Monday, October 23, 2006

Happy Idul Fitri 1427H

As the holy month of Ramadhan ends, it is the time for devout Moslems to celebrate the completion of contemplating God’s will for a month, a time when there was an opportunity to develop our compassion for the less fortunate ones and to build the self discipline in becoming better persons.

On behalf of my self, I would like to take this opportunity to pass on special wishes to my family and Moslems friends, a blessed Idul Fitri and may peace and happiness be with all of you, always.

Wishing you a joyous, blessed, and safe Idul Fitri 1427H.

Minal Aidin Wal Faidzin.

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Saturday, October 21, 2006

Ramadhan Thoughts

The most important consideration in undertaking a fast, as in any act of devotion, is to seek nearness to God, and seek His pleasure and Forgiveness. This itself generates a spirit of piety in man.

Creating the conditions of hunger and thirst for oneself, simply in obedience to the Divine order, measures the faith of man in God and helps strengthen it by putting it to a severe test.

enhances through creation of artificial non-availability, the value of the bounties of God which man often takes for granted. This inculcates in man a spirit of gratitude and consequent devotion to God. Nothing else can bring home to a man the worth of God's bounties than a glass of water and a square meal after a day long fast. This also reminds man that the real joy in enjoying God's bounties lies in moderation and restraint and not in over indulging.

makes us deeply conscious of the pangs of hunger and discomfort suffered by the less fortunate among our brethren. They have to put up with difficult conditions all through their lives. It thus kindles in man a spirit of sacrifice leading to change towards his suffering brethren.

gives man an unfailing training in endurance, a spirit of acceptance. This could well prepare him to put up with the unchangeable situations in life in the same spirit of resignation as cultivated during the fasts.

develops courage, fortitude, and a fighting spirit in man to surmount the heavy odds in life with a cool and tranquil mind. It sharpens his power of concentration to overcome obstacles through a vigorous exercise all throughout the month, leading to a steeling of his will power and resolve, that could help him in challenging situations in life. It is seen than many an undesirable habit which is difficult to give up, is more easily given up during the days of fasting.

teaches man reliance on God, and confidence in Him. Just as the vigorous state of fasting for a whole month is undertaken with His assistance, bitter situations in life could also be surmounted with His help.

develops a spirit of patience in man, with the realization that the days of fasting, though seemingly unending, do have a successful and happy end. Thus is life. All bitter situations pass, and come to an end.

is meant to conquer anger and develop self-control in man. The vigorous effort required to put up with hunger and thirst can well be extended to conquer other infirmities of human character that lead man into error and sin.

inculcates a spirit of tolerance in man to face unpleasant conditions and situations without making his fellow beings the victim of his wrath. Many people, when facing discomfort and deprivation, become irritable and annoyed. This anger is then vented on those around them. Fasting helps a man become more tolerant despite his own discomfort.

mellows a man and enhances his character, giving a jolt to the human instincts of pride, haughtiness, jealousy and ambition. Fasting softens his character, and clears his heart and mind of many negative emotions.

exposes the weakness of man in the event of his being deprived of two basic bounties of God; food and drink. It infuses into him a spirit of weakness and submission, generating humility and prayer in an otherwise arrogant being.

breathes the spirit of forgiveness in man towards others, as he seeks God's forgiveness through fasts and prayers.

gives lessons in punctuality. Man has to adhere to a strict schedule of time in the observance of the fast.

could affect the economy of the individual as he is less wasteful on food and meals.

demands a rigid sense of discipline, mental, spiritual and physical. This forms characteristics which are an essential ingredient to success in life.

creates spiritual reformation in man, infusing him with a spirit of enthusiasm and zest to change and become a better human being in the eyes of God.
This is an excellent opportunity, given to believers each year, to change themselves and consequently their destinies.

On the physical side, fasting cleanses the human system of the accumulated impurities of uninterrupted eating throughout the year. It prepares the body to face diseases or conditions of scarcity. The rigid abstinence of a fast regulates man's health, sharpens his intellect and enhances the qualities of his heart.

