ASEP 2018 was a tough journey, yet it was very impressive for me.
I have always been very keen in participating international event, especially environmental and technological issue. I jolted in happiness when I was accepted to represent my university and rushed to prepare everything. However, it was not as smooth as I expected.
My biggest issue is my own insecurity and personality. It is an uncomfortable experience for me to meet new people and build relationship as I am both shy and introvert. Due to my clumsiness, I usually behave oddly and give erronous impression to people around me. I am happy, despite lack of chemistry with my Indonesian team, they’re very welcoming and supportive during this event. I am very new to international event and conference. Many of my fellow Indonesians are experts! They are very experienced and mature to attend ASEP 2018! I felt much more blessed to know I am given such opportunity to learn together with them.
The first day in Malaysia, I took up the big opportunity to explore Kuala Lumpur, a city 40 km away from ASEP ‘settlement’ in Putrajaya. The first dinner was very fancy and delightful for me. I wish I could take away all of them!
|FAKTANYA banner UI keliling dunia sementara gue belom|
|Best make up so far|
The second day in Malaysia was the first mark of my ASEP journey. We’re given enough time to prepare and pack to head University of Malaya. I was caught by surprise when we took extreme turn to the Rimba Ilmu Malaya before attending the opening ceremony. I acknowledge it was my own fault of not paying enough attention to schedule. It was both funny and exhilarating to go there, while some of participants were wearing high heels! Lucky me! I wore my usual pair of shoes.
I talked with my teammate for the first time there, Ayoung from South Korea. She wore pretty dress and seemed very eloquent in making friends and chit chatting. We took some pictures there. I remembered we were discussing about the bamboo trees that was apparently different from Korean’s bamboos. However, as Indonesian, these bamboos are common sight. So I learnt new things about Korean bamboos which are actually different species than Southeastern species
After that we headed to Putrajaya wetland and maybe my favorite spot. First reason is, this wetland and the whole water management system in Putrajaya was very sophisticated. They took a great deal of engineering and architecture to design it. The emphasize of sustainability was very visible in Putrajaya wetland.
The tour guide was very helpful and I asked a lot about the fish in that place. I am accustomed to this ecology as I learnt a great deal from Synbio club in my university. Recently, Indonesia had problem with Arapaima fish and we discussed thoroughly on that issue. As Putrajaya wetland is an open water area, it seems they’re not lacking from predatory problem that threatened the natural detritivor there. In Indonesia, they also used same tactic to control this invasive predator. They delegated fishing activity. Yet, Indonesian’s rivers are interconnected and has very complex structure, so there is no clear cut area to control their distribution. I was very sad not being able to share my insight on e-DNA to my group as it was one of the proposed idea we got in Synbio club.
The second most interesting spot is their perennial plant in the wetland cell. It was said to act as water filtration system that increased the lake water quality. I think this is a very interesting concept for Jakarta too. As Jakarta has very bad water quality in the river and its bay, bioremediation might be a good available solution. I discussed this study too on my paper but incorporating genetical engineering technology. I designed a cosmopolit bacteria that is able to reduce mercury waste and die on its own after finishing the mission. I am very happy to find out, at least, In Malaysia they have tried the first alternative.
After some visits, we’re allowed to take photos around Putrajaya destination spot. It was top notch and beautiful. This city is fantastic, no traffic jam, excellent water management, and breathtaking view! I got maybe the best selfie ever in this place!
|I love my eyebrows....|
First night, we got lecture on palm oil sustainability. I am grateful that I got opportunity to ask Professor Nik Meriam about her comment on how can palm oil be more sustainable. I guess the mechanical process improvement was a great insight to look at. After all, I believe palm oil plantation is not sustainable enough. Even though they don’t contribute so much on global warming, we shouldn’t look on the perspective of humanity alone, we know that rainforest is not only unknown treasure box for us, but a whole home and ecosystem for the dwellers. There are lot of biodiversity there. Rainforest is technically their ‘home’.
