With freedom comes great responsebility

Just the thought of it sends a cold feeling down my spine. Imagining the smells and impressions from the first time we visited the place that has given me one of the biggest inspirations so far in my life. Phones and id exchanged for a blue entry pass. I am going through the guidelines given to us before entering. The first thing on the left is the visiting area, don’t look too much and just follow me. Do not stare anyone in the eyes and do not talk to any of the prisoners until we are in the rehabilitation area. It is about 30 degrees outside and we are all wearing long pants and t-shirts. Those are the rules, especially for the women and out of respect for the inmates we are about to meet.

First we will have to go about twelve months back in time. Henrik and my self are boarding a plane with the heading for Bali, Indonesia. This will be our first trip exploring the much-anticipated Asia and combined with school. We both knew that this trip would change us and gives us both a very needed exploration of a very different culture and our self, but what would change me to the person I am today is something I never would have been able to imagine. When arriving in Bali and getting to know the other students over the first week was a good feeling and it is with out a doubt that we found friends for life. But as time passed through an initiative and chance given to me by the school I meet Myuran Sukumaran, who is an inmate on death row in Kerobokan prison, who showed me the strength and possibilities a human being is able to show and create despite circumstances not encouraging to self improvement or any other form of initiatives that would make life better for everyone on the inside. I can see how it would be easy to choose a life of solitude and drug addiction, but this man truly showed me an sources of courage and respect for other I newer thought I could experience first hand. Still it is possible to feel the positive energy that Myuran showed everyone during there encounter whit him even if it was the first or the twentieth time. Being a spiritual person and having the belief that people share there positivity or negativity through much more than just the words or actions of a person, it is a very distinct feeling when you meet a person and you can feel there positive energy just spreading to everyone around them and in to the atmosphere surrounding them.

For the last 2 months there has been a lot of negative news in the development of Myuran and Andrews plea for clemency. Hoping that the new President of Indonesia would take a different turn on the view around the death penalty he has not been showing the understanding for the effect that death penalty have on an academic level. Which through several studies has shown that does not give the wanted outcome of decreasing, in this case, drug use and smuggling. So with ending the year 2014 and starting his career as a President with the execution of six’s people on death row for drug related crimes, the suporters and friends of Myuran and Andrew are now faced with the unbearable fact that they are on the list for executions this month. Facing these terrible and disturbing news over the last months has spread Myurans positive energy around the world in a way that gives people the courage to demand change and mercy in there case. Especially with all the documented benefits from there work and the fact that these two have changed for the better and by doing so they have changed the future for so many people around them, both on the inside of the prison walls and on the outside. The people supporting there case does not approve of the crimes they did 10 years ago, but they have the belief in change and have in many cases seen it with there own eyes, including the people who have visited the project he has built through the last five years.

During the last month I have been trying to write this, but all the negative news has caught up to me and in a way paralyzed my motivation to do what ever I can to help the case and try to change the outcome. Everyday thinking back to all the fun and inspiring days I had being able to be a part of Myurans great work and having conversations about everything from the case to everyday stuff. So getting updates from the work that Ivar Schou and Øivind Zhalsen are doing and have been doing the last years is incredible and I am forever grateful that they gave my self and everyone else the opportunity to be a part of a project where the positive outcomes are visible on so many different levels.

It is a very distinct and hard feeling to describe that a person who has inspired so many people to do more good for others, including my self, whom you also consider as a friend is about to face a destiny not deserved by anyone. It puts your soul and mind under a lot of pressure and the mind starts considering all options that might help or in a positive way affect their situation. So having had the privilege to meet both Myuran and Andrew I feel like I am stuck in a state of constant change of emotions which, until this point, has not resulted in the wanted actions from my perspective to contribute to there case. Always feeling that there is so much I should do that it results in that none of it gets done.

