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The Best Time in My Life

“The Best Time in My Life”

(Reflection on Capstone Project)

“I shall be telling this with a sigh
somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
and that has made all the difference”

(The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost)

"The Road not Taken" Location: Luagan Lalak Forest-Brunei Darussalam. Photograph: by Evita Kartikasari

“The Road not Taken”
Location: Luagan Lalak Forest-Brunei Darussalam.
Photograph: by Evita Kartikasari

Long time ago, I took my small steps in the road less traveled by,

A little bit scary, did not know what to expect……just keep on dreaming the impossible dream.

There are times that the dark storm hung in the horizon,

And suddenly future looks so uncertain, impossible….

But deep in my heart I still belief this is the right path….

It is the only reason to continue my quest searching for that rainbow…..

'Somewhere Over the Rainbow, around our house in Brunei..." Photograph by Evita Kartikasari

‘Somewhere Over the Rainbow, around our house in Brunei…”
Photograph by Evita Kartikasari

And now……  I am standing here, face to face with my biggest dream….:

the pursuit of my Master Degree in Early Childhood Education in Walden University

I could not believe my eyes that my small step has taken me this far…

...my first steps in Walden University...  This is me (in the middle) when I was sharing my experience as Walden scholar to the people in Muscat, Oman who wanted to join the journey through Walden Uni. Location: The Intercontinental Hotel-Muscat, Oman, Middle East.

…my first steps in Walden University…
This is me (in the middle) when I was sharing my experience as Walden scholar to the people in Muscat, Oman who wanted to join the journey through Walden Uni.
Location: The Intercontinental Hotel-Muscat, Oman, Middle East.

 

Along in my journey I have learn so much….

Not just learning how to be a good writer, but also be a good listener,

Learn how to lead as well as how to serve,

Learn to focus, ….  not making the excuse!

And most of that, I learn that when I surround myself with great, enthusiastic people like you all…

It would inspire me to grow my ideas, then achieve and accomplish

the glorious quest I have been dreaming long time ago…………

"A higher degree, a higher purpose"

“A higher degree, a higher purpose”

 

At the end I thank you: the wonderful people along my journey,

Particularly in the last journey doing my Capstone Project,  

I thank you Dr. Teri Davis for a great guidance to bring us into a right path in this course

I thank you everyone as my colleague in this last course for being a great company,

Who give me the insight, encouragement, and support…..

I am glad that we ‘finish the race’ together.

I hope someday we are standing hand in hand, face to face, arm in arm…

To do what is right: to be the children’s guide

to celebrate the different colors they bring into the world….

....and so its goodbye from the wind, the sun and the sky of Borneo land... The beautiful sunset just in front of my house in Brunei.. Photograph by Evita Kartikasari

….and so its goodbye from the wind, the sun and the sky of Borneo land…
The beautiful sunset just in front of my house in Brunei..
Photograph by Evita Kartikasari

As the long sunny day that soon will pass by,

Childhood is fleeting like a blink of an eye,

All that we want is for EVERY CHILD to cherish the childhood…

so they can say that

“This is the best time in my life!”

My daughter Aubrey- This is one of the best time in her life during our traveling time to Europe. Location: Ubersee Museum- Bremen, Germany

My daughter Aubrey- this is one of the best time in her life during our traveling time to Europe.
Location: Ubersee Museum- Bremen, Germany

Regards from the Heart of Borneo-Brunei Darussalam,…

Evita Kartikasari Ferdiansyah

 

 

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A Dream Job in International Early Childhood Community

A Dream Job in International Early Childhood Community

Living my life in expatriate lifestyle-which moving from country to country after a certain years-has brought my interest to involve and work in international organizations that work for positive change for children and families. There are three organization that really appeal to me:

SAVE THE CHILDREN

save-the-children-poster

Save The Children as the independent organization established in USA since 1930’s, provide the great work to enrich children’s live not only in USA but then wide spread in more than 120 countries worldwide.

This is a non-profit and international organization who provide the children around the world with a healthy start, the opportunity to learn and protection from harm. When disaster strikes, this organization put children’s needs first. Save The Children advocates for and achieve large-scale change for children.

UNITED NATIONS EDUCATION, SCIENTIFIC AND CULTURAL ORGANIZATION (UNESCO).

Multilingualism

Languages and Multilingualism Matters!