Adapted from an article by Marhum Ahmed Sheriff Dewji, published in the Light Magazine)

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Saturday, October 14, 2006

Ramadhan In Indonesia

To understand the significance of Lebaran, an understanding about the fasting month of is important. During the month of , Muslims must refrain from eating, drinking, smoking, marital relations or getting angry during the daylight hours. In addition, those fasting are supposed to refrain from bad habits - lying, getting angry, using bad language as well as to be more diligent in prayer and give to charities. It is believe that fasting heightens spirituality and develops self-control.

The fast begins in the morning just before sunrise, at Imsak, and is broken at maghrib which falls at sunset. Fasting during the month of is one of the five pillars of Islam and an obligation for devout Muslims.

Those who are expected to fast include: adults (defined as those who have reached the age of puberty) and those who are sane. Those who are not expected to fast include: children, women having their period, travelers, the sick, those with long-term illnesses, pregnant or breastfeeding women and the mentally ill.

The faithful who fast awaken early in the morning to have a meal before subuh. In order to awaken the faithful, the call to prayer is sounded from neighborhood mosques. In addition, groups of young boys walk around neighborhoods beating on drums and other noise makers to awaken the faithful.

The breaking of the fast at sunset is a very social occasion for which special foods are prepared for gatherings with family or friends. Upon hearing the sound of the bedug drum on the television or the call to prayer from the neighborhood mosque at sunset, the faithful know it's time to break their fast, or buka puasa. This is usually done with a very sweet drink and sweet snacks. Maghrib prayers are made before a full meal is served. Taraweh prayers are held in neighborhood mosques and at gatherings every evening at about 7:30 p.m. These prayers are not compulsory, but they are enjoyed by many.

The schedule for Imsak and Maghrib is posted in major newspapers and on the television throughout Indonesia, as well as published in handouts by major religious organizations.

While it is expected that people will keep to their normal activities during the fast, needless to say the lack of liquid and food during the day and the unusual sleep and meal schedule soon take their toll. After the first week you may see that sleep and food deprivation cause those fasting to have reduced energy levels as well as finding it more difficult to concentrate on tasks.

Why does Islam oblige its followers to fast during each year?

- To develop compassion for the poor and needy who feel hungry every day.
- As a spiritually and physically cleansing experience. Just as in other world
religions, fasting is seen as an opportunity to separate yourself from the things
of this world and to concentrate on your relationship with God.
- To become closer to God by contemplating his will in your life.
- To build self-discipline and to become a better person.

Taken From Expat Info

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Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Benefits of Organic Living

What is ?

usually refers to all "naturally produced" foods or the product of . differs from conventionally produced food in the way it is grown, handled, and processed.

usually refers to the raising of farm produce (fruits, vegetables, meats, dairy products) without the use of chemical or other synthetic herbicides, pesticides, fertilizers, (synthetic or sewer-sludge); livestock raised with the use of growth hormones, or antibiotics; food processed without ionizing radiation or food additives; nor can genetically modified seed be utilized.

A larger part of involves the health of the soil and the ecosystem in which crops and livestock are raised. practices recognize that a healthy and live soil and ecosystem benefit crops. Natural, undisturbed soil is alive with microbiotic organisms which exist in harmony together with the native plant life and the in minerals that provide the soil's substrate. Use of pesticides and other chemical treatments to plants disturb this natural balance in many ways.

In fact, is a more traditional form of agriculture. Before the end of World War II, farmers did not use synthetic fertilizers and pesticides made from petroleum products. In fact many technologies developed during the war were found later to have positive effects on agricultural production and thus were introduced beginning in the 1950s to farmers around the world. Fantastic crop yields and great looking produce was achieved through use of the chemicals; but little did people realize the resulting detrimental effects on the health of consumers.

The term “” is a legal term and means something quite different than as it is very difficult and expensive to have your products certified. Often in the West producers actually are selling s, but can’t make that claim because they haven’t been certified.

