Irawati Chaniago, Ir. M.Rur.Sc., PhD
Senior Lecturer in Weed Science
Research Team Member of Wheat Development Program in Indonesia
Head of International Office
Andalas University, Padang 25163, INDONESIA
email: ichaniago@faperta.unand.ac.id; kui@unand.ac.id
BIO                 Scholar Seminar Presentation 1 and 2 (pdf)

The 9th week Progress (10 – 16 Nov 2012)

Saturday 10 Nov, No academic activities today. Doing my weekly cleaning and groceries.

Tuesday 13 Nov, I started the day by joining a class of postgraduate seminar on conservation. This is a class of Dr. Martha Groom of the Ecology and Environmental Studies of the University of Washington, Seattle. Today’s topic is “Climate Change in Small Islands”. The seminar and discussion was very interesting as well as informative. I learned many things about small island nations and how their people have been trying to improve the quality of their land and prevent the nature from degradation.

We had an on-campus tour today to visit Botany Greenhouse of the University of Washington. The tour started at 11.15 am and we were exposed to various plant exhibits at the glasshouse. The exhibits is ranging from a collection of various species of cacti representing dry, hot, and water shortage environment to other types of ecosystem in temperate and tropical conditions. The greenhouse is also open for educational tours for school students. I found this very interesting though the greenhouse complex is not very big in size but is very good site for introducing students to plants and their various habitats. I believe that upon visiting the glasshouse, there will be at least, one student would like to study plant science when they go to the university in the future. I would like to express my appreciation to Mr. Josh Nahum, a PhD candidate in Biology of the University of Washington for taking us through the tour. You are excellent, Josh and your enthusiasm is really something.

Then in the afternoon at 1.30 pm, we had a Fulbright Scholars seminar series at Thomson 317. The presenters for today were Dr. Bakri of Hasanuddin University in Makassar with a topic on “Rice Husk Ash: environmentally friendly material to substitute the role of Portland cement” and Dr. Andi A Adam presenting an interesting topic on “Toward greener concrete: can we make it without cement?”. These two topics are very relevant to the betterment of the environment while keeping the development running.

Thursday 15 Nov, I attended a guest lecture on Sustainable Agriculture and Natural Resource Management by Dr. Keith Moore of the Virginia Tech, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, Virginia. The guest lecture took place at the time for the postgraduate seminar of ENVIRO 500 subject, and Dr. Martha Groom is kindly facilitating the guest lecture at her class time and room. The discussion with Dr. Moore was very interesting and fruitful. I learned and agreed that conservation in agriculture should follow the following principles: minimum soil disturbance /no tillage, permanent vegetative cover, and crop rotation. We also discussed about how important to do collaborative and interdisciplinary field of studies to resolve the problem in agricultural environment. Agricultural production people have to work together with the conservationists to achieve the goal of sustainable agriculture though in practice is not always easy because of communication barriers between various disciplines. I raised the issue of involving people from Sociology and Anthropology in the project of farmers’ education not only for the betterment of agricultural practices but also in resolving the problem of conservation and environmental management.

At 1.30 pm I attended a Weekly Recharging Seminar at Thomson 317. Today’s topic is about Avian Health and Food Safety presented by Dr. Rocio Crespo of the Department of Veterinary Microbiology and Pathology, Washington State University, Puyallup, Washington. Dr. Crespo explained how the lab she has been working in dealing with the diagnostic for food safety as required by the Government of the Washington State. This practice is very good in a way to protect human from getting infected by diseases carried by animal and/or animal products. This seminar has been the finale for our weekly Recharging Seminar for the visiting scholars program here at the University of Washington because next Thursday will be a thanksgiving holiday, and the following Thursday, we are already in Indonesia as the program will end next week.