The third day in Malaysia, the quest is getting more difficult. We’re given some stuffs yesterday in goodie bag. Yet I threw away the shoes protection. I didn’t mind though for the dirt on my shoes though. So the tree planting activity was very exhausting! I was very happy that Ayoung, Van, Chen, and I made great gardeners! We managed to overcome the difficulty and plant, maybe, 6 until 7 trees.
We were very enthusiastic after listening that our trees would be home for native fireflies. They would spend rest of their lives in our artificial ecology.
In Malaysia, there are so many palm oil plantation. You can even see that from above. Giving a breath of fresh air for natural habitat would help a lot. Earth is not only our home anyway.
After that, we continued the journey to Crystal hotel to have lunch and listen the lecture. AEON business strategy aims for sustainability. Maybe, my favorite thing is how AEON really taking up such issue and delegating many tree plantings around the world(or specifically Asia!).
However, the AC was very cold. Van and I agreed that we could not stay focus there. So Van took initiative to request for controlling the room temperature. What we got was way more surprising, rather than increasing the room temperature, they handled us blanket to wrap up together! Many participants must have envied us greatly!
After the lecture, we went a long way to FRIM. The crown shyness at FRIM was very beautiful. The location was pretty hard to reach as we had to hike a difficult path. It was sad that Ka Anggi could not witness the beauty as she was sick. We must be very lucky because during ASEP, the rain was very friendly and never came down during the trip!
Departing from FRIM, we headed to Shah Alam. We were going to visit AEON mall there. As being told, AEON mall is very attentive to the customer so they took up regional customer palatibility and preference into their account. Shah Alam was filled by Malay Muslims so the ambeience was more modest. The greatest regret about this tour was... Not enough time! I didn’t have enough time to eat and buy souvenirs at the same time. I would love to spend more time there. ASEP 2018 had a very tight and busy schedule.
Like usual, the next day, the challenge was raised. I was very sad that time goes fast. So I remembered that we were set up to see some rubber process something or such, but unfortunately I didn’t know what happened, we didn’t do that.
The peak of this day was the visit to Mah Meri cultural village. It was such a great experience as the style of trip was enjoyable. We’re not only being lectured but we could get involved. So after we arrived and wore a certain crown, we tried to make origami or anyaman in Indonesian. I am very poor at handicraft so it was so slow for me to digest the pattern to make keris, which looked like a piece of cake for Mah Meri villagers. My friends were also more talented as they quickly proceeded to another workshop.
The second workshop was sculpture. Of course, we’re not making stuffs alone but we were very satisfied back then. The museum was filled by many incredible handicrafts. They were aestethically gorgeous and listed by UNESCO as precious heritage.
The most momentous event must be the wedding ceremony! It was very fun and unique. Ben the groom was such a funny man! The event became more cheerful when Mr Son from Vietnam showed his talent in dancing and being funny! As we joined the dance, it was very exciting time. Like usual, we must proceed and skip to another event.
The beach cleaning made me functionally useless. The beach location was very remote and it took 30 minutes or more to reach. The beach was arid and there were many washed away trash. Kakrona, my friend from Cambodia, was very high spirited in cleaning the whole shore. She even dug the trash from dead tree trunks. It was pretty short and we headed back again to bus. I was very nauseous as my visual snow syndrom attacked at the beach. It was very unpleasant moment for me.
After that, we returned to hotel. We have expected that night would be a long night.
So we had a more urgent condition. The brainstorming during this session was more intense than before. However, I would say that this time was the most critical time for my own self development. I am told that usually I am too dominant and forceful on my idea. I could not fathom much of people’s feeling. So, as I have made priority, I would not try to aim as best group and such by over managing the detail during ASEP program. I tried to respect and value each idea of my team, despite my own opinion about it. I tried to convince people to improve their idea without being so aggressive. I was very exhausted and my body was not designed to overworking activity. Moreover, dealing social problem was not skill I could be proud of. So I was very displeased with the portion distribution. It might be the less I cared at that time as we haven’t found one ‘innovative’ solution to preserve rainforest.