I am very interested to join the UNESCO, particularly because this organization has the aim to build the intercultural understanding through protection of heritage and support for cultural diversity.  Living my live as an expatriate for more than a decade, the issues about cultural diversity and intercultural understanding is really resonates me. As language issues are central to all fields in UNESCO’s mandate, the organization promotes an interdisciplinary approach to multilingualism and linguistic diversity involving all programs sectors: education, culture, science, communication and information and social and human sciences. I am glad that my interest and focus for my capstone project about bilingualism and preserving the mother tongue for the Indonesian expatriate children is aligned with the aim of the organization.

UNICEF

Unicef

This organization is established since six and a half decades ago, and UNICEF is keep on providing long term humanitarian and developmental assistance to children and mothers worldwide, particularly in developing countries. Until now, UNICEF is assisting children in need such as children affected by war and crisis,  but has also taken on a much broader and ever-evolving role in international development, working across political, national and social divides to provide integrated services to children and advocate for the full spectrum of their rights.

Currently there is a job role opening for everyone qualified to be applied, to be a Chief Community Development in Cambodia. One of the important job is participating in the formulation and development of program goals, strategies and approaches for the UNICEF plan of cooperation. It involves planning, implementing and monitoring assigned activities. I realize that my qualification is still very far to be a successful candidate to fulfill the job re, but at least I have something higher than myself today to dream of and achieve!

There is another prestigious job role in the UNICEF that I also really interested, but I am sure it never posted in any job search vacancies anywhere: it is the Goodwill Ambassador of UNICEF.

The role of the Goodwill Ambassador of UNICEF is to allow celebrities with a demonstrated interest in UNICEF issues to use their fame to draw attention to important issues. This may take the form of public appearances and talks, visits to troubled regions, which draw attention from the media, and use of their political access to advocate UNICEF causes.

Well, maybe you will say that I am not a celebrity, Angelina Jolie or even Katy Perry….

But I think I don’t have to be a celebrity now to have a right to dream….

..this is just another side of me, ready for singing in wedding party... Location: Jakarta-Indonesia.

..this is just another side of me, ready for singing in wedding party…
Location: Jakarta-Indonesia.

You hear my voice, you hear that sound

Like thunder gonna shake the ground

Who knows, that someday, from the middle of the Borneo jungle…

you gonna hear me ‘ROARRR’………

(inspired from the song ‘Roar’ by Katy Perry)

Regards from Borneo-Brunei Darussalam,

Evita Kartikasari

References

United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF). (n.d.). Retrieved November 28, 2011, from http://www.unicef.org/

United Nation Education, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). (2011). Retrieved from http://www.unesco.org/new/en/unesco/about-us/who-we-are/introducing-unesco/

 

Career in My Suitcase

Career in My Suitcase

(An expatriate woman’s reflection on the job roles in Early Childhood Education Community, either local, national, international or anywhere..)

          As a woman living an expatriate lifestyle, I have a bunch of roles in my hand: as the expatriate wife, the expatriate mother as well as the expatriate preschool teacher sometimes. I realize that my life is quite unique and different than most of the people on earth, but I know I am not alone.

Expat Wordle

          I am so grateful to my oilfield engineer husband that his job takes me and our two little angels to the different places around the globe- to see, touch, feel, taste and having our first-hand experience to embrace such an amazing diversity in our life. Without knowing, time flies and it has been more than a decade I and my little family living our live in a ‘nomadic’ lifestyle. Not in the dark caves or the deep remote jungle like our ancestor centuries ago, but from “ocean to ocean, continent to continent, country to country” as the expatriate. Indonesia, as the home country is the starting point, then Oman in Middle East (the place where our two little angels were born) for a decade, and now Brunei Darussalam in Borneo…. And the list still goes on……! Where and when to go? Well, only heaven knows…

My son Fernando is always playful among the giant cardboard.  Whether it is the packing or unpacking time... for him life is full of surprises!  "Mom and Dad, just don't forget to take me wherever you go!"

My son Fernando is always playful among the giant cardboard.
Whether it is the packing or unpacking time… for him life is full of surprises!
“Mom and Dad, just don’t forget to take me wherever you go!”

Living in an expatriate lifestyle, each of my family member (included my two young children) understand that we have to be ready to pack up anytime or move on every few years. For this reason, it is not easy for me to build a career on established work identity.  In the other side, it has been vital that I still need to find a way for my personal self-actualization on the move!