Friday 16 Nov, Discussion with some Professors of the Climate Change and Global Health Groups at Anderson 22. The discussion was led by Dr. Susan Bolton, Professor of Forest Resources of the University of Washington in Seattle. Other team members such as Dr. Celia Lowe and Dr. Josh Lawler also came to the meeting. Prof. Randall Kyes, our program coordinator, and his team members Linda Uyeda and Elle Kyes also came to the meeting. We discussed matters related to the projects of the group at different countries including Peru, Kenya, and Indonesia. I gathered from the discussion how important it is to protect the nature from degradation and this important task should be done in an interdisciplinary framework. We also discussed the possibility to build a collaborative research and project in line with the global health and environment. One quotation that I like from the meeting is: “protecting people as well as the environment for a better health”.

Off-campus tour today pm. This not really off-campus as we went to have a meeting with the Professors at University of Washington in Bothell. I called this off-campus as it is outside of UW in Seattle. I would like to personally acknowledge Dr. Martha Groom, a Professor of Interdisciplinary Art & Sciences, University of Washington Bothell for facilitating us and making the tour come true. After a short tour in the campus and saw the Wetland Restoration area, we had a discussion with Dr. Gray Kochhar-Lindgren, Associate Vice Chancellor for Undergraduate Learning, Dr. James Reinnoldt, Lecturer of Global Business, and Natalia Ksiezyk Dyba, Manager of Merit Scholarship, Fellowships, & Awards of UW Bothell. We discussed at seeking the possibility to build up networking between UW Bothell and home universities of the Fulbright scholars. We seem to find some doors of entering the collaborative research as well as students and academic mobility in the future. We would like to further the discussion in the near future so that certain actions can be done for the betterment of education between UW Bothell and participating universities from Indonesia.

The 8th week Progress (3 – 9 Nov 2012)

Saturday 3 Nov, Feeling tired today after returning form NY and DC trip. So, I decided not to go anywhere but staying in my apartment room. Coping with the jetlag, a little bit, and sleepless.

Monday 5 Nov, I was working with my students’ research proposal from my home university. Doing some corrections on the proposal before sending back to them via email. Catching with news on emails and replying some as necessary.

Tuesday 6 Nov, I started the day by joining a class of postgraduate seminar on conservation. This is class of Dr. Martha Groom of Ecology and Environmental Studies of the University of Washington. I am very grateful to Prof. Groom who allowing us to join the class not only observing the seminar but actively involving in the discussion and sharing our experiences to the class.

Then in the afternoon at 1.30 pm, we had a workshop on online teaching and open source learning using Canvas at Mary Gates Hall room 064. The workshop was led by Dr. Jake Kulstad of the University Information Technology. Dr. Kulstad explained us how the system works and we worked on how to build teaching material and be interactive with the students. I found that the workshop is very interesting as well as important in broadening my knowledge on distance learning. Thanks Jake for being an amazing teacher.

Thursday 8 Nov, We had a teaching workshop at the Gerberding Hall Conference Room from 1.30 – 5.00 pm. The seminar was held to meet the demand by all scholars and has been facilitated by our program coordinator, Prof. Randall Kyes, and his team, Linda Uyeda and Elle Kyes. The workshop was led by Dr. Martha Groom, a Professor of Ecology and Environmental Studies at the University of Washington in Bothell and Seattle. In the workshop, we learned how the teaching could be done in a way that the students would be very much actively involved. We discussed a lot about the Collaborative Teaching Techniques (CoLT) that I found very much useful. I was really inspired by Prof. Groom and promised myself to improve my teaching ability and method so that my students would get more in the class. Thank you Prof Groom, you are fabulous……..

Friday 9 Nov, Off campus tour today. We visited Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in Seattle. We were accompanied by Linda Uyeda and Elle Kyes. The tour was led by Mr. Patrick McMahon, a staff at the visitor center of Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The exhibits are amazing as well as inspiring. One of my favorite quotations from the exhibits is “teach others what to learn” and “use your voice for good”. I learned how those amazing people around the globe have been working together to help other people in need. Even a simple thing for someone can make a big different to others. Well,……I do agree.

The 7th week Progress (27 Oct – 2 Nov 2012)

Different to my other weekly report, this week 7th report will start on Thursday instead of Saturday.

