Monday, May 28, 2007

La Cascade

Ahh... Dingmans Falls in Pennsylvania... how different from Muir Woods in California... no Ewoks hiding amidst tall redwood trees & my teen crush Luke Skywalker here! :)

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Lehigh Graduates

Images captured by Israd, Lehigh's creative and intelligent doctoral student of Engineering.
Israd, we will miss you when we 'pindah rumah' :(

+ More Commencement photos (both Hidayah's & Israd's) -

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

139th Commencement

Hidayah's thoughts @ Goodman Stadium: "God willing, the next time I graduate, I hope to wear the black gown with green hood trim..."

Erik Weihenmayer (the first blind person to summit Mount Everest) addressed us at Commencement today. He said, "... in my life and I hope in yours, too, there has been something that’s been more important than any one goal. And that is what I would call a vision. I see a vision as being deeper than a goal. It’s where all our goals spring from, it’s how we see ourselves living our lives and serving other people and impacting the world. What kind of legacy we want to leave behind us.”

The courageous mountaineer encouraged the Class of ’07 to "climb high". And that is what I intend to always do... First NUS, then Lehigh, God willing, my next few climbs will be the UN internship, Harvard, marriage & setting up Gedung Kuning Foundation that will administer the Hidayah Amin & Nusantara Scholarships & the Asia Jofrie Free Clinic.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Hidayah Soaring Eagle

O Hidayah Soaring Eagle... please tell us the story of the courageous Prairie Rose, of how she charmed Wind Demon and made him whisper and hum little songs of gladness...

O Hidayah Soaring Eagle, what if the Wind forgets his gentle songs and becomes loud and noisy? Is it true that his loudness does not last long and he does not harm a person whose robe is the color of Prairie Rose?

O Hidayah Soaring Eagle, do tell us your stories!

Young Lakota Film-makers

I initiated 'A Young Lakota Film-maker Project 2007' to introduce the creative world of movie making to young Lakota kids. I had great help from Lisa who co-taught the kids editing and wonderful Lehigh friends who supervised the kids while they film.

Tues: 9 steps of Film production, Team discussion, Storyboard (11 am - 1 pm)
Wed: Recording (10 - 11.30 am)
Thurs: Editing (3 teams had 1.5 hrs each)
Screening & Award ceremony: 3 pm

It was indeed an enriching experience for the kids who learned that they too can produce a short film!
The 3 short films can be viewed below:

Sunday, May 20, 2007

@ Lakota Sioux Indians Reservation

With Soldier Bear

SummerSERVE 2007, Dupree, South Dakota [12 - 19 May 2007]


The whiteman called them buffalo.
We call them tatanka, the majestic ones.
Their story is the story of our people.
Tatanka lived in the underworld until he saw our people in a vision.
He saw that we were needy.
And for the love of us,
tatanka came up out of the earth
and became flesh so that we could eat,
make our clothes and our dwellings from his hide.
Lakota Village 1825
The Buffalo Nation

We drove to Custer State Park where we came up close with the bisons or Tatanka. Yes, it was an amazing experience to walk on the land where the buffaloes roam...

Crazy Horse

"Never forget your dreams."
“One does not sell the earth upon which the people walk.”
“My lands are where my dead lie buried.”

We also visited the Crazy Horse Memorial in the Black Hills of South Dakota.

Crazy Horse (Lakota: Thašųka Witko, literally "his-is-crazy") (ca. 1840 - 5 Sept 1877) was a respected war leader of the Oglala Lakota, who fought against the U.S. federal government in an effort to preserve the traditions and values of the Lakota way of life.

"A very great vision is needed and the man who has it must follow it as the eagle seeks the deepest blue of the sky. I was hostile to the white man...we preferred hunting to a life of idleness on our reservations. At times we did not get enough to eat and we were not allowed to hunt. All we wanted was peace and to be left alone. Soldiers came and destroyed our villages. Then Long Hair (Custer) came...They say we massacred him, but he would have done the same to us. Our first impulse was to escape but we were so hemmed in we had to fight."

Mount Rushmore

We made time while on SummerSERVE to visit Mount Rushmore National Memorial near Keystone in South Dakota.

Mount Rushmore is a monumental granite sculpture located within the US Presidential Memorial that represents the first 150 years of American history with 60-foot (18 m) sculptures of the heads of former American Presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt & Abraham Lincoln.

Known to the Lakota Sioux as as Six Grandfathers, the mountain was renamed after Charles E. Rushmore, a prominent New York lawyer, during an expedition in 1885.

Will Hidayah be honoured in the next instalment of presidential sculptures? *wink...

Pindah Rumah (Moving House)

One by one, the birds are leaving the flock...
First, Ali went back to Maldives, only to return to an empty nest soon.
Next, Steve moved to Pittsburgh to start his new life as a graduate student at Carnegie Mellon.
Soon, it will be Ika, Din & Zai (Jimmy White Lightning) who will all be starting their careers in Malaysia.
Then it will be me... leaving the quaint town I've grown to love for the Big Apple....
Leaving Israd to man the fort...
How can we forget our Lehigh family - we studied together, played monopoly, cards & soccer together, ate together, laughed & cried together, went on trips together.
Even though we'll part ways soon, we'll always remain close at heart...