11 October 2016

On Evolution

One topic has been buzzing my head in the last few months; evolution.

After re-learning about planet earth, from the book that I shared the other day, I feel that it is important to learn about evolution. All these urges start when I internalize my role as a  mother.
I need to learn the planet so that I can explain to my son about his home. I study evolution so that I can answer once he asks about his ancestor. Or at least I will have some confidence to explain to him about the topics to some extent, ignites his curiosity, and guide him to learn deeper.

The latter topic is particularly important because there is some fundamental parts of the theory that is conflicting with my believe as a Muslim. Meanwhile, evolution theory is like the theory of gravity or electromagnetism in physics, it becomes the root of other branches of science. To add, by and large, the theory is still adopted in the basic school curriculum.

I read Collapse of The Theory of Evolution by Harun Yahya years ago, back when I was still in high school/first year in college. At that time, my conclusion was that as a muslim, I have to reject the theory. It go against my believe. Period.
But after I decided to learn the topic somewhat deeper, I realize that I never tried to understand the point of view of the other side, of those who support the theory. This thought  brought me to read some part of The Beak of The Finch by Jonathan Weiner (the book won Pulitzer Prize, fyi) and Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari. To give myself a more balanced input, I re-opened Collapse of The Theory of Evolution book, yet this time, I feel some difficulties to affirm the contents of the book as a whole.

What I personally find hard to believe is that, if evolution is really ONLY made up of lies, as the anti-evolutionist stated time and again, how could the theory become so powerful? I know, even among its supporter, evolution theory is struggling to find core evidences until now. But still, how could the majority of scientist still support it? To add, scientists are debating about lots of other major theories anyway. I probably am a naïve, but again, I find it difficult to accept that the base of the ever-growing belief on the evolution theory is only one word, conspiration.
How could evolution then intercorrelate with other many fields of science? How could it be somewhat fit to describe the changes experienced by the living creatures in general? With some background in science and research, I also personally find that the general argument of evolution does make sense.

On the other hand, there is indeed one crucial point of evolution theory that clearly goes against my believe: the human evolution. Evolution theory stated that human today is simply a product from million years of evolution; while the Quran clearly stated that Prophet Adam had been directly created by Allah, in the heaven, then sent down to earth.

Hence, I was so thrilled when I found this video, alhamdulillah.
Shaikh Yasir Qadhi, himself has a basic in science, a degree in chemical engineering and of course a PhD in Islamic theology, gives a plausible reconciliation between evolution theory and Quranic scripts.

The conflict between evolution and Islamic believe, as far as I'm aware, are mainly in two things: (1) that evolution happens randomly, and again, (2) that homo sapiens is simply a product of evolution from previous species.

So there's this thing called microevolution and macroevolution. Simply put, microevolution is the change within one particular type, mostly to adapt. Meanwhile, macroevolution is major change like, say, from horse to giraffe.

There is no problem in affirming these events from Islamic point of view. But as a Muslim, of course we believe that NOT a single thing on earth is a product of randomness. Everything is measured, and be it micro or macroevolution, each of these is part of Allah's plan.

Then, imagine if macroevolution is the result of domino-effect microevolution series. Sapiens is the final card of this domino, but instead of being general part of the previous cards, this final card is created directly by Allah in the heaven, and sent down to earth, "inserted" to the path of the human evolution domino.
Does it have scientific explanation? No.
Can we proof it? No.
Which is why it is called miracle.
It's like the explanation of Prophet Isa's birth. Should there be medical equipment as advanced as it is today in the time of Siti Maryam, doctors would obviously consider that the fetus growing in her pure womb is the result of general reproduction mechanism. But is it? No. Can we proof it scientifically today? No. Yet we believe in this miracle.

