Sabtu, 22 April 2017


Dear Deaf Travelers,

I am glad to hear that mostly Deaf friends from United Kingdom and Unites States will have a plan for visit my country - Indonesia. That is a main reason why I write about Indonesia.  Indonesia is an archipelagic island in Southeast Asia, lying between the Indian Ocean and the Pacific Ocean. Indonesia comprises five main islands: Sumatra, Java, Borneo (known as "Kalimantan" in Indonesia), Sulawesi, and New Guinea. Indonesia is under the equator with tropical climate. Because of the position, Indonesia has two seasons - wet and dry - with warm tropical temperatures averaging 28°C during the day, throughout the year. In most regions, the dry season spans from May to September, the wet season spans from October to April.

Indonesian cuisine is one of the most vibrant and colourful cuisines in the world, full of intense flavour. Indonesian cuisine varies greatly by region and has many different influences. Sumatran cuisine, for example, often has Middle Eastern and Indian influences, featuring curried meat and vegetables such as  gully and curry, while Javanese cuisine is mostly indigenous - with some hint of Chinese influence. Elements of Chinese cuisine can be seen in Indonesian cuisine: foods such as  noodles, meat balls and spring rolls have been completely assimilated. Here is a list of 5 best Indonesian cuisine/dessert you must try! 
It is actually the usual famous Southeast Asian style of stir-frying cooked rice, but with it’s very own Indonesian spices and mix
These tasty meat skewers cook up over coals. Whether it is chicken, goat, the scrappy morsels get marinated in turmeric, barbecued and then bathed in a hearty dose of peanut sauce
This savory meatball noodle soup gained international fame when Barack Obama remembered it as one of his favorites during a visit to Jakarta
 The official national dish of Indonesia is tumpeng, chosen as the dish that binds the diversity of Indonesia's various culinary traditions
Traditional snacks


Jakarta, Indonesias capital city, is a booming metropolis and is the centre of government, commerce and industry. It has an extensive communications network with the rest of the country and the outside world. Over the last several decades, Jakarta has developed into one of Asia leading cities with its skyline covered by modern skyscrapers, state-of-the-art shopping centres and recreation complexes.
The centre of Jakarta! The favorite spot for CFD..
Good places to go :
The main Sudirman-Thamrin avenues in Jakarta lead to the Merdeka Square, where in its center stands the National Monument which houses the first red-and-white flag flown at the Proclamation of Independence on 17 August 1945. Merdeka Square is the center of most important government buildings. The north side is houses the office of the President and the Cabinet. To the South is the office of Indonesia’s Vice President, Jakarta’s Governor and provincial parliament building, as also the American Embassy, while to the West is the National Museum, the Constitutional Court, etc.

Jakarta's largest mosque - Istiqlal mosque was designed in 1954 by Frederich Silaban, a Christian architect. The first Indonesia president - Soekarno, chose the site for the mosque on purpose, to symbolize the nation’s philosophy of unity in diversity, where all religions could co-exist in peace and harmony. Today, both establishments continue to cooperate with one another, especially to accommodate the parking of cars during religious festivals. The parking lot of the mosque is used by the church congregation during Easter and Christmas midnight mass, and vice versa, during Eid prayers, parking is extended to the Cathedral’s parking lot.

Built in the 17th century as the Town hall in the Dutch VOC colonial era, the Stadhuis now contains the History of Jakarta Museum, where you can observe artefacts found when Jakarta was still called Sunda Kelapa, also the agreement in stone between the Kingdom of Sunda with the Portuguese. Some original furniture used in the 18th century, and the dungeon where Indonesian freedom fighter Prince Diponegoro was treacherously jailed can also bee seen. Today, the Town Hall now houses the Fatahillah Museum, otherwise known as the History of Museum of Jakarta, while surrounding buildings have been transformed into the Wayang Museum, the Museum of Arts and Ceramics, the Museum of Bank Indonesia, the Bank Mandiri Museum and others. Further down by the Canal are the Archives Museum, and Toko Merah or the Red Shop. Click here Explore Old Batavia
American and Indonesian Deaf Leaders meet here <3

It is the only province in Indonesia that is still governed by a Sultan (provincial rulers) whose kraton (palace) remains the hub of traditional life. Yogya also serves as the base for exploring nearby attractions, including Indonesias most important archaeological sites, Borobudur and Prambanan. Being one of the oldest cities in Indonesia, Yogya has many heritage buildings and monuments. Common sights in the city are local craftsmen practising their traditional arts of printing batik and making silverware and leather goods. Beyond culture Yogya is lively and a shoppers paradise. The main road, Malioboro Street, is always crowded and famous for its nightlife and street food. Many tourist shops and cheap hotels are concentrated along this street, such Sosrowijayan Street.

