Message from Chiahsin Lu
I have been a chess player for most of my life now; it has been 8 years since I have started playing this wonderful game. My chess tournament in Indonesia gives me the inspiration to set up this fundraising page. So I’d like to share the experience with you:
When I first started going in tournaments, I went to play in the US. In the US, the venues of the chess tournaments were mostly upper-middle class hotels, sometimes even luxury hotels. This gave me the thought that chess venues throughout the world were decent hotels; however the time I went to Indonesia was a very special treat. It let me understand that not all the places in the world are like the US and that many places in the world have yet to be…
It was a long story how we took the flight from Taipei to Jarkata and then to Tarakan, a small island in Indonesia. When we arrived at Tarakan, we were exhausted. We came out of the airplane and there were people there to pick us up from the airport. Shortly after that we met our driver: Ardi. He was really nice and helped us with our baggage, however he did not ask for any tip at any part of the stay. Everytime we had a set meeting time he would arrive about 15 minutes beforehand and always carried a smile on his face, so even when I lost, I felt much better chatting with him about random stuff about the city. During the middle of our trip, one day I couldn’t find him when I finished my game and the India’s driver drove me back to my hotel. His car was full of smokes and I dislike smoke very much, then I realized that Ardi never smoked and that his car smelt so clean. Ardi later told me that he didn’t smoke although all his fellow people did because he knew it was unhealthy and that it wasted a lot of money that can be put into better use than smoking.
Near the end of our stay, Ardi gave us a tour of the city, Tarakan. In Tarakan with the temperature around 35C~45C, there was barely any A/C in personal houses, only in restaurants and hotels. Ardi explained to us that he had a very low salary and that an A/C was too expensive for his family to afford. He drove us around town and showed us the Mangrove Forest, which was a really cool place where we went for a stroll and he explained to us about the monkeys and the crabs and how they lived. He then said that he has lived in Tarakan his whole life and has seen the city grow. In the middle of the tour he explained to us some of the basic concepts of Muslimism. Despite his English, we tried to understand what he was trying to say and I appreciated his culture.
After we explored much of the city of Tarakan, he proceeded to show us the biggest Mosque in the city and his house. (Only the outside, we didn’t go into it) After the tour of the city we offered to take him to dinner and he said that he needed to pray and so we went to eat later than usual. During dinner he explained to us some parts of the past and we felt like he was a really hard working guy. His dad had died when he was 10 years old and his mother couldn’t find work, so he said he started working at 10 years old to being in some meager salary that helped his family survive. He said at 10 years old, he would study in school and after school he would go to a factory and work there until late at night and then he would go back home and sleep. Early in the morning he would wake up and then he would study some and then go to school and the cycle would continue. I feel like when I grow up, I want to help the world have a better economy so that people don’t have to work before they want to in order to get a better and fuller education. This is important to me because I think that there are still a lot of people out there working hard providing for their family and sacrificing an education which is a really bad thing to sacrifice although to them it is the only way to get by.
In the restaurant that we took him out to dinner, he was very polite and translated the entire menu to us and we decided what we wanted. He was so polite that he wouldn’t even eat before we told him that he could eat the food! When we tried to explain to him what shrimp was (because we wanted to order some), he didn’t understand what we wanted. However then we picked out a shrimp in the soup and told him that this was a “shrimp” in English. At this point he said that he never knew what a shrimp was in English. This made me feel like I wanted to help people get education when I grow up because Ardi was such a nice person and he was such a hard worker; however he never got a chance to get a better job because he always needed to provide for his family and his mother.
I am still a friend with Ardi on facebook and want to do something more for his family and people in need.
Now I invite you to join the plan to help the families in need. Your support will help millions of hard-working people who seek to rebuild their lives and homes while also resurrecting their communities. Your donation helps open schools, start small businesses and establish peace in communities scarred by conflict.And Thank you.