To add, among the challenges faced by the evolutionist in explaining Sapiens as an improvement from the previous Hominid (as explained by Harari), is its advanced capability in language. It is far exceeding the capability of its predecessors. Despite the limitations in physical strength, this capability is the thing that makes them (or rather, us) very powerful compared to other species. Sapiens is the only creatures on earth with advance language capability.
On this matter, Islamic theology have the answer. In Quranic script, it is mentioned that, the first thing that Allah teach to Prophet Adam is the name of things. Or in other words, language. So there it is, problem and answer fit like lock and key.

Incompatibility between religious scripts and science was indeed a serious issue in the medieval era, but alhamdulillah that's not the case with Islamic tradition. The irrefutable truth of Quran and the discoveries of human wrapped up in science are intertwining beauty, both of them shall go along.
It is mentioned in the Quran itself that human should use his/her 'aql to think. When there seem to be a conflicting issue between the two, of course we believe in the Quran first, and then continue to learn, to understand and reconcile Allah's written (naqli) and observable  ('aqli) signs.

Wallahu a'lam bish shawab.

04 October 2016


As a pure blood introvert, I had never considered myself as a merchant, nor had I ever figured myself of becoming one. Jaman kepanitiaan di sekolah, tim yang paling ogah saya ikuti adalah danus. No no no. Aa juga pernah beberapa kali menyarankan buat nyobain jualan atau buka usaha, tapi tetep, NEHI. Sekali ogah tetap ogah. Mending disuruh semedi sama kromatograf lah :p. 
Soalnya namanya jualan ya harus marketing kan, and I'm just not comfortable with talking a lot to persuade people (to give me their money :p). I guess that's just not the nature of most introvert. 

Lalu tibalah hari itu, hari dimana saya menemukan satu tempat jualan buku anak yang murah-murah tapi berkualitas, terus saya kalap belanja buku buat Sorai, azzzz. Tindakan itu berakibat pada timbulnya rasa bersalah banget-nget, pada saldo rekening di bank. Satu-satunya cara untuk menebus rasa bersalahnya, yang waktu kepikiran, adalah bahwa saya harus jualan si buku dari toko tadi, setidaknya sampe untung dari jualan menutup jumlah uang yang dibelanjakan saat kalap. 

Weeks goes by, turns out beberapa bulan terakhir ini akhirnya terus jualan (with some pauses in between), hahaha. Main product masih buku anak, sempet diseling yang lain juga. I apparently enjoy it so far, and all thanks to technology.  

What's with technology? 

Jadi sebagaimana dijelasin di bukunya Susan Cain, additional barrier yang memungkinkan adanya/memperluas personal space itu meningkatkan performa kerja introvert. Saya bisa enjoy jualan, karena jualannya online, so that there's this digital screen protecting me from facing the customers directly. Coba disuruh ketemu dan nawarin langsung sama calon pembeli, mingkemm deh. :P 

Baru icip jualan kecil-kecilan sebentar dan masih untuk hore-hore aja, apalah saya ini dibanding teman-teman yang udah jauh lebih dulu malang melintang, udah banyak ilmu tentang bisnisnya, udah sekian dan sekian omsetnya. But even within this short period, the experience already allows me to get some things, alhamdulillah. 

I would say this is one of the biggest benefits so far. Kebanyakan customer memang hanya interaksi seperlunya proses jual-beli sih, but even this kind of micro-interaction is psychologically healthy, says an article I read somewhere. Nambah kenalan baru juga. Lalu ketemu temen-temen lama yang udah beneran lamaaa banget nggak ada kontaknya, jadi terhubung lagi karena tertarik sama produk yang ditawarkan. Terlepas dari ujungnya jadi beli atau enggak, kesempatan bisa nanya kabarnya sekarang already makes me happy.  
To some extent, I apparently could enjoy small talks, so I'm happy about this. :) 

