No More Drama

Today, December 22th, I try my luck to submit my visa application. Perhaps due to holiday mood, the aura in German Embassy is different; not so tensed as usual.

In German Embassy, there are 2 document screening process. First, after we have security check, then we have to submit our document to be checked. If our documents are not sufficient, then we can't proceed. But if it is sufficient, then we can proceed our visa application at the 2nd floor.

This time, I was questioned by the first doc screening officer about my background story. But she doesn't question me much. She just re-arrange my documents and told me to proceed to 2nd floor.

When I came in September, the same officer questions me much. Especially about my insurance. See, I guess the holiday mood has changed everybody ;)

Then in 2nd floor, I have to queue. And at that time, there's one person who really has a problem with her application. She handed in her application and got interviewed. Then she's told to wait. Then she's called again because her application isn't correct and she's told to correct it. Then she has to wait again, and then she's been called again...

In this day, from 4 lockets available, only 2 are open. Perhaps the other 2 are already on leave. So when I (and other people) saw that girl with that complicated process, I wonder when can I get my turn. Many people start getting anxious.

But then, after that girl, everything seems going perfectly. And when my turn comes, the officer really didn't ask me anything. she just check my documents and didn't ask about my background story. Yes right, she didn't ask. She just told me to sit down and wait. And some minutes later, I was told to sign a paper and give my contact number. And the only question she asked is whether I will continue to PhD or not. I said I am open for any options. And that's all.

Next thing, I have to pick my visa at January 2nd. Thank God, no more drama!!!!

Malaria Free

Oooooh I am so glad now.

My blood was taken for a test; and it said that there's no malaria parasite anymore!!! I feel so cured.

Although I am still not 100% fit, but surely I feel optimistic now :)

Life and Death Situation

When was the last time you challenge your life into death? In my case, never! I never do any extreme sport or risk myself in anyway. Yes I am an adventurer, but I think I am a safe adventurer; not a risky one.

Whenever I want to travel to remote place, I try to prepare everything carefully. Including this time when I have to travel to malaria area. I have taken my anti malaria pill months before I go there; and I take it constantly every 2 weeks. Isn’t that a good preparation?

But I guess you never be sure that you’re ready. My health condition drops due to the exhausted travel there [Read: My Research]. And at this point, all my preparation becomes useless :( Nothing really works although when I was there, there was anti-malaria spraying activity conducted by Health Service.

Then it happened. At Nov 30th I woke up with fever. I thought this fever is just a normal light fever because I am too tired. So I just take as much water as I can. But the fever doesn’t go down in the evening. At this point I already contact my brother in Jakarta and tell about this strange fever. He then arranges his in-laws, who live in Makassar, to pick me up and take me to a hospital.

But the doctor says it’s too early to detect the cause just by 1 day of fever; it needs 3 days to detect the cause of fever. He prescribes me antibiotic, anti-vomiting, and anti-fever medicines.

In the next day, I feel better. The fever is gone and I feel fine. So I thought, nothing serious. But I was totally wrong!!! Entering evening time, the fever strikes again; this time I start vomiting. To make it worst, the medicines don’t work at all. I keep vomiting and the anti-fever makes me anxious. Then I decide to go home in the next morning.

At December 2nd, I drag myself; with fever and just vomiting before entering the taxi; to airport at 5AM. I don’t have ticket; I’ll do go show. And no surprise, the closest departure is provided by the most expensive airline in my country. Health is surely costly. But to see in a positive side, the service is good. I don’t have to walk without shelter into the plane (In cheaper flight, we have to walk outside into the plane which mean we also have to hear the loudness of the plane machine!).

I can survive the trip; I sleep along the travel. Also to my home, I just sleep in the taxi. After resting for awhile at my home, my father takes me to a small clinic nearby to check my blood. Unfortunately they can’t perform any test at that time so they refer me to a small hospital nearby. But this turns out as a big blunder…

I got tested for malaria, dengue fever, and typhus. The result says that I am only positive for dengue; so I have to stay there and getting treatment for dengue fever. In dengue fever, the number of trombocyte is getting down, which cause the fever; so whenever the trombocyte number is rising, the fever starts to go. Aaah, and it is also found out that my liver function is deteriorating.

