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#28207 - 09/09/04 12:45 AM Re: Torey's Visit to Indonesia, Part 1
Anonymous
Unregistered


For the last two days I have been giving all-day workshops and then press interviews in the evenings.

The workshops have been great (but pretty tiring!). Everyone is enthusiastic and the Indonesian audience is a very lively, participative one! They've really gotten into the spirit of the exercises and demonstrations.

We are giving the workshops in the Ministry of Education building. Here is the stage all set for action:  -

Before the workshop started and during breaks and lunch, a wonderful group of kids performed music for us - a mix of traditional Indonesian songs and music and western songs in Indonesian. The man in back, also singing (we were all singing along to this song!) is the manager of the group.
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Here is the lead singer, Siwi, who has a wonderful voice:  -

Another singer, Iqbar, is only nine years old and comes a very war-torn part of Indonesia. He sang a very enjoyable rendition of a Indonesian song about a chicken!

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And this is Mega, who is eleven. She is singing Javanese songs and has one of the most powerful voices I've heard. Indeed, she was won a well-known contest for singing pop music. Britney Spears has nothing on her!
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Here are Dodi and Dwi, who accompanied the singers.
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#28208 - 10/09/04 12:55 AM Re: Torey's Visit to Indonesia, Part 1
Anonymous
Unregistered


During the workshop, Ms. Alin was my interpreter and we worked very hard!

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And the attendees worked even harder!!

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#28209 - 09/09/04 02:32 PM Re: Torey's Visit to Indonesia, Part 1
Anonymous
Unregistered


Today was the day I gave my first public lecture in Jakarta, again in the Ministry of Education Building. It was a capacity crowd and we had a meaningful time together.

There are no pictures today, however. During the time I was giving the lecture, a massive car bomb went off in front of the Australian Embassy not far from where we were holding our lecture. As of the time I am writing this, nine people are known to have died and over a hundred and fifty people have been injured.

I need to take this occasion to express my sadness at this event and to say this event is not reflective of the Indonesian people nor is it reflective of the Muslim community. Islam, like Christianity and Judaism, is a religion of tolerance and forgiveness. Unfortunately, as is also true of some Christians and some Jews, there are a fanatic few who act out in ways abhorrent to all right-thinking people, whatever their religious, national or ethnic background.

As well as expressing great sadness at the events of today in Jakarta, I also think it is important to express my concern for the men who have committed this act. What is so sorrowful to me is that, misguided as it is, these men will have genuinely felt they were doing the right thing in setting off that bomb, that acting out of anger and revenge was what God would want them to do.

Anger is a feeling we get when we feel frustrated and powerless, when we feel our world is out of control, when no one listens to us. Handling inappropriate and distressing feelings has been a major topic during many of my discussions here in Jakarta. I have often been asked about special needs children, about contending with temper tantrums and revengeful outbursts. We have discussed how it is often difficult for special children to control their rage, how their special needs make them inarticulate and powerless to communicate what they need.

My experience with special needs children is that it is never helpful to meet a temper tantrum with anger of my own. It is never helpful to hit the child, to scream at him, to "give him a taste of his own medicine." My experience is that to change a child's behaviour permanently, we must start where the child is. We must accept him as he is, however bad that may be, and work from there, and that the first step in this is listening. Even if what he is doing is totally unacceptable, the first step to helping him change is to acknowledge him as a fellow human being worthy of being listened to, to say, 'Yes, you are angry.' to accept him where he is, wherever that might be, because for that moment he can't be anywhere else. And then we have a chance to work for change, to make a difference.

My feelings regarding the bombing in Jakarta today is that we are in very much the same realm here. It is time to stop responding to anger with anger. It's time to listen. Even if what is being said is not acceptable in the greater context of things. Anger comes from frustration, from voicelessness, from being talked to but never listened to. We don't want this kind of world we have now. None of us does. But if we want a different one, we need accept this is where we are now. And then we need to listen. We need to acknowledge everyone involved as fellow human beings and listen. Genuinely. And then we can work from there, because the other way - responding to anger with escalating anger - just isn't ever going to get us to a better place.


