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Archive for the ‘Pilgrim’ Category

“For the fate of the sons of men and the fate of the beasts is the same; as one dies, so dies the other; they all have the same breath, and man has no advantage over the beasts; for all is vanity. All go to one place; all are from dust, and all turn to dust again.”  Ecclesiastes, 3:19-20.

During my days at hospital I heard from their radio station that the infamous Hollywood’s “Avatar” director has awarded our president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono for his ambition to plant 10,000 trees across the nation by 2010; a campaign he takes personally by planting trees wherever he goes, while continuously ask his citizen to follow his “one person – one tree” campaign.

James Cameron in his note following the award, applauded President Yudhoyono for trying to combat the rapidly declining rain forest, mostly due to opening of palm oil plantation and resort centers. The president, in return, asked that larger or richer countries do their parts in saving our “home tree” the only earth we have, to sustain every lifeforms that roam above it.

His speech, as quoted by the radio host, brings my mind flowing back to my childhood days, singing an old folk song praising the fertility of our land , the beauty of our beaches, the abundance of our oceans, and the lush of our forests.

Indonesia, once own 20% of rain forest in the world, now is the country with fastest rate of deforestation (4% per year). The day when we boasted ourselves as “the lungs of earth” has long a history. And along with the forest, goes the animals who we once boasted as “the richest in variety”

The oceans and beaches are in no better condition. The bombing of coral reefs during fishing, the many pirates that roam freely to take our abundant resources, and the poisoning of water for fast harvesting had rob us our title “paradise on earth”

While the slogan is still used occasionally in tourism pamphlets or fliers, there will be no paradise if you are actually lived every corner of the country.

From remote areas to biggest cities, animals are abused, exploited, exhausted to their last existence, treated as some “thing” instead of some”one”.

Though itself bound under CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) that stipulates that endangered species must not be traded, Indonesia doesn’t have animal welfare law to protect its animal diversity.

By law, only licensed wildlife hunters and traders are allowed to capture and trade animal parts in Indonesia. In its investigations, however, PETA found most hunters did not have permits.

The Forestry Ministry Directorate General of Nature Conservancy and Forest Protection (PHKA) oversees the licensing and quotas for wildlife trade in Indonesia. PHKA director general Darori said his office provided permits to groups of snake skin collectors.

However, sequentially he told that “The ones who trap the snakes and lizards are villagers. They sell the skins to licensed collectors. It’s not possible for every single villager to obtain a permit”

Every year, his office releases a quota for the wildlife trade, based on recommendations from the Indonesia Institute of Sciences (LIPI). “LIPI checks whether there is an abundant stock or not. We’re bound to an international convention as well,” Darori said.

According to the PHKA data, the total quota for 2010 is 430,280 snakes; 413,100 monitor lizards, and 29,500 crocodiles, but the kill number is much higher on the streets.

Recently, PETA Asia Pacific released video footage from its yearlong undercover investigation of gruesome killing of snakes and lizards in five Indonesian cities. A National Geographic report shows that Indonesia is Southeast Asia’s biggest exporter of wildlife, including live animals for pets and animal parts.

In one of PETA’s footage shows a man in Tangerang chopping off snake heads and skinning their slithering bodies while the mouths of their severed heads are still opening and closing. In another shot, a light green lizard monitor is held by two men while they drain the blood from its throat.

A man in tangerang chopped off the head of a living snake, selling its blood for traditional medicine.

A snake head is chopped off by a man in Tangerang, highlighting some of the gruesome killing occurring in five Indonesian cities. A National Geographic report states that Indonesia is Southeast Asia’s biggest exporter of wildlife, including live animals for pets and animal parts. Courtesy of PETA Asia Pacific

When confronted with such fact, again, Darori, the director of Indonesia’s natural conservatory said his office made sure animals were not tortured during the killings.

“So, when a snake’s head is cut off, it is not tortured,” he said. Laymen would torture snakes they encounter, out of fear, compared to professional hunters.

“Because the skin is what hunters are after, they do it swiftly so the skin is not damaged. Commoners would batter a snake with a stick if they found one,” he said.

