She travels, she saves lives and she is a muse to fashion designers. She is Dwi Lestari Pramesti Ariotedjo. The last time Mesty graced our cover was in 2012 when she was on her way to becoming a qualified medical doctor and a professional harpist. She is still an It Girl today – quite possibly our most accomplished one to date.
Mesty graduated from the Faculty of Medicine at Indonesia University in 2012 and is now a third-year pediatric resident at Cipto Mangunkusumo Hospital. “It takes four to five years to become a specialist,” she smiles.
The number and range of Mesty’s activities and accomplishments is staggering. For example, she is a member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Shapers Jakarta Hub, a network of young people driving dialogue, action and change, and she was once the only Indonesian representative, and a speaker, at an international non-communicable diseases children’s conference held in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago.
Her passion for improving the quality of people’s lives led to her establishing a pioneering healthcare crowdfunding site, WeCare.id, in 2015. For this initiative, she received an Asia Social Innovation Award, a programme that nurtures early-stage ideas by providing entrepreneurs with exposure, network and resources to take their projects on to the next stage.
“We’re now in the third year of WeCare.id and we’re getting stronger,” Mesty says. “We have gained more traction, developed more programmes. We have pulled in over Rp 3 billion in donations from more than 7,000 supporters and we’ve just launched a new programme, called Sehat Indonesia, to help people obtain coverage for healthcare services, home care and online consultations.”
In 2013, Mesty flew to Flores to work at a public hospital. During her one-year stay, she researched the nutrition standards for children attending elementary schools in East Nusa Tenggara. In addition, she has written articles on health issues for national newspapers and three medical journals, including the International Journal of Pediatric Endocrinology.
Outside of all that, 29-year old Mesty has an artistic soul. She is a gifted musician, playing piano, harp and flute. She started playing harp in 2008, “It was love at first sight,” she says of the first time she played the harp. She is the Indonesian Classical Music Foundation’s ambassador.
Mesty is a bit of a hitmaker, too. Two of her singles, “Tentang Perempuan” and “Lukis Indah Mimpi”, can be found on iTunes and streamed on Deezer. Together with her foundation, she established Children in Harmony, a free music school, in 2010.
The accomplishments are endless, it seems. On top of everything else she does and has done, Mesty is a muse to fashion designers and beauty brands. She is a long-time face of Biyan and the brand ambassador of Wardah Cosmetics. She still models when she has time.
But the most significant development in Mesty’s life is that she is more than five months pregnant. “To be expecting so soon after I got married was a very huge surprise!” she laughs. “I mean, I did hope for that, but I didn’t think it was going to happen so soon. Being married is the greatest, sweetest experience in my life.
“I am so blessed to have a very loving, caring and warm husband (Garri Juanda). He’s the best present in my life and he is such an amazing partner. We do all things together, with lots of fun and love.” Her husband, whom she married last October, is a businessman who, based on the evidence of his Instagram posts, loves travelling as much as Mesty does. It’s a match made in heaven, it seems.
“We like to explore new things together,” confirms Mesty. “We book and plan our trips ourselves – no need for travel agents. He will try to find good restaurants, while I will look for nice places to visit and to take pictures of. He will choose the hotel and I will book the flight. We’re a good team. Maybe the only difference is I am very efficient in packing. I can pack in an hour just before going to the airport. But my husband is an over-prepared type of person. He’s not fond of my quick packing ‘skills’.”
Mesty used to travel overseas several times a year, but since taking up her residency, she has had to cut back to once a year. Her most recent trip was her delayed honeymoon. As she was pregnant, this turned out to be a “babymoon”, as she puts it.
“We went to Budapest, Moscow, St. Petersburg and Vienna,” Mesty says. “We really loved Budapest. It was beautiful, less touristy than the other cities, and every spot we visited was amazing. Although we spent only two days in Hungary, the architecture and the landscape stole our hearts.
