After a six hours drive West of Jakarta through the beautiful scenery of mountains and deep green rice fields, mixed with the trappings of urban growth, we reach Tasikmalayan, Another 30 minutes and we are in Manonjaya sub-district. We are close to Sumatra Island, and the recent earthquake there has taken its toll on its beautiful mosque. .
Something incredible happens in this land of strict Muslim religion. Lulu, a beautiful transgender person, is introducing the practices of the self assessment for reproductive health. Young people, men, women, local NGOs and health center staff listen attentively. They then engage in animated conversations about their own situation and the actions they will undertake to achieve their dream: their community able to deal with all aspects of reproductive health.

Lulu is at ease. The explanations flow easily, for she speaks from experience. The practice of the AIDS competence approach with her own community is changing her life and that of her community in Jakarta. Now she is happy to make her experience benefit this community.

What is happening? During this morning’s reflections, Ibu Enung said: “ This meeting is different. We are all equal. There is no difference between facilitators and participants. We are all together.” Ibu Nurhayati said:" Previously I could only think negatively about IDUs. During the SALT visit, I saw that the IDUs had the strengths to dream and to pursue their dreams. After I visited the IDUs during the SALT visit yesterday, I had to think how my husband and I are educating our two kids. We should learn from the experience of the IDUs and help them pursue their dreams as well.”

“SALT makes us appreciate strengths of everyone. It opens us up to the flow of positive energy” says Chandra at the end of the morning reflections.
“Out beyond ideas of wrong-doing and right-doing, there is a field. I’ll meet you there.” said the Sufi prophet Rumi.

SALT makes us touch that field and the travel is wonderful.

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Comment by wiwin winarni on December 13, 2009 at 6:08pm
Dear JL,

The way you shared and finished report of what we have done at Manonjaya and Jogjakarta (IKF) make me confident enough that I can play either as member of team SALT at Manonjaya and also facilitator of the process by simply getting fully participating at the visit. no need to think that I'm not Manonjayan, still I could celebrate learning and escorting changings of being salty together with them..:)
Comment by Laurence Gilliot on November 23, 2009 at 3:36pm
Hi JL, Lulu and Chandra,

I love the way you shared in this blog: a few pictures, a description that helps us to 'be' there with you and feel the atmosphere and powerful quotes. It is easy for us to be inspired when you share from the heart :-)

Thank you!
Comment by Gaston on November 23, 2009 at 8:44am
Wonderful Lulu, Chandra and JL. Lulu, you get more beautiful every time! I'll share about my experience with the group of Indonesians that visited us last week.
Comment by Rituu B. Nanda on November 20, 2009 at 7:38pm
Dear Jean-Louis,

Such a powerful, powerful sharing. Merci. What Ibu Enung says, there is no difference between facilitators and participants for me that's the essence of ACP facilitation. Wish I was with you in this interaction of acceptance, free of judgment and comparison.

Congratulations to the Indonesian facilitation team! Please can someone from the team- Rebeka, Harry or Lulu share some highlights of this change.

Tonight I go to sleep with Rumi's quote echoing in my mind.




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