Cintaku Jauh Di Pulau is a title of a poem by a famous Indonesian poet, Chairil Anwar, who was very productive and creative but died young (at 26) in 1949, a few years after the World War 2 ended. Cintaku jauh di pulau literally means “My love is far away in the island.” I read this poem when I was still in elementary school. As a second child, I always followed what my big sister did. When my father brought Chairil Anwar book home for her, soon I was absorbed in reading page by page of those strange words (of course when she was not around to grab the book from me!) and one of them was Cintaku Jauh Di Pulau. Without really understood the meaning behind the poem, the memory stuck hard in my child brain.
And Cintaku Jauh Di Pulau was resurrected from my gray matter last September when I visited Hawaii for the first time. Despite being so famous as a holiday destination, even in a tropical country like Indonesia (I wore a short with HAWAII printed large and in bright color on a school trip to a not so far away lake in the sixth grade), the word Hawaii was never meant anything to me. Until last September, when my Prof decided that the data I’ve been working on are worth publishing internationally. So, I found myself on a plane to Honolulu in September 23, 2013. The rest is history. I consider myself lucky to win the best prize for students presentation award, met experts from the four corners of the globe, interacted with some of them, and went back to Japan feeling all invigorated and optimistic.
The bonus of the trip was that I got to see the majestic nature of Oahu from the air and the land, including the beaches. As usual, my dear husband tagged along with me and took fabulous pictures on our one week stay in Hawaii. Now, when I remember Hawaii I will tell these words to myself, Cintaku Jauh Di Pulau, for many reasons.