The Story Behind US Embassy Awards


I’d like to express my gratitude to everyone who have congratulated me for winning award from US Embassy. However, I don’t want people just know I won the blogging competition from US Embassy. I want people know the story behind the award because the journey is always the best part. Let’s begin the journey!

3 years ago, there are 3 simple reasons  why I started my blog:

1. Keeping my teaching stories and documentation

2. Reflecting my valuable moments

3. Sharing my idealism and experiences to the world.

Keeping, Reflecting, and Sharing. Those 3 words has become my reminder to access my wordpress on the weekend.

The journey of 3 years blogging with my 3 simple reasons is very dynamic journey. I also have:

3 simple reasons why I can’t blogging:

1. Working Load: Have no time at all keeping, reflecting, and sharing.

2. Self-Inferiority: No one will read my blog because I am not good writer.

3. Nothing special: All of my experiences is common, general, and boring.

Thank God, I always have 3 answers for those reasons:

1. I always have time: Actually, it’s a big lie if my working load hinder me from blogging. I always have time on the weekend.

2. Someone will definitely read my blog: I always see my stats and I believe someone will be blessed by reading my blog

3. Something special: I have unique, specific, and engaging everyday’s experiences to be shared

Those 3 answers has made blogging more than just interest or hobby. I think it has been transformed into commitment.

As Kenneth Blanchard said, “When you’re commited to something, you accept no excuses; only results.”

It might not convenient when I am blogging but I made promise with myself I will blogging at least once a month AND I’m trying to make it WEEKLY.

Until now, I believe I am not excellent blogger. I am not perfect writer. But I am doing my effort every single day, week, and month to make little transformation happens in blogging experiences. This is how I grow my blogging skills.

3 years blogging is the journey of persistent. It’s the moment when I am practicing ‘designing’ my story, feeling, words, images, videos, and anything comes in mind. Well, definitely not easy. I still do mistakes in blogging. Spelling, Grammar, Structures, Creatity, and Design are some of my dynamic progress in blogging.

Thank God, I have very faithful readers who gives constructive and meaningful comments that makes me grow as blogger. It requires persistent to get my blog done. However, It requires consistency to keep blogging. I believe Consistency is the key of learning. In the midst of critiques and comments, I commit myself to make it better and better. I will never stop learning.

I believe Richard G. Scott sayings,  “We become what we want to be by consistently what we want to become each day.” This is the important of consistency. If you want to be great blogger, you need to be consistent blogger who do greatly.

“Excellence is not an act, but a habit.”

This learning habit has brought my eyes attracted to contest announcement  at AtAmerica website.

My first impressions : “I am just so excited to write something from  the given topics How we promote tolerance using social media.” That moment happens at my summer holiday , so I just give a try  to express my mind as usual in my blog.

I had never imagined getting the price, awards, or any cool spots written below because it said there will be only one winner. So I thought, “Well, there must be better blogger who submit their blog post in this competition.I don’t care about the results, I am gonna keeping, reflecting, and sharing my thoughts and experiences related to the topics.” 

Surprisingly, on July 14th, on my first day of school (You can’t miss my amazing 1st day of school, read here), AtAmerica emailed me that I am the only winner of blogging competition. I could not get more excited! They asked me to get the awards on Friday, July 18 at 1pm so that I decided to get permission from my principal to leave school early on that day.

You know, the best part of being the winner of blogging tolerance is not the award, but the journey of getting the awards. I decided to share my story to my students. Every students are very excited to listen my blogging journey and how I win the blogging competition.

One of my students asked, Sir, did you become the winner of this blog competition because you’re the only participant?” Well, they asked me in front of class and everyone was laughing. I am definitely smile too and said, “You know what, even if I am the only participant of this competition. I am thankful that I am the only one of many Indonesian people who looks at the opportunity.

I believe what Thomas Edison sayings,

“Many people often miss great opportunity because it is dressed in overalls & looks like Hardwork.”

So, I believe this award has reminded us that consistency+hardwork is recipe of creating opportunity. My students just got inspired a lot.

Then, I went to AtAmerica, Pacific Place on Friday. Arrived at 3 pm, I was very excited to meet one of the judges who chose my blog as the winner of blog competition. He’s Eric Groff. He’s one of the political officer who just live at Jakarta for a month.

You know what, the first question I asked to him, “Sir, actually how many participants who join this competition?” I have to admit my students questions makes me very curious about that (lol).

Fortunately, he answered, “Many blog post has been sent to us, then somebody has chosen 10 finalist, and you are the best of 10 finalist”  

Then, I continued to ask, “How did you choose my blog as the winner?”

He replied, “Well, your blog is very simple, applicable, and relevant to our topic. I am interested to your ideas of using social media promoting tolerance. You just come with your unique ideas.”

 I think simplicity and practicality is one of the best winning factors. and that’s what I am learning in blogging,


After getting the awards, I joined Tolerance Camp with very passionate people from various communities that concerned to tolerance issues in Indonesia. I learned a lot from their  many practical brilliant ideas to build tolerance in Indonesia. In the midst of Ramadan month, I am very grateful to know multiple perspectives of tolerance meaning from diverse people and communities.

After that, I went to Robert Blake’s Residence (US Ambassador) to join Buka Puasa (Dinner) with several invited guests. I met Swinny, the public affair of US Embassy who introduced me to Mr. Robert Blake. It’s really privilege for me to know Mr.Robert Blake! He’s such a humble and gentle man. He even gave me his name card and asked me to send my blo gpost to his email. I was impressed to the way he appreciated my blog. It’s totally give me a huge motivation to blog more and more!

Photo: Big Thanks to Mr.Robert Blake for great dinner!

It's a privilege to know you.

Thank you #USAmbassador #atamerica #USEmbassy #Tweet4Tolerance

Then, I met another judge of blogging competition from The GeoTimes magazine. It’s an honor for me to meet him. Directly, I asked him “How could you choose my blog?”

He replied

You know what, many participants sent their blog for the sake of this competition. What makes you different is you are not just blogging for this competition. You’ve been blogging before this competition and You keep blogging after competition. Your consistency gives a high score for your blog” 

I was stunned at his answers. I’ve never imagined how powerful the consistency.

This has become one of the most memorable moments at US Embassy residence. I am totally grateful to meet and know the judges in person. It’s privilege to experience such a teachable awarding nights and dinner from US Embassy.

Thank you for adding important reasons for blogging.

3 years of blogging is not just another wasting post and time, even if nobody reads the  blog.

Actually, it’s been designed for this special moments and greater experiences in the future.

Years of doing good and great is not just another wasting time.  even if nobody watches your good deeds.

Actually, It’s been designed for special and greater days in the future.

Never give up. Be consistent doing good, right, and excellent!

You can read my winning blogpost here:


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8 Responses

  1. Thank you Bro Made for being faithful reader and supporter for me to inspire other people too. You have become my inspiration too. Have a good weekend! =D

  2. silvyavyaa says:

    Waah, congrats, kak. Yep, agree with the part about ‘the gift of simplicity and practicality’. Happy Blogging and God bless you always! 🙂

  3. winnymarch says:

    wow congrattt its such a big award

  4. Amazing! Congratulation bang 🙂 Keep inspiring! 😉

  5. Srinawati says:

    you’re such a great blogger….there u go u have attracted a US embassy personnel…good for you! congratulations

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