Bulan 1: It’s exactly what I expected!

Tulisan ringkas ini adalah sedikit gambaran mengenai perkuliahan saya di LSHTM di bulan pertama.

Orientasi Jurusan. Yap, setelah sampai di London tanggal 21 September, saya berkesempatan menghadiri acara orientasi univ buat international students (yang dari UK juga boleh ikut sih kalau mau). Ini isinya hal2 umum gitu, terkait visa, buka rekening bank di UK, dan seputar living in London and studying at the School pokoknya, hehe. Saya ngga bener2 ikut full, cuma sempet nengok sorenya pas ada acara party2 gitu. itupun ngga ikut sampai selesai, cuma say hi sama temen2 baru dari jurusan macem2, ikutan photobox ala2, sama icip2 refreshment yang disediain. Buat yang social gitu, ini sebenernya seru gitu deh, ada band juga yang perform, mayan lah buat yang suka. Rangkaian acara ini berlangsung selama 2 hari. Pekan selanjutnya adalah orientasi jurusan!

Yang saya niatkan banget buat ikut, karena akan mengupas seluk-beluk dengan lebih detailnya. Kegiatan ini berlangsung senin-jumat dengan jadwal yang beragam dan manfaat banget! sayang deh kalau ngga ikut, terutama yang di hari jumat-nya: tour ke Kew Garden lewat Westminster Pier naik kapal gitu ngelewatin the Thames! Pentingnya lagi, itu digratisin hehehe.

Di jurusan saya, ada 30 mahasiswa full-time dan 3 part-time dari beragam belahan dunia. I’m the one and only who’s from Southeast Asia. Yang dari UK sendiri ngga nyampe sepertiganya, jadi totally diversed gitu.

Belajarnya disini dibagi dalam 3 term ditambah summer project (tesis) yang hukumnya super wajib karena itu 45% sendiri dari total GPA. Meskipun kuliahnya ada 3 term, kita ujiannya cuma sekali, yaitu di bulan Juni. Itu semua module dari jaman term 1 sampai term 3 tebluk diujikan di pekan itu. Hmmm. Selain dari ujian dan summer project, ada juga tugas2 di term semacam paper gitu.

Kesan Mengikuti Perkuliahan. Di term 1 saya mengambil 3 modul wajib (Fundamental Public Health Nutrition/ FPHN, Statistics for Epidemiology and Public Health/ STEPH, dan   Basic Epidemiology/ BE). Sebenernya kita boleh mengambil modul lain yang optional. awalnya saya pengen ngambil Principle of Social Research, mau kenalan dikit sama metode kualitatif ceritanya. Tapi setelah berdiskusi dengan direktur jurusan dan saya pikir2 lagi, sepertinya lebih baik ngga usah ambil, toh masih bisa juga akses semua bahannya (termasuk video lectures-nya) dan belajar sendiri.

Disarankan oleh beliau fokus saja ke yang wajib, sambil adaptasi. Adaptasi kuliah di sini, dan adaptasi juga jadi mahasiswa setelah 4 tahun ngga ngampus, hehehhe. Tapi mungkin yang paling demanding itu adaptasi ngikutin kuliah dalam bahasa inggris, apalagi saya blas ngga pernah pake binggris di ‘kehidupan sebelumnya’, hanya bermodalkan belajar buat IELTS yang sekitar 3 bulan itu (asli, meskipun hasil tesnya & standar yang ditetapkan cukup tinggi ternyata itu bukan jaminan bisa casciscus disini, guys!, tapi ngga tau juga dink, mungkin ada yang tiba2 bisa langsung jago hehe).

Mengenai perkuliahannya, ngga beda gitu sih dari kampus2 di sini pada umumnya, mungkin. Ada kelas besar dan kelas kecilnya. Ada lectures (mahasiswa duduk manis menyimak presentasi dari dosen), practicals (di kelas yang kecil, ngerjain semacam soal2, kemudian dibahas, difasilitasi 1 or 2 lectures/ assisstant lecture, untuk kelas STEPH and BE), dan seminars (semacam diskusi kemudian debat, biasanya di kelas kecil). Kalau di jurusan lain mungkin ada yang pake nge-lab, tapi di jurusan saya (alhamdulillah) engga ada.

Yang paling seru itu,menurut saya adalah lectures-nya, terutama pas topiknya seru (mostly saya temuin di FPHN, tapi di 2 kelas lainnya juga tetep ada), dan pas banget yang ngisi itu emang expert-nya di bidang itu. Boleh lah dikatain agak ndeso (gpp juga sih, emang cah ndeso asline!), tapi saya emang bener2 ngerasa banget bedanya saat mengikuti perkuliahan yang dosennya yang bener2 gamblang ngejelasinnya, ditanya juga penjelasannya sangat masuk akal (bukan berarti harus selalu ada exact answers-nya, karna di beberapa hal kan manusia emang ngga tau, yes!).