In a more remote part of the country, a wealthy landlord in Medan can be seen bragging his crocodile farm, when piles of saltwater or freshwater alligators been taken captive in filthy condition, piled up one on top of the other, stoically waiting to be slaughtered before their skin is exported to Hermes or other high brand fashion for bags, clothes, or shoes.

See you later alligator

worker picks up a saltwater crocodile (crocodylus porosus) at a crocodile breeding facility in Jayapura, Papua, on Friday. The facility is breeding some 7,500 crocodiles for their valuable skins to make leather products for export to countries such as Singapore, Japan and Italy. (Antara/Oka Barta)

Ironically, while major environmentalists were busy fighting for animal welfare for Indonesia, however, Darori (yes, the director of Indonesia’s natural conservatory) instead said that Indonesia’s local fashion industry should use animal parts and develop its own brands

“We can make them as good as international brands. It’s just that our brands are not as big as international labels,” he said.

His statement sank in to me as the answer of why tiger skin, leopard’s fur, elephant’s ivory, and rhino’s tusk were freely traded while the owner animal hunted to extinction.

If wildlife suffers so much, what about domesticated animals?

The answer is: not better.

Just like how the crocodiles lives solely as financial means of their owners, cats, dogs, rabbits, hamsters, birds, reptiles, are exploited to their tiniest being for their mater’s maximum profit.

Here in Indonesia, it is the pet who feed the owner, not the other way around. The more exotic the breed, the more expensive, the higher the status of their owner and therefore, the more they can sell their pets.

What happened to the rest is a question of the strength of your gut. Cats are being crushed over, living goldfish thrown to the sewer, and while majority of Indonesian are Muslims who thinks dogs are unholy (haram) their fate is much worse.

Horses are often forced to carry harvests several times their own weight. The owner beating them to continue walking despite their foamy mouth, and when they are not strong enough to carry anymore, mostly from malnutrition or sickness, they are sold to slaughter, or been butchered by the owner himself so they can catch another one.

Rabbits are breeding machines. The older ones were skinned for their fur, while their meat sold by the street as traditional barbecue.

So if anyone in ever said that one story of a murder of a dog ‘heartbreaking’, I have seen much worse in daily basis and most of the time, I can’t do much because of financial and space limitation.

After being diagnoses with swollen liver and severe typhoid that require me to stay in the hospital for the whole month, however, the pressure of financial and space limitation is heavier than ever, more so because Indonesia also happen to be a country without social security, so I have to pay everything by myself.

Then what is it left for me to live on?

After all this years, after fighting for the entire 20 years of my life and dedicated each of my blood and tears for the welfare of abused and neglected animals, I have that right. I have that right to call it off, and return to my father’s homeland: Japan. I have relatives who will take care of me, friends who eagerly await me, and I don’t have to worry about financial restraint or spinning my head to meet my refugees’ end.

But Japan has Sensui Sannosuke and the many underground animal advocates. My beloved whales had Pierce Brosnan and Paul Watson. Canada has Nigel Barker and Senator Mac Harb defending their seals, Australia, UK, even South Africa has their own fighters, but if I am to go, who will stand for Indonesia?

I dreamed of a small place, a tiny house for one or two person with a small garden where all the tired street cats or dog can just escape from their tiresome life for a while and rest while I took care of their wounds. I yearned of a tree where the birds doesn’t have to fear of hunter’s gun, I relentlessly prayed to give my whole service for those animals: conceived without sin (to human), but mortally paying with their life, dying on the streets of my homeland.

I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish this race and complete this task my Lord Jesus has given me – the task of testifying the gospel of God’s grace – Acts 20:24

I do not know how I would live, with an empty wallet and zero saving account. I do not know how I would be able to continue feeding my refugees, or pay the vet bill for the answer to that;

My soul waits for the Lord, more than watchmen wait for the morning – Psalm 130:6

but I asked anyway, and I know that I will be answered.

But as for you, be strong and do not give up, for your work will be rewarded

2 Chronicles 15:7

This is what my purpose that driven my life, the reason I am here, and the one thing I believe in.

Thus here I am again on the look of a good hand that will help me rock the cradle, to help me pass my day. Here I am again, on the street, during my quest to Canaan: the promised land, and I am inviting every caring heart to join me on the pilgrim.

