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pdo: beyond expectation

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“What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas”

But for us, “What happens in Lombok will we bring to The U.S.”

It’s not about the island, it’s about what happened there. We’ve never expected more that just meetings and sessions about our future study in The U.S., but we got more! It is friendship.

As I said before, most of us have never met before, our meeting in Lombok mostly was our first met for each other. Some have known each other during interview, TOEFL test, or medical checkup, but, PDO was the first event that gather us together.

I flew from Pontianak to Lombok via Jakarta on Sunday morning, May 13, 2012. My first flight was from Pontianak at 7.30 a.m. then I had to wait for almost 4 hours in Soekarno-Hatta International Airport (Soetta), Jakarta, before my connecting flight to Lombok which was scheduled to take off at 12.30 p.m. Waiting in Soetta wasn’t a big problem for me, I’m quite familiar with this airport since I have to transit here for almost every flight I take from/to my home in Bali. I met some of CCIP grantees from Pekanbaru, Surabaya, West Sumatra and Aceh before boarding.

This conference was my second time to Lombok in this year, I was there for my mom funeral in February. My family and I moved from Lombok in 2000, but I still call it ‘home’ nevertheless. We arrived at Lombok International Airport (BIL) and were picked up by the travel agent which also arranged that conference in Senggigi beach. We arrived at the hotel almost at 6 p.m. after that we had to find out our roommate. AMINEF booked us 3 hotels for accommodation during the conference. We, the CCIP grantees and some other program grantees were placed at The Santosa Villas and Resort Senggigi. Some program’s grantees stayed at Sheraton Senggigi Hotel and the board stayed at Qunci Villas.

welcome package from AMINEF

Welcome package from AMINEF

Welcome dinner was held at Bima ballroom in The Santosa and welcome speech was given by executive director of AMINEF, Michael E. McCoy. He introduced us to this event , “2012 Annual Fulbright and Related Programs Scholarly Networking Event and Pre-Departure Orientation”, and this event was also about the 60th anniversary of Fulbright Indonesia.
After dinner, all CCIP grantees gathered in the cafe leaded by Jimmy from Banjarmasin in an informal introduction for each of us since most of us were only knew by Facebook but never met in person.

Monday, the 2nd day was the full day event. Started by an opening session in Sheraton Senggigi Hotel. All program grantees gathered in the ballroom, where an opening speech was done by Don Q. Washington, public affair officer of The U.S. Embassy Indonesia. He made the speech on behalf of Barack Obama, the president of The United State of America. Following to it was a speech by Mr. Anies Baswedan, the initiator of Indonesia Mengajar. He started his speech with a story when he was applying for Fulbright scholarship years ago. That was a great story though.

Don Q. Washington

Don Q. Washington

Anies Baswedan

Anies Baswedan

After all those speeches, the AMINEF program officers introduced every single scholar that supposed to be on that conference (there were some grantees & scholars that already have departed to The U.S. for summer academic program). The American program officers introduced all American scholars and we, all Indonesian scholars and grantees were introduced by the Indonesian program officers. Yes, all of us were introduced there! They called every single name (including my name) to be introduced among all the Fulbright scholars and grantees. It was the greatest moment of my life.
The opening session was followed by photo session at Sheraton Senggigi Botanical Garden.
After lunch, all of scholars and grantees were floated into groups led by 1 or 2 American scholars. We discussed all the issues we had to know about study in The U.S.
Last session of the day was a concurrent session for every programs. CCIP session was held at The Santosa, we had a session with DR. Syedur Rahman, Ph. D, project coordinator of the NOVA led Community College Consortium, accompanied by alumnus from 2010 batch. The alumnus were come from 3 different consortium that will administer us during our time in the U.S.. The session was moderated by Ms. Mita, an AMINEF Indonesian program officer. In that session they answered all of our curiosities about living in the U.S., yes ALL questions, and that’s a lot. ^^
This concurrent session was divided into 3 different meetings in 2 days. There was a surprise for us in the 2nd session, mbak mita announced us with the news from Washington DC about our consortia and college placement. We called it surprise because until the last  session the day before, she still said that there was no announcement from Washington DC yet. We were divided into 3 consortium, which were Community College for International Development (CCID), Northwest CCI , and Community College Consortium (CCC). each consortia will administer several community colleges, our new school in The U.S.
The last sessions was a concurrent meetings that only divided into 2 groups, Indonesian and American scholars. We were explained about visa application procedures and all the documents needed for that process.

At the last day, we attended the farewell dinner at the Sheraton Senggigi Hotel Botanical Garden. It was an outdoor and beautiful garden party. There was a speech from Bana G. Kartasasmita, chairman of Fulbright Indonesia. And there was a performance from one of American scholar, Jennifer Shyu, who sang a song in Javanese (nyinden), which surprised most of Indonesian scholars since not many of us are capable to do that. Haha..

PDO in Lombok was not about formal sessions only, we did have some fun though. Yes, we did! A lot of fun! Even we accidentally created round-table-group that consist of some ‘crazy’ people who love to laugh during meal time. We also did a stupid thing during farewell dinner, but I think we will keep it there… :)))
I stayed at Lombok until Saturday, while some of grantees also stayed there until Sunday. Jimmy even stayed until Tuesday on the following week. We thanked God that AMINEF covered all the transportation and accommodation during the PDO, the rest was on our own budget.

PDO was not the end, there are some things we need to do before our departure. For instance, providing visa photo, waiting for the DS-2019 from the consortium, filling DS-160 for U.S. visa application, buying some souvenirs, etc. I will write with more stories for the next process later.. See ya..

Here are some photos during PDO..

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2 Responses

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  1. wow..Edo…i enjoy ur writing ^^ I am happy also we can meet up , hopefully we can meet up again all in New York :D hehehe..You all guys so amazing & Inspiring :) btw i like the way u posting th ccip pdo story, n the way u put the pics, im kinda gaptek..:( cant do much to make my blog look interesting..maybe u cud share to me some how to make slideshow like the last pic? :D


    June 12, 2012 at 7:22 pm

  2. […] may pre departure orientation 2012 Annual Fulbright and Related Programs Scholarly Networking Event and Pre-Departure […]

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