Expectation vs Reality

Me, jumping in Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado, US

Long time no see guys! Good to see you again. After long epic journey hanging around Indonesia with HOT, exploring Sydney and Canberra with Sydney University student, visiting Denver (Colorado, US) for a conference, now I’m here wasting my time for thesis proposal. Yeah this is my last year on my study. I have enough credits to get out with a science degree 🙂

A lot of people curious about me, how I could get involved with this community mapping pilot with HOT and AIFDR (AusAID), how I could go to Australia and US. Now this is the exact time for me to explain it. So, get your pop corn and soda right now, sit back, and relax 😉

It all started in October 2010, when one of my lecturer explain about a joint field trip with Sydney University student. So, I signed up for that program and I got in. They put my name, GPA, and TOEFL-prediction score on publication wall in my uni. And in January 2011, the field trip was happening. It was fun. Later in April 2011, there was an invitation from Sydney University that there will be some of Geography student who would come to Australia for Return Field School organized by Sydney University student. Also in May 2011, my lecturer gave information trough uni webmail that there will be a pilot project with OpenStreetMap and they need two interns. He said, this interns needed to help Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team (HOT) conducting workshop around Indonesia from June to July. Since I didn’t take any short term course I would love to join them. My first expectation was, well, going around Indonesia for free? That would be awesome! And then, I asked Va to join me because they need 2 interns.

Soon, I made contact with Kate Chapman from HOT. And then, she emailed me with the contract. I was eating Japanese food at the moment and when I read the contract, I was shocked and I had chicken katsu stuck in my throat. Why? Did you remember why I would like to join this project? I don’t take any course on short term and…traveling around for free! That’s it. I’m not asking for more but they give me unexpected reality. First, I thought I’m gonna be unpaid intern but they actually paid me. Second, after the internship, they granted us scholarship to go to State of the Map (SotM) and Free Open Source Software for Geospatial (FOSS4G) in Denver, Colorado, US. Soon, I contacted Va by BBM and told her to read the contract. Totally unexpected and of course this made me pretty hectic at the moment because I knew that I have to prepare visas (both for Australia and US). Internship happened from June 20th – July 29th then I flew to Australia on July 31st (2 days later!). I came back to Indonesia on August 17th, then flew again to Denver on September 6th!

Unbelievable but that was hell of an experience, traveling and connecting around the continent. Next, Europe maybe? 🙂

Taken in Denver

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