Siska Tandi Pare: From Educator To Hotel Supervisor

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A journey of taking opportunities, changing paths, yet being true to herself and the people around her.

Hai Siska! Bisa ceritakan sedikit tentang dirimu?
Halo, namaku Siska. Aku pindah ke Sydney dari Makassar sekitar 8 tahun yang lalu, dan sekarang aku bekerja sebagai seorang supervisor di Rydges Hotel. 

Sedikit tentangku… aku suka membaca, lihat sunset dan sunrise, dan, in my spare time, aku biasanya visit my friends and familyspend time with them and hear what’s happening in their lives. Kadang, aku juga suka cari-cari cafe atau restoran baru.

Siska, kamu pernah mention sebelumnya bahwa kamu pernah kerja sebagai guru SD di Makassar sebelum pindah ke Sydney. Penasaran, nih, kehidupan seorang guru seperti apa, ya? Apa yang buat kamu paling menarik dan berkesan?
Pengalaman menarik pas aku mengajar di Sekolah Kristen Gamaliel Makassar adalah I love to meet my students everyday and hear their story and what happen in their lives. Ada yang suka cerita tentang how’s their life after school, seperti aktivitas dan tempat liburan mereka. So, yeah that’s something that I really love about my students before.

Selain itu, I love to see how they grow such as mereka nggak tahu tentang satu topik, tapi setelah diajari jadi mengerti. So, yeah that’s something that is really interesting as well where you help the kids to grow and basically it helped me as well to keep growing by getting to know more about a subject in order to deliver it to my students.

Basically, at the time mereka mengikuti kurikulum Indonesia saat itu, tapi tiap mata pelajaran diajar pakai bahasa Inggris. Dan, juga karena sekolah Kristen, mereka juga menilai karakter setiap siswa. Jadi, every term (tiap 3 bulan) para guru menulis dua reports, satu untuk penilaian pelajaran dan lainnya untuk penilaian karakter. Then in every term we discuss the whole result with the parents when they come to meet us and get the result.

Usually our school runs like any other school but because it’s a Christian school we teach the kids to pray, sing, and read one verse of the Bible before we start our day.

Oh, wow! That sounds wonderful dan kedengarannya kamu juga enjoy banget ya saat bekerja. Lalu, apa yang membuatmu memutuskan untuk meninggalkan bidang edukasi dan ambil kuliah lagi di Australia?
Waktu itu, I was actually at the end of my two years contract to teach at Sekolah Kristen Gamaliel, then my previous university Universitas Negeri Makassar menawarkan kesempatan untuk belajar di Sydney, Australia. So, I started to pray about it, make a discussion with my family and also with my mentor, and finally I discussed with the school to resign. It feels like God opening the door, so yeah here I am.

Yang agak sulit waktu itu adalah aku belum pernah ke Sydney, jadi banyak kekuatiran. Tapi, aku juga berpikir, this is a good opportunity to improve myself and also to grow so yeah I decided to overcome my fear. I want to learn more and get more opportunities in order to grow so I can help/ teach others people well as well in the future.

That’s so inspiring to hear how you went out of your comfort zone.
Setelah lulus studi lagi, what did you do?
Setelah lulus aku langsung kerja di hotel. Tapi, habis itu aku juga mendapat kesempatan untuk belajar di Hillsong College dan sempet mengerjakan internship dengan gerejaku juga setelah selesai di Hillsong College. Jujur, aku juga nggak tahu bagaimana aku bisa mengatur waktuku saat itu. Tiap hari aku kerja, terus sore aku ke Hillsong College, dan kadang juga harus ke kampus yang di Hills untuk mengambil kelas di sana. Jadi, pulang benar-benar hanya buat tidur hahaha…

Apakah kamu masih berencana untuk balik ke dunia edukasi?
Hmm, I’m not sure yet for now, tapi semoga later on bisa balik ngajar anak-anak, because that is my passion. Di sini, aku juga membantu mengajar sekolah minggu di gerejaku. Mungkin, in the future,
aku bisa balik ke Indo dan bikin sesuatu untuk bantu edukasi anak-anak di sana.

Ah, I see. Semoga cita-cita itu terkabul! Mungkin balik ke pengalamanmu pas baru pindah ke Sydney, apakah sesuai dengan ekspektasimu?
Hm, basically, sebelum ke Sydney, aku kira bakal busy banget sama pelajaran, nggak akan ada waktu untuk hangout sama temen atau ikut komunitas. Sesampainya  di sini, aku baru realize it actually depends on us, on how we manage our time and how we use it.

I never imagined akan bertemu banyak banget temen dari negara lain dan mencoba makanan dari negara yang beragam juga. Also, I thought there would be snow in Sydney on winter, tapi ternyata nggak ada hehehe… Selain itu, toko buka hanya sampai jam 5 atau 6 sore, aku pikir it’s gonna be until really late such as 12am hehehe…

Hal-hal yang sesuai ekspektasi adalah kehidupan di Sydney ramai, sibuk, fast-paced kayak kota besar di Indo. Kalau tinggal di City, semuanya serba cepat. Also, I never imagine aku bakal sering jalan kaki, dan temen-temenku bilang orang-orang di sini suka jalan kaki.

Aku juga nggak tahu bahwa kalau di Australia, kita nggak perlu bikin tesis untuk lulus S1, and that’s a good thing for me, soalnya di Indo harus bikin tesis.

Ketika baru pindah ke Sydney, bagaimana pengalamanmu mencari komunitas dan settling in?
When I just arrived I met one of my friends that came here first then she invited me to go to one of the Indonesian churches in Sydney and now that church is kind of family for me, where I can share my struggle and if I need help they also stand up for me, so yeah it’s such a blessing for me. Kalau gak ada dia kayaknya bakal jauh lebih sulit, deh.

Selain itu pas aku ke kampus aku ketemu sama different kinds of people from many countries, jadi it takes a bit of time for me to get to know dan bergabung sama mereka, soalnya beda culture, beda latar belakang, dlsb.

Mencari komunitas emang paling sulit, ya. Apakah keluargamu masih di Indo?
Iya, keluargaku masih di Indo semua. Salah satu kakakku tinggal sama mama di hometownku.
Terus, kedua kakakku dan adikku sekarang tinggal di Papua. And, I am really close to my family. 

But because we live in different places and countries so basically we maintain the relationship by video call in Whatsapp group together and share our struggle in Whatsapp group together and we pray and support each other.

Saat pandemi COVID-19, apakah kamu sudah di Sydney? What was that like for you?
Situasi kerja, social life, hubungan dengan keluarga?
Waktu isoman (isolasi mandiri) susah living in isolation. Tapi, thankfully I have my community, especially my church. Teman-teman dari kampus dan juga my friends that keep supporting me such as by sending any food, or groceries, pray for each other, doing online meeting by zoom. Also when the government allows us to go outside and do activities such as sport, my friend and I decided to go for morning walk routine, so yeah it’s really challenging but I feel like God still keeps working in those seasons.

Kalau in terms of work, aku stop kerja beberapa bulan karena aku bekerja di hotel dan nggak ada pengunjung. Jadi, kami stay di rumah dan aku coba-coba skills baru, seperti learning how to bake, playing my guitar, making a video, improving my relationship with God, and praying for others while waiting to go back to work. Also, thankfully the government allowed us to claim our superannuation back then so it could help me a bit with my financial situation.

Yang paling sedih ketika mendengar some of my family and someone that’s close to me passed away because of COVID, but, yeah, thankfully, having community and friends that helps us to survive during those time is really meaningful and I am so grateful for all of them. [IM]

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