There’s this Chipin page, to which you can fill in as much as you like. There is no minimum amount so you don’t have to be shy. Besides, there’s the magic of currency differences that cause 1 US$ to worth 9,000.00 Indonesian rupiah. What about that? not everyday your single dime can turn into a mountainous of good karma, and huge help for a private refugee house.

Thank you very much well in advance, though, cause we couldn’t have made it without you.

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by Sensui Sanosuke

When Josie launched this blog, she only have one thing in mind: saving the lives of the strays who counted on her daily visit. Her pocket had been empty for a week, she barely survived all the bills, face yet another challenge from her landlord (I still cannot comprehend what is it with that guy), and have to count on the grace of her regular pet shop, who knows what she is doing and mercifully let her take whatever food she need and pay later.

She faced countless of sneers, rejection, humiliation, harassments, sometimes even physical abuse for doing what she does, but she keeps going. She answer every rejection with courtesy, and explain all of her action with humility, she did get mad sometimes, but above all else, she keeps going.

She never expect that anyone would help. One or two, maybe, but not really much. Internet may have sweet face, but often reveal a stiff heart, yet she keeps going.

Today, after taking her Goldie from the vet to spay/neuter, she found the fence locked. The landlord apparently have someone change the locks that she cannot go in, and when given a call, instead telling her to wait until he’s done with his business (who knows when), making her ended up waiting under the full sun for more than three hours before she rode back to the vet and requested that Goldie can stay there for the rest of the afternoon, and return to the office. If you wanted to know, the fence was opened at five p.m, another four hours after Josie waited wastefully by the gate.

She wasn’t broken.

With some help from a friend, her blog soar high though the World Wide Web, and draw attention of many. Together, angels around the world flocked over to lend her a hand, resulting in some USD 507.01.

Though that amount can only cover half of Renoir and Picassa’s treatment, she never lose hope. “There’s always way” so she said, and therefore she keeps on trying. USD 507.01 is a very good start, though the traffic in her Paypal account alarmed the company, that resulting in her account being frozen because it was deemed “potentially high risk”

Certainly, Paypal never mention that they can just freeze an account because it is suddenly active. They did say that any member can start receiving money in the instant of their account verification, but definitely were shocked enough to see how much people come and lend a hand.

accepting donation is dangerous - paypal said
Instead of being glad that Josie use their service as mean of payment, Paypal froze Josie’s account because the sudden activities in her account is deemed potentially high risk.

The giant also cheated on her, by charging her some fee while converting USD into Indonesian before she withdraw her fund, froze her account, and therefore charge another amount to reverse the money back into US.

That doesn’t include blocking her account from receiving anymore fund for the same reason.

And so another door was closed for her. Until she resolve the dispute with Paypal, she will not be able to withdraw her money.

She keeps going.

She appeal and appeal, while harshly rejected by Paypal, until she called her lawyer friend to explain to Paypal how different is the nature of Indonesian “business” compared to those in US, and that she is Indonesian citizen, and therefore, Paypal cannot override her with US law.

Well, they still freeze the account, so anyone who wants to make donation would have to do it by bank transfer (contact Josie to get the detail).

Reading all the comments that came in, aside from the donation, Josie has never been so shocked in a happy sort of way, but holding her tears she gracefully reply to each and everyone of her supporter. The  word of encouragement sent to her was overwhelming, though not all of the incoming comment was an encouragement.

Some question what she was up to with all her action, some said she should stop now before she broke down due to lack of support from the government itself regarding animal welfare. Some said similar things: that she battled alone amidst raging war, and it will be such unfortunate if she still deny the obvious loss.

The others just tell her to follow the mainstream, that is: go shopping, watch the movie, get laid, follow latest fashion, and be happy. Forget about the cats, unless they can make money for you.

In short, this life is just not visible.

Still, instead of admitting her loss as she’s been told, or trashing the discouraging messages, she replied:

You will laugh to my unusual talent, but I wish to draw you back to the day when Barrack Obama was elected president. This man, a new baby to lawmakers, and a fresh man to politics was awarded the crown for his intelligence and pure intention. His election had brought historical moment not only to your country, but also to the rest of the world.