Enjoyment appears at the boundary between boredom and anxiety, when the challenges are just balanced with the person's capacity to act, says Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, a leading researcher in psychology. 
Setiap orang punya level stimulasi yang berbeda untuk berada dalam kondisi optimal, the state of enjoyment. Understimulation makes you bored, while overstimulation makes you overwhelmed.   
Komponen stimulasi dari berjualan ini bikin saya ngangguk-ngangguk dalam hati, semacam jadi agak memahami kenapa banyak stay-at-home mothers yang nyambi jualan. Bersama anak-anak kecil sepanjang hari, tanpa ada partner bicara dengan level intelektual yang sama, itu melelahkan hati karena seharian kita berada dalam kondisi mental understimulated. (Kalo stimulasi fisik sih jangan tanya yaa, encok pinggang mamak ngikutin aktivitas si bocah). Maka jualan bisa membuka jalan untuk komunikasi sama sesama orang dewasa. Komunikasi ringan yang tidak mengharuskan mikir banyak, macam kalo lagi diskusi ilmiah (which will probably lead to overstimulation, that could also cause mental exhaustion). Lalu karena toh jualannya juga bisa "semaunya", dalam arti intesitasnya diatur sendiri, level stimulasi pun bisa disesuaikan dengan kondisi optimal untuk diri pribadi.  

Be more mindful of "uang receh"
Terbiasa dengan kultur gajian, yang waktu dapet dan jumlahnya relatif pasti, bikin saya suka teledor dengan nominal yang dianggap nggak terlalu besar. Padahal khususon untuk ibu-ibu pengatur cashflow rumah tangga, kebiasaan ini tentulah tidak baik.  
Di awal-awal, saya sukanya jualan doang; milih-milih barang untuk dijual hari itu, nawarin, rekap pesanan, dan teman-temannya. Giliran harus ngingetin yang belum bayar, malasnya bukan main. Waktu liat catatan, "Oh teteh ini udah hampir seminggu belum bayar ya. Ah, biarin lah. Ga terlalu banyak pesennya juga.". Lalu, "Eh ini juga belum bayar, ooh.. Segini totalnya, nanti aja diingetinnya deh". Berulang sekian kali. Lah ditotal-total kok jadi berasaa yang belum bayarnya, hahaha. Ya menurut nganaa..  
Dari sinilah saya lalu terpaksa belajar untuk lebih attentive terhadap uang kecil. Tentunya bukan soal ngingetin customer aja, tapi juga di sehari-hari. 

And then, there is this one additional thing where, ongkos kirim dari tempat saya tinggal jauuh lebih murah dibanding ongkos kirim ke tempat saya tinggal. Bedanya bisa hampir dua kali lipatnya dong, zzzz. I guess this is universe's conspiracy, untuk memaksa saya jualan online aja, dan bukan (terlalu banyak) belanja online :p. 

Finally, berniaga juga makin menyadarkan bahwa Allah sajalah yang melapangkan dan menyempitkan rejeki. Ada kalanya jumlah pesanan sebanding dengan usaha, lain waktu sebaliknya. Besoknya lagi, yang promo produk yang ini, eh yang dipesen malah yang udah lama ga diiklanin.  
Oh, well.. bagian saya memang hanya ikhtiar dan doa. :) 

Begitulah.. alhamdulillah menemukan kegiatan baru yang menyenangkan. Menyenangkan karena jadi punya hal baru untuk dipelajari :).  

26 June 2016

Note to Self: Seruan

Satu hari di Sendai.
"A, kalo ada orang yang, sebatas aku tau, ngelakuin sesuatu yang salah/nggak tepat, tapi orangnya nggak terlalu kenal, itu langsung bilang aja apa gimana?" 
"Sebisa mungkin dideketin dulu.. menangkan hatinya. Biar pesan yang dari hati, nyampenya ke hati juga."