Thursday 25 Oct, I started the day by leaving my apartment at 5.00 am heading to the Seattle Tacoma Airport. We had planned to go for a trip to New York and Washington DC; of course with the permission from Prof Randall Kyes, the Fulbright-DIKTI Program Coordinator. I, together with my colleague scholars, Andi Arham Adam, Ardi, and Gamal Rindarjono were ready for the trip. We left Seattle at 7.35 am flight bound to JF Kennedy Airport in New York. In the evening we managed to find an Indonesian restaurant in NY City, and we had a wonderful dinner enjoying Indonesian cuisines.

Friday 26 Oct, It is an Eid al Adha day, one of the biggest holy day in Islamic calendar. I celebrated the day by joining the Eid al Adha prayer at the mosque with the Indonesian Muslim Community in Long Island City, New York. I thank God and am very grateful to have this rare opportunity to celebrate Eid al Adha with other Indonesian Muslim here. It gives me a feeling of home away from home. After the prayer, we met and had conversation with other Indonesians while having light refreshment.

In the afternoon, we visited the Empire State Building, one of the places I had been wanted to visit. This building is said to be a symbol of shared hoped, dreams, and accomplishment. It was amazing to learn the history of the making of the building. We also paid a visit to the NBC studio at the Rockerfeller Center and were informed how the TV station makes the program, lives or recorded.

Here is a little bit of history of the making of the Empire state Building which I gathered from the following source, (http://esbnyc.com/esb_story_historical_timeline.asp).
1930: On March 17, construction of the Empire State Building began. Under the direction of architects Shreve, Lamb & Harmon Associates, and with a peak labor force of 3,000 men, framework rose at a rate of 4 stories per week.
1930: The masonry work for the building, which began in June of the same year, was completed on November 13.
1931: On May 1, President Hoover pressed a button in Washington, DC, which turned on the Empire State Building's lights and officially opened the building.
1931: William Lamb, the Empire State Building architect, was awarded the Architectural League's Medal of Honor “for his masterful treatment of an office building.”
2007: The Empire State Building was named "America's Favorite Architecture" in a poll conducted by the American Institute of Architects.

Saturday 27 Oct, we took a trip to the Statue of Liberty, an icon of freedom and of the United States, and Ellis Island. So many visitors made their trip to see the statue and I am grateful to be one of them. I learned from the site that the current color (slightly grayish green) of the statue is due to the weather condition. The original was copper color and as the oxidation process with the air, the color has turned into a color as it is now. We continue to learn more about US by sightseeing while walking along the road towards the ‘Ground Zero’. I stopped by at the Ground Zero, said my prayers for the victims, remembering the tragedy, and hoping this kind of thing will not happen again in the future. I believe that every human being wants to live in harmony.

Sunday 28 Oct, I, together with my colleagues went to visit the United Nations Headquarters. This place has played important roles in keeping the world and nations in harmony. I consider myself very lucky to have an opportunity to be in the UN Headquarters.

Though we were not quite sure to continue our trip to Washington DC, in the afternoon, we got into a bus and managed to get to Washington DC by 8.45 pm. Our doubt has got something to do with the news that Hurricane Sandy was predicted to hit New York and other cities in the East Coast at Sunday evening of 28 Oct.

Monday 29 Oct and Tuesday 30 Oct, we had to stay in a hotel room due to the superstorm Sandy. We were very lucky that we managed to do shopping at a nearby supermarket. We would like to thank Mr. Kemal Massi, a very good friend of Andi A Adam for taking us to the supermarket with his car. I couldn’t stop praying hoping that the storm did not cause serious damage. However, mother nature is too strong so I was devastated when on Tuesday we got the electricity back into our hotel room and watching to the TV how serious the damage is. This reminded me of the September 2009 earthquake I was experiencing in my home town, Padang – West Sumatra. Though the source natural disaster was different, it still caused similar damage to human beings and their lives. I felt sorry for people in the area for losing house, electricity, gas, clean water, etc. Especially in the cold-coming weather, many people left devastated by the storm. I heard from the news that until recently, there are places that still in shortage of electricity and gas. I hope this will over very soon.

