I have a very dear friend. His name is Ryo Aliandu. He comes from Jakarta while I come from Flores. He is 24 years old, I am 41. As he went to Universitas Negeri Yogyakarta (UNY): National University of Yogyakarta one year ahead of me, now he is at semester 6. I am taking English Teacher Training Program in Sanata Dharma University, but he is taking Extraordinary Education for Special Needs. He is around 40s kg, while I am 69 kg. He is smoking and can finish two packs per day; I don`t smoke, because I cannot stand with its ill smell. Both of us have differences in many ways.
To have such differences is very good. The differences remind me of how important Ryo is for me and vice versa, also how we play our roles in making our lives sound. So, the difference is not necessarily a burden, but it enriches our lives. This happens to the difference in race and culture fields. We cannot imagine what kind of life would treat us if we had just one race or one culture. I think our life would be just boring and stagnant. We ought to be thankful that we have such numerous races and cultures. Racial difference compels us to delve, discover, elaborate, and to appreciate. Cultural difference unites us in one pot of life. It also triggers us to move out of our own culture to go to the others to see and enrich our knowledge and insight.
Difference never stunts our life, but rather develops our life to the full. I have learned a lot from Ryo. Since he comes from Jakarta, I get to know important places. I learn to appreciate his ideas even though he is far younger than me. I also get to know many things concerning to his major study. He already brought me to two Extraordinary Schools in Purworedjo and Wonosobo. Seeing at his weight, I learn how to keep my well-built body. As he is smoking, I learn to keep breath healthy. As I have been to many places with different in race and culture since 1982, I`ve learned how to immerge myself into them. When I go to Bali or Jakarta, I had to live economically. When I went to Kenya, Botswana, Zimbabwe, I learned had to speak in English and tried to pick up some of their local dialects. By so doing, I really enrich my life.