As for me, I am safe and well. And as for am I staying here now? Am I carrying on? Yes, of course. I wouldn’t dream of doing otherwise. I am among friends.

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#28210 - 12/09/04 04:13 AM Re: Torey's Visit to Indonesia, Part 1
Anonymous
Unregistered


Where to start now? So much has happened in such a short time.

After doing press interviews all morning, I left Jakarta on Friday to travel to Bandung. This was rather exciting as I was to travel all by myself by plane while my "minders" and helpers traveled by train! I said I would love to go by train too, because I want to see the Javanese countryside, but it is a four-hour journey and takes too long. So I needed to fly. Alone!

Going behind the security and trying to find my way around the Halim airport alone was a pretty interesting experience! But I managed. There were many planes on the tarmac - 737s, 727s, and the like and I was trying to guess which one was going to Bandung. Well . . . we were put on a bus and taken to a completely different part of the airport and here is our plane:
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This was a rather different plane than I had flown in before! And I had the first seat, right behind the pilot! Once we chased the mosquitoes off and everyone got on board - it was a very full plane too! - off we went and in fact, it was all very sophisticated. We were served drinks and a nice snack and the flight was very smooth. Except for the mosquitoes, which rode along too!

When I arrived in Bandung, my editor Ms. Tutu, took me to lunch in a wonderful restaurant with a koi pond right in the center of the open atrium.

Here we are, ready to go in.
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After lunch, I went to visit my publishing house, which is in Bandung, not Jakarta. They are called Mizan and the imprint for my books is Qanita.

Here is the outside of the offices (you can just see the Mizan symbol on the red wall on the left):
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I met the staff who have worked so hard on my books here. We all had refreshments (the Indonesians are VERY hospitable! And they love snacks!)

Here is a picture of the Mizan staff altogether with me (and a lot of books to sign!)

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#28211 - 12/09/04 04:35 AM Re: Torey's Visit to Indonesia, Part 1
Anonymous
Unregistered


In the late afternoon, I had a wonderful experience. I was taken to see Daarut Tauhid, which is an Islamic cultural centre. This is a most extraordinary place. It has been founded by the Muslim scholar Abdullah Gymnastiar, whom everyone called 'Aa Gym', which means 'Elder Brother Gym'. Here in Indonesia they do not use the terms 'Mr.' and 'Mrs.', etc. but refer to each other as 'Mother' 'Father', 'Brother' and 'Sister' when they wish to express respect. So here my editor is not Ms. Tutu, but 'Ba Tutu', which means 'Sister Tutu'. I am 'Ibu Torey' which literally means 'Mother Torey'. And so Mr. Gymnastiar is known as 'Elder Brother Gym' or 'Aa Gym' in Indonesian.

Aa Gym has endeavoured to set up a whole community based on Islamic values which reaches out to the poorest and the disenfranchised of Indonesia and, at the same time, makes the tenets of Islam - the real tenets: those of a pure heart, forgiveness, kindness, care of the poor and service to God - clear and understandable to all. He is an amazing man and has done so very many things - creating businesses to employ the poor, teaching and training people for work, building houses, etc. He also has 32 foster children he cares for on the compound. I was here because they want to help special needs children even more than they are doing - they already run inclusive school programs and a great program for autistic children - but they would like to create a program to go into homes, particularly of very poor families to help them learn how to best care for their disabled children.

Aa Gym and I spent our first meeting together discussing the sad, sad news of the bombing in Jakarta on Wednesday, which has hurt him deeply too. I then spent time with the teachers and organizers of special programs at Daarut Tauhid, as the call to prayer occurred just after I had arrived and Aa Gym needed to go to pray.

After evening prayers. Aa Gym very kindly invited me to his house and there we had a wonderful discussion.

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And late at night when it was finally time to go, we sat out in his garden for a picture of all of us together who had been taking part in the evening's discussions.