Now my thought and feelings have settled and I know what I need to ask all my friends and relatives for. I need you to help me this once in doing good for someone you probably never have heard of or will meet in person. What I am asking of you is the result of blind trust in that what I have experienced person through the 3,5 months I had the exceptional opportunity of working with Myuran Sukumaran, Ivar Schou and Øivind Zhalsen. So please sign the petition at http://www.mercycampaign.org and share this with one of your friends and asking them to do the same. The effects of this might be unseen to you at this present moment, but the long term affects can be bigger then anyone can imagine. The importance of this is also very important at this moment whit the news regarding the possible moving of Myuran and Andrew to a high-security prison preparing for the execution that is scheduled for this month.

Whatever the outcome of this case I just want you to know that the profound life experiences I, and I am sure a lot of the other students, gained over the 3,5 months we where allowed to be in your presences. Is now a foundation that will be present in our action for the rest of our lives and shown in the choices that we have to make on the way. Certainly I can only speak for my self, but I want you all to know that this being reflected in the actions and decisions every day and day does not pass with out it crossing my mind. Even the physical mark covering my arm, that Myuran was so kind to help me acquire. Is a constant reminder of the, who became a part of my life I did not think was possible, kindness and forgiveness Myuran has shown so many people. Just trying to do what I can by sharing information about the case, but equally important the mental attitude he thought me to have towards other people despite there life situation.

Having the possibility to spend a great deal of my time with the rehabilitation project changed my initial thoughts to a whole different angle. I am sure that just during the first few hours listening and talk to Myuran and the other participants changed my initial perceptions drastically. Spending most my time with Ali who worked a lot with graphic design was a very giving way of spending my time and I am sure we both gained a lot from the time we spent together. He is also one of the people I consider a good friend and a true example of how the rehabilitation project help people on the inside to chose a different path. A path that leads inmates away from drugs and other problems, and towards education and empowering them to actively change there future for the better. Something that they not would be able to do without the passion shown by Myuran and Andrew.

Myuran if you are reading this: Thank you for everything. I know that many people all around the world believe in a positive outcome and will fight for it no matter what. Either way you have changed so many lives for the better and it is not possible express the gratitude for the changes you have made in my life. Keeping hope alive and trying to contribute as much as possible.

Thanks again to Ivar and Øivind who go me involved in this project and for the work they are doing to change the decision made by the Indonesian President about the imminent executions. You have spent so much time and invested a lot of energy in the work that Myuran has done and it is truly showing in your actions. Keep up the good spirit and keep making a difference step by step.

So help someone who is constantly helping others and sign the petitions at
http://www.mercycampaign.org
http://www.amnesty.no/aksjon/ni-personer-i-fare
Share with one or more friends and help change an outcome that is not fair.

Peace and mercy.

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Fotograf: Sindre Sæthre Lilleby

The last few weeks

A lot of things have been going on since my last post, but I just haven’t felt like writing. With some request from back home and a beautiful sunrise this morning I now know how to express the last few weeks and tell you about what we have spent our time doing.

Mostly the days are very similar, starting with school eight o´clock and finishing either ten or twelve. Some days we take a trip to the beach, just chill in our villa or sometimes trying to focus on school and the upcoming exams, but it is not as easy as I thought it would. So much to remember and put in context with the different subjects especially when it is all connected somehow. Our teach says that the philosophers trough the history stands on each others shoulders and therefor it can be a challenge to separate the different thoughts and views of each philosopher and time era. Both Henrik and myself are pretty excited about the exams, but I think with a good week of preparation it will go better than what at least I expect at the moment.

Other than that there are a very special and interesting project that I am involved in Kerobokan Prison. Gateway college has for a couple of years, as far as i know, been involved in supporting and rehabilitation project started by a Australian named Myuran which 9 years ago was sentenced to death for smuggling drugs into Indonesia. This in itself does not sound like a good thing to support, but after getting to know this amazing person you can see how a mistake made many years ago in an very young age is not representative to the person he is and what he has done in and for the prisoners in Kerobokan Prison. It all started with him learning the inmates basic Windows programs and it has now come to a stage where the have eight different options raging from painting, drawing, graphic design, dancing, making silver jewels and t-shirts. These possibilities make a huge difference for the person who are in the program and gives them a option to do something creative and productive. There are some requirements to be a part of the program and in a prison with over a thousand prisoners you cannot help everyone at the same time, but the program now has about 70 participants and they all have about tree to five years long sentences. I have now been there tree times and meet some of the participants, but have gotten a good contact with one guy from Iran who one year ago started learning graphic design and he makes some really cool t-shirts, which also is for sale for the people at home or at school. Ill post a pictures of some of the designs he makes later. If you want to know how you get a hold of a t-shirt or want to know more about the project just send me and comment or an email.