I cared more on technological aspect yet the winning voice in my team was law and policy. I didn’t know where they belong as law and policy might be the last sanctuary I would prefer in my country. The implementation of law was flawed and very feeble in my country yet I need to find something in which I could feel happy and my friends are satisfied too.
As I was assigned to do the job on innovation, I think I worked it out very well. As spoiler alert! Group C didn’t get to be the best group, I felt satisfied enough as I managed to overcome my selfish desire and able to work in weirdly semifunctional group of ‘just-get-known-one-another’ team. I believe this was the first step for my self development and how I should tackle difficulty in group work. My idea was well received by my team and Ye Mahn aka David was very excited to refine, give input, and disseminate the idea to my other teammates, who were working on the background slides.
So we overworked indeed. I was very tired and unable to continue furthermore so I excused myself and went to my room. I told my friend to call me if there was anything urgent. Yet it seemed they worked well.
The next day might be the saddest time as we ought to bid farewell. So, the Sunday was more relaxed. We could take a bit sleep and went to UM after that. The presentation was mediocre yet I knew we did very well. The presentation was not as creative as anyone else, and our team didn’t put much spotlight on the solution. However, I assure, I was completely satisfied with my team and the result. We’re happy for the deserving team to win the best group.
|tear jerking moment|
The closing ceremony was EXTREMELY fun. It made us harder to leave and say goodbye to each other. My friends were even crying. We promised to keep in touch as my inner insecurity self told me: be careful how you loosely maintain your relationship. But, what I need to keep in mind is... I should put effort to our newly built relationship.
The performance form every country was exceptional. I was very nervous as my country might seem to be a wreckage. I performed a rather ‘out of my comfort zone’ show. I tried to pretend as a confident woman walking down the catwalk! Can’t you believe that?
The time flies. I returned to my home country. I brought all the feeling, knowledge, and especially, new friends along. I am very contented with this event. However, I wish ASEP should be longer so we could interact more and discussed more deeply.
valuable things from ASEP 2018:
- I learnt that connecting with nature could increase our sensibility as part of ecology. I recalled that after the tiresome planting activity, some of my friends felt invested toward the trees they’ve just planted and mentioned how it would hurt them if someone cut the trees again. They realized that ‘building home’ was not easy task. Fireflies and all other living being are also part of our family in this earth. However, we usually feel indifferent toward them and act selfishly because we didn’t know them and didn’t interact with them. The more we share time with nature, a mutual feeling that we shared amongst living beings seeped into our conciousness. It will call for higher awareness on environmental issue
- I got new fantastic friends and learnt a lot from them. We’re so different yet Similar. I feel like being part of Asian brotherhood now!
- I learnt how to connect to people, to respect their idea, to build a good team, and work together. I feel refreshed to know that I did a good job in managing my group, even though we didn’t know one another initially and we’re from different country and culture.
- I was able to contribute! I believe that how small changes I made will move the mountain one day. When I planted trees with my friend, we were making connection there, a mutual experience and investation, manifested in sweaty gardening activity. We will come back again and see the fireflies one day!
- I learnt to appreciate everything that I had, something that I hardly noticed. Many stuffs that were originally come from nature and will return to it. My comfortable lifestyle is possible because of many sacrifice and exploitation. So, I learnt to treasure it, take care of it, and especially trying to repay it back.
Some things are memorable, including the ASEP and AEON team. You all rock! I will also not forget the hilarious photographer who asked us to say ‘ASEP’ instead of cheese. Here, we got you a meme already!
I tend to see ASEP 2018 as positive experience for me, not the whole packet of expectation yet will be memorable and useful for my future steps.