Good places to go :
The World's largest Buddhist temple, Borobudur is breathtaking in its scale, complexity, intricacy and religious significance. Over 500 Buddha statues and some 2,500 stone relief panels adorn this 9th century architectural wonder.

A village that was destroyed by the recent Merapi's eruption. It resembled some kind of museum which displayed the things that were over-ran by the destructive lava. You can see potteries that were melted and became out of shape, a set of cattle's skeleton (obviously killed by the eruption) and the photos taken during and after the eruption. The most eye catching display was a clock that was jammed and shown the time of the eruption. Read the experience of Singapore tourist

The Water Castle was built in 1758 by Sultan Hamengku Buwono I. Located in the older part of the Jogjakarta the castle and part of the pleasure garden is now just an intriguing collection of ruins, pools, arches and underground passages enclosed by massive walls. The central courtyard with the nymph-bath has been restored. The most ancient mosques in Yogyakarta with five stairways representing the five pillars of Islam at underground.

Good places to go : 
The main attraction in East Java, the national park is named after its two mountains, Mount Semeru (the highest in Java at 3,676m), Mount Bromo (the most popular) and the Tengger people who inhabit the area. Mount Semeru, also known as Mahameru (Great Mountain), is one of Indonesias most active volcanoes, and is often closed due to its highly active nature. The park offers many trekking trails to suit all levels of physical fitness. One of the most popular activities, especially for those who prefer leisure activities, is to stay in one of the simple lodges, then drive up to the top of Mount Penanjakan (2,770m) in a 4 x 4 jeep pre-dawn and wait for a truly spectacular sunrise. Later in the day, a slightly more arduous 90-minute climb up to the rim of the Mount Bromo caldera to view the bubbling active crater is worth the effort. You can also make this ascent on a local pony.

The plateau, near Banyuwangi and Bondowoso, is an area of spectacular volcanic activity. For the adventurous traveller a visit to the Ijen Crater (Kawah Ijen) is a must as it is one of Indonesias natural wonders. The crater can be approached from Bondowoso in the west or Banyuwangi in the east. This route is recommended as the road is relatively better and the 90-minute foot climb much easier. The colour of the water in the lake is an extraordinary vivid aqua blue. Evidence of volcanic activity is everywhere with steaming water and brilliant yellow crystalline sulphur deposits.

Today, Java is the most developed island in Indonesia, with the major cities of Jakarta,  Bandung (West Java) and Surabaya (East Java) serving as international centres of business, trade and industry.


I love BALI! Mostly foreign friends agree and say that Bali is the heaven of holiday. South Bali is the most popular part of Bali and is where all the foreign tourists converge and where the action is. The best of Bali is displayed here, from Denpasar urban attractions to Nusa Dua exclusivity and Kuta scenic white sand beaches. Here is where most of the islands action takes place: shopping, relaxing in the sun and the vibrant and, at times, raucous nightlife. There are countless restaurants, bars, nightclubs and hotels of varying standards and budget to suit travelers from all market segments. Click here  Top places to go and best things to do

The town is not just about arts and culture as it has numerous other attractions that include ancient temples and ancient sites dating back centuries, most with spiritual significance such as Tirta Empul. Visiting these places will take visitors past the countryside, which is relatively unspoiled by the march of progress taking place in Ubud. Lush rice fields, quaint villages and locals practicing age-old customs and traditions show the other delightful side of Ubud. Check arts galleries out here!