We were supposed to return to Seattle by Tuesday 30 Oct. However, we were informed by our travel agent that all flight from New York has been cancelled for Monday and Tuesday. Therefore, with no other choice we decided to prolong our stay in Washington DC and we were glad that we managed to get our return flight on Friday Nov 2.

Wednesday 31 Oct, The first day we could get out after the hurricane Sandy. We went to the Arlington National Cemetary where the late President J. F. Kennedy was buried. I feel so lucky having the opportunity to pay a visit and tribute to the gravesite of one of the most important person in the history of USA.

We went to the Smithsonian National Air & Space Museum in Dulles. I was amazed when seeing the space shuttle Discovery. I could not believe myself touching the Discovery with my hands; I only saw it on TV before. I learned many things in the museum and seeing different types of aircraft either the history of the making or the display of the aircraft themselves. I was saying to myself, how lucky the Americans are, they can visit the museum and feel the glory and the history of human effort to go to the space. I would like to take this opportunity to, once again, thank the Fulbright for granting me a scholarship to come to USA and thank Prof Randall Kyes, of the University of Washington, for the permission granted to us to go to New York and Washington DC. What an experience in a lifetime. I promise myself when I return home upon completion my program here at the USA, I would tell my students all my good experiences hoping that they would be inspired to study harder to achieve their dreams for the betterment of future generation.

Thursday 1 Nov, Today we went to visit some historical sites in Washington DC. We started by visiting the Lincoln Memorial, then Smithsonian Museum of American History, and Smithsonian Museum of Natural History. We saw the White House and the Capitol Hill. Today’s trip was really amazing. Again, I feel very grateful for the opportunity to visit such important places and I learned many things from my trip. We ended our trip in front of the Capitol Hill this evening before returning back to hotel.

Friday 2 Nov, we returned back to Seattle. What an amazing and memorable trip we had. Thank God for all you have given to me.

The 6th week Progress (20 – 26 Oct 2012)

Saturday 20 Oct, Nothing special today, just doing routine domestic jobs such as cleaning, laundry and shopping for groceries,   ^-^

Monday 22 Oct, An exciting on-campus tour has been arranged for us today. We were invited to join a tour to the Department of Comparative Medicine at the University of Washington. This tour brought us to see and listened to the explanation about the facilities the university has to run experiments and research dealing with animals. We saw rooms where the animals are kept. Every single room is equipped with different setting and requirement for different species of animals such as, rat, mouse, dog, rabbit, pig, frog xenopus, and zebra fish. I was amazed when Ms. Pam Morris, LAT Facilities Director of the Department of Comparative Medicine, told us that they play classical music for the animals and this makes animals very happy, wow………..this is interesting !!!.

We were told by Ms Laura Campbell, LVT Assistant Facilities Director of the Department of Comparative Medicine, how the high standard procedure and requirements have to be met before the research can be commenced. Seeing one of the best high-standard facilities in the world for research really amazed me and somehow makes me envy of students and professors at the University of Washington. Anyway, I am very grateful to Fulbright and the Indonesian Government for granting me the Fulbright scholarship so I can expose myself to one of the best universities in the world.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank Pam and Laura for being our tour leaders today. They both are very patient and enthusiastically answering our questions.

Tuesday 23 Oct, I started the day by joining on-campus tour to visit Burke Museum at 10.45 am. This is another on-campus tour that has been arranged for us. Burke Museum is located within the University of Washington campus in Seattle. We were met by Prof. Peter Lape of the Department of Anthropology and Curator of Archaeology/Associate Director for Research at the Burke Museum. Prof Lape explained us the history of the museum, the collection, and other things can be seen at the museum. We were told how Prof Lape has been engaged in collaborative research with Indonesian universities in archaeology.