Saat mahasiswanya bertanya mengenai hal yang memang belum ada jawabannya, beliau menjelaskan dari a-z kenapa itu belum terjawab juga. Dari berbagai topik yang saya ikuti, semakin sadar kalau sebenarnya di sains ini, banyak banget keterbatasan manusia. Betapa memang, terlepas dari segala kemajuan yang telah dicapai, masih banyak hal yang belum juga terungkap, dan kita (paling mungkin) hanya bisa mengandalkan prediksi. Mulai abstrak!

Di FPHN, kami mempelajari topik2 yang mendasar dan ada beberapa (banyak juga) yang ngga begitu public health or terlalu biochemist gitu. Tentunya, sebagai PH & Tropical Medicine focused Grad-School, disini kami didatangkan pengajar dari berbagai institusi di dalam atau luar London, yang emang bener2 expert-nya gitu. Quite surprising juga, pas di salah satu kelas itu, seorang pengajar luarnya, (prof emeritus di salah satu uni di UK) ternyata adalah salah satu sesepuh yang membesarkan departemen saya (di LSHTM).

 

Secara keseluruhan, karena keterbatasan saya dalam menumpahkan kata-kata, apa yang saya jalani saat ini, memang bener-bener yang saya harapkan ketika memilih untuk mendaftar kesini. Sedikit mengobati luka-luka lama yang ngga pernah kesampaian sekolah impian (halahh curhat!!). To be really honest, alhamdulilah, saya sangat beruntung bisa diterima disini dan juga bersekolah disini (terimakasih lagi Indonesia!)

 

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akhirnya ada foto disini, meski baru ‘sempet’ setelah sebulan keluar-masuk lewat sini, dan kaku bgt hehe

 

 

Salam dari 9 degree of C-nya London,
Sat 12:07 am /28-10-2017 🙂 😀

 

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[Flobamorata] #8 Morosobe Twin Waterfalls: the Hidden Paradise

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Murusobe Waterfalls in a Dry Season

These waterfalls are located in Poma Village, Mego sub-distric, Sikka Regency. Perharps it would be hard to find it on googlemap, hehehe. It is quite a remote area though. For most tourists, this place – maybe – would not be in their list to visit because of the remoteness. It will cost you quite a lot and spend a long time to get there.

So, why did I lost there? A good question. A friend of mine’s working area – working in a same project with me – was there. She was a strong and diligent staff working in a such remote area and travelling there almost every day. I cant imagine if it were me. hehehe. I accompanied and helped her doing her duties in the community there, just when I had a time to allocate or I had finished my own responsibilities.

Okay, back to the topic.

To reach this site, the first thing you need is a courage! And time as well. The route is quite extreme.

Actually, there are two routes to follow, from Wolodhesa Village or Loke Village. In my experience, I only have tried the Loke route. So, I will tell you this, ya.

From Maumere you can go by a motorcycle – I did – or a car. But if it is a car, you need to make sure that the car is high enough, you know the one like an adventure car. Don’t drive an Avanza or others that are similar or even lower that it. Actually the driver that will drop you there – if you rent a car with a local driver – is absolutely know this information, though.

This journey will be around 4 hours. So it is better to have other activities to avoid being bored along the way. The roads are quite – and sometimes extremely – challenging. However, don’t be afraid ya… the drivers are skilful and get used to it. Everything will be okay.

Normally, you will be dropped in the way before you have to walk through a forest for about 30 minutes – you can be faster than that. Because the site has not developed by the government, you only need to report your attendance to the local leader there. But don’t worry, you don’t have to go to his place on your own. The people you meet nearby will help you. this is needed because they want to make sure you will be fine during your visit. They also will send you some kids as your guide. If I am not wrong, there is no fee for this. However, I think you need to give something like snacks, sweets or something that those kids would like.

Why will you need a local as a guide?

There is no single sign to help you get the site. I guess you will get lost with no help. here is my documentation along the way of my first visit. It was in the end of 2014.

