Comment on TPSA’s Workshops on Gender Equality and Trade

I had a chance to join three workshops on Gender Equality and Trade that was held by the TPSA Project in cooperation with the Ministry of Trade (MoT) of the Republic of Indonesia. During the workshop, I learn about the basic concept of gender equality and its correlation to trade, especially in value chains, gender analyses tools and gender budget statement. We also identify the opportunities of MoT to integrate gender equality objectives in trade policies and programs. The sessions were fruitful and packed with games, interactive discussion, case studies and group work. The participants were encouraged to actively involve and to share the situation in our own working unit. At first I had a very limited knowledge about gender concept and its relation to trade, now I start thinking about how to integrate the gender concept to the programs in my working unit. I am grateful to be able to meet some gender experts that were able to share their knowledge, especially in relation to SME participation in trade in Indonesia and give us an understanding on why paying attention to gender equality concept matters, particularly on boosting export from Indonesia to Canada. I also met my colleagues from different working unit in the MoT and hopefully through the workshops, it will help us synergise our programs in the future.


Today I feel like crying. I have too much negative emotion piled up inside. It’s been a while since I feel like this. I am trying to figure out the trigger. Maybe it started from the Japanese movie I watched, Tomorrow I Will Date With Yesterday’s You. It’s sad. It reminds me so much of Bestie because she loves Nana Komatsu. Her acting is so beautiful and her face is so gorgeous. The closing song is Happy End by Back Number. The lyric is so sad. The song is still playing on repeat. It really affects my mood, but I cannot stop listening. I feel miserable and the song is my perfect company.

Yesterday I was thrown back to my time in Japan. I looked at my old photo collection and remembered all the memories. I went through the happiest and lowest moment in Japan. My lowest moment was when I broke down and cried on the phone with Jo. I told her all the pain and my insecurity. At that time it had something to do with Bestie. I even thought that Moku Moku Farm trip was the worst time of all because I had to stay in the same room with TT. I know it’s not fair, but my friendship dynamic with TT has changed after Bestie shared her feelings. I learn that what you don’t know won’t hurt you, so if I could, I would just unheard everything I heard.

I told Bestie about my negative feelings this morning. She’s busy now the spring batch is running, but she told me to text her whenever I feel like to and she won’t be disturbed. So I shared my feelings. She was surprised with my text and told me she’s going through a rather similar feeling today. She couldn’t understand why. I wish I could just hug her :(

And things are getting more complicated now that pure and DMK is in the equation. Yes there are things I regret in life. One of them is introducing DMK to Her App. I know it’s all in my head. It’s all in my head. I don’t know what’s going on between them, but my stupid brain is imagining the worst possibility. They may get along pretty well. Both are Sagittarius. Very logical! Being left out sucks! Yes, I am afraid of being left out. (But it’s their life, Annisa. Why do you have to force your feelings? You know very well that it’s something you cannot force. So what if they get along well? It’s their life. They can do whatever they want). But then I feel like I also lose her friendship and it’s painful. I am at a point where I want to be reached out, I want to be fought for. But I am daydreaming! I got rejected. I kept telling myself it’s okay. But do I get hurt because my pride is bruised (Annisa, you are a sore loser! You are selfish!) or because she doesn’t want the kind of relationship I want?

There are moments when I give too much and I end up feeling disappointed when the opposite party is unable to give as much. It’s about UNMET EXPECTATIONS! Damnit! Why can’t I just give and forget? It’s better that way, Annisa! GIVE and FORGET! Believe in the Circle of Kindness. Is this why Quran always reminds us to rely on God instead of men. But lately I keep on questioning about God. I am questioning about my faith.

Alfira’s hug comforted me a little. Thank you…

Happy people annoys me sometimes. Only when I am feeling down like this though. So when Aj came with his wife to the office, I struggle to smile. I am proud of my ability to pretend like everything is okay though. Sometimes I am really good at that. Good job, Annisa!

So many unfiltered thoughts here. No thanks to my overthinking brain. Sometimes your brain makes you a selfish and coward person, Annisa! Poor soul! :((


I am trying to sleep but I can’t seem to get my eyes shut. I have been doing self-contemplation on some major events that happened lately. I feel like I have been sabotaging myself from happiness and it’s depressing. I am well aware that it’s not healthy. Apparently I am just a coward. I thought I was brave, but I am not.