          Since I have to give up an established work identity and structured my life around my family on the move, there are times when I am pondering and contemplating, asking such reflective essential questions to myself:

“How could I replace the pieces of my self-identity that are lost when my family moves from country to country? …..How could I touch more life around me and still contribute something to the society around me? Then I finally hit the bottom line with the essential question on how I can still contribute to my nation’s development- Indonesia- a place that long I have left behind but still I call it home……

I came from here, I came from there

In truth, I came from anywhere.

My life is tethered in a rolling stone…….

My dreams are anchored in the wind…..

(Third Culture Kids Poem-Author Unknown)

Woman in airport

So, if you were me, what do you think of the job roles in early childhood education community that could accommodate most of the essential questions in my life as well as suitable to be a job that can be ‘put in my suitcase’ while I am moving across the globe? Believe me, it takes years for me to find the answer to this quest… and I am still searching until now!

          I consider that continuing my previous job and experience as the preschool teacher in the international school for the expatriate children will be very worthy. The valuable knowledge that I get from Walden University along in my journey to get my master degree in early childhood education could be a great asset to my further involvement to the different role that I choose.

Recently I found a very interesting international organization that connect the Indonesian living overseas communities around the world and unite themselves into one big community to create a tangible force in order to achieve a better Indonesia. The name of the organization is the Global Indonesia Diaspora Network that currently operates in 34 countries across the globe, with its head quarter is the Indonesian Diaspora Network in Los Angeles, USA. To my surprise, the Indonesian Diaspora Network Brunei has just been establish in March 2013! I would like to find out more about it for sure!

IDN

Who knows that my small dream to create initiatives and community of practice to preserve Bahasa Indonesia as the mother tongue and nation’s identity through our children could be a small stone that I drop in the pond. Maybe it would just make a ripple today… but who knows someday it would be a wave…..

Anak Indonesia

PS: I wrote this reflection in my cozy living room, where I can still watch and supervise my children play as well as greeting our “friendly visitors” who come and visit us regularly.

They are the friendly visitors in my front yard.  The wild monkeys, they are my company outside my window while I am writing my assignments.....

They are the friendly visitors in my front yard.
The wild monkeys, they are my company outside my window while I am writing my assignments…..

Regards from the heart of Borneo, Brunei Darussalam

 

Evita Kartikasari

Resources

Indonesian Diaspora Network. http://www.diasporaindonesia.org/

Exploring Roles in Early Childhood Education Community

Exploring Roles in Early Childhood Education Community

TCK Aeroplane

Living my life as a ‘nomadic’ expatriate lifestyle with my children and families for more than ten years until now, for sure it brings my interest to explore the organization and community that could sustain my passion in Early Childhood Education. Since it is not easy to find that kind of community here, therefore I start finding it online to reach out the community that could represent me and my family.

TCK Photo

One day I stumble into the website about Third Culture Kids (http://tckid.com/). According to this website, the definition of the Third Culture Kids is a person who has spent a significant part of his or her developmental years outside their parent’s culture. I was very excited to found out that actually TCKid is a non-profit community run by volunteers dedicated to connect the third culture kids from around the world!

TCK Girl

Found in 2007, TCKid is actually an open-forum and growing global community for everyone who has interest in cross-cultural dialogue focused on the aims to increase collaboration and dialogue between people from different culture and nationalities, highlight the TCK issues such as friendship, grief, restlessness and many more. Another aim of the TCKid community is providing the educational framework in which anyone can become the active leader in their own education.

I already became the member of TCKid organization quite long time ago, particularly I was really interested to join the section TCKResearch. I was very interested to join this section particularly because I really want to understand what the TCKid go through, the issues they have to encounter, how the TCKid cope with the changing environment, as well as prepare parents and organization dedicated to help the TCKid.

By joining the TCKResearch section, I am not just want to be stay informed with the latest issues of the TCKid, but also this is the part of the job opportunities that interest me is that I could contribute to the TCKResearch, as a researcher or helping with data collection as I am involving with the TCKid first hand, every day in my home!

research

After I finished my study and get the Master Degree soon, I also would like to continue my work as a teacher again. Therefore I need to keep on sharpening my skills and broaden my experience in early childhood field. My involvement in the TCKid community is actually to keep in touch with the latest issued of the TCKids from around the world.

