Posted on Leave a comment

Podcast Episode 11 – Vaginal Health Part 1

Hi down there. How are you doing? I hope you’re alright. I’ve realized that I don’t know very much about you, and as I get older, I’m really paying for my ignorant behavior. Let’s try to change that shall we?

Indeed, although my vagina is SUCH AN IMPORTANT PART OF MY BODY yet I have neglected getting to know it on a close and loving basis. The result no doubt is a lot of pain and scary visits to the gynecologist. Not to mention expensive. In the journey of us trying to get to know our vaginas better, however, I realized that even health professionals are still culturally shy in educating women about our own organs.

Dr. Michelle Dawn Shen

So one of the steps I took to fix that is to have an open conversation with my dear friend Dr. Michelle Dawn Shen of Rajawali Hospital about vaginal health. The talk was amazing, and we went more in-depth than I expected, so I’ve divided it up to 2 parts.

In this first part, Dr Michelle shared some great insights on vaginal fungus (yeast infection), how NOT to get it, and also on cervical cancer. Her voice is brilliantly hilarious and satirically spot-on, and I hope you will learn some really important insights into vaginal health. I know I certainly did.

Posted on Leave a comment

Recommended Podcasts

Hey hey hey! Here we are with a post about the podcasts I listen to on a regular basis, which I definitely recommend!

English-based

  • Business Unusual (Barbara Corcoran). Listening to this podcast always gives me great insights on business, and also life. Barbara just gives it as it is without any sugar coating, which I appreciate.
  • Happy Writer Podcast (Marissa Meyer). As a fan of this author, “meeting” her through her podcast is always fun. She also brings in other authors and we have the same taste! Yes!

Indonesian-based

  • Janda Becanda (Widow Jokes with Tania). A great listen for everyone who has the experience of being widowed. Tania gives tips and jokes on how to thrive widowhood.
  • Abjad Tersirat (Yunita). Totally taboo. If you like those topics that everyone else shies away from, this podcast is for you. I love how Yunita is so raw in discussing these everyday matters!
  • Sahabat Buku (Book Friends with Rastiti Era). Rastiti is a podcaster from Bali, and you gotta love her Balinese accent! She talks and reviews the books she has read. Bookworms will find great recommendations here.
  • DipidiffTalks (with Dipidiff). An official book ambassador from Bandung, Dipidiff sends encouragements to her listeners via insights she learns from books.

Of course, I also have my own podcast, in which I interview cool women around me. What podcasts do you listen to? Or perhaps you’re familiar with some of my recommended podcasts? Let me know in the comments!

Posted on 2 Comments

Podcast Episode 10 – Taiwan Years (Special Ep.)

Well, well, well. Here we are in the 10th episode of my podcast. I started the podcast in the pandemic as a supporting project to the this whole website with the goal of uplifting women’s voices and their stories to empower other women.

ca 1990 – 1992, Taiwan

In this special episode to celebrate hitting two digits, I interview my very own, one and only, loud, highly energetic, generous, compassionate, charming and smart…Ibu Lily Efferin. AKA my mother.

Here we go. We don’t always have the smoothest relationship, but I think I can proudly say we’re both committed to supporting each other. We’re both trying to find the amorphous “healthy” balance between two women who are “mother and daughter”.

I asked her to share a window of her life which was perhaps one of the hardest for her as a young mother, even younger than me at this time. It was a period of time when our family lived in Taiwan (1989-1991). I was 2, she was 28. She didn’t speak Chinese at all, but she had to take care of my baby brother and myself, along with taking care of herself and my father who was completing his master’s degree.

ca 1990 – 1992, Taiwan

In addition to everything, she shares about the miscarriage that happened in the last couple of months of our life in Taiwan. I can’t help to think how different our family dynamics would have been had this little one survived. Please consider this a trigger warning.

At the end of the day, this episode is a very personal episode – a time capsule to celebrate our Taiwan years.

Posted on Leave a comment

Mozaic – Podcast Episode 9

Katie Velasco and I go way back to Calvin College 2005-2009 when we were roommates with each other for most of that time period. She is now Katie Crosby and has a super cute son named Logan, and we still keep the bond alive visiting each other and taking diving trips together (pre-pandemic).

Christian, Rosie, and Nicky
Charlie, Logan, and Katie

In this interview, Katie is joined by her sister Nicky, with special appearance from Rosie – Nicky’s 2 year old daughter. Katie and Nicky are half Filipino, a fourth Korean, and a fourth German, and their children get even more diverse! Everything is discussed here from their Korean halmeuni (grandmother) who was a nurse in the Korean war, to how their father immigrated from the Philippines to the USA, all the way to how Katie and Nicky’s looks have affected them growing up in South California. Katie and Nicky have vastly different college experiences and careers, but they’re always there for each other.

Trigger Warning: Nicky shares a bit of her painful experience with racism in this episode.

Posted on Leave a comment

Manta Mamas – Podcast Episode 8

In comparison to the other women I interviewed so far on this podcast whom I’ve known for years, Janis would be the most recent contact. We only met last December of 2020 on the dive boat in Nusa Lembongan island. Once you have been on a dive boat together though, it’s an unforgettable bond.

Janis Argeswara, marine biologist

Janis is a marine biologist with Marine Mega Fauna Foundation, a global non-profit with headquarters in Mozambique. When some divers from the Foundation discovered the tiny island of Lembongan in Indonesia and saw that there was a large manta ray population, they decided to set up an Indonesian chapter.