I realize that I always fall for someone who’s physically and mentally unavailable. I think that’s how I sabotage myself. Maybe I unconsciously or consciously do that because I know there are so many factors against me from being with this person.

It seemed like I always fell for the wrong person; fell for someone who would reject me. There was a fat chance they would reciprocate my feelings. Somehow, I always knew it wouldn’t work out.

As an introvert, I was sensitive enough to know that it’d just be another one-sided feeling. There wouldn’t be any relationship. But I confessed my feeling anyway. I put my heart on my sleeves. It might even seem like I was too proud to wear my ‘heartbroken’ badge and showed it off everywhere. I was waiting to be saved, but no one was willing to jump for me. Stupid me.

I fooled myself into thinking that I needed to confess my feelings to them because I couldn’t hide it any longer. I fooled myself into thinking that I needed to confess before I fall even deeper to that person. But guess what? Maybe my truest intention was to hurt myself; to slap myself with reality; to just get it done with. Eventually I won’t have to deal with my family or hide my partner from them. It looks like a win-win solution, right?

It seems like I always set myself for a heartbreak. But honestly I don’t know how much longer I can handle it. My heart is exhausted. I am exhausted.

Here’s the irony though, when there are people who are interested in me, I push them away because I am worried it will work out and we’ll fall deeply for each other and then we’ll be wounded in the end. It’s all because I know the relationship won’t go anywhere.

Sigh, overthinking all the freaking time 😗

Nisa, as usual I’m amazed at your bravery and willingness to try with people. Just the fact that you have made contact is awesome. So don’t let it stop there… meet them, give them a chance. Regardless of your ideas that you sabotage yourself, forget about that for a minute and just try. You’ve already completed the hard part, establishing a connection enough to meet up, so why not try again. As for two at the same time, don’t feel bad! There’s no commitment involved in meeting people. Lots of people date more than one at a time. Not until you actually enter a relationship with a person should you be committed to one person.Unfortunately you can’t force yourself to fall for people. Even if you want to so badly, you’ll just have to take one ‘date’ at a time and see how it goes. (Brainy)

A work in progress

I have heard some positive comments from my colleagues about my new ‘look’ (or should I say transformation?). Ever since I returned from Japan, I lose weight and I feel more comfortable with myself. I also took off my head cover, change my clothes and hairstyle. Deep down I am still the same sensitive and overthinking person though, but I try to develop a thicker skin so I can shrug off all the negative comment and just live life the way I want it to be. It’s helpful to have some good friends and colleagues who encourage me to just be myself.

One of my seniors made his own assumption about my new look. He thought that I owe my transformation to a guy, so he kept on teasing me and wishing that I would tie the knot asap with this mysterious guy.

Little did people know that it was not the reason why I paid more attention to myself. I feel the need to change because I am not the same person anymore; a little (or big) part of Annisa has changed. I feel like I have discovered a new person; a happier person. I tend to my own needs. I put myself as a priority. Oh well, there were times when I got defeated though. My progress is slow, but it’s my own learning process. As long as I am not interested in looking back, I guess I am already in the right path. I am a work in progress and I am proud of myself.

Thank you for people who stand by my side through thick and thin; those who give me honest and salty comments; those who said “I will support you no matter what“; those who always be all ears whenever I feel down and share their lights when mine gone dim. I owe this transformation to you…

Insecurity Sucks!

It’s so difficult not to overthink about many things that happen in my life. When I start liking someone, I get so insecure that it’s bugging me so much. I know that I have to just let things go, but still I cannot not think about it. I feel like I just want to disappear or numb all this feelings, so I won’t have any expectations and just move on with life. I can’t believe I feel like crying from all this feelings I hide inside. I need to just let go of all the things I cannot control, but why is it so difficult? I hate having all this feelings. Found this quote on FB and thought it’s perfect. “Live for yourself and be happy on your own” #pure


Life (Part 1)

Lately I have trouble sleeping. I am still trying to figure out what’s been disturbing my peace of mind. A lot of things are happening in my life; I moved in to my own place (there goes all my savings and salary). I have a new boss. I also have to deal with my parents who constantly bug me about potential love interest (read: matchmaking). I lost my iPhone on my way back from Japan (which was frustrating!). Some close friends of mine also had to deal with some tough time of their lives; Veetha’s brother suddenly passed away (and somehow we could feel how hard and difficult her life is) and Tamita had to undergo a back nerve surgery that will redefine her habit and lifestyle in the future.