In the afternoon at 1.30 pm at Thomson 317 we had a discussion with Prof. Indroyono Soesilo who is currently the Executive Secretary of the Coordinating Ministry of Peoples’ Welfare of the Republic of Indonesia. Prof Soesilo came to the University of Washington as a Fulbright Distinguished Scholar. We shared information on the history of capacity building of Indonesian scholars studied at American universities dated back at 1950s. This had been the efforts by the first president of Indonesia, Sukarno, to speed up the educational advancement of Indonesian people after the independence. I found the discussion was really good and interesting and agreed that Indonesia has potential as a big nation in technology and engineering. In the discussion, I imagined if I could be like Prof Soesilo someday…..then I told myself to wake up from that daydream,…..sigh…….

Later in the afternoon at 3.30 pm I attended a lecture by Prof Indroyono Soesilo on “Global Climate Change: Role of Indonesian Archipelago and Global Challenges” at the Oceanography Building (OCE 425). The lecture was attended by the Indonesian Fulbright scholars of UW, Indonesian students of UW, and other students and staff of UW. Prof Soesilo talked about global warming issues and the role of forest, ocean, and seagrass to absorb CO2 gas as well efforts made to reduce CO2 emission. Through the lecture, I agreed that international collaboration is needed among countries (developing and developed ones) to improve the quality of our environment and to reduce the effect of global warming. So,…..lets hand in hand to the betterment of our planet for the future generation.

Wednesday 24 Oct, One of the most exciting days I have been waiting for. We visited Vashon Island to experience the organic farming, …..yay…….. I am very grateful to Prof Kyes, the Fulbright Program Coordinator and Dr. Sara Van Fleet of the Southeast Asia Center and The Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies and other team members who have put their best efforts to make this trip come true. I have been involved in helping farmers in organic farming for vegetables as part of my duty in community services. Therefore, I would consider this trip would be a special bonus for me…. :-). Organic farming, which I believe, is not only providing good quality of food products for humans but also improving the quality of our nature and conserving nature for our future generation.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank Joanne Jewell and Rob Peterson of Plum Forest Farm for allowing us to visit their farm and discussed with us various aspect of organic farming they do in their property. My appreciation is also directed to Karen Biondo of Karen Biondo Farm at Paradise Valley for taking the time to prepare a very nice and tasteful lunch in her house. Upon finishing our nice lunch, we are allowed to meet Karen’s plants and animals and discuss on how she manages her organic farm. Wow……what an experience I had today at a very beautiful and quiet island, Vashon Island.

The 5th week Progress (13 – 19 Oct 2012)

Saturday 13 Oct, Nothing special today, just doing domestic jobs such as cleaning, laundry and shopping for groceries.

Monday 15 Oct, We were invited to join South East Asia Center Annual Fall Reception at Petersen Room, 4th Floor Allen Library, the University of Washington. The reception was from 2.30 – 4.30 pm and held to celebrate the start of the academic year. This was a good opportunity to catch up with friends and colleagues in Southeast Asian studies, meet incoming students as well as welcoming visiting scholars from Indonesia and the U.S.

Tuesday 16 Oct, In the morning we had a on campus tour program on Educational Outreach - Online Learning. We started the program by having discussion with the Online Learning team at a building called the university tower. The discussion was led by Mr. Joseph Dial and we were exposed to the system and how the team works with the professors in preparing their online material for students.

Then we visited the class room where the lecture session can be recorded before being posted online to the students. At the ‘control room’ we saw facilities for recording the course materials and discussed various aspects of preparation of materials for online learning and we are very grateful to Mr. Dave Coffey for his explanation and patiently listened and answered to our questions. I found this short tour was very amazing and informative. This tour has broadened my knowledge and I found it good to see directly the process and system that can improve access for students to study distantly.

In the afternoon we had our fourth week of Fulbright Scholars Seminar series took place at Thomson 317. Prof Asmudin Natsir of the Hasanuddin University and I were the presenter of the seminar. Prof Natsir talked about his university and research area of his interest as well as the community services he and his team has been involved with. At the second session, I gave my talk about three different areas of interest. I started with brief information of Andalas University, its history, its students, and its collaboration with various universities from Europe, Australia, and Asian countries. I also took this opportunity to present how our team has been working on research and development of wheat growing. This is important that my university has been engaging with to support the government program in food security and food diversity. The last part of my presentation was highlighting the community services that I and my team have been conducting for the last four years in vegetables organic farming. I was very excited to present this organic farming and proudly told the audience how local farmers are aware that we need to improve the quality of soil and the environment by using local materials. I agree that we have to keep “local wisdom” to develop local community.