Dalam satu kajiannya, Ustadz Salim menjelaskan bahwa cara menyeru orang menuju kebaikan itu ada tiga, berturut-turut sebagaimana disebutkan dalam Al Quran.
Yang pertama dengan hikmah. Hikmah itu apa? Sesuatu yang diberikan, yang manis, lembut dan bermanfaat untuk penerimanya.
Kedua, nasihat yang baik. Dan sebaik-baik nasihat adalah yang diminta. Kenapa? Karena menerima nasihat itu butuh kesiapan. Orang-orang shalih yang minta segera dinasihati ketika tersalah, yang siap menerima nasihat kapan saja, aaah.. betapa Allah lapangkan hati mereka, masyaAllah. Nasihat yang meleset dari sasaran, mungkin seperti jabat hangat yang ditujukan pada tangan yang luka, alih-alih menumbuhkan sayang, malah bikin meradang.
Ketiga, urutan terakhir, adalah debat dengan cara yang lebih baik. Kenapa terakhir? Wallahu a'lam. Hanya biasanya orang masuk ke arena berdebat dengan niat memenangkan argumentasinya, bukan untuk mencari kebenaran. Maka sekiranya jalan ini harus ditempuh, ada catatannya, harus dengan cara yang lebih baik. Lebih baik dari siapa? Seperti apa? Nah, yang ini lupaa. Harus belajar dan cari tahu lagi. 

Wallahu a'lam bish shawab

08 May 2016

Toilet Training

Sejak beberapa bulan lalu, si ibu maju mundur mengenai kapan Sorai akan mulai toilet training. Maju mundurnya baru dalam pikiran sih tapi, belum ada tindakan nyata karena si ibu tea suka segala dipikirin duluan. Sehari anak bisa pipis 4-5 kali kan.. Jadi yang terbayang ketika memikirkan toilet training adalah harus beli seenggaknya setengah lusin kain pel, satu atau dua lusin celana rumah, juga sprei waterproof. Belum lagi ada yang namanya training pants, walaupun belum tau gimana fungsinya, dan juga toddler potty seat. Dompet ibu pun terasa pening, maka sudah lah nanti lagi aja ya. 

Lalu semuanya berubah ketika negara api menyerang! Itu mah avatar. 
Kisahnya bermula sepulang jalan-jalan dari Pantai Jonggring. Sepanjang perjalanan kan riweuh tuh, ya berimbas pada ga sempetnya ganti popok Sorai. Keesokan harinya, kulitnya ruam paraah, sampe kasian liatnya. Biasanya kalo ruam sedikit atau sedeng doang sih si ibu tetep aja pakein popok, paling lotion anti ruamnya yang dibanyakin (grin). Tapi yang kali itu mah nggak tega, sampe akhirnya ketok palu, wis lepas popok aja. Niatnya sembuhin si ruam, perihal anaknya sekalian toilet training itu mah bonus aja ga usah dipikirin dulu, biar ga rieut :p. Hari-hari pertama tentu saja penuh dengan ompol di seluruh penjuru rumah. 

Tanpa sempet nyiapin peralatan tempur tambahan, berikut ini hal yang si ibu jalani. Nyuci baju yang kena ompol tiap sore, karena takut besok-besoknya nggak ada celana. Untuk membuat hidup lebih mudah, seperti saran neneng acit, disediakanlah seember air diisi deterjen untuk melempar baju yang kena ompol, biar sore tinggal kucek-kucek aja. Lalu karena persediaan lap terbatas, setiap habis dipake lapnya langsung diguyur air dan dijemur, insyaAllah si lap sudah kembali bersih dan suci, siap digunakan untuk ngelap ompol berikutnya :p. Oh iya, di awal-awal Sorai lepas popoknya cuma siang aja, malem tetep dipakein (ciee yang katanya kasian liat anaknya ruam), karena kalo harus kebangun karena bajunya basah juga kasian kan (not to mention harus nyuci sprei dan jemur kasur super berat). Setelah udah lumayan bisa bilang kalo mau pipis, dan tentu setelah beli perlak, baru si ibu berani lepas popok di malam hari. 

