What does volunteering mean to me?

If you have been following my post or social media accounts, you have been aware that I were volunteering at Ubud for 2013 Writers and Readers festival. Not only I met, talked and built connection with writers from Indonesia or others, but I have gained perspective that make me whole as a mature person.

During the festival, I was assigned as International Writer's Liaison and I handled 8 writers. It was a challenging experience. I was not familiar with the Ubud Town, wasn't getting used to the map. I was worried thinking how would I able to transport myself from one place of another in state of emergency. Was I handling this alone?

Working with many people from different background, ages, nationalities in Ubud were really amazing. The festival trained me more to think and act efficiently with a smile on my face... (or a relatively neutral facial expression for a disguise, we call it poker face). I think the festival has taught me a better problem-solving compared to my one-year experience in Kuala Lumpur advertising office. And I carried that attitude that I have gained until this second and hopefully forever.

I really love being the new me. Actually, this is not new. I am just waiting to be discovered. That 13-year-old girl who is bubbly and won't hesitate to greet the person sitting next to her and ask about their day. That is me. A girl who likes to write more than anything else... probably some little daydreaming. The girl is me. Whose opinion might not have been smart but she voices out. To be brave. To have a voice. That is me. A naive girl with strong curiosity to strengthen her belief, value and ideal. I am both a character of caring and careless. Selfish and selfless. A vulture of centered emotion that I can only feel. I am aspired to make differences in life and what I love.

I am happy that now I am gaining a lot, but I know life-learning process is never ending. I need to learn more and I have even more thirst to quench. I want to travel and meet people. I have just realised that traveling changes me. It feels like a pitstop or check point wherever I go. Whether it is a vacation to HK, home in Palembang or Ubud. There is always something lingered about after-travel that makes progress in me, and traveling to Ubud has made a huge impact. Ubud never fails. I love the way that this festival has strengthen me as a human and a young professional. Now, I refuse to be treated like shit or doing all the goody and extra miles with exchange for shits. I demand, not ask. I am a lot more stronger. I see myself as an equal, no more as a 21-year-old who is still learning or inferior to older and experienced person. I am aware that this is a real world. Although Ubud is a spiritual and peaceful ground, but yet, it tells me, either you sink or swim out there. I wanna achieve more than 21-year-old should be. A little ambition won't hurt because I noticed that I did not want anything particular in life before. Most importantly, humans are just humans. We have flaws and fragile. We are alike. So there is nothing to be afraid of proud of.

I cannot do this without the support of the rest of volunteers and my new-found friends. Who teach me that I do not need to be alone during my day shift or an evening chill out. I had never ended the day early and alone in my room, waking up the next day and repeating the same routine. Everyday went in a slow pace. Thanks for keeping me company, so that the task has never felt like a routine. Thanks for helping me understanding Ubud, now it is one of those things that I know very well as if the city map is written at the back of my hand. Thank you beautiful souls. I hope we meet again :) I cannot mention you one by one, but I remember all your faces and trying my best to remember your names. Thanks for keeping me sane. 



read my UWRF entries here, here and here


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