Over to something completely different. Last weekend Eivind and I went on a trip to Lombok with some locals surfers and we got to see something completely different than Bali and it was almost like travelling back in time, because Lombok is like Bali was fifteen years ago. The trip started with driving to Kuta and meeting up with Nyoman, which is a local surfer who rents out surfboards on Kuta beach and is a super positive and nice guy. Thank God for meeting people randomly, that is really what makes a trip like this so special and giving. Then we drove trough Kuta and meet up with some other surfers and then started the 1 hour trip to the ferry and after a pretty chaotic queue system somehow I managed to end up on the ferry without all the other guys and slept on the floor during the 3,5 hour long trip. Then waiting for the other guys to come with the next ferry about one hour later watching the sunrise as I waited. After the ferry it was about 1,5 hour ride to the homestay we was going to stay at and the drive there was pretty nice ! Really straight and new roads is perfect for the Kawasaki Ninja which has proven itself to be a very satisfying decision to make. It is an amazing bike to ride.

After 1,5 day with surfing for Eivind and a little try on the second day by me, we decided to meet up with Henrik, Lucas, Sondre, Fredrik and Mats at Gili Trawangan. To get there we had to drive trough the whole Island and with out a GPS I do not know where we would had ended up. The drive was awesome and with roads as I mentioned earlier it was a perfect addition to the trip. On the last part of the drive we had to drive trough what is called the monkey forest an experience I only can describe with some pictures at the end of the post. Yes, there where monkey.

When finally arriving in Bangsal we parked our bikes and after some local guys tried to hustle us on the price for getting on the last boat over to Gili, we where just a short boat trip away. When arriving on Gili we meet up with the other guys and joined a Dark Moon party going on until sunrise the next day. There was unusually many people on Gili that weekend because of Nyepi which is the Hindu new years and on the day after it is not allowed to be outside, use electronics or make noise. A very special part of there culture and would have been a interesting experience had it not been for the offer to join the local surfers on a trip to Lombok. Because of the day after called silent day, a lot of people where going of the island and to places like Gili.

So with Gili explored with “night vision”, Eivind and I headed back to Lombok and the drive and adventure to find the place we where staying. Amazingly we found it.

There are a lot more details to the last few adventures, but we are in the middle of preparing for our exam so I should focus on that.

Enjoy the pictures and check out http://mercycampaign.org/myuran-sukumaran and sign the petition.

 

Having some problems with uploading the pictures. so stay tuned.

 

My favorite place

Just found a place that is amazing. Definitely one of the prettiest places I have been so far and it was filled with a calm atmosphere and a beautiful view. There is no doubt in my mind that I am going back to take some time to relax later in the semester. Just a casual undisclosed location. The pictures will give you a hint.

Word Out !

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A short update

Been a couple of days since my last post now and a lot of things have happened. I don`t know where to begin, but last Sunday we where on a organized sail trip to Nusa Lembongan. It was a great feeling to be back on the ocean. Which I had access to our boat down her, that would be amazing even tough the sea is totally unknown. The trip to the island took about 1,5 hour and we had to wake up at 06.00. The thought of not going crossed my mind, but I am glad I got out of bed and joined. When we arrived we got a short introduction and ten minutes later we where transported out to a area where we could snorkel. Could not have felt more like a tourist with 30 other people swimming around inside a restricted area. Either way it was kind of fun and we did see some different fish and corals. When we had been in the water for about 30 minutes, which was more than enough, we where taken back to the resort and where given food and a ride on a bananaboat.

After lunch there was some time of where we could explore the island and a temple in a cave. Henrik and my self choose to take an hour massage on a hill with a view over the beach. Prefect. Around 3:30 the boat raised the sail and headed home. Almost everyone feel asleep on the way back home and the waves in the ocean were perfect for a relaxing trip. All in all a very calming day and end of a good weekend.

