Written by Diyanah Hadfina Azaman
On day 6 (17/6/17), we started the day off with an over 3 hours bus ride to Aceh's Tsunami Museum which was in the city area of Aceh. The long bus ride was accompanied by nature in its purest form - breathtaking for sure. All the hills, mountains, rice fields. I managed to snap some pictures but I have come to terms that nothing - not even the latest iphone 7 or canon DSLRs - could capture the true beauty of something like our eyes could.
Nothing beats the creation by Nature Himself.
I was feeling jittery when the team and I entered the Aceh Tsunami Museum. The idea of a natural disaster that resulted in a 230,00-280,000 death toll scared me. We entered a dark alley with water flowing by its sides and the walls - sort of like a mini simulation of what the tsunami must have looked like to the victims. It is sufficient for me to say that it was the worst 1 min of the visit.
Then there were some infographics about the tsunami, what to do to when hit by it, a documentary on the whole natural disaster, how did some fishermen survive the tsunami etc.
The museum visit experience made me really appreciate the livelihood I have in Singapore - safe, comfortable. I would rather not lose any of my loved ones, but to lose them in such chaotic state.. I would not even go beyond picturing it.
This brings me to another point - the value of life and trials.
I feel that this whole experience has taught me to value life and all the gift of trials I have been receiving. This life that I have, albeit with so many trials coming my way, is the best form of life gifted to me.
Everyone has their own way of getting through life - tailored to their own needs. People often question me why do I choose the busy life when I could easily lounge at home, go out with friends if I chose to. Most times I would just brush off the remarks, other times I would try to explain to them that this is how I get through life.
I have always believed that life is more than just about me. I have a responsibility towards my fellow humans. And when I carried out these responsibilities, I find my purpose. I choose to think I am not doing anyone but myself a favour when I do all these community service because I am in need of it.
Mahatma Gandhi once said, "The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others."
I managed to find so much truth is that saying. Finding myself through reflections. I for one, cannot imagine even trying to fit into the shoes of those Acehnese, especially the family of victims of the natural disasters. We may have it hard now, but trust me - there are others who have it worse. So much worse. But the beauty in these Acehnese is how acceptive they are of the trials and tribulations that come their way.
And when I see all these, a thought crossed my mind, "I am okay."
If there is one thing that I have learnt about this is that, sometimes accepting is the first step for everything. Accepting that no one promised this life was going to be all rainbows and stars. Accepting that trials and tribulations do us more good than we acknowledge. Pain is truly a gift no one wishes for but holds so much value.
If there was no sickness, would anyone appreciate health? If there was no natural disasters, would anyone appreciate safety? If there was no failures, would anyone appreciate successes?
Everyone has their own struggles. The least we could do as a fellow human is to spread some kindness to each other. And of course, they say, prayer is the best gift we can give to someone.
I left Aceh with a very heavy heart. I wished I managed to do more for them because of all the life lessons that the land and its people have provided me with - more than I expected.
Nonetheless, I am very much thankful for this valuable opportunity. My first overseas humanitarian trip, hopefully not the last. And who knows, maybe you would join us in future trips organised by Majulah Community? 😉
"Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth." - Muhammad Ali
P.S. We managed to visit the city's beautiful mosque, Masjid Raya Bandar Aceh too on day 6! Definitely another highlight for the trip! Enjoy the pictures!
Team Programmes! Thanks for planning all the activities that encouraged the team to contribute our energy towards something beneficial!
Team Finance $$$!! The masterminds behind all the fundraisings and whatnots. Thanks for making sure we had enough resources for such a meaningful trip!
Team MEDIAA; the peeps behind all the photos, videos, postings and blogging (hehehe)! Thanks for being such supportive souls to each other, to me especially!
(Missing out Admin team in the pictures, but you guys are in our hearts k! There are also other home team members who are not shown here. Thanks for all the hardwork guys!)
PPROS Aceh team signing off ❤