Sepengamatan si ibu, toilet training kemarin terbagi beberapa fase: 
◎ Apa itu pipis
Namanya pake popok dari sejak lahir, anaknya kayanya nggak tau apa itu pipis. Dan dari bayi pun anaknya ga sensitif soal popok yang basah/kotor, cuek ajaa. Jadi mungkin pipis kayak bernapas aja, unconcious act :D, jadi fase pertama adalah memahami definisi dan real feel-nya pipis. 
◎ Belajar rasanya mau pipis 
Setelah tau apa itu pipis, selanjutnya anaknya belajar menyadari bahwa sebelum pipis ada rasa mau pipis. 
◎ Belajar kalau udah ada rasa mau pipis, harus ditahan sampai bisa pipis di toilet 
Lama-lama anaknya ngerti bahwa rasa mau pipis bisa ditahan, dan kalo nggak ditahan akan mengakibatkan basahnya baju dan lantai, yang kemudian harus diganti dan dibersihkan. Bisa deh pipis di toilet, mudah-mudahan istiqomah. 

Yang dilakukan oleh si ibu adalah apa yang ada di tips toilet training di seluruh penjuru website toddler parenting: 
◎ Bagaikan kaset macet, mengulang-ulang bilang kalau pipis itu di toilet, bilang sama ibu/papa kalo mau pipis, dari sejak anaknya baru bangun sampai mau tidur lagi. Oh iya, di awal-awal saya sempet kebalik, yang ditekankan adalah "kalo mau pipis bilang ibu ya", hasilnya anaknya bilang sih tapi pipisnya tetep ga di toilet. Tepok jidat. Baru si ibu sadar bahwa poin utamanya pan pipis di toilet, bukan bilang sama ibu. 
◎ Mengapresiasi tiap kali anaknya berhasil pipis di toilet. Efek sampingannya sekarang anaknya otomatis bilang sendiri "pinteer" setelah pipis, hahaha. 

Masih harus ngajarin ini dan itu, tapi alhamdulillah sekarang pake popoknya tinggal kalo keluar rumah dalam waktu lama aja. Peralatan yang dibeli pun jadinya cuma perlak, seharga dua puluh delapan ribu rupiah, alhamdulillaah (tangan kanan elus-elus Sorai, tangan kiri elus-elus dompet :p). 
Untuk para ibu yang akan dan sedang menjalankan toilet training, semoga diberi kemudahan :).

27 April 2016

On Writing Academic Papers

Sometime ago, my husband asked me to give a small talk in one of his classes on introduction to research. He currently belongs to the Faculty of Computer Science, fyi. In the meantime, other than turning-on-and-off and using Microsoft Office, I don't really know much about computer, let alone computer science. What can I share?
"You can share your experience on writing academic papers. You have published some", my husband said. Which then reminded me that it has been a (long) while since the last time I produce a full-length research paper. Which then (again) reminded me that I have not made a personal note on research-manuscript-writing-tips like I did for poster presentation. And since up to now only Allah knows when I will get the chance to put down another academic paper, I guess I'd better write the note before I forgot a lot of things. So here we go.


The writing process is divided -by myself- into 3 parts, which are usually, but not necessarily sequential.

The Big Picture
Main idea
I guess this point needs no further explanation. Clearly, you should have an idea about what you're going to write.

Logic structure
At this point you make a (rough) outline, make sure you make it is (easily) understandable by your target reader.

Appealing plot
Only after some time do I realize that an interesting plot is not only important for fiction stories. It also does for academic papers. So, one of my paper presented more than one finding. I prepared the draft and checked the structure, it was logic and understandable so I sent it to my advisor for review. His comment was that the draft was okay, but plain. It was not so strong. I did not really understand what he meant, so he suggested me a techical advise to restructure the draft. He said something like, "try to move this part here, this one there, and make this section your concluding remark". I did, and surprised with the result as the paper became more interesting to read.
The data you have is like scattered pieces of Lego bricks, waiting to be made into something meaningful. You can just stack up the bricks, making a straight high blocks, which is an understandable shape. But it is plain, if not boring. With the same set of bricks, you can instead make, let's say, a miniature of Eiffel Tower or Empire State Building or even chain of a particular polymer (if you're that geek), which is more appealing to see.
I hope I make my point clear here.