So far, I have not found the early childhood education community around me in my one year living here in the new place. I am sure whether it is because I have not found the community or merely there is no community like this available here. So should I establish and start my own community of practice in early childhood education myself? Well, it is such an awakening question to ponder in my weekend today!

P.S:

This blog is written in my cozy bedroom in my house in Panaga area in Brunei Darussalam, the human resident place where there is population of the rare Hornbills birds are living freely among the big trees around the environment, as close as the big trees in front of my window now! How I was so blessed to have the experience to live in the only place in the world, where Hornbills live in proximity to humans!

This is the Hornbills captured with camera around my house. Photograph was taken by my father was he visited me here in Brunei.

This is the Hornbills captured with camera around my house. Photograph was taken by my father when he visited me here in Brunei.

November, 2013

Regards, from the heart of Borneo

Evita Kartikasari

Reference

TCKid: A Home for Third Culture Kids. Retrieved from http://tckid.com/

Reflection on Learning

Reflection on Learning

learning Einstein

The past eight weeks are the amazing weeks full of wonderful journey with you all my fellow colleagues! I learn a lot with you all about the strategies to implement the anti-bias education principles in many issues that may arise in early childhood field. Each of you brings such a unique experience that really enriching, inspiring and encouraging me to gain more perspectives to understand anti-bias education principles in such a wonderful way.

th

I hope someday I would create a classroom where every child matters, regardless their differences in many aspects of their life: their abilities, culture, race, gender, language, religion, economic class, family structures… and many more.  I want the children having their first hand experience how the differences can be a strength rather than weakness. I want every single child having the experience the feeling of being loved, nurtured, and respected for who they are. And years from now, the little children would become the adult who will internalized all the great values within themselves… and the world could be a better place to live with the people who respect and value the differences.

diversity

I would like to thank you to Dr. Nanette Schonleber to be such a great mentor and give us a great encouragement on our journey of learning the anti-bias education principles. And to you all my fellow colleagues along the way in this learning, thank you very much for making my journey of learning even more fun!images

“No matter how much I know, there’s always more to learn.”

 

Thank you and thank you,

October, 2013

Regards,

Evita Kartikasari

 

 

 

 

Soap Stories and Toilet Tales

Soap Stories and Toilet Tales

soap

Washing with the hands with the soap is part of the daily routine in my family life, particularly for my daughter and son’s activities at home or in their school. Right before mealtime, after they go to the toilet, art activities, or simply after they play outside in the playground. With the abundance of the availability of the clean water and the soap around me, I consider that nothing is special with the washing hands activities. It was just a simple act as the part of our daily routine of hygienic life. Nothing more.

children playing in the river

However, just now I was amazed with the surprising fact that the simple act of hand washing can save live of the millions of children in developing countries every year as well as reducing deaths among children under the age of five by two-third by 2015, but… how come?

wah your hands

When I explore the UNICEF website to learn more about hardships affecting children around the world, I was interested to explore the region East Asia and Pacific (http://www.unicef.org/infobycountry/eastasia.html)because there in the region, there is the country where I came from, the places that long I have left and seldom I visited. Therefore, it would be a great opportunity for me to have an update to what happened there. With my further searching in the ‘Regional Office Website” (http://www.unicef.org/eapro/), a very interesting articles caught up my eyes: how a simple act of washing hand could have a far-reaching benefit to the children in developing countries in East Asia and Pacific.

The early years of a child’s life present a unique opportunity to foster healthy development, and research has underscore the importance of the first five years of life-in shaping children’s cognitive, behavioral, social and emotional development (Cooper, Masi & Vick, 2009).

In the other side, the latest data from UNICEF say 1,400 children under five still die every day from diarrhoeal diseases caused by a lack of safe water, sanitation and basic hygiene. According to UNICEF, diarrhoea remains the second largest cause of under-five mortality globally. With 600,000 children dying in each year and over 1.7 billion cases, diarrhoeal diseases are also associated with a higher risk of stunting (low weight for age and developmental delay) and take a huge toll on society.

a girl and dirty water

I just realize about the amazing fact from the UNICEF mentioning that the simple act of washing hands with the soap before eating and after using the toilet into an ingrained habit could save more lives than any single vaccine or medical intervention, cutting deaths from diarrhea by almost half and deaths from acute respiratory infections by one-quarter. A vast change in hand washing behavior is critical to meeting the Millennium Development Goal of reducing deaths among children under the age of five by two-thirds by 2015. However, one of the simplest, most effective and most inexpensive barriers to infection for the young children living in the developing countries in East Asia and Pasific-is hand washing with soap. Wow!

clean hands

Now each year, over 200 million people are involved in celebrations  of the program called ‘Global Handwashing’ in over 100 countries around the world (www.globalhandwashing.org). What a coincident that actually the Global Handwashing Day was actually 4 days ago on the 15 October! It is endorsed by a wide array of governments, international institutions, civil society organizations, NGOs, private companies, and individuals.