Listen to the really cool work that Janis does in saving and preserving manta rays and marine life. Make a donation to Marine Mega Fauna Foundation to support their work, and whenever you can: use less plastic. Don’t kill turtles, or manta rays, or sharks with your waste.

Let’s love and take care of our oceans!

Posted on Leave a comment

Women in Theatre – Podcast Episode 7

About the same time I established the Bandung Philharmonic in 2016, I heard exciting news of a West Side Story production in Jakarta by a community theatre: Jakarta Performing Arts Community. I’m a thespian (musical nerd), and Leonard Bernstein’s West Side Story has always been a favorite. So imagine my excitement.

To give some context, please know that theatre in Indonesia is still barely a scene. Cut that landscape by half when you’re talking about musical theatre. Now West Side Story is a HUGE production. The Jets, the Sharks, the choreography, the love and the deaths…it’s insane. When I watched the production at the Graha Bakti Budaya theatre, I was honestly impressed!

Fonnyta Amran during the Last 5 Years rehearsal

I remembered thinking who was the director that dared put on such a difficult show in Indonesia? When they called her on stage, it was this tiny figure of a lady, a head shorter than everyone else. Her name was Fonnyta Amran. And this was her first production as a director.

Whoa. I need to keep tabs on this person, I thought. I’d love to work together with them one day and support from the music side, or through other ways. Fast forward to 2021, and I interviewed Fonnyta for this very podcast episode on women in theatre. Not only that, we’re working together on The Last 5 Years, an off-Broadway musical by Jason Robert Brown.

In this podcast, you will hear someone speaking about their true love. And you will want to see this current show we’re working together on. Support women in theatre and buy your tickets now on Kiostix!

Posted on 4 Comments

Small Steps to Sustainable Living – Podcast Episode 6

Maria Alexandra Iskandar, Sustainability Associate
The Body Shop Indonesia

At the very young age of 22 Maria Alexandra Iskandar, known often as Alessa, is the Sustainability Associate at The Body Shop Indonesia. She helps to track the company’s ecological impact. Prior to that, Alessa grew up in Bandung, Indonesia. She became familiar with living an ecologically friendly life through her mother: Ibu Sherly.

Seven years ago, Ibu Sherly started an NGO called Eco-Camp. The organization educates roughly 4,000 people yearly on living how to live a sustainable lifestyle. They continue to thrive now with their programs, waste management system, and organic garden. In this episode, Alessa shares the basic philosophies of living a sustainable lifestyle. She also gives tips for those of you who want to live kinder to yourself and to our planet.

I myself am so inspired by her youth and clarity of mind! I hope listeners of my podcast will be encouraged to take a small step towards an earth-friendly way of living. For me, it began by composting through the pandemic. What will it be for you?

Happy Earth Day!

Posted on 1 Comment

Sexy Start-Ups – Podcast Episode 5

Anna with the Squalane Sherbet Cleansing Balm from The Skin Diary

This young lady started her entrepreneurship journey early. I mean, as early as elementary school age. Yup, she’s been in start-ups since that young. One time she even got her business confiscated by her high school teacher!

Seriously, if you are looking for ideas to build a side business, meet Anna Febriana Jaelawijaya. She’ll show you all you need for a start-up is a phone and a brain. Her most recent project is an all natural skincare brand called The Skin Diary, which she launched after getting certified from Formula Botanica in the UK.

I myself have been using the Squalane Sherbet Cleansing Balm for a while now, and really enjoy this product! Support women in small businesses by visiting The Skin Diary Instagram – then like and follow!

Posted on Leave a comment

In Vitro Fertilization – Podcast Episode 4

Elvina, Morgan, and baby Aerion (15 months old). In front of the Melbourne Star, Dec 2020.

Elvina Ingrid is one of my long standing friends – we’ve known each other since we were 12 years-old. That makes it more than twenty years of friendship! She moved from Bandung, Indonesia to Melbourne, Australia because her husband Morgan is a permanent resident in AU.

For seven years, Elvina and Morgan tried to have a child.

When nothing worked, they finally decided to try In Vitro Fertilization (IVF). Listen to her IVF journey, the painful shots and the crazy side effects, but most of all to her hope and outstanding courage. Elvina is a medical doctor, so she also shares perspectives from the medical point of view. Stay tuned for IVF jokes in the extras, though be warned because they are rather weird!

If you have any questions about In vitro Fertilization, or if you are going through this process now and you need someone to talk to, you can email Elvina at elvinaingrid@gmail.com.

Do you have a story to share with me? Contact me and maybe you will be featured in the next episode! My podcast can also be found on SpotifyApple podcasts, and other podcasting platforms.

Posted on 2 Comments

Moon Flower Goddess – Podcast Episode 3

Putu Sandra Devindriati Kusuma

The island of Bali in Indonesia is one of the world’s best tourism destinations. I visit Bali regularly, and was always interested to know more about the local beliefs there. So I interviewed Putu Sandra Devindriati Kusuma, whose name means Moon Flower Goddess, to share a bit about her life and philosophies as a Balinese woman. Listen to this episode with an open mind and you will enjoy the beauty of Bali through her voice.

Do you have a story to share with me? Contact me and maybe you will be featured in the next episode! My podcast can also be found on SpotifyApple podcasts, and other podcasting platforms.

Visit Sandra at her instagram account: @putu.sandra.