The Day It Comes True

Picture with community of Kinipan village who participated in Laman Dayak Tomun Festival

I remember five years ago when I was a local amateur journalist in the city, where at that day my friend and I were trapped in the heavy rain and strong winds, she said,

“That`s ok, Pinar. We just have to imagine if we are in the middle of the winter season. You just have to think positive if it is our training to survive abroad someday in the winter.”

I laughed at that time while holding my motorcycle handlebar very tight. It was a serious condition because I could not see the road and the winds could blow away us anytime I lost the concentration.

The road was silent and we were difficult to find a home or shelter straightway even it was still afternoon. After 30 minutes fight the horrible weather, we found an empty office to stop by. 

Feeling our body was almost freezing, but we did not have any cloth again for changing. All of our stuff was wet including the jacket and cloth that covered our body. We did not have any choice except kept talking about random things, instead, we tried to ignore the coldness.

My friend kept talking about how wonderful visiting abroad, imagining the snow and the many other silly things, and I did not have another topic except following her imagination. I thought we were just playing with our imagination there and never expected too much.

But this year, I never imagine if our nonsense conversation before can be real. Last year, my friend got an invitation to a workshop abroad in the winter season. I did not think it had any correlation with our last random talk before. And this year, ICMA selects me to be one of the participants on YSEALI fall program. Do you think it is only accidentally lucky?

The month of August this year became unpredictable since I got the announcement I was selected. It was surprisingly, scary and happy at the same time. I had never prepared my self for a possibility like this and my schedule for working in the village already quite hectic this year.

“Could I join this?” I asked my self.

Fortunately, I have a good director and office friends who support me in this program.  They help and give me permission to off from the office for six weeks.

But, it does not mean I am free from the hectic.

Last month, I was in a dilemma because the schedule of the visa interview coincided with the village festival where I was as the person in charge for. It was difficult for me because I could not leave my team to manage this event alone, even so, it was about my responsibility with communities that we assisted.

Then, I dared my self to ask the ICMA and YSEALI team. While many considerations in my head about it, like if I had to choose whether going to Washington D.C or staying for assisting the Festival. Of course, it would be hard for me to leave my team and community, then the worse thing, maybe I could not join the program. That could be sad, but I could not ignore my professional responsibility.

But, I am glad I did not have to choose the worse thing. I was so thankful because ICMA and YSEALI really understand my position. They wanted to reschedule the visa interview. So, I still could accomplish my responsible and follow the visa interview.

Now, only a few days left, I will go to Washington D.C and starting my fellowship program at American University. Am I ok? I feel so nervous. It would be my first very long trip and new experience learning at the abroad university. But, I am excited.

I can`t wait to feel it!

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