The Indonesian children-in their red and white national primary school uniform were celebrating the Global Washinghand Day.

The Indonesian children-in their red and white national primary school uniform were celebrating the Global Washing hand Day.

According to the website, The Global Handwashing Day focuses on children because not only do they suffer disproportionately from diarrheal and respiratory diseases and deaths, but research shows that children – the segment of society so often the most energetic, enthusiastic, and open to new ideas – can also be powerful agents for changing behaviors like handwashing with soap in their communities.

I knew that we often forget that children are the better learner than us adult.. So, the Power is in Your Hands’, my children!

the power is in your hands

Brunei Darussalam, 19 October 2013.

Evita Kartikasari

References

Cooper, J.L, Masi, R., & Vick, Jessica. (2009). The Social Emotional Development in Early Childhood. National Center Center for Children Children in PovertyPoverty (NCCP). Retrieved from: http://www.nccp.org/publications/pub_882.html

East Asia and the Pacific Region. Retrieved from http://www.unicef.org/infobycountry/eastasia.html

Global Handwashing Day: A simple solution with far-reaching benefits – the power is in our hands. Retrieved from http://www.unicef.org/eapro/media_21630.html

Global Handwashing Day October 15. Retrieved from http://globalhandwashing.org/ghw-day

The Sexualization of Early Childhood

The Sexualization of Early Childhood

With all of the gadgets that become more and more easy to access as well as the television, from a very early age, children nowadays growing up surrounded and bombarded with graphic messages about many matters in life in the media and popular culture-sometimes it is not appropriate for the young children at all!

children and gadgets

For instance is the message about what kind of toys that children play, kind of ‘good’ food to eat, dress or clothes to wear, and many more we could find it very influencing the children in the advertisement. It really needs a wise consideration as the parent to realize it when particularly the media try to market their product- by influencing children with the highly sexualized images with sexy clothes, make-up, and very thin body.

High heel

This thought has evoked my memory of the show I ever saw in the TV about a reality show that follows the children (as young as 2 years old-and most of them are girls!) who are beauty contestants in beauty pageants. The parents tried to put the heavy make-up for their children, fake fat hair, their skin was getting sprayed on tans, wearing high-heel, wearing dresses that resembles the adults… and many more.

Fake face

For sure, these little girls look gorgeous and pretty… but personally I just sensing that there is something not natural for these little girl to be in this process. I can sense that the little girl was taught to have a narrow definition of feminity and sexuality… that encourages girls to focus heavily on appearance and sex appeal. Children from the very young age already learn that their value is determined by how beautiful, thin; “sexy” they are (Levin & Kilbourne, 2009). Unfortunately, this is not just impacted the girls, but it has the impact to the boys as well. The boys, who get very narrow definition of masculinity that promotes insensitivity and macho behavior, are taught to judge the girls based on how close they come to an artificial, impossible and shallow ideal (Levin & Kilbourne, 2009).

Boy and girl

With the growing and development of the more sophisticated and easy access of the gadget, media, online games and television right now-children nowadays would encounter this issues at much younger and younger ages, long before they have the ability to understand or deal with them (Levin & Kilbourne, 2009). This fact would leave us the parent feeling hopeless not to be able to cope with the fast changing trends in the society, which is very different from their generation before.

children and advertisement

Being exposed with the topic of sexualization this week in my study makes me realize that we are the parents need to realize that inappropriate images and influences are everywhere-sometimes inevitable and unstoppable. Parents as well as the families in their society and the early childhood educator could make a great collaboration to raise the awareness how the best deal with this issue in the development of our children’s healthy self-identity.

Brunei Darussalam, 12 October 2013

Reference

Levin, D. E., & Kilbourne, J. (2009). [Introduction]. So sexy so soon: The new sexualized childhood and what parents can do to protect their kids (pp. 1-8). New York: Ballantine Books. Retrieved from: http://dianeelevin.com/sosexysosoon/introduction.pdf