“The Shoes on the Danube Bank (a war memorial), the Hungarian Parliament building and the Fisherman’s Bastion – these were all amazing spots. Unfortunately, perhaps because I was pregnant, I somehow couldn’t stand European food. I craved warm rice and Asian dishes. The good news is that Budapest has it all – from Thai to Japanese food.”
One of the couple’s favourite destinations is a place very few Indonesians would ever have heard of. Page, which they read about on the internet and decided to visit last July, is located on the southern shores of Lake Powell in northern Arizona. It’s just a small “city” (population 7,247), but it’s a good base from which to explore many natural wonders: the Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument, a world-famous centre for dinosaur, finds; the Rainbow Bridge National Monument, the world’s highest natural bridge; and Vermilion Cliffs National Monument, where more than 20 species of bald and golden eagles, peregrine falcons and hawks have been observed.
“Horseshoe Bend and Antelope Canyon are beyond words!” says Mesty of the places they experienced. “The area is extremely amazing with its scenic views and it offers a lot of interesting activities, such as jet skiing on Lake Powell. I think more people need to know about that part of America.”
Last November, Mesty and her husband journeyed to South Africa. “We stayed at Bushmans Kloof Wilderness Reserve & Wellness Retreat in Clanwilliam, enjoyed Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden in Cape Town, Western Cape and Seal Island,” she says. “For me, travelling means taking fresh air and coming back as a newly energised person. That’s why I love to go to extraordinary places with breathtaking views. I am mostly into nature. I’m not really a shopping centre kind of person.
“When I was little, I really loved to go to Orlando, Florida. We stayed at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, ate pizza, went to Disneyland, Epcot and Magic Kingdom, and took rides on the Walt Disney Railroad. Those were some of the most memorable moments in my life. One of my bucket list items is to see the Aurora Borealis, so I would love to go to Iceland, Norway and Greece. I also want to visit every single province in Indonesia.
“My first experience of solo travelling was awesome. I went to Trinidad and Tobago for a child health conference in 2014, as the Indonesian representative and as a speaker. “I met a lot of interesting people. I think it’s good to travel alone sometimes because it’s a good opportunity to reflect on ourselves and to think about becoming a better person. But now I have a husband; I don’t do solo trips anymore! Sometimes, I combine work trips with leisure. I will set aside two or three days to do some sightseeing and eat the local food. I have to thank Google for helping me to find many great places!”
What does Mesty look for in a hotel? “Three things: reasonable price, great facilities and cosy ambience. My all-time favourites are The Vineyard Hotel in Cape Town, the Bushmans Kloof Wilderness Reserve in Clanwilliam and the Park Hyatt in Vienna.
“I think it’s so much easier now to travel. You can book everything online yourself, including flights, hotels, restaurants and even taxis. To be honest, I’m not a big fan of airports. I don’t like the waiting times and I don’t like shopping to kill time either. Usually, I go to the nearest bookstore, find something inspiring and sit down and read. I’m a good flyer because I’m a sleepyhead. I can spend my flight sleeping when I wish, reading books, watching movies and eating. I rarely work on a plane. I prefer to use the time for relaxing.”
COVER STORY FASHION CREDITS:
Photographed by Robby Agus, Styled by Peter Zewet
Shot on location:
Taman Mini Indonesia Indah,
Jl. Taman Mini I, Ceger, Cipayung, East Jakarta Phone: (+62 21) 840 0662 / 840 0482 tamanmini.com
Stylist Assistant: Devi Lesmana
make-up: Jacqueline Stephani (+62 812) 2888 2088 hair: Chikie Vers (+62 812) 8195 6006
Outfit and jewellery:
Coach is in Plaza Indonesia, Grand Indonesia & Plaza Senayan,
Max Mara is in Plaza Indonesia & Plaza Senayan,
Michael Kors is in Plaza Indonesia, Kota Kasablanka & Plaza Senayan,
Tory Burch is in Pacific Place & Plaza Senayan,
Tiffany & Co. is in Plaza Indonesia, Pacific Place & Plaza Senayan.