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An Area of Loke, the Waterfalls are behind the hills

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A Quite Narrow Road, but it is far better than others you’ll come across 🙂

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You only need to walk through the ‘forest’ and park your vehicles after come across this sign 🙂

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Sometimes you need to walk through the river, watch your steps! hehe,,

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Going Over the Bridge with Our Little Guide 🙂

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A bit more to see the full view 😀

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Here We Go! The Waterfalls 😀

Actually, you can also swim in the pool below the waterfalls. We just forgot to take some pictures of the pool and people that were swimming at that time. The water is quite clear, but one thing to remember, probably you’ll come across some leeches. I did too, even more than one! I just felt kinda annoyed 😦 But, don’t worry, it won’t kill you 😀 wkwkwk.

[Flobamorata] #2 Pangabatang Island: Your Private Island

The first time I saw the pictures of this island was on my friend’s Facebook account. Masya Allah, it was like Maldives! I meant the natural landscape, not the accommodation and other state-of-the-art facilities. I had to be there one day! That was what I set in my mind. Finally, the day was coming, although it had been almost a year since my arrival. Better late than never 🙂

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Let’s go!

This island is located in Sikka Regency, but quite near from Larantuka Regency. The good news is, the access from Maumere is fairly easy and comfortable, you can sleep along the way if you want to J Your vehicles can be parked at the parking lot near the beach where you will see lots of fishermen’s boat docked from there. If you want to get the island, I recommend you don not go alone because it will cost you more for the boat taking you to the site. But if you are quite rich, of course it is absolutely fine. The fee is around IDR 300,000 at that time, I guess now it would be more than that, 350 to 400 probably. However, it is worth enough because the boat owner will drop you off and pick you up too, or perharps he would be waiting for you till the afternoon, evening, as you want, but I am afraid evening may be the latest time you get.

Oiya, do not forget to bring the equipments you need, it is unoccupied island, there is no person living there and any other activities, except visitors/ tourists. Do not be surprised if you are the only person there! As I said, it looks like your private island 🙂

I got there with my colleagues by a car. I was not asleep along the way, we stopped at a local market and got out of the car for some fish and corns. We were having a barbeque in the island, yeay! In about 3 hours, finally we got to a village where we parked the car. After that, we headed to the beach and then got into the boat. I was not the person who seek and made a deal for the boat though, as usual, I was only the youngest in this group and my colleague who was familiar with the locals here made an arrangement for the boat. So, we did not spend much time waiting after arriving here.

Oiya, before getting to the boat, I had a little time wandering the surrounding, the people, the children, and

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Traditional Salt Production

their activities. Most of them are, of course, fishermen, boat constructors, and salt farmers. This is a location of salf production.

And here is the place where boats are built. Quite impressive! These boat are made only by traditional methode, how skillful they are!

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Boats Manufacture Location

 

This took about 30 minutes, and along the way you can whatever you want like eating quick snacks (or breakfast/ brunch, maybe), taking photos, make some videos, and sleeping. I did all of those, wkwkwk. the closer we got to the island, the more gorgeous the landscape we saw! It was the picture I took before getting off from the boat.

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The view before getting off from the boat

Of course the boat could not take us to the land, and there was no place to dock it. So that, we should get into the beach (the trousers got wet), then finally, I was in this island!

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Pangabatang Island

The first thing I did after arriving was preparing the barbeque! A friend of mine and I get the fish done, and the ‘boys’ (actually, they were the uncles) had a job to toast the corns and fish as well. They were far better to do this than me, and other girls as well.

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We’re quite hungry people

After finishing my ‘job’, I walked around the island with my camera. my friend asking me to follow her, she led me to the most gorgeous spot ever! It was kind of another island, with white sand, sparkling water, and just we were there! I am sorry, I could not describe it precisely. Perharps, these photos can tell you more.

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Go catch me!

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Swimming

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The white sand

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Getting on the boat, we’re leaving 😦

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A bonus; we got a sunset

 

Don’t belive what I said, come and prove, ya!

[Flobamorata] #1 Kelimutu Lake: World Heritage Site in Indonesia

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The Gate

Talking about East Nusa Tenggara area or Flores Island particularly, the first thing coming into you mind probably is the most famous world heritage site located in Ende Regency: three colour Lake of Kelimutu. The rest of you might guess Komodo, may be. Then, it is also equally remarkable internationally, but I have not wanted to tell you about the latter yet. The thing is, I have not been there, sadly.

I have visited Kelimutu two times; in the last 2015 and in the middle of 2016, not quite long ya? This site, administratively, is located in Ende Regency. However, in fact, it is in the middle of Ende and Sikka Regency, so you can set out your exploration either from Maumere (a city in Sikka) or Ende. It is based on your trip plan, but one thing to note, both areas have many more tourism attractions. Just to be frank with you, in my personal opinion, Sikka is more appealing in terms of the natural attractions!