The Pura Tirta Empul Temple, over 1,000 years old, is one of the holiest temples in Bali. Located about 20 kms northeast of Ubud, it is built around hot springs that still bubble in the central courtyard. The spring water is believed to have curative powers. The Balinese bathe in the water to purify them spiritually and physically during purification ceremonies.

A nature reserve and temple complex, which is a popular tourist attraction. It houses about 340 crab-eating macaque monkeys and about 115 different species of trees. Within the forest is the Pura Dalem Agung Padangtegal Temple, a Holy Spring bathing temple and a temple used for cremation ceremonies.

Tegallalang is the place to be to see the stunning picture perfect rice terraces. Round off the tour with lunch in an open space overlooking the luxuriant rice fields.

A bird paradise with more than 250 species of birds spread over two hectares of land. The park is well laid out with open walk-in aviaries and free range birds. 

I love the way Calvin Young, an American Deaf traveler who has shared an overview of his adventures in Indonesia. Below is a few of his awesome documentary!

1. The Deaf Cafe FingerTalk: Empowering Deaf Indonesians For the Future (Jakarta)

2. Indonesia: Mount Bromo - the Most Active Volcano with Gorgeous Sunrise (East Java)

3.  Indonesia_ Kawah Ijen - Facing the Blue Flames & Largest Acid Lake in the World! (East Java)

4. Trekking through Bali's Jungle (Bali)

5.  Luwak Coffee - One of the Most Expensive Coffee in the World (Bali)

6. Getting Attacked By Monkeys In the Ubud Monkey Forest (Bali)

7. Jimbaran Fish Market is One of the Top Fish Markets in Indonesia (Bali)

8. Checking Out the World's Largest Lizard on the Komodo Island
I have a Balinese friend who works to serve Deaf travelers.  He is Wahyu Cahyadi. He has the official link Bali Deaf Guide. If you meet Deaf communities, you will find more friends, more experiences, get cheaper prices and many more!

Senin, 16 Januari 2017

A loyal supporter of Deaf Community, Dissa

Who knows I came to Fingertalk two years ago that would influencing my life more colorful. I didn’t come to see the first Deaf café, but I came to meet Italian Deaf tourists. A stranger woman with hijab is well known as a friendly person came in and said hello to everyone. My friend told me that she is Dissa Syakina Ahdanisa and she is also the founder of Fingertalk café.
 Dissa's nice smile and positive aura will always be your first impression 

She sat down next to me and began the conversation with me in mixed three sign languages; American – Singapore – Indonesia. She shared a bit of story about her beginning journey is looking for any course or school which provides sign language class. Based in Singapore, Dissa learned sign language with The Singapore Association for the Deaf (SADEAF). She actually thought about opening the cafe first in Singapore, but decided on the otherwise as she felt that disabled communities in Indonesia need more support than their Singaporean counterpart. 

She got in touch with Fedina Sundaryani (College of Asia Pacific Studies, Fall 2013, Indonesia), an APU alumna working as a reporter in Indonesia, who has been writing some articles about Deaf community in the country. From her, she got to know Ms. Pat Sulistiowati, former chairperson of Gerakan untuk Kesejahteraan Tuna Rungu Indonesia (Indonesia Association Welfare of the Deaf) who had been teaching handcrafting to the Deaf community since 1970s. Ms. Pat originally offered her workshop to use for free, but Dissa insisted that they should at least pay a rent lest the project may become a financial burden for Ms. Pat. Hence, Fingertalk Cafe is not simply a volunteer activity. It is a social entrepreneurship project that is hoped to be able to self-sustain its activities.
A modest Fingertalk Deaf Cafe 
Ratih is our in-house batik artist and she is able to teach us to make batik. 
One of Fingertalk workers is Rina. She is Deaf-blind, but she is very talented in knitting. 