Thursday 18 Oct, Thursday is another exciting day for me as we have Fulbright Recharging Seminar Series scheduled every Thursday at 1.30 pm at Thomson 317. Today we had Jake Kulstad PhD of the University of Washington Information Technology. Dr. Kulstad is an Instructional Technologist who with his team helps and makes sure the teaching and learning process at UW runs well with the support of technology. Dr. Kulstad exposed us with various online facilities at UW that can be used in the teaching and learning process. I learned so many new things from Dr. Kulstad and we have agreed to have a workshop on how to develop learning materials and online discussion with students. We hope that this expertise will help us to improve the teaching and learning process when we return back to our universities in Indonesia. I do believe that this skill will improve not only the teaching and learning process but also students’ motivation and participation in their courses. What an experience!!!......Thank you Dr. Kulstad for the talk and thank you Prof Randall Kyes for facilitating us to the session.

In the afternoon from 4.30 to 6.20 pm, Prof Ardi and I joined a graduate level seminar class of International Bioethics, Social Justice and Health at William H Gates Hall 116. The seminar was led by Prof Beth Rivin of the School of law and as the director of Global Health and Justice Project. Prof Rivin is my mentor during my visit at the University of Washington and I was very lucky to be invited for the seminar. The topic today was about health worker migration and brain drain, and their perspective on human rights and justice. I found the seminar is very interesting and informative though it is totally different to my field of study. Prof Ardi and I took part in the seminar and told the class about the education system for medical students in Indonesia and that they must serve at the community health center for 1 – 2 years after graduation before they entitle to apply for a job. I learned many things in the seminar such as how enthusiastic the students were to the topic discussed though the students come from different field of studies. I am planning to apply this method of discussion for my students when I return back to my university upon completion of this Fulbright program.

The 4th week Progress (6 – 12 Oct 2012)

Saturday 6 Oct, We went to visit 2012 Salmon Days Festival at Issaquah, an annual event. As advertised through the website that this is “the Pacific Northwest's most-beloved, family-friendly, award-winning and fishiest festival around!”, we were so excited to pay a visit to the festival. Again, thanks to Pak Andi Arham for his gadget that, as always, show us the way and which bus to catch to get to the site. Thousands of people showed up enjoying the atmosphere, though somehow I cracked a joke with Prof Ardi that this festival look alike ‘Padang Fair’ in our hometown,…. :-)
What a great experience!!!...

Tuesday 9 Oct, third week of Fulbright Scholars Seminar series took place at Thomson 317. Pak Andoyo Supriyantono and Bu Sintje Lumatauw of the Papua State University presented a highlight of their university and more specifically Bu Sintje spoke about the community services the university has been engaging with the local people. We were presented with infos and photos of beautiful places and people of Papua with their uniqueness. I found that today’s presentation, as for others, are always interesting as well as informative. These make me becoming more proud of the richness of Indonesian society and culture.

Thursday 11 Oct, Thursday is an exciting day for me as we have Fulbright Recharging Seminar Series scheduled every Thursday at 1.30 pm at Thomson 317. Today we had two students, Morgan Wilbanks and Anna Schier, of UW who joined a field study in Indonesia last summer. Morgan and Anna presented us with their journey and experienced doing field work in another country that very far away from their home.
This is a very good opportunity for us to know directly from the students themselves about their experiences, their expectation before they bound to Indonesia, and their views and thought about Indonesia and the people. I learned something from Morgan and Anna; that is pre departure preparation is a MUST for students for their first overseas visit. I appreciate the never ending effort and support of Prof Randy Kyes for preparing his students before leaving to Indonesia. Prof Kyes do make the students confident and know what they do and what to expect from the filed study. Keep up the good work, Prof Kyes and you have shown me the way……

In the afternoon from 4.30 to 6.20 pm, Prof Ardi, Pak Stephanus and I were invited to join a graduate level seminar class of International Bioethics, Social Justice and Health at William H Gates Hall 116. The seminar was led by Prof Beth Rivin of the School of law and as the director of Global Health and Justice Project. Prof Rivin is my mentor during my visit at the University of Washington and I was very lucky to be invited for the seminar. I found the seminar is very interesting and informative though it is totally different to my field of study. I learned many things in the seminar such as how enthusiastic the students were to the topic discussed though the students come from different field of studie…Wow,…..what a great day I had !!!