Back to Kelimutu! As fas as I knew, there is no single public transport which can take you there right at the spot or the nearest location before you have to walk. If you are in a group, the best option could be renting a car (of course including the driver, hehe) or if you are a single traveller and quite adventurous, I challenge you to ride a motorcycle! You can rent one from anyone in the city, best to asking the hotel’s staff where you are staying. If the latter is your choice, asking for a direction is absolutely needed, although the rute is merely to follow the main road and looking the traffic signs if available. The simple route does not mean it would be an easy journey, it only means that there is only a single road, but the landscape is really a challenge! Sometimes there are some falling rocks, there are many sharp turning, and there are up and down. I do not recommend you this way if you have never been a rider in this kind of situation.

The most wanted moment is early morning, you can take gorgeous sunrise pictures! If you are lucky, occasionally, you can see a rainbow J apart from the landscape and the lakes, you can also meet little monkeys there in the main viewing spot (mostly) and along your steps or walking time from the parking lot. Because of that, it would be better you be more careful with your cameras or other things with you.

In some spots

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A Local Selling Drinks

, including at the viewing gate, there are some locals selling traditional scarfs, coffee, or quick snacks. My suggestion is, if you bring enough money, please buy some J it would be their only income at that day.

At the first time I went there, it was by riding motorcycle. Three friends of mine and I were heading to Kelimutu from Maumere after exploring Koka Beach of Maumere (I am telling you about this gorgeous beach in the next part of Flobamora ya). It was the first time I was in such a challenging motorcycle journey, I had never imagined the route would be like that. We had 2 motorcycles, and I was always behind another motorcycle riding by the uncle (one of my colleague, but he was as old as my uncle, I also called him by that). My principle in dealing with this situation was, I would never be tempted by others’ speed if I knew I could not as fast as them. The safety is always number one!

We arrived at the Kelimutu National Park’s gate in the night. Of course we would not go the lake, we went there in the coming morning with a hope of meeting the sunset. So we needed a place to stay at that night. In the name economical consideration, we did not check in in a home stay or hotel, we chose the army base, next the gate. The uncle knew quite well with the guard, probably, I have never known about it. And I tell you what? The officers were not there, so the girls could sleep in a nice bedroom, wkwkwk.

However, in my second visit, we were quite a large group, so renting two cars was the best option. Heading there (from Maumere too) at about 2 am, yes 2 am! Bathing was out of my thought, even it was hard to open my eyes, I just continued my sleep in the car. Really? Not quite, because it was not a comfortable journey, the road, up and down, lots of turning, etc. it was just about closing your eyes, though. We arrived at the gate just in time Subuh prayer, so as a good moslem to be, I took a prayer in an open hut right in front of the gate. Wewhh, such a breath-taking air being there in that time and moment.

I had almost never skipped my meal time, so I grabbed a light meal after that, considering the journey would need my physical strength, walking. Just kidding, it was only a ten minute walking, if you can walk fast, because for me it took about 20-30 minutes! Yes, I am not good at walking or any other physical things (sports, etc.). But I was not the only cause, I preferred to enjoy this by taking some pictures and the nature as well, it was worth, rather than only passing by and aiming only the lakes.

These are our – my friends and I – photo hunting!

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Kelimutu Lakes when in a same colour

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The same lakes – see the picture above -captured in my second visit

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A lake in another side

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The Team – 2015

Flobamorata

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Flobamorata (circled in red)

In Flobamorata series, I would like to tell you about my journeys in these islands. Oh wait, do you know what does the abbreviation stand for? It is Flores, Sumba, Timor, Alor, Lembata.

To be honest, I have not been in Sumba till now (I wish I have been there when I was working in Flores, but I could not manage the time, hiks). And also Alor, I only stopped in its small harbour when I was on my way to Lembata. So, I am going to write about the places that I have ever visited, particularly the tourism sites.

Before starting, I would like to apologize, as a traveller, I think I have not been quite a photographer. Having a DSLR does not guarantee you can shoot well. Do not believe that the pictures I am going to give you would represent the beauty of the locations, they are far far more stunning! So, grab your backpack and prove my words!! Happy travelling 🙂

 

Okay, welcome to Flobamorata!

[photo of the month] our journey to lakey :)

These photos were taken couple months ago on our job trip to Dompu. The spot was so great and mostly recommended when you’re on your trip to Sumbawa Island although there are still many other recommended place. I also met some foreign tourists there. And the good news, some beautiful cottages located in front of the beach are ready to be your place for rest. So, welcome to Lakey 🙂

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Welcoming Gate to Lakey Beach

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the road

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Here we go!

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See! the sparkling blue water and the white sand are waiting for us 🙂

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The canoes complete our adventure there!