Althsuler

The bad news is time flies. The good news is you're the pilot.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
The quality, not the longevity, of one's life is what is important.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Another big tsunami could hit Indonesia


WASHINGTON, Dec 5 (Reuters) - Another big tsunami could hit Sumatra within the next few decades, flooding densely populated regions south of where a giant wave hit in December 2004, U.S. and Indonesian researchers predicted on Tuesday.

The same big geologic fault, called a megathrust, that caused the 2004 tsunami continues to run parallel to the southeast, along the Indian Ocean coast of Sumatra, with the potential to a affect areas to the south, the team at the California Institute of Technology, the University of Southern California and elsewhere reported.

Pressure is building and it could move at any time, they said.

"Potential losses could be as great as those that occurred in Aceh in 2004," the researchers wrote in their report, published in this week's issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Movements along this section caused two big quakes and tsunamis in 1797 and 1833, the researchers reported. They used a combination of history and geology to predict what might happen again.

"When we tell people living along this 700-kilometer (435 mile) section of the Sumatran coast that they will likely experience a big tsunami within the next 30 years, they ask for details," said Kerry Sieh, a professor of geology at Caltech who has studied many earthquakes in the region.

"How much time after the earthquake will they have before the tsunami strikes? How big will the waves be? How far inland should they be prepared to run? What areas are likely to suffer tsunami damage?" Sieh asked.

"This paper is our first attempt to answer these important questions."

A monster quake of magnitude 9.1 in December 2004 just off Sumatra's coast caused a tsunami that crossed the Indian Ocean to Sri Lanka, Thailand and even Africa's coast. More than 230,000 people died or disappeared in a dozen countries in the devastation.

Sieh's team has reported on several potential quake zones, based on measurements of the sea floor and known faults. The area is prone to geologic activity and big quakes are frequent -- and frequently fatal.

In this week's report, they said they studied samples of coral from the islands that show how much previous quakes have lifted the sea floor.

Offshore islands may shield Sumatra's city of Padang somewhat, but in 1797 the tsunami was reported to have carried a 200-ton English ship into the town, they said.

"The population of Padang in 1797 and 1833 was a few thousand," Sieh said in a statement.

"Now it is about 800,000, and most of it is within a few meters (yards) of sea level. We hope that these initial results will help focus educational efforts, emergency preparedness activities, and changes in the basic infrastructure of cities and towns along the Sumatran coast."

Countries likely to be affected are installing warning systems. Last week Thailand launched the first of 22 U.S.-made tsunami-detection buoys, and the next buoy will go off Sumatra's coast.


Glad to be home

is the time I arrived at Simolawang Baru Utara 15, my home.

is the number of people I surprised.
I was standing outside when I called my dad, telling him that I was home. He was shock (he even shouted "crazy!" on the phone, hehehhe). My mom, who was actually already asleep, was stunned. She was speechless. My brother was laughing and teasing me.

is the number of days to go before I return to Meulaboh.

....and I just want to relax now.

Glad to be home,...


Monday, December 04, 2006

Doctor, who?

Last Thursday was a historic day that I and my close relatives have to remember: I decided to go to the doctor.

I hate doctors. It is not because of their fancy look or their white, clean coat. I just hate them very much!

I had to recall what happened four years ago when I had typhus – not yet the real typhus, just the symptoms of having typhus. I had felt the symptoms – strange fever, headache, and diarrhea - for a couple days before I actually went to see a doctor. I was so sure that I was alright. Finally, it appeared that I had serious typhus symptoms. Another story was when I had a cyst in my stomach. I’d had serious stomachache for a week before I decided to go to the doctor. I was sure that it was just gastroenteritis or other enteritis or diarrhea. It turned up to be a very serious cyst that has to be hormonal treated. Gosh!

Yet, I do seriously still hate doctors.

I reckon I could have been listed in the Guinness Book of World Record because during my four years in the Netherlands, I had just been to the doctor once; and it was because my uncle had made sure that he would chop me into pieces if I didn’t go to see a doctor. I had another serious stomachache then. Last year, I fell over from my bicycle in the early morning, Friday morning, when I was cycling to my work. My nose was bleeding. My head hit the ground. It was a total mess. Yet, as you may guess, I decided not to see a doctor.

I do still hate doctors; yet last Thursday was very special. I woke up that day with a saying in my heart: Nia, you go to the doctor! And I did.

So who is the doctor that could make me to come and see him? If you know me very well, you will think that this doctor must be very cute, with curly hair, nice smile, nice eyes, and talkative. Very wrong! It was not the male doctor that has persuaded me to get myself checked; yet it was my chest pain.

I forgot when it started, but I recently had a serious chest pain; I couldn’t easily breathe. First, I thought that it was just dusty weather conditions in Meulaboh; yet it was getting worse. One night, I couldn’t do anything, even talking; I just lied down and holding my chest.

This doctor is a doctor from a NGO called Operation Blessing, or in Indonesia we name it Obor Berkat Indonesia (OBI). When I arrived at OBI guest house, I was very nervous. I was still thinking that I might have made a mistake to go to the doctor. Finally, Doctor Yoni came.

Long story short, I was very relieved that Doctor Yoni didn’t do crazy things to my body. I was telling him my symptoms and what I have been feeling. He was a little bit confused, until he raised a question, “are you overstressed?” I was laughing, while wondering, do you actually think that this cheerful, talkative and crazy lady is depressed or stressed? If I knew this doctor well, I would suggest him to go upstairs, go back to his room, and get his textbook about chest pain. I am not overstressed. I am NOT!

Another female doctor came. She was a nice doctor with red hair. She checked my blood pressure and other things. She, unexpectedly, came to the same conclusion. I am overstressed or if you are a doctor, you would give it a better, fancier, medical name: psychosomatic illness.

Doctor Yoni gave me some medicines. There are two medicines that I have to take whenever I couldn’t breathe normally or have chest pain. I felt like I was in a movie. Have you ever seen a movie in which the actor has to take a pill whenever he has heart attach? Yap,.. I feel exactly like that!

I am not sure what made me overstressed; yet the more I think about it, the more chest pain I have. When I went to a meeting, I was rebuked by a woman from Jakarta. She said that there is a type of person that would think about many unnecessary things. She added, if this person were capable, she would probably think about everything, think about what would happen in next 10 years. But, what for?

I am that kind of person. I would think about many little things. If someone ignores me, I will spend nights to think what I have done wrong. If I say something funny, I will directly regret it and think that that person will be mad. I will think what is going to happen tomorrow, next week, next month. I will spend hours to “pray” and puzzle about my relationship, family, friends and thousand different things.

What for, Nie?

I don’t know! I enjoy feeling guilty, I reckon. I know it ain’t right. When I say that I surrender everything to the Lord, it means ‘everything’, even every small thing, such as clothes I would wear tomorrow, ticket I have to book, date I will go home, and many other small things.

I think those two medicines cannot cure my chest pain. I must stop sweating the small stuff and concern more on heavenly things.