At that time, my fever keeps jumping up and down. In the morning, I feel fine. But entering evening time, I start become anxious because the fever strikes. And my fever can reach 40 degrees! I keep vomiting and can’t take all the medicines, so can’t the food. It was so awful. But this condition becomes worst because of the hospital itself. It seems that they start to mix all the medicines. I have no idea how many antibiotics that I have taken, orally or injected.

I feel like in the concentration camp. For example, when my fever still high although my trombocytes are getting higher, they give me 3 paracetamols at once!!! What?! What do you think my body is? A junkyard? How come they sure that the reaction only goes 1 direction? My body could react different and it will endanger me for sure!!

Another example, I didn’t poo for 6 days. I think it’s normal in this condition because I just stay at bed and the medicines can’t cause constipation. But then they give me medicine to make me poo!!! Well I already have pain in my stomach due to all the medicines, and now they give me something to squeeze my intestine??? No way!!! Luckily at that time, my former nanny is visiting me. She gives me small massage at the back near the tail bone; and of course it works. I really don’t need that medicine anymore.

After a week without any progress, my family becomes furious, especially the hospital starts to experiment on me. At this point, I am really afraid that this experiment thing could make me handicap or invalid or damaging part of my body or something like that. So I am fully agreed when my family decides to remove me to bigger hospital.

In bigger hospital, I have blood test once again. This time, they identify that I got malaria!!! I never got dengue fever. Never!!! This is why my liver function is deteriorating; malaria is attacking the liver. And for trombocytes; no matter dengue or malaria, the trombocytes are always damage. I spoke to the person from the lab who perform the test; she said to determine dengue is not just by the number of trombocytes, there’s another indicator that determine it. I guess in the small hospital, the lab isn’t sophisticated enough; that’s why I was mistreated :(

I stay 2 nights in bigger hospital. After they can find the cause of my illness, they let me go home with some medicines. A week after my release, I have to have another blood test and examination. Lesson learned: just go to bigger hospital no matter how expensive it would be; but you’ll save a lot more.

Talking back about risking life again… Now I feel so stupid, risking my life for nothing. Of course to say for nothing is too much; my visit there will surely be useful. But I still couldn’t believe that I did risk my life…

My Research

My research is about community perception. Community in here means people who live in the small islands or in other name, islanders. Basically I want to know whether one particular government project is working well or not i.e. whether the people aware about it, whether people really involved, etc. And that project is about Marine Protected Area (MPA).

My research area is in South Sulawesi Province; 2 hours flight from Jakarta, the capital city of Indonesia. I choose to take 5 islands, out of 31, as my research sites. 4 of the islands are close together. I mean, 2 islands are close, then another 2 islands are also close. So I decide to go to 2 islands at one time; and the last island I’ll visit separately.

I stay one week in each island. So I travel for 2 weeks and go back to the mainland for about a week to prepare for the next trip.

Everything went perfect in my first trip. The 2 islands are near from mainland; only 1 hour wooden-boat rides.

In my 2nd trip, it was so messy. Here’s the thing: having boat ride here doesn’t mean that I travel with scheduled boat trip. There’s no regular boat trip. If you want to go to these islands, you have to go to the port and look for boat that will go to the particular destination. It means that we’re just hitchhiking.

So this time, I was told that the boat will leave at 8AM. Since I am just hitchhiking, I am so afraid that they would leave me. This has made my sleeping become a bit anxious. I am afraid that I can’t wake and the boat leaves me.

So there I was, half asleep, went to the port. And of course, the boat was late. They still need to buy gasoline and ice and those shops are not open yet!!! After waiting and waiting, finally we go at 12PM!!! It means the sun is 90o from your head! To make it worst, the boat is a cargo boat; so there’s no shelter for people!!!

Imagine, I am lack of sleep and tired of waiting; then I have to travel 3.5 hours with direct sunlight… A perfect way to make your body weak. And it does. I wasn’t 100% fit during my travel and jeopardize myself because I am entering malaria area :(

Improved Banking System

Surprised… surprised…!!! The banking system is improving in the term ‘online’. Before, I can’t understand why we need 2-3 days to do online transaction. What’s the sense of online then???

But today, I can send money from my German bank account to my Indonesian bank account within a day!!! I am so surprised!!!