Drawing all the spotlights and euphoria of this world class dream-come-true drama to my lonesome, private life, I felt that I am compelled to step up to the crown myself. With my various history, and as much intelligence, I should hvae been able to claim the presidency of my own fate.

While the audacity of his hope has already heard, and answered, the impudence of my mind has yet to be known. While the change he seeks has gained the chance, my sheer ideology has yet to seize the day.

But if this man, out of his inner nature can come and take the world, why can’t I? If this man, out of his traits as a detached and loner, can gain the trust of millions, why can’t we?

I have debts to return, bills to pay, and ten lives that its owner entrusted to me, but if I am to try, I will get by, one way or another. I have no laws to back me up, or friends to keep me company, but if I keep going,I’ll meet someone . After all, even  when all hell broke lose on earth, there will be one light that stays in the deepest box of our heart: HOPE, that will keep us going.


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Exotic Picassa

Picassa

It’s a cloudy Sunday after an additional job when I suddenly decided to take different road back home. The small paved road was empty, but recent repair on it left a few rocks left by roadside, and a black thing too dark to be a stone. Frankly, I thought it was a lump of asphalt.

I drove my bike to avoid it, especially because I see a hint of white sedan behind me, when I realize that…. the lump got eyes!

So instead of driving away, I throw myself between the “stone” and the car, that immediately brakes but still hit me on time. I fall down (of course) and meet eye to eye with a black, extremely terrified kitten.

I sacked her up and brought her home, wondering why she didn’t run away from the car. After all, it is an empty road, and the car is slow. Slow enough for her to avoid it, if she wanted to.

The problem is, it wasn’t that the kitten didn’t want to run, but she couldn’t run. She can’t even stand up, because her hind legs were dislocated. Something must have hit her before, hard enough to threw her to the road and dislocated her hind legs, making her unable to run.

Since no vet is open on Sundays, and there’s no animal hospital in the city, I had to do it myself. I relocated her hind legs back to its place by the same principle that I was learning back in PE class.

I called the little kitten “Picassa” due to an abstract “print” on top of her eyes that made her look as if she is wearing a masquerade.

The next day, however, I brought her to the nearest vet.

The vet said I did a great job relocating her hind legs, and said that she has nothing to worry about. I told him that she can’t walk properly, and that her left leg seems to be higher than the right one, so she kind of walking abnormally. He said it was a simple muscle strain, and that her right leg is the one that got a little bit swollen. He gave me a prescription and told me to leave. My heart and mind rejected his statement in choir, but I took the prescription in silence. He is the vet, not me.

Given the prescription twice, Picassa was crying whenever she littered, and I saw blood. The third prescription, more blood. So I stopped the medication and brought her to another vet, the vet that used to handle my other cats. I show her the prescription, and she said “The prescription is to hard for a kitten. It’s acidic to her intestine and the blood is because her gastric and intestine kind of scalded”

My heart sank. This little kitten, away from her mother, alone on the streets, got dislocated leg, cannot walk properly and now has scalded GIT (Gastro Intestinal Tract). Not funny.

The vet told me to treat her GIT first, then we can go and treat her leg, and by the way, it is the left leg that has problem, not the right.

I wish I can go back and give the other vet a good punch.

So Picassa spend weeks drinking gastritis medicine, and eat special gourmet I personally designed: brown rice powder, milk replacer, and multivitamins.

The special recipe cured her GIT, but her leg was damaged forever. Her left hind leg was higher than the right, so Picassa walked with limp as if her left leg is shorter than the right one.

We can have her leg operated, so that she can walk properly, however, the surgery will require a vet to put some metal pen to attach her bone, and such technology is very rare in Indonesia, and that would mean, it’s extremely expensive. Plus, like the vet said, Picassa is 2 months old. Forcing a surgery may crush her bone, so she suggested series of physiotherapy that will help her cope with her physical condition, in the hope that she might grow more or less “normal”

I followed the later advise. So starting the next weekend, Picassa drove with me to have a physiotherapy, and her condition improved as time pass by. She can now walk almost normally, she can run, she can jump, and the multivitamins as well as extra calcium gave her a very healthy appetite. The therapy itself was not cheap, but if that would mean giving a new hope for Picassa to be adopted, I don’t mind spending another IDR 4,000,000.00 (more or less USD 400.00), at least, I will figure out how.