The rest of the week was as usual and with some planning to take a trip to Lovina on our bikes, nothing special happened. Unfortunately the trip to the north side of Bali and Lovina did not happened, which was pretty sad, but understandably being that every one was pretty tired on Friday. Hopefully we can manage to realise the plan next weekend. We have done some research and spoken to our philosophy teacher which highly recommends us to take the trip driving up an and down a mountain and trough a rainforest. Just the idea of driving across Bali with our bikes is inspiring and would probably be a perfect addition to out adventure.

This weekend has been pretty relaxing and I definitely have some schoolwork to catch up tomorrow. The subjects and the content are a lot more demanding than I would imagine and it needs my full attention. Time to get serious and not just enjoy every day, as it was a vacation. So now it is time to go to bed and get a good night sleep before I am devoting a full day to get some structure in my studies and trying to give it my best effort.

Word Out !

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There is a first time for everything

There is a first time for everything and beside all the new subjects we are learning about in class, our days are filled with lots of new and exciting experiences. I might not have been a first this time, but yesterday we got a meeting with corruption after being stopped by the police. I would say that 95 % of the students that have rented scooters does not have an international drivers licence or a licence for a motorbike at all, including my self. This result is tourist being a good source of income for the police and a fine of 1.000.000 rupees is the price you should pay for not having an international licence. This is off course something that can be overlooked by giving the police officer some money and this is encouraged by them. The price varies from the police officer, but we have paid 200.000 rupies, which would be about 100 Norwegian kroner. A very different experience indeed, even when the locals say that we should not pay more than 50.000 to 100.000 it is a need experience for most of the students and I heard that someone had paid 500.000. It is not easy to bargain on the price in a situation that is not to comfortable, but we are learning and adapting to our new home.

Over to something more fun and less seriously, this was our first day trying to surf and it was so much fun. Could not believe how exhilarating the feeling is when you get up on the board. This is definitely something both Henrik and I will devote more time to learn and hopefully be able to get over the beginners level by the time we are continuing our adventure. If we are lucky we might even be able to use this new skill when travelling around in Malaysia and Thailand. Time will tell and it is way to early to say, but we had a great time. You really get a feeling for the powers that a wave can have when the hit you or you fall of the board. Even tough this was a great day and my face is pretty red. Investing in some sunblock for tomorrow. Unfortunately I did not take any pictures today, but it was for the best. Ill get back with some documentation when the skill is on a more satisfying level.

Word Out !

Freaky Friday

Yesterday was our second Friday her in Bali and party was necessary. It started in our neighbour’s villa with around 30 people and a lot of fun. Dancing on the table and people passing out is almost mandatory. Our destination was Sky Garden and most of the people in the pre-party ended up there. This is a club with 5 different levels and has about almost everything. Unfortunately my GoPro does not want to give me the pictures from last night, but I am working on that. So the phone is a saver this time. Bad GoPro, Bad !

After a very interesting night making a lot of memories and loosing everyone. Monica and I took a cab home. In the taxi the driver had installed a TV and was watching a live exorcism on Indonesian tv. Pretty interesting and especially under the influence.

This day was devoted to relaxing at Geger bech and sunburn on at least all the guys is a fact. That is how it goes when your mom is not reminding you to use sun lotion every hour, but I think Lucas gets the point after today. His back is red and he is currently waiting to put on a shirt before dinner which we are going to enjoy on a fish restaurant on the beach. Life.

Just a shout out before the end of this post: The girls are lovely and we could not be in better company. Thanks for spending time with us. We love you, especially the girls from our villa, Temple Hill and Villa Ayo(A6). I will probably devote a whole post to you later :)

I was going to post a video from last night from my phone, but I have to convert it or someting. That comes later.

Word Out !

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Just living

Just shared a lovely dinner on the beach with Monica, Tirill, Eivind and Henrik. A great end to a quite day used to read and relax in the sun. The picture I am going to post on the end of the post describes what this trip is about. I am not going to write more and you can enjoy the picture. It speaks for it self. Well, We are of to play some night volleyball.

Word out !

 

 

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