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Afterward, Aa Gym (who is a man of boundless energy!!) showed me around the complex and shared with me pictures of some of his passions, which include motorcycle riding, skydiving and piloting a plane!! So, if you think I have energy, believe me, I have met my match!

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#28212 - 12/09/04 04:52 AM Re: Torey's Visit to Indonesia, Part 1
Anonymous
Unregistered


Saturday morning and it is back to work for me. However, I started the day in the most wonderful way. I woke up early to the crowing of cockerels (roosters), which make me feel very much like home! It was about 5:30, just dawn, so I made a cup of tea (the tea here is absolutely delicious!) and went out and sat on my balcony. I was overlooking the city of Bandung, which is beautiful, and because it was early morning, the humidity had not yet obscured the mountains. And below me in the distance there was someone flying a kite, which somehow, because it was so early and so quiet, except the birds (and the cockerels!) seemed magical to me.

Here is a picture I took from the balcony in the pre-dawn:

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#28213 - 12/09/04 05:33 PM Re: Torey's Visit to Indonesia, Part 1
Anonymous
Unregistered


Here we are back in Bandung in time for my next public lecture.

On the way to the lecture hall, we passed the Saturday morning markets which where full of many wonderful types of fruit and vegetables.

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As with all my appearances in Indonesia, the organizers have included entertainment and in all instances, it has been provided by special needs children. Here in Bandung we were treated to a wonderful performance at the beginning and then again at the breaks by a percussion group. This type of music is typical of this part of Java.

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Their youngest performer, who has Down's syndrome, is only three!

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And they concentrated very hard on their performance, which was absolutely flawless!

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And curtain call time!

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#28214 - 12/09/04 05:40 PM Re: Torey's Visit to Indonesia, Part 1
Anonymous
Unregistered


The lecture itself was great. We had a huge crowd of very enthusiastic participants.

Here I am up on stage with my interpreter:

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Afterwards, there was a question and answer period with the audience. These are people queued up to ask questions!!

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When the lecture was over, it was off to Gramedia Bookstore for a book signing. And this is my friend Embun, who decided she was very fond of spending time with me, as you will see in the next pictures up!
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#28215 - 15/09/04 10:24 AM Re: Torey's Visit to Indonesia, Part 1
Anonymous
Unregistered


Ah well, I've been very busy and not near an internet connection, so there is much to catch up on.

After the public lecture in Bandung, we all went to lunch.

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That's Embun in front and my editor Tutu's daughter Rahmi on the left. I was sitting next to Dr. Purboyo on the right. We had met the night before at Daarut Tauhid, as he is involved in Aa Gym's program for autism. He is a neuropsychiatrist.

Then on to Gramedia Bookstore where they gave me a very wonderful welcome and I held a book signing. (Embun, you see, is helping too!)
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We had a very big crowd!

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But at last we are finished.

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Then it was time to fly back to Jakarta.

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#28216 - 15/09/04 06:24 PM Re: Torey's Visit to Indonesia, Part 1
Anonymous
Unregistered


Ah . . . now the fun starts. Saturday night and I am due to appear on Hughes' TV show. Hughes is a big celebrity in Indonesia, so we go to the studio to get the big celebrity treatment . . . yes, the means the make-up man again. But this is MUCH more serious television than my brief appearance on the news, so requires serious make up attention.

Here I am (with Hughes in the chair next to me) and the make-up artist starts to work:

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(You notice that to do my face, he has to work faster than the speed of light and my camera can not keep up with his creativity!!)

Then the hair.  -

Hmmmmm. What do you think?

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Now time for the show. The program is divided into three parts. One is a celebrity performance, in this instance, a pop group composed for three girls from Maluku called the Mollucas, who perform with all the celebrity excitement one has around pop groups.

Then Hughes devotes the middle part of her show to charity appeals and raising money for good causes.

Then my turn. Here she and I are on the set, getting instructions from the show's producer, Ade during the commercial break.

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Finally it's all over. Hughes' best friend has joined the audience this evening, so we all pose for a picture.

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