Suitable journal
So now you have in your head that brilliant idea about what to write on your paper. Select some journals that match your topic.
In the ideal realm, no matter where you're going to submit your manuscript, you will give your best to prepare the paper. In this pragmatic world, to where you plan to submit your paper will somehow affect the intensity of your effort. Submitting the work to a reputable journal definitely requires way much effort than if you send it to an unknown journal that sends you a random invitation. If your work is on chemistry, of course you know you have to work real hard if you plan to publish your paper in Angewandte Chemie (2014 Impact Factor: 11.261). Plan to submit to Chemical Review? (2014 IF: 46.568, like, seriously!) I wish you the best luck. To be noted, impact factor is not a perfect parameter to determine quality of a journal, but for a quick look before you review more thoroughly, it's enough.

The Actual Writing
Yes, of course you should write the whole manuscript. Yet before you start, doing a careful read on the journal's specific guideline for author is very strongly recommended. I make it an obligatory for myself. It will save you from the pain of editing the little details that often hurt your eyes (due to the need of extensive staring at your computer's screen). It is important to comply with the guideline, as it's the preliminary aspect that the editor will check before further review. It may also show your professionalism, as negligence could infer laziness, so yeah. The details that are usually varied for different journals are:
- general formatting requirements
- image formatting
- table formatting
- image and table numbering
- math fomulae formatting and numbering
- references style (!)
There you go now, let your fingers dance on the keyboard and pour your ideas. Don't forget to be mindful of grammar and punctuation, whatever language you write your paper in. Because eventhough you plan to use language editor service, there is a limit to what they can do, and at the very end it is yourself that has to do the finalization.

The Refinement
In this part, your work is as simple as re-reading, and re-writing, then adjusting the work based discussion result or suggestion from your co-author. Next step is re-reading, and re-writing, then adjusting the work based discussion result or suggestion from your co-author. And the next is re-reading, and re-writing, then adjusting the work based discussion result or suggestion from your co-author. Repeat n-times.
Yess.. this part is often reaaally exhaustive. But, unless you are Stephen Hawking of the field, it's a bitter step that you need to take. Never feel like your work is almost done when you finish your first draft. No, it's not. Well, of course unless you are Stephen Hawking. It is still a long and windy road that you need to face, so brace yourself. In the end of this road, when your manuscript has been perfected and all ready to be sent to the editor, you will be grateful you are not embarrassing yourself by sending the first draft to the editor (I know, unless you are Stephen Hawking, okay).
Now you can sit back and relax for a while before, you know, (severe) comments from unknown reviewer reach your mailbox. After this, you know what to do next, right? Yep, it's another series of re-reading, and re-writing, then adjusting the work based discussion result or suggestion from your co-author.

It is indeed a hard work to bring your manuscript to see the sunrise, especially for an early-stage researcher or graduate student, but it worth the effort. I mean, you have the chance to change the world and how cool is that! :p Okay, on a more realistic scale, publishing your work meaning making it accessible to practically limitless number of people. Who knows, someone somewhere find it really useful and beneficial to complete his/her own research or develop his/her work. That would be enough, right? (Then, together, you can change the wooorrrlld! Ha!)

Anyway, I still remember that afternoon, when I got the news that my first paper would be published.
Earlier, my professor instructed me to publish my master thesis. He suggested a journal that was not very difficult to get in (not so high impact factor, that is), which I found suitable for a first-timer like myself. But my advisor (an assistant professor at that time), who worked more closely and more intensively with my research, somewhat disagree with the suggestion. He challenged me to publish in one of top journals in the field. Simply saying, even with a loooot of help from my advisor, for the next few months the work costed me blood and tears. The blood part is an exaggeration but the tears were of course for real :p.
When the manuscript finally reached completion, it was my advisor who submitted it to the publisher, so that it was him who knew the progress of editing and reviewing process. He usually informed me the latest update by e-mail. But that afternoon, he suddenly appeared at my table holding a piece of paper. "Congratulations!", he said with a smile while handing me the paper. It was an e-mail from the editor informing that my work had been accepted for publication. It was one of the rare and precious "congratulation" that I heard from him. He intendedly printed the e-mail and went up all the way to the 4th floor (his room was on the ground floor) to give the news directly. Once he dissapeared, I couldn't think of other things to do beside hurrily went to the rooftop, my self-claimed musala, and prostrated before The Almighty. Oh, the joy. I still smile when I remember this moment :). 