The 3rd week Progress (29 Sept – 5 Oct 2012)

Saturday 29 Sept, we were invited to have lunch at NiLuh’s house. Ni Luh is one of the board members of the Seattle Surabaya Sisters City Association (SSSCA). Niluh is very kind to provide us with her very warm welcome to her house with yummy Indonesian cuisines. Fulbright Scholars got an opportunity to meet with the board and member of the SSSCA. Many Indonesian families turned up and we took this as good opportunity for us to link with more people to share our thought and ideas. What a great gathering!!!...

Tuesday 2 Oct, second week of Fulbright Scholars Seminar series. Prof Ardi of Andalas University and Prof Djoni Prawira Rahardja of Hasanuddin University talked at the seminar. Prof Ardi presented the audiences with Minangkabau and its uniqueness. Among them are beautiful sceneries of Minangkabau natural landscapes and the uniqueness of a monkey species “beruk, local dialect” that works for human in picking up coconuts from the coconut trees.
Prof Djoni presented another interesting topic about the important of animal protein and its source in South Sulawesi. We have also been exposed to the importance of spotted buffalos in Toraja society for the funeral ceremony. These two topics, as for others, are always interesting as well as informative. I am becoming more proud of the richness of Indonesian society and culture.

Thursday 4 Oct, Thursday is an exciting day for me as we had Fulbright Recharging Seminar Series scheduled every Thursday at 1.30 pm at Thomson 317. Today we had one of the important persons at UW for international collaboration. Dr. Peter Moran as a Director of International Programs and Exchanges presented his talk to the Fulbright-Dikti scholars.

Later in the afternoon, the Fulbright scholars were invited by the Seattle Surabaya Sisters City Association (SSSCA) to visit the Seattle Art Museum (SAM) located at Downtown Seattle, 1300 First Avenue, Seattle. This visit is part of the joint program between SSSCA and Fulbright-Dikti Scholar Program Coordinator. The collection of the SAM is awesome and among the best collection I’ve ever seen. I, surprisingly, found two pieces of “kain batik” from Indonesia as part of the collection and this makes me even more proud to my country and my culture. As Seattle and Surabaya have become sister cities, I propose the SSSCA to encourage the SAM to put more “Indonesian” items represent the richness of Indonesian culture which I believe would eventually improve an understanding and respect between people and nations.
So,… we need academic recharging as much as non academic ones,……..:-)

The 2nd Week Progress (22 – 28 September 2012)

Sunday 23 Sept, our beloved friends of Seattle Surabaya Sisters City Association (SSSCA) invited us to join the Boeing Family Day. Mas Greg Dwidjaya, the President of SSSCA, who works at the Boeing Company was very kind to escort us to the tour and explained us the making of Boeing aircrafts. We visited the Boeing site at Renton and spending hours to see the exhibit. I was amazed when Mas Gregg told us that the company produces an average of 5 aircrafts every week.

Tuesday 25 Sept, I joined a class of ENVIRO 500 for graduate level students at 8.30 – 10.00 am. Dr. Martha Groom, the lecturer, is kindly allowing us to join in the class though we are not officially registered as the students taking the subject. I like the way Dr. Groom leads the class at the first meeting (inspiring me for what I would like to do in the class when I return home later). I am interested in joining the class for its topic on conservation that could be related to my subject (agriculture). Having seen our interest, Dr. Groom then decided to put our UW id into the online system of the subject so we can follow online discussion with the students. I take this as a compliment.