The terms “natural” and are not interchangeable. Other truthful claims, such as free-range, hormone-free, and natural, can appear on food labels. However, don't confuse these terms with "."

Why choose ?

There are many reasons why people are choosing s over conventionally produced fruits, vegetables and other food products. In fact in developing countries it is one of the fastest growing segments in the food industry with mainline retailers such as Safeway and Wal-Mart in the US and Waitrose in the UK and many others offering organic produce selections for their discerning customers. production and processing value now tops $30 billion/year!

We have listed a few of the more commonly held reasons for “going ” here:
1. is not treated with any chemicals during the planting and growth of the item.
Therefore, if you eat s, you are not exposed to what could be a toxic cocktail of
pesticides and fertilizers.
2. Fresh produce has more vitamins, minerals, enzymes and other micronutrients than
farmed produce. Studies show that contains between 50 and 100% more
minerals and 25% more fiber.
3. Choosing s is the only way you can avoid eating genetically modified food.
4. Choosing or meat products ensures that the antibiotics, growth promoting
drugs, anti-parasite drugs and many other medicines fed to the animals will not be passed on
into your food.
5. produce often tastes so much better than farm produced vegetables and fruit. It’s full of flavour!
6. often protect wildlife in their areas by not using harmful pesticides or
herbicides and look for ways to protect their crops without harming wildlife and the
7. Conventional farming can damage workers' health as they are exposed to the toxins in the
pesticides and herbicides and fertilizers.

Sustainably Grown Foods and the Environment

In addition to methods, sustainable agriculture is becoming more important around the world as we deplete the nutrients in over-farmed areas, endangering the ability of the soil to grow foodstuffs.

Sustainable agriculture refers to the ability of a farm to produce perpetually. An important factor is the effects of farming practices utilized on soil properties and processes essential for crop productivity. Practices that can cause damage to soil include excessive tillage leading to erosion and irrigation without good drainage leading to accumulation of salt in the soil.

A number of development and aid projects in Indonesia are working with local farmers to develop more sustainable methods of growing produce, to ensure that future generations will also be able to live off the land. These methods include natural replenishment of soil to avoid nutrient depletion. Just a few examples are :
recycling crop waste and livestock or human manure growing legume crops and forages such as, peanuts that form symbioses with nitrogen-fixing bacteria called rhizobia.

All of these efforts have one goal, to care for the earth by conserving the soil and water so that we can sustain and ensure the environment quality and therefore the health and well being of future generations on the earth.

Where can you buy s in Indonesia

Specialty health food stores can be found in larger cities in Indonesia, catering mostly to an expatriate population and the increasingly aware educated Indonesian that knows the need for a healthier diet and better choices. Ask within the community to see if people are aware of a health food//natural food store where you live.

Try an and see how great can taste! Ask the staff about the health benefits of the various dishes … and start to incorporate those new products/dishes into your daily life.

Fortunately for most expatriates, the wide variety of fresh produce and fruits, as well as the ready availability of household staff in Indonesia makes it very easy to incorporate a wide variety of fresh and healthy foods into your diet during your stay in Indonesia. Other items like medicines, juice, drinks, baby food, baby diapers grains and such are HARD to find and you will need to obtain them from an /natural foods store.

Traditional markets sell an astounding variety of produce, yet there is no way to know for sure if it is grown with methods. Sales people will tell you whatever you want to hear … or are not aware of the conditions under which the products were grown.

The effects of air pollution on foods grown near big cities is another factor that must be considered.

Once you embrace the concept of “”, you’ll find that there are many areas of your life where changes to your lifestyle can improve your daily life. products are not limited to food, but also include organically grown natural fibers used in clothing, nutritional supplements, personal hygiene products, household cleaning products, garden chemicals, and furniture. For each of these .. there is an option.

Making the change to living can be one of the most satisfying things you will ever do. Your health will improve, your energy levels will improve, your body functions will improve and you will look and feel better. There is no time like the present to begin!