And.. I guess that would be pretty much all that I remember about preparing academic papers. Thank you for reading this entry and I hope you find it beneficial. Good luck with publishing your work! :)

Dear Watanabe-sensei and Tsuchiya-sensei, I know that there's almost no chance that you'd read this, but thank you for everything that you have taught me. I am forever grateful that I worked under your care.

25 April 2016

Jalan-jalan (hampir) Pantai Jonggring

Alkisah bos TFF mau field trip, ke pantai di selatan Malang, terus kebetulan mahasiswanya pada nggak bisa dan jadi ada slot kosong di mobil. Coba deh, apa yang terbayangkan saat mendengar kata pantai? Debur ombak, wangi angin laut, hamparan pasir putih dan lambaian nyiur kelapa kan? Kan? Maka saat ada kesempatan jalan-jalan ke pantai, tentu saja saya harus minta ikut kan :p? Sorai dibangunin pagi-pagi, pakai baju santai untuk ke pantai berupa kaos tipis dan celana tujuh per delapan. Jemputan datang, lalu berangkatlah TFF bersama tim survey.

Perjalanannya lumayan lama ternyata, karena diselingi berhenti-berhenti untuk ambil data koordinat di beberapa titik di sekeliling waduk Sutami, dan tentu saja berhenti di Indomaret (untuk jajan, bukan ambil data). Berangkat dari rumah jam 7 pagi, menjelang dzuhur kami baru sampai di rumah salah satu anggota tim yang berjarak sekitar belasan kilometer dari pantai, numpang shalat dan istirahat sebentar.

Setelah dzuhur perjalanan dilanjutkan, Ibu yang kami singgahi rumahnya membekali berbotol-botol beras kencur alami buatan sendiri, buat diminum di pinggir pantai katanya. Aduh terbayang pasti seger banget.

"Mau ke pantai yang mana, Pak? Ada pantai Ngliyep sama Jonggring yang dekat sini", Mas Navigator bertanya sama bos TFF yang merangkap bos perjalanan.
"Yang lokasinya bagus untuk disurvey saja, Mas."
Mas Navigator berpikir sejenak, lalu bilang "Jalannya nggak aspal nggak apa-apa, Pak?"
"Nggak apa-apa, asal supirnya aja nih kuat", jawab bos TFF.
Saya husnudzon sepenuh hati bapak-bapak ini sudah mempertimbangkan keberadaan bocah cilik yang ikut di mobil.

Mobil terus melaju di tengah teriknya siang..
Sorai mulai ngantuk..
Jalan aspal mulai hilang dari pandangan..
Sorai mulai tidur..
Jalan berbatu mulai semakin nggak rata, mobil makin gogorenjagan.. (Apa itu gogorenjagan?)
Sorai alhamdulillah masih nyenyak tidur, sampai.. GREEEKK. Mobil nyangkut di gundukan batu tinggi dan besar di tengah jalan. Bagian bawahnya udah kegesek entah kayak apa. Dipaksa digas nggak bisa maju, sampai akhirnya semua penumpang turun. Iya, si bocah juga. Bangun lah dia. Dipaksa digas, mobil masih juga nggak mau jalan. Dorong-doronglah para anggota tim yang laki-laki semua itu. Setelah sekitar 15 menit, mobil akhirnya bisa jalan lagi, hamdallah..

Perjalanan berlanjut, sampai.. ZZZZZNG! ZZZZZNG! Bunyi roda yang muter tapi mobil nggak bisa jalan. Lumpur saudara-saudara.. Harap diperhatikan bahwa udara di mobil sudah panas dan lembab, pantai kan sedikit lagi (tapi pemandangan sekitar masih hutan belantara). Yak, para mas-mas turun lagi.. mas supir mulai terlihat lelah, mas avanza alias mobil yang ditumpangi juga sudah mengeluarkan bau kopling. Kak, pantainya mana kaaaak..