Wednesday 26 Sept, Woodland Park Zoo guided tour. Our Fulbright scholar group was invited to the Woodland Park Zoo tour between 1.00 – 3.30 pm. We started the tour by having a presentation about the zoo and the project in Kalimantan called Alam Sehat Lestari (ASRI). Darin Collins, DVM as a Director of Animal Health Program gave a talk to us at the Education Center Auditorium followed by a presentation on Project and exhibit design with environmental considerations delivered by Ms. Monica Lake. This tour really catches my attention specially on how the zoo people are trying to create the exhibit as close as the real place for animals in their natural habitat. They are trying to “make the animals feel like they are home” as I think that’s the way it should be. Though some animals come from a tropical area with temperature and humidity differ to those in Seattle, but the exhibit is just amazing.

Thursday 27 Sept, Our first scheduled recharging seminar at 1.30 pm held at Thomson 317. We are very fortunate to have Dr. David Szatmary with his position as a Vice Provost of Educational Outreach as the speaker. Dr. Szatmary talked about the UW online learning and UW Educational Outreach (UWEO) Program. We discussed various aspects of running distance education, the model, how students and lecturer interact, marking system, etc. I found the UWEO interesting as it gives access to so many students who cannot physically attend on site classes.

Friday 28 Sept, I was invited to join a colloquium at the Department of Geography at Friday 28 Sept at 3.30 pm. Though geography is not my field of interest, I would like to acknowledge an effort of Prof. Matthew Sparke who would introduce me to Prof. Lucy Jarosz of the Department of Geography. Prof. Jarosz invited me to come to the department and this makes me very fortunate to meet people from different academic background but sharing similar interest in organic farming with me. Prof. Jarosz would try to connect me with some local small-scale organic farmers. This is getting even more exciting.

The 1st week Progress (15 – 22 September 2012)

I don’t have enough words to thank Prof. Randall Kyes and his super team of Center for Global Field Study of University of Washington, Seattle for a very warm welcome to me and my colleagues of Dikti-Fulbright Scholars from Indonesia. On my first meeting with Prof. Kyes at Tacoma Seattle International Airport at Friday evening 15 September 2012, I got the impression that Prof. Kyes is a very nice person to work with and very passionate about his job.

Prof Kyes and his team have made their very best effort to make our arrival very easy. They prepared us with basic stuff we need and took us to the nearby groceries so that we could shop for our day-to-day necessity that would save us for a week. We had been introduced to people at this university who may be in contact with us during our prestigious stay here.

Monday, 17 September 2012, we were gathering at the meeting room of the Gerberding Hall. Prof Kyes, at this first official meeting with us, explained us our project and what need to be done to make the best of our stay as visiting scholars. A little campus tour has been led by Linda Uyeda, one of the best team member of Prof Kyes team, gave us access to some parts of the UW. Not to mention the patient of Elle Kyes in assisting us has been very much appreciated.

Wednesday, 19 September 2012, Prof Kyes took us to meet my mentor, Prof Beth Rivin of the School of Law UW, at the William H. Gates Hall. We discussed things that I would like to achieve during my stay at UW. Although Prof Beth Rivin has a completely different field of study to mine, she has been really wonderful. She understands what I want and has promised to link me with people on related subject.

Thursday, 20 September 2012, was our welcome reception as the member of UW community. Surprisingly, the reception was very warm in a friendly environment. Some Indonesian students studying at UW and some people of Seattle Surabaya Sister City Association (SSSCA) have also joined in the reception. I felt so grateful and almost speechless for such a warm and friendly atmosphere. I met some people that I could have a further discussion with. To mention some is Prof Matthew Sparke of Geography and International Studies who has been very kindly introducing himself to me and would like to connect me with people dealing with organic farming. I thank Matt very much for his kindness. Another important person I met at the reception is Dr. Peter Moran, Director of International Programs and Exchanges. My short discussion with Dr. Moran was very fruitful in looking at the possibilities to establish collaboration between UW and Andalas University. This is one of the achievements I would like to accomplish during my stay at UW as I am coming here wearing different hats. One of the hats is Head of International Office of Andalas University.