Learn more about living .. there are many resources online. Knowledge and information replace fear; options empower us; and action will change not only our lives but the lives of generations to come. Eating well is one of the cornerstones of preventative medicine!

Taken From Expat Info

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Saturday, April 01, 2006

Jakarta - Pangkal Pinang - Platform

On 1st April it was crew change for me. As you know, I am working at Offshore and have 2 weeks on-duty and 2 weeks off-duty.

I arrived at airport around 4:30. Like usual after check in, I went to mosque to get dawn prayer. After that, I went to departing room at 5:30.

In the departing room I was waiting for almost 1 hour before boarding. The plane which was a Fokker 50 was taking of around 6 o’clock in the morning. In this flight I got seat in the middle of the right side. I can see the landing gear clearly.

In the first minutes the fly was like usual, after the plane reach 1000 feet the stewardess announced us that we can take off our seat belt but it recommended fastening it all the time during the flight.

Not for long after the announcement, I saw the landing gear went down and then up again. At around 7 o’clock the captain announced us that the plane had problem. The captain explained that there was a crack at the cockpit window and all of us had to go back to Airport.

The plane was landing safely at 7:30. After landed we instructed by the ground staff to wait in departing room and get some breakfast.

We eat the plane food for breakfast, hmmm is not so delicious but it’s free he he he.

After eat the ground staff announced us that we were going to use smaller plane and we had to wait for a wail for they to transfer our baggage to the new plane. The plane is Skyvan. The Skyvan is a 19-seater twin turboprop aircraft manufactured by Short Brothers at the time Short Brothers & Harland Ltd and used mainly for short-haul freight and skydiving.

At around 8:45 we were asked to board the plane. We take off around 9 o’clock.

After almost 1 hour the stewardess announced ask that we can take off the seat belt. Pffffff it taken so long, because the first plane only take about 10 minutes before we can take off the seat belt.

We arrived at Airport around 11 o’clock. We all were asked to go to departure hall for waiting the plane for refueling.

After wait for about 30 minutes, we were asked to boarding. It’s almost 12 o’clock when we take off.

There was taken about 2 hours to get to Airport. We arrived at Airport around thirty pas two.

After take helicopter safety briefing we were boarding to chopper. We arrived at Platform around 3 o’clock

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Sunday, February 19, 2006

Becoming A Star: The Spirit of 2006

In the first quarter of 2006, my company held an Employee Dinner. Not like other events that my company held almost each year, this time held in Jakarta. Before this, it usually held outside the J-town.

The event took place in Assembly Hall JCC on Saturday February 25th 2006 from 18:00 till 23:00.

This year event has a theme “Becoming a Star: The Spirit of 2006. The theme “Becoming a Star” was chosen because everybody who attends tonight should feel like a star.

There were some prizes to win and a lot of door prizes. To win a prize you should wear movie character costumes.

Not all employees wearing costumes. The ones that have a good appearance with the costumes they wear will get a prize. There was three categories will be announce to get prizes. First category was individual, second was a couple, and third was a group who wears great and has good appearance.

I arrived at assembly hall about 20:00 o’clock that was because first I have to go to my friend‘s wedding receptions at Masjid MPR/DPR RI.

When I arrived there was COPI Dancer performed on the stage. There will be many singers and band will perform in this event. The singers are Dewi Sandra and Ike Nurjanah and for the band is ADA Band! For the MC’s there was a Nico Siahaan and Ivy Batuta.

In the assembly hall each employee can sit on round table like in a restaurant in a hotel. There was so many kind of food from Indonesian traditional food like soto and International food like steak.

Before get inside the assembly hall, all have to registrant in the front desk. There was a gate with banner becoming a star attached to it before going to front desk. After front desk they will be fortune teller kiosk. You may ask about your romance, lucky and so on. There also a photo booth. All employee may get they photograph with becoming a star banner as a background by talented photographer.

There were other both besides those two which was a tattoo booth. Yes a tattoo both. But not tattoo that use a needle. This tattoo is not a permanent one. There is only a picture that was drew by a tattoo artist using special ink, that will last on your skin for about 30 days.