Another day, I was surprise to know that Dissa has mutual friend on facebook. She went to same high school with my cousin, Gita Prisilfia. Since it happened, we were following each other on social media. The longer, the more I know about her. Dissa has grown up to be a sociable person by following her mother’s noble job since she was in elementary school. She helped her mother to cook and shared food to underprivileged neighbours. One of her best memories is interact with a Deaf old man at Nursing Home for first time. He teached Dissa about how to spell her name in sign language. 
 My cousin, Gita Prisilfia 
I am impressed to know that it is not everyday all six of them could be together, so when they are, they cherish the moment.
During her volunteering time in Nicaragua, she came across this very unique café called “Café de Las Sonrisas”, which is the first café in Latin America to have all Deaf employees. They also have a hammock workshop where proceeds from the hammock sale provide income to its Deaf workers. This café encouraged her to open Fingertalk in Indonesia, because she knows that it is very challenging for people with disabilities to find jobs in Indonesia. The competition is fierce, especially for the Deaf as they have to compete with their hearing counterparts, and there are not many employment opportunities for Deaf people in Indonesia. We hope that Fingertalk, with its café and workshop concept could also be a place that brings people together regardless of their abilities.
I have followed page of seek the world since one years ago. The owner of seek the world page is Calvin Young, a Deaf traveler. Calvin has met and interacted with plenty of Deaf communities from different countries and shared amazing stories, stunning photographs, jaw-dropping videos and many more on his page. Unfortunately, I wasn't following it while Calvin was visiting Indonesia with his Deaf dad and grand-dad. Calvin published his interview video with Dissa on youtube in few months later. Well done! I am truly jealous of her. However, Dissa is a loyal supporter of Deaf Indonesian community, so she deserves it!

When I came to Fingertalk for third time, Dissa was able to host Deaf Youth Leaders from the United States and Indonesia who came for a United States - Indonesia Deaf Youth Leadership Program. There were twenty inspiring delegates, including me who joined the program and visiting Fingertalk was on our agenda. Dissa also invited over 50 members of the local Deaf community to come and join a sharing session with these delegates.
 Americans had to experienced so many photo requests in all of their life. Americans fall asleep on the bus then. 
Three month later, I was honored for attending her Fingertalk first AWESOMEVERSARY. I was also selected by her for representing Dr Mason Global to receive a placard. In this anniversary, there were her friends from France, Tokyo, Singapore and of course Indonesia. There were also hearing and Deaf friends hung out together too. In addition to it, I was glad to have her quote on my note, maa shaa Allah..
Dissa and her awesome crews
Underprivileged kids's great performance
Dissa and her best supporters
Dissa and I
" They live in houses made from plywood and cardboard, but they are the sweetest kids. So happy to welcome my amazing friends from APU Singapore Alumni chapter and other close friends from USA, Tunisia and Singapore! You guys are amazing and the kids were soo happy meeting you all today! " - Dissa

She joined Young SouthEast Asian Leaders Initiative Professional Fellow 2016 goes to the United States for 6 weeks ( April 23 - June 3 ) as a delegate. Supposedly, it's not a new surprise! She finished high school with acceleration program, then she received bachelor of business administration in Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University - Japan and master of professional accounting in University of New South Wales - Australia. She has ever experience for working as a volunteer in many times. She was spread the love and help the children, even if they are thousand miles away, or on the other side of the globe.
What is YSEALI? Recognizing that over 65 percent of the population in Southeast Asia is under the age of 35, the White House launched the Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative (YSEALI) to augment leadership development and networking in the 10 ASEAN countries; deepen engagement with young leaders across critical sectors; and strengthen people-to-people ties between the United States and young leaders across the region.
Dissa was in a class 
Dissa's graduation day
She worked with Education Plus Nicaragua, a grassroots organization that supports children education, in one of the classiest town in Latin America.
In Setrawa, a remote village located two hours away from Jodhpur, India, I worked with more than 30 underprivileged Dalit children from the untouchable caste. Together with the local teacher, we conducted after school program, teaching basic English and hygiene. Also, we used English songs and games in order to create better learning experience.

Next, I am appreciate of her accomplishment. She was a hardworking person I've ever seen. She browsed about international Deaf youth programs, such as World Federation of the Deaf in Singapore - International Conference of Deaf Muslim in Malaysia and register to be one of speakers. She also made friends with international Deaf people for talking about Deaf empowerment. After accomplishing those opportunities, she diligently made contribution or held a presentation time in few days later. 