Setelah didorong, mobil bisa jalan lagi, sampai akhirnya menyerah di tantangan berikutnya. Jalan kecil berlumpur, pinggirnya dalem dan tengahnya batu tinggi. Mesin mobil udah panas banget. Waktu menunjukkan sekitar pukul 2 siang. Wis, kami menyerah. So long, selonjoran minum beras kencur di pinggir pantai!

Semua turun dari mobil dan tim dibagi 2, yang satu meneruskan jalan kaki ke pantai untuk ambil data, satu lagi mengupayakan biar mobil bisa balik arah. Sorai gimana? Being his almost-2-years-old self, tentu saja nggak betah diem lama-lama. Agak rewel waktu liat bapaknya pergi ke pantai, mau ikut ya masa. Rewel juga karena pengen nyetir mobil sementara di dalem mobil panasnya bak sauna. Lalu rewel karena diserbu nyamuk kebon sementara bajunya terbuka tangan dan kakinya. Untunglah mau ngerti waktu dikasih tau Papa kerja dulu ambil data, dan dibilang Sorai harus bageur dulu biar om-nya bisa muterin mobil. Mamak, kami ingin pulang Mamak.

Hampir satu jam berlalu dan bapake Sorai masih belum terlihat di ujung cakrawala (yang berupa tanjakan). Langit mulai mendung. Ini kalau hujan sudahlah wassalaamu'alaikum. Entah gimana caranya si mobil bisa jalan lagi kalau jalannya makin berlumpur. Saya mulai berhitung dalam pasrah, menghitung jarak ke rumah penduduk, keberadaan payung, persediaan baju ganti Sorai, dan bekal makanan (yang baru aja habis!). Ini jalan-jalan apa pelatihan Wanadri siih.

Menjelang ashar akhirnya tim pantai kembali sudah, sementara si mobil masih belum juga berhasil diputerin. Tim pemutar mobil nampaknya mendapat suntikan semangat baru dengan kembali lengkapnya anggota pasukan. Mas supir kembali ke kursi kemudi, yang lain dorong-dorong, lap-lap ban yang penuh lumpur dan angkut-angkut batu. Sementara itu si ibu melipir sambil terus berupaya meminimalisir serangan nyamuk di badan Sorai, sambil bantu doa juga. Another satu jam sampai mobil bisa diputar dan didorong sampai di jalan berbatu yang lebih layak. Luar biasaaa (!!) upaya para lelaki yang belum pada makan siang itu. Terus kerja tanpa mengeluh. Hats off. :)

When we finally passed the rocky roads, I felt the beauty of jalan aspal like never before. Sesungguhnya penemuan jalan aspal adalah karunia yang harus disyukuri! Selain itu, alhamdulillah nggak sampe turun hujan, alhamdulillah nggak habis bensin di jalan, alhamdulillah mesin mobil nggak sampe mogok di hutan. Dan akhirnya semuanya selamat sampai lagi di rumah, alhamdulillaah..

Keesokan paginya. Saat si ibu masih sakit-sakit badan, Sorai yang baru bangun bilang, "Bu, (l)agi bu, do(r)ong-do(r)ong."
*insert facepalm emoji here*


P.S. Dear Papa, here's a note for your next field trip:
- jangan lupa bekel makanan berat
- jangan lupa bawa autan
- jangan. pake. avanza.

26 March 2016

Note to Self: What is More Important

There was a time when I want to be a person that inspires. I obliged myself to achieve this and that in a wish to inspire others to do good. But then it occurred to me that such longing can lead to the urge to be seen by others, and I found that one's necessity to show what he did may cause him (or her) to fake and mask himself (or herself). I don't want that. What others think of me is not for myself to decide anyway. 

Now I try to put more effort on making sure that sincerity is on my every act and every word. I believe it is more important.