I always say, people encounter all sorts of drama when traveling, especially in my case, in which traveling is part of my work as a humanitarian. This month of December alone which is busiest part of the year with the global gift giving project; Operation Global Santa, obliged me to visit 5 countries and 10 states and cities, and I already anticipated the hustles and bustles at the airports, airplanes and meeting people from all walks of life. Don’t get me wrong, I am not complaining at all, I am just merely explaining the complexities of traveling especially alone, with heavy luggage and all.
So going to Jakarta at the Sultana airport in Jambi, where I was recently awarded I encountered a very embarrassing moment, quite emotional as I have never been in that position before. It is not like “end of the world” thing or life threatening at all, but it was a situation where many people would be affected by the situation. I won’t bore you with the details but in short they told me I cannot go on the plane to Jakarta! Something was wrong with the ticket I booked and the biggest dilemma, that was the only flight available that would connect me to my flight to Dubai on time!
At that time, no one around me could speak English! I spent about 30 minutes explaining myself in frustrations. I reached-out for help to the people I went with in Jambi with but unfortunately they were all unreachable.
I was getting desperate and nervous because If I don’t get to that flight to Jakarta then the rest of my schedules for December will be doomed. Everything was planned precisely and systematically to save time and money, and if I missed one flight or even delayed, like domino effect, the rest will fall down.
Finally, they found someone who can speak English when they brought me to the ticketing office. There I met Riyan Hidayat and Indan Dara Lestari. They were both employees of Citilink Airline, a local airline in Indonesia. At first, they found my case hopeless as the only left solution was to be rescued by any of my friends in Jambi but as I said, no one was reachable. Finally, Riyan decided to extend his help to me. Riyan, without knowing who I am or what I do, listened to my plead to help me out as I explained that a lot of poor children will be disheartened and disappointed. I could sense he was concerned as soon as I said that and he looked me in the eye as if sensing if I was telling the truth.
Finally, Riyan put me on the plane with special assistance and on first class category, so that saved me money for my excess baggage too. Right there and then I bursted into tears! I was relieved, moved by their kindness and happy knowing that there are many people who are naturally kind hearted and willing to help for a greater cause.
Out of gratitude I pulled two Certificate of appreciation from my bag. This time, I finally revealed what I do and showed them my work. Riyan was stunned seeing my Wikipedia page and couldn't believe he was rescuing a princess.
It was a happy ending and I have to thank Dato'Seri Sabree Salleh also for rescuing me afterwards and making sure I fulfilled my promise to Riyan.
Humanitarians are everywhere, in any form, anytime, regardless of race, color or socio-economic status. Anybody can be a humanitarians just like Riyan Hidayat and Indan Dara Lestari.