Some 25 years ago when time was ripe that I will ask my girlfriend, Susy, to marry, I promised her that after the wedding day we will have a honeymoon in paradise island of Bali. Since then, we will never made it to Bali for some reasons, although the honeymoon itself was still ok and took place around the city of Madiun, among others was in the state forest of Watu Jago.
Until we had two cute daughters, Dessa and Ditta, our family never made it to Bali. The main reason was, Bali is too far away from Jakarta, where I and Susi work. I work as a computer scientist at The Agency for the Assessment and Application of Technology (BPPT), a government research agency, while Susy works as a woman army officer cum law lecturer at Military Law University.
For your information, Bali is around 1,600 km (1,000 miles) from Jakarta. Considering the road conditions in Indonesia, it will take around 27 hours at least to drive by car from Jakarta to Bali. Worse still, since Jakarta is in the island of Java and Bali is a separate island, we have to cross the Bali strait which is usually very crowded during students’ holidays. Sometimes the car has to wait around 3-5 hours just to cross the strait by ferry.
All in all, 25 years have passed and we still not make it to Bali. I myself often go to Bali for official duties. Usually I take plane to go to Bali which normally is one-and-half-hour flight. So for me, I made it to Bali. My eldest daughter Dessa made it to Bali too. Dessa went to Bali when she was in a field trip with her colleagues from Diponegoro University Law School.
Now only Susy and my youngest daughter Ditta who never make it to Bali. One day in 2006, exactly 24 years after our marriage, Susy went to Bali by chance. Her colleague named Major Ni Ketut Suyudani passed away due to heart attack in Bandung, West Java. Her body was then transported to Bali for Hindu cremation. Susy was asked by all of her colleagues in Woman Army Corps to walk her away in eternity. At once Susy with two other friends flied to Bali for that reason. The third person in our family finally made it to Bali.
Now the problem is with Ditta, my youngest daughter. She never make it to Bali. During the school day when the airfare is cheap and the roads are easy, we can not go to Bali due to Ditta’s school day at Department of Geophysics, Bandung Institute of Technology (ITB). On the other hand during the school holiday, airfare is quite expensive and the roads are too crowded, traffic jams are everywhere, and we can not go to Bali because of that reason.
Finally the good day comes. Three professional associations in oil and gas industries namely Indonesian Geophysicist Association (IAGI), Indonesian Geologist Association (HAGI), and Indonesian Petroleum Engineers Association (IATMI) have a Joint Conference in Bali in 2007 (http://www.jcb2007.org). The conference is held in The Westin Hotel of Nusa Dua Bali on 13-17th November 2007.
Ditta was a student volunteer (SV) during the previous conference in Jakarta in the year of 2006, where the conference was held by five professional associations in oil and gas industries, besides the three organizations which are already mentioned, there are two other associations namely Indonesian Mining Engineers Association (IAPI) and Society of Exploration Geophysicist (SEG) of Houston Texas USA which joined the conference in 2006 (http://www.jakarta2006.org).
Usually a student volunteer is selected by merit. In 2006 the conference recruited some 40 students from across Indonesia, usually from department of geophysics, geology, petroleum engineering, or mining engineering in respected universities. In 2007 the conference only recruited half the number, that is 20 student volunteers only, due to the size of the conference which is not as big as the one in 2006.
In 2007, Ditta is become one of the student volunteers in IAGI, HAGI and IATMI join conference in Bali. She was very excited to hear the nomination and immediately sms me, my wife, and her elder sister. I rushed to sms the travel agent to arrange for the airline ticket for Ditta.
On Monday November 12th 2007, finally Ditta flew to Bali. She was again very excited to land in this world’s famous tourist destination.
During the conference all of the 20 student volunteers (SVs) from Jakarta (Trisakti U. and U. of Indonesia), Bandung (Bandung Institute of Technology), Yogya (U. of Gadjah Mada), Semarang (U. of Diponegoro) and Makassar (U. of Hasanuddin), will stay in Soni Putri Galeria Hotel in Nusa Dua while the conference itself as I said before will be held 1 km away in The Westin Nusa Dua Bali.
Thanks for the JCB2007 conference committee which has taken care of my daughter’s burden of local transport cost, return airfare, hotel room, and some extra money. Thanks also for a number of oil companies, BP Migas, and Department of Mine and Energy which sponsoring the conference.
Ditta, have fun out there !!
Well done, the Wahjonos !!
(when I wrote this story, Ditta was attending the Icebreaking Ceremony in the beautiful coast of Nusa Dua behind the Westin Hotel in the heavenly island of Bali..)..