I have not posted anything since a long time ago. Okay, let me update you with what I’ve been doing these past few months.
Since I finished my journey around Indonesia, I’ve been sleeping a lot basically to recover my energy. I mean, I have not been sleeping in a bed for ages. So, it’s understandable if I slept for days at a time.
I also went to Malaysia for a short trip and had the usual problems. You see, I always using low cost airlines when I travel because I don’t have much money. The problem with these airlines is that I have to pay extra for wheelchair service unless I can prove I am disabled. I know my disability is pretty obvious but they insist upon seeing identification for my disability. This is impossible because in Indonesia, there is no disabled card or any other identification.
When I got back from Malaysia I looked around for organizations that could provide me with some kind of identification about my disability. I found out about the Indonesian Association of Women with Disabilities. I shared my stories with their association and they were interested and invited me to join the Indonesian Association of Women with Disabilities.
For International Day for People with Disability, I was invited to come to Presidential Palace with the Indonesian Association of Women with Disabilities. This was perfect timing because the Indonesian World Record Museum was able to approve my record and produce the certificate so that President Jokowi could give me the award. I was so excited because I had never met a president before and I had never gone to the palace.
On the International Day for People with Disability, I went to the palace, along with people from different disabled organizations. We all were excited to meet the president.
But when we arrived at the Presidential Palace, we were disappointed because it seems that the palace was not ready for disabled guests. We had to walk quite a long distance from the parking area to the palace. There were golf carts, but the secret services at the palace just didn’t care and did not let us use them. Also, some of us came quite early and had to sit on the floor outside. Also, they checked all our belonging and did not allow us to bring our cellphone inside the Palace. For some of us, this was the first time we were going to meet a president and of course we wanted to documented this important event! I was lucky that my blouse have pocket so I secretly put my phone inside my pocket. That is why I managed to take a picture with the president and some ministers.
Some of the guests hadn’t eaten lunch and the palace only provided some snacks and the saddest thing is most of the snacks already gone bad. It was the International Day for People with Disability and it was sad because our president and his crews were not ready for us. This day was supposed to be a celebration but for some of us it was an awful day. Afterwards, one of our friend’s prosthetic feet had broken from walking too far!
Despite all the bad experience at the palace, I was awarded the record for the longest distance traveled by a disabled woman on a modified scooter. I was so happy all my hard work finally paid off. I finished my 34 provinces and 24,488 km journey all by myself. I am so proud!
After this, I was invited to a few television shows. In one show, I met Alexander Lunardi, who had traveled around the world with his wife on his motorbike bike. He is almost 70 years old but I admired his spirits and his dedication to travel the world with his wife. Seeing two old people riding a bike to travel the world together is a symbol of long lasting affection and companionship that fills your heart with hope. Mr. Lunardi invited me to come to his house and introduced me to the biker organization called IMBI Bogor.
I was surprised to hear that they had decided to build me a new 3 wheeler motorbike! They also invited me to the Caldera Tour around Lake Toba with the rest of their club and lots of other big big clubs. I was really nervous because their bikes are big and fast and my bike is so small and slow. My bike is only 110 cc while their bikes are 500 cc and up!
The three days Caldera tour was started to help to promote Lake Toba, a place in Indonesia with beautiful scenery and wonderful food. I had already ridden the route on my tour around Indonesia, so the places were familiar and I could enjoy the beautiful scenery. We rode from Parapat and ended up in Medan. It was very stressful for me because I was worried that my tiny bike could not keep up and everyone would be waiting for me. But, to my surprise, I was able to follow them and we all finished at the same time!
When we finished in Medan I was given a donation from Horas Halak Hita and I became their ambassador for promoting Wonderful Toba. It was a wonderful journey and interesting experience for me.