 I will be presenting today at WFD Asia Conference at 3.15 pm - Function Room NTUC Centre 
 Cant wait to meet other participants tomorrow! Thank you for having us #icdm2016 ! 
 Thank you for fitting me into your super busy schedule!! it was great seeing you!!! 
Top Deaf traveler
 Top Deaf DJ Nico DiMarco - Nyle DiMarco's twin
3 December 2016 is not only celebrated as the third anniversary of YSEALI, but also as International Day of Persons with Disability. In order to celebrate both occasions, Fingertalk Deaf Cafe and Car Wash, held an event called “Batik Inklusi”, an inclusive Batik workshop for Deaf and Hearing people. By following theme “With Batik, We are Equal” Dissa was hope that we could bridge the gap and communication barrier between Hearing and Deaf community through learning Batik together as a very important part of Indonesian culture. 
#YSEALIalumni coordinator @putraditya25 came to Fingertalk to announced that YSEALI is now accepting application for people with disability

The United States President, Barack Obama singled out the cafe’s founder, Dissa Ahdanisa, as an inspirational example while addressing a Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative - YSEALI at Town Hall meeting in Luang Prabang, Laos. The part in which he talks about Dissa starts just before the 11 minute mark :
 When President Obama said "Keep up the good work!", 
you will keep it up and you shall never stop. 
 You can see how much she respects her supporters in accomplishing her goals 

Thank you #YSEALI and #statedept for letting me be part of this life-changing #YSEALIsummit. I was mentioned by President Obama, still cannot believe it. He highlighted Fingertalk and he said he felt very inspired with our work. 

Thank you soo much everyone! 

Thank you deaf community in Indonesia, USA and Singapore. I would never have gotten here without you. Thank you mum and dad for praying for me every single day. Thank you Fingertalk, and all my crew, I love you! Now let's get working!  
A very humble, selfless, loving friend who's always there for me, who's always there to help others, who think of others before herself, who selflessly spend most of her time helping others. I'm thankful to Allah for knowing you, for having you as my good friend. You have shown me what a true friend was. She surprised me by patting my shoulder from behind. She was holding a candle on a cutting board and her friend was holding a birthday tart. Another friends applauded their hands then recorded this best memory. I didn't need much words to describe the happiness of being next to them.
We were still keeping balance time between busy doing activities and spending time together as sisters. We had a really fun conversation with new visitors at Fingertalk. She  occasionally invited me to stay at her home and visit her Tahfizh Qur'an As-Sakinah. I hardly believe that she was staying at a modest home, her neighbours on along the road towards As-Sakinah waved their hand to her family that were going there, and she made sure hearing and Deaf people or international and local people can be unite.
Ninis is also a fellow #APU student. She is my BF. I made they have a quick APU reunion.
We were with sweet couple - Simon (a board member of WFDYS) and Erika
Bakar Ali (a Somalian Deaf)

 Friendship knows no border and across all abilities. Deaf, hearing, Indonesian, Tunisian, we are all sisters :) Alhamdulillah, I am thankful for meeting these two amazing ladies. They have enriched my life in different way, unique from one another. Our first encounter may just be for a brief minute, but insya Allah the sisterhood will last a lifetime. - Dissa Ahdanisa  

Sourer (a Tunisian hearing)
 As Sakinah is a small non-profit organization focusing on children education in South Tangerang. "Sakinah" in Arabic means 'peace' and 'serenity', which exactly what they found after working with these beautiful faces. Dissa's mother and her friends started As Sakinah initially to teach Qur'an and English to those children, who were not fortunate enough to obtain formal education. However, with help from lots of people and donors, many of these children are now able to go to school. 
I had a reason to choose Dissa as my companion and interpreter for attending Dinner Reception at the US Deputy Chief of Mission's Residence to welcome Catherine Russel, US Ambassador at large for Women's issue. It's promote that the importance of civilize a teamwork between hearing and Deaf. We were glad to meet Mr. Brian McFeeters - Acting Ambassador for the US and our favorite ibu Holly Zardus - the mother of all of the cool exchange program. 
Our special invitation
We were on a interview with Assistant Cultural Affairs Officer for the US Embassy

References :

I'm getting ready for listening your fabulous new stories, love - Nia