Now back to the assembly hall. In the assembly hall there is a big stage for about 30 x 15 meters with full of music instruments. In the left and right of the stage there was a big screen. And in the back corner there were two television installed. All big screen and the television broadcast all that happened on the stage.

Ike Nurjanah in Action!

It already nine o’clock when Ike Nurjanah get on stage. She was wearing a lonk dress with gold color.

As we know she a dangdut singer. She sang four songs if I not mistaken. One of the songs was “Terlena”.

When Ike sang there were a lot of people did a dangdut dance. It has special movement which is the dancer usually show they both thumb ups when they dance.

There also duet session, which employee can sing with Ike. It pike from the employee who can sing a dangdut song.

After singing Ike Nurjanah with Nico Siahaan and Ivy Batuta give some door prizes to person who wins.

When she sang she also gets off from the stage and go to the crowd. This time I take my chance to get close look on her. She is not so tall indeed like in television that I’ve watch before. I get a lot a picture of her but I can not upload to this blog all because it will slowdown when someone opening my blog.

Dewi Sandra and the Dancer

Dewi Sandra sang with her dancers danced behind her. She was wearing white costume as well as the dancers. She looks prettier than when you see her in television.

She also sang with one of the employee.

ADA Band!

The last artist performed in this event was Ada Band! The band sang all their hits song in their latest album.

Like two artist before there was an employee also sang with the vocalist.

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Delayed Flight: Matak to Jakarta

On Saturday February 18, 2006 was the crew change day. After morning meeting around seven o'clock, like ordinary crew change day I prepared my baggage. Usually I fill my bag with one pair clothes. The clothes is for the preparation if just in case a bad weather in the middle of journey to Jakarta and the flight have to have diverted to other destination and have to stay one night there.

After half hour passed preparing my bag, I went to helicopter lounge to weight my self and my baggage. I weight 138 lbs (usually 134 lbs) and my baggage weight 10 lbs. Then I labeled my baggage like ordinary baggage label that can be found in each airport.

After that I worked on my report for my superior and my back to back. There quite a lot of work this trip but it is OK I can handle it very wellJ.

It was nine o’clock when I have finished my reports. “Hmm it’s time to get a coffee break”, I said to my self. Then I go to galley to take some bread.

When waiting for helicopter arrival, I played Play Station 2 with my friends. Not take so long I had to attend safety briefing before aboard to helicopter. Then we waited for the helicopter arrives.

It was almost ten thirty when I and the others take of for Matak Island. It took half hour to reach Matak.

After flew for half hour we arrived at Matak Island and all passenger went to arrival lounge and waited for they baggage offload from the helicopter.

When we got our baggage then I and the others go to security to get the baggage checked. After that I went to check in counter. In the check in counter I had been told that the flight would be change to around two o’clock and I and the rest had been asked to take lunch in the canteen first.

Ordinary when we arrived at Matak Island at eleven it will not take so long after we check in, all passengers who will be going back to Jakarta will be asked to board the plane. I asked to the dispatcher why the flight schedule has been changed; he told that we were waiting for passenger from the Rig.

After took lunch and finished noon prayer, I and my friends backed to waiting room for boarding.

It was two pm when we boarding and the plane took off around two twenty pm.

We arrived at Halim Perdana Kusuma Airport at five o’clock. It was clear sky when we landed so different with the day before.

That my experience when the flight was delayed for 2 hours.

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Sunday, January 15, 2006

Going Bananas

Bananas... This is very interesting. After Reading THIS, you'll NEVER look at a banana in the same way again - Bananas. Containing three natural sugars - sucrose, fructose and glucose combined with fiber, a banana gives an instant, sustained and substantial boost of energy. Research has proven that just two bananas provide enough energy for! a strenuous 90-minute workout. No wonder the banana is the number one fruit with the world's leading athletes. But energy isn't the only way a banana can help us keep fit. It can also help overcome or prevent a substantial number of illnesses and conditions, making it a must to add to our daily diet.