Picassa is two months old,  has gone through a lot of pain, and passed a long journey home. I can at least appreciate her perseverance and faith.

Please consider Chipping In to help Picassa heal. Remember that  1 US dollar will worth 9,000.00 Indonesian Rupiah. It means your support will be multiplied ten thousand fold. There has never been better investing opportunity.

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On my way home from the vet with Picassa,

Renoir's Dream

Renoir

I passed a furry lump by a puddle, near the sidewalk.

Though it was only a few second, I knew it was a small kitten; so I stopped and nudge the soft lump.

It didn’t move, so I tried peeking lower to see his face, and found out that both of his eyes were glued with yellowish hardened pus, and his nose is almost gone below the pile of crusty sinuses.

In short, I think, the kitten doesn’t want to be disturbed. He just want to stay there and die in peace.

But I am an uber nosy person so I scoop him up, open my bag, apologize to a bewildered Picassa inside it, and push the dirty and dying kitten in.

Later that night when I , remove the pus in his eyes, clean sinus crust and wipe him clean with an organic anti bacteria, the ugly fur lump slowly turned to a very handsome, 3 months old, kitten, with an unusual lump on his left belly. So I tried to lift him up much to his chagrin, and found out that his left belly is indeed bigger than the right side, hinting me that this kitten might have suffered from Hernia.

Since I don’t have any more money left to pay the vet, I focus to cure his severe sinus first. Really, this kid has slime filling up his throat that he has to breathe like fish: gaping with mouth open and sleep while he sit.

Within a few days when his ticks and mange are fully removed, and his sinus is getting better, he is now close friends with younger Picassa, and since the two are inseparable, I called him Renoir, which he seems to like because whenever I pronounce that name, he meows.

The next week, I got some money so I get him to the vet, which only shake her head with my persistence in saving street animals, despite my financial famine, but that is not the big point. The real breaking news is: Renoir does have Hernia, and the fact that he is 3 months old doesn’t help, because kitten that age tend to run and jump, and it make the hole ripped bigger and bigger.

I had the option of sedating him though, so that he is more “calm” and “subdued” but I vehemently against the idea, because it will be the same like ripping Renoir his youthful days.

The vet, in the other side, refuse to perform a surgery on him because he is too small to handle it. She told me that it is best to wait until he is 3 or 4 months older so his physical condition is better fitted for the surgery.

Meanwhile, I have an extra hard thing to do: making sure Renoir doesn’t go wherever or do whatever that can cause a wound on his belly, because one wound can directly affect his intestine, also, because of that lump (which is getting bigger) pushes his hind left leg away that Renoir cannot walk or run properly.

Have a difficulty to imagine? Well try to walk, or run (if you can) with your legs spread as widely as possible. Then Renoir would be completely offended because you are definitely mimicking him. 😛

During that three months, I also have to keep Renoir well conditioned, with special food, vitamins, that will give him not only balanced, but most complete nutrition to ensure him a perfect growth and condition when he undergo the surgery.

My biggest challenge is…. money (yeah, right). I tried adding extra hour on my night job and on weekends, but the extra income won’t even match the price of his food. I dare not imagine what should I do when the surgery day come because it will certainly, cost me more than IDR 3,000,000.00 (after a huge discount from the vet). In total, he would need at least IDR 5,000,000.00 (approx USD 550.00)

The good news is…luckily, this is Indonesia. a country where USD 1 will worth approx IDR 9,000.00. In Euro or Pound the number will even exceed 10,000.00. How great that would be? A single coin worth ten thousand time across the ocean?

One good karma multiplied ten thousand fold? I can guarantee that this is not an April fool joke.

Help me?

Help me?

Would you willing to try?

Just ChipIn as much as you think you can. Renoir would be grateful to be come a real cat again, I will forever be happy because he’d be able to live his second chance, and Picassa will be jumping on you in your dream because you help her spare her only playmate.

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