Tukiyat (51) had great excitement when he got a call from his only daughter, Sawitri, who would soon be returning from Japan. Sawitri plans to return home because she has completed her doctoral education in Japan for three years.
Tukiyat as a guardian of the Wanagama forest managed by Universitas Gadjah Mada. Tukiyat said he had worked as a forest guard for Wanagama since 1991. As a forest guard, his family lived in the Wanagama forest. No neighbors or residents are living around their homes. There are only trees and shrubs. However, it did not stop Sawitri, instead, the forest environment became a learning medium for Sawitri to get to know the forest more closely. "Most play around the forest or read books at home," said Tukiyat via cellphone on Thursday (6/18).
Tukiyat said, even though he lived in the forest, he often left Sawitri alone at home since he was a child. This was forced to be done if by chance he was assigned to sow seeds in a forest area located some distance away, while his wife was in charge of being a chef when guests were staying at the Wanagama guesthouse, "Luckily my daughter was obedient, so we didn't worry if she was going anywhere," he recalled.
Tukiyat recalled that Sawitri's hobby since she was a kid was reading books. In addition to books from schools, she also read a collection of books on forestry in the Wanagama library. "I once banned her to read those because the materials were not for elementary school-age children," he said.
However, this hobby has led Sawitri to complete doctoral programs at the highest academic level. The field of science that he was involved in was not far from the environment he was familiar with since childhood, around the forest. "She has memorized the Latin names of the types of trees since childhood because she is also often heard when there were lecturers and students doing field practice," he said.
He is grateful and proud of his daughter to be able to finish college well. If he remembers when he was in elementary school to junior high school, Sawitri had to walk more than 2 kilometers to get to school. "She walked alone, I never took her there. When she was in high school in Wonosari, she walked to the main road, then she took a bus to the city," said Sukiyat.
As is known, Sawitri completed her high school education at Wonosari 1 High School in 2011. Then, she continued her study at the UGM Faculty of Forestry by taking Silviculture Study Program. After completing her undergraduate education, she also went on to graduate school in the same study program. "Since 2017 she took S3 in Japan," said Tukiyat.
In other livings trying to reach Sawitri who was still in Japan, she said that taking a doctoral program at the Biosphere Resource Science and Technology Study Program by pursuing forest genetic studies at Tsukuba University. Sawitri conveyed, if she could complete the S3 education in September, then she would finish her doctoral education in exactly three years. "I entered in September 2017 and hopefully I will finish this also in September, just waiting for the doctoral exam at the end of next July," said the woman born in Gunungkidul, June 26, 1994.
A little story, Sawitri claimed to be grateful to be able to study until S3 until now. Although while in Japan she had obstacles in his studies because she pursued the field of molecular technology that was still unfamiliar to her. However, working hard to overcome these challenges and finally, she was able to complete his education on time. "I hope that the field of science that I undertake can combine genetic science with phenotypic / morphology to support the breeding of forest plants in Indonesia," she said.
When the reporter team asked about the story of his childhood who lived in the forest, Sawitri said that the forest became part of his home. Since childhood, the father often invited him to plant seeds and plant forest plants. "At that time I was taught to memorize the types of trees and their scientific names, I like learning it," she recalled.
Due to living in the forest, said Sawitri and his family used to live a simple life. A place to live far from the village made him have no playmates after school. She also chose to read books at home. "We have no TV until now, there is no entertainment to kill time. The escape is, yes, reading books, in the past, there was a library in Wanagama, I like to read any book, even though the book was old published," she explained.
Not only does it not have a television at home, but she also added her experience back then. When she went to go to school every morning alone, she must walk through the forest to get to the nearest village. "There must be insecurity within me, I go home when it is sweltering by having to walk far, I do not have any pocket money, while other children take public transportation and some even ride motorcycles," she recalled.
Even though she used to be concerned about her life, that was this condition that motivated her to continue her studies to the doctoral level in the hope of pleasing his parents someday. "Thanks to the power of prayer and their hard work to support me up to this moment. After all, I can continue my study to the doctoral study program," she said.
Author: Gusti Grehenson
Photo: Sawitri's private collection
Translator: Natasa A