Life is complicated right now. There are times when I feel that it’s a little difficult to overcome. I need some comfort. I want to go home and have someone embrace me and let me know that it will all be okay; that life goes on. I guess deep down I am dying to get physically connected with people. All those comfort I used to feel when I was in a relationship.

A couple of months ago, I wrote a blog post about my crazy desire of jumping into a relationship with someone. I still haven’t found that someone though, but I have someone in mind when I am writing this post down. How I wish things were simpler for the both of us, but it’s not.

(to be continued….)

I am too sleepy to continue writing lol

A Voice from Jakarta*


It’s Annisa, the 56th IATSS Forum participant from Indonesia.

It’s been more than 100 days since I left Japan, but a little part of my heart will forever stay there. The post-IATSS Forum syndrome (or should I say shock?) was surely difficult to overcome, but I realize that I have ‘graduated’ from the training to finally go out to the real world and contribute -however small, to the community now.

The biggest change I feel after returning from Japan is my own way of thinking; of how I value my life and other people’s life. I started to realize how important it is to live a healthier life, both mentally and physically, in order to do bigger things in life.

I met amazing and inspiring friends, staffs, mentors, volunteers and people during my training in Japan and they have touched my life in their own ways. They are my new family because family is not always about blood; it is about people who accept me for who I am and share the same vision of how we want to change the world and leave it better for the next generation. This treasure of social capital is something that I will never get from somewhere else and because of that I just want to pay forward whatever I get from the training to the next people.

On the 25th of November 2016, I helped IIFA (Indonesia IATSS Forum Alumni) conducted a public lecture about Community Resilience on Disaster Management in Bandung, West Java. This program received a full support from the IATSS Forum Japan and the Magister of Social Science of Parahyangan University. We were delighted to have Professor Tsutomu Mizota of Nagasaki University and Mr. Siswanto B Prasodjo of the National Board for Disaster Management shared their knowledge and experience about the discussed theme.

Last December 2016, I also had a chance to join the first cross-country learning and leadership development in Thailand. This program was initiated by the TIFA (Thailand IATSS Forum Alumni) with the support of IATSS Forum Japan. During the program, I had a chance to see how the communities in Thailand implement sustainable community designs. I also met more amazing and inspiring alumni of IATSS Forum from ASEAN countries who continuously work hard to contribute in their own fields long after they have completed the training in Japan.

To the future participants of IATSS Forum, welcome to the family! We are lucky to be among the selected few of people who get a chance to join the training. This will be a challenging yet rewarding experience in your life, so make the best of it.

  • Be careful of getting too attached to the amazing, kawaii and lovable IATSS Forum staffs
  • Just skip some breakfasts at the boring-yet-excellent all-you-can-eat buffet at Sora Tabeyo Restaurant when you cannot wake up early because you sleep late trying to finish a report. Maybe by doing so, you will not miss having breakfast at that restaurant when you finally return to your own country.
  • Do not fall in love with the people, the culture, the custom, the city, the language or the amazing country! It will be difficult to move on. Trust me, I am still struggling to move on.
  • Be ready to get shocked once you return home because you will have a love-hate relationship with your ‘oh-so-organized’ life in Japan and all the busy day-to-day routine (I love the 2-week schedule!)

On a serious note,

  • What you read and heard about the Japanese being really strict about time is true. So don’t be late and respect the time.
  • Be honest and be patient with the learning process.
  • Be part of the group and be open-minded with all the differences.
  • Be active and committed to create a safe, meaningful and happy learning environment for yourself and fellow participants.
  • It’s okay to have a different opinion, you don’t have to always agree.
  • Invest your time to get to know people better.
  • Find a personal time to do a self-reflection.

Consider yourself warned!

With love,


Annisa @Sanjusangendo.JPG

*This letter is written as an article for the participant’s voice section on IATSS Forum official website (as requested by Mie-san on Feb 17, 2017)

Be my baby! 

I had this one crazy thought lately. If only I could find someone who’s crazy enough to meet me half way. The idea was to just meet someone and be in a relationship with ’em even though we didn’t really know each other. But hey, it’s not a marriage proposal! Don’t freak out. Oh well, it doesn’t mean that it’s not serious though. Being committed to someone means taking away your freedom and be devoted to one person. At least you try hard to make the relationship works. I honestly love the idea of that. Here’s a condition, that person and I have to at least like each other. But of course it’s gonna be weird to just jump into being in a relationship, right?! Riiight?! I know I have crazy ideas sometimes. Sigh. If only I could find someone who’s crazy enough to be my baby….