Depression: According to a recent survey undertaken by MIND amongst people suffering from depression, many felt much better after eating a banana. This is because bananas contain tryptophan, a type of protein that the body converts into serotonin, known to make you relax, improve your mood and generally make you feel happier.! PMS: Forget the pills - eat a banana. The vitamin B6 it contains regulates blood glucose levels, which can affect your mood. Anemia: High in iron, bananas can stimulate the production of haemoglobin in the blood and so helps in cases of anemia.

Blood Pressure: This unique tropical fruit is extremely high in potassium yet low in salt, making it the perfect to beat blood pressure. So much so, the US Food and Drug Admi! nistration has just allowed the banana industry to make official claims for the fruit's ability to reduce the risk of blood pressure and stroke.

Brain Power: 200 students at a Twickenham (Middlesex) school were helped through their exams this year by eating bananas at breakfast, break, and lunch in a bid to boost their brain power. Research has shown that the potassium-packed fruit can assist learning by making pupils more alert.

Constipation: H! igh in fiber, including bananas in the diet can help restore normal bowel action, helping to overcome the problem without resorting to laxatives.

Hangovers: One of the quickest ways of curing a hangover is to make a banana milkshake, sweetened with honey. The banana calms the stomach and, with the help of the honey, builds up depleted blood sugar levels, while the milk soothes and re-hydrates your system.

Heartburn: Bananas have a natural antacid effect in the body, so if you suffer from heartburn, try eating a banana for soothing relief.

Morning Sickness: Snacking on bananas between meals helps to keep blood sugar levels up and avoid morning sickness.

Mosquito bites: Before reaching for the insect bit! e cream, try rubbing the affected area with the inside of a banana skin. Many people find it amazingly successful at reducing swelling and irritation.

Nerves: Bananas are high in B vitamins that help calm the nervous system.

Overweight and at work? Studies at the Institute of Psychology in Austria found pressure at work leads to gorging on comfort food like chocolate and crisps. Looking at 5! ,000 hospital patients, researchers found the most obese were more likely to be in high-pressure jobs. The report concluded that, to avoid panic-induced food cravings, we need to control our blood sugar levels by snacking on high carbohydrate foods every two hours to keep levels steady.

Ulcers: The banana is used as the dietary food against intestinal disorders because of its soft texture and smoothness. It is the only raw fruit that can be eaten without distress in over-chronicler cases. It also neutralizes over-acidity and reduces irritation by coating the lining of the stomach.

Temperature control: Many other cultures see bananas as a "cooling" fruit that can lower both the physical and emotional temperature of expectant mothers. In Thailand, for example, pregnant women eat bananas to ensure their baby is born with a cool temperature.

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD): Bananas can help SAD sufferers because they contain the natural mood enhancer tryptophan.

Smoking: Bananas can also help people trying to give up smoking. The B6, B12 they contain, as well as the potassium and magnesium found in them, help the body recover from the effects of nicotine withdrawal.

Stress: Potassium is a vital mineral, which helps normalize the heartbeat, sends oxygen to the brain and regulates your body's water balance. When we are stressed, our metabolic rate rises, thereby reducing our potassium levels. These can be rebalance! d with the help of a high-potassium banana snack.

Strokes: According to research in "The New England Journal of Medicine, "eating bananas as part of a regular diet can cut the risk of death by strokes by as much as 40%!

Warts: Those keen on natural alternatives swear that if you want to kill off a wart, take a piece of banana skin and pl! ace it on the wart, with the yellow side out. Carefully hold the skin in place with a plaster or surgical tape!

So, a banana really is a natural remedy for many ills. When you compare it to an apple, it has four times the protein, twice the carbohydrate, three times the phosphorus, five times the vitamin A and iron, and twice the other vitamins and minerals. It is also rich in potassium and is one of the best value foods around. So maybe its time to change that well-known phrase so that we say, "A banana a day keeps the doctor away!"

PS: Bananas must be the reason monkeys are so happy all the time!

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