Being chosen to be here is one of the amazing things for a YSEALI fellow. Due to be part of future leaders is not common. I never expected to be here. I learned about the culture of the other countries and got lecturing directly from famous people and experts in their field such as Dr. Len Broberg, Prof. Steven W. Running, and Dr. Nicky Phear. I am so excited.
I got a lesson related to my work as an engineering staff. We visited The Upper Clark Fork River and Milltown Dam which is very interesting to take a lesson in it. In addition, it related to the first project that we are working on with the team from Malaysia and Cambodia.
Milltown State Park Overlook
I learned how to control the contaminated water of the dam. Although it wass very short chance, I could take to be considered in the project that we are working on together.
Mike Kustudia is explaining about contaminated water of Milltown Dam
Very fortunate are feeling felt by each Yseali fellow because they learned a lot of things here. Kustudia explained about the contaminated sediment, laden with arsenic, poisoned wells and other local aquatic life during high flows and ice jams. I had asked a few questions about how they purify river which was polluted in 1908. It was quite satisfying for me personally. Although we did not have much time to ask more questions, I could learn how the water treatment and remediation should be.
Dr. Broberg is guiding us
Behind the seriousness with which we learned about the remediation. There was an activity of my fellas that caught my attention. I thought that “This is ridiculous, funny and quite interesting” (Sorry guys ^_^). They danced like Oppa Gang Nam Style.
Khang (Vietnam), Ricky (Indonesia), Victoria (Malaysia), Andrew (Thai), Art (Thai), Max (Laos), and Su Ei (Myanmar)
(Left to Right)
I did not find good friends here or close friend but I found the family to share knowledge and experience exceptional. Smile scattered on the Missoula City taught me a lot about kindness should be. I did not get it in Indonesia except in some communities or area who know each other but if they do not know you, they will not give you their smile or greeting.
One of the lessons I learned from Missoula was the kindness and courtesies of the residents. No matter you are poor one or you are disability one, you will get their smile. And this is what we need to learn from the Americans. I think I should try What I see here. And this I learned from residents of Missoula, USA.
While waited for the next class we made time for hanging out and lunch at Hip Strip Missoula. Some of us decided to eat pizza, Rendang (Indonesian food from Padang) at Iza Asian Restaurant (Khang, Puspita, Ricky, Zul, and Dhimas), and I chose to eat ice cream at Big Dipper Ice Cream together with Reena (Malaysia).
Lunch with Ice Cream is enough for me
After waited for a moment, finally time for volunteers came to feel the fun be a real volunteer, and I thought that this is a real lecturing.
Volunteers are ready
Yups … waited about 10 minutes we also rushed to get in and get a little direction from the officer of Missoula Food Bank. Missoula food bank is a provider of food for people in need in Missoula, not for the resident Kendari City, Indonesia (My hometown) ^_^.
Officer of Missoula Food Bank is guiding us
This is the most interesting at that time. My mind flew open I thought that I have to build a similar place like this in Indonesia, at least in my hometown. Greatly this will help people. Sometimes we only theorized to help people but not followed by the real thing like this. This is what I made of the reasons why I say the title of this blog “Learned A Lot From America”. Even my friend from Malaysia (Reena) would like to change the title of their project when looked at this place. I also immediately thought to get started in my home town. Alhamdulillah (Thank’s God), I am really lucky to see this place. I can not say anything except “thank you” for YSEALI, my embassy, Mel, Deena, Dr. Phear, Dr. Len, Prof. Running, Peter, Nick, Sam, Pat, Shanti, Jami, and every one (I can not mention one by one) who has dedicated his time to us here.
Figure 1. 7
Lend a hand for people at Missoula Food Bank
Now I have a wish to use all of the positive things that I got from Missoula, USA for my home country.
YSEALI Volunteers: Max (Thailand) & Su Ei (Myanmar)
Missoula has Jeanette Rankin Peace which is peace center of Montana. It was dedicated for peace. Many things I learned from America at this place. Not only smile of the resident but also the way they do things to little things for those around them, including establishing Jeanette Rankin Peace for peace.
“I love volunteers”