-And then I found this quote!-

Thank you, Andy! 

“Some people come in our life as blessings. Others come in our life as lessons.” Mother Teresa 

I am grateful that I had a chance to meet Andy. It was too soon to call it love, but there’s just something about her that makes me attracted to her. Somehow I got the courage to be more of myself after our short interaction. 

Some people are just not meant to be in our life, that’s something I need to accept. Sadly, Andy won’t be in my life. However, her short presence was to give me a valuable lesson. 

Because of her I had the courage to tell my best friends about my struggle. I was worried that they won’t accept me, but to my surprise, they understand me and they accept me with open arms. They are also sympathetic to my situation and concern about my wellbeing. 

All this time I was worried that I’d lose their friendships, but knowing that they’ll support me and still think of me as their best friends makes me realize that I have found my true friends. 

I no longer have to look somewhere else for comfort and encouragement. Apparently they are always around and waiting for me to come out of my shell. I should have trusted them and given them the benefit of the doubt. 

I won’t live an easy life, but I know I’ll have my support system and I will be fine. Even one of my colleagues and friends told me that it’s okay to be selfish. It’s okay to think about my happiness instead of thinking about what people say about me. 

What happened between Andy and I have led me to this precious discovery of true friendship. So, thanks, Andy! And goodbye to you….

My 13-day Diet Program!

In case you wonder what I ate in the past 13 days, here’s a preview of my meals.


I joined what they called ‘Mayo Clinic Diet.’ If you google in Bahasa, mostly you’ll find that this type of diet required you to eat no salt and no fried food. So, all the food supposedly was prepared with no salt on it (Sigh, it was difficult! I also had no rice for 13 days :P). If I google some information from the mayo clinic website, this diet is designed to change one’s lifestyle by adding some healthy habits and break the unhealthy ones. It is done by reducing the consumption of fats and sweets.

I got a recommendation from a friend to join the program provided by for IDR850k (free delivery). So I paid for that service.

Here’s an honest opinion of the service, in 13 days, I lost 4kgs, which was okay, but a bit disappointing because I was hoping to lose 5kgs. The not-so-maximum weight loss is probably because I didn’t put an effort to exercise. I was feeling too exhausted to do anything else other than work. 

Despite all the temptations, I am proud that I didn’t cheat at all. During IATSS Forum I learnt the importance of being honest of the process. Cheating won’t do any good for myself, so I have set my mind to this one program. That kind of self control is important to divert my energy and focus to things that matter to me. 

Here are some highlights: 

  1. The response to the new customer was really quick. I contacted the owner on Monday, paid for the program and started the program directly on the next day.
  2. I actually have some concern because I wasn’t sure if the meal plans are supervised by a nutritionist/dietitian.
  3. The meals tasted okay, some dishes like grilled fish and chicken, tempeh, spaghetti and special glass noodle was even better. It’s delicious! 
  4. The packaging box is nice
  5. I think they could give more green veggies
  6. Some of the veggies were overcooked. So it was not good and disappointing.
  7. I dislike the low fat milk that is provided because it’s still too sweet for me. Maybe it’s better if they can give Bear Brand Milk (sigh, how I miss Meiji Milk. It’s the best!)
  8. They delivered both lunch and dinner meal at one drop. I usually had dinner at 5pm before I left work (only because I don’t have microwave at home to warm the meal lol)
  9. Most of my meal arrived before 12pm except for one time when it didn’t arrive (on my 12th day). I sent some text messages the day my meal didn’t arrive at usual time, they replied and responded, but not as quick as I expected it to be. The owner apologized, said that all meals have been dispatched since 9am through a food transport service and wondered why mine didn’t arrive. 

I was upset because I didn’t want my program to fail. I had 2 more days left before I finished the program!! They said they’ll give a compensation for that day and offer free meals for 3 days. They also finally sent a new dinner meal using GoJek service. It arrived around 4pm. 

Unfortunately I didn’t receive any free meal today, so I was wondering if it’s only a lip service. I wish there wasn’t any issue on my 12th day so I can get a better overall experience using the service. So, that’s my sharing!

A picture of me and my colleagues today!