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Hamburg Study Trip 2017

Last week study trip mark my comeback to the RSM MBA program. Guided by Prof Finn and Jamie the program office, the trip to Hamburg with a mix of FTMBA2018, EMBA2017 & EMBA2018 cohorts. It was an interesting trip to say the least.

I figure out that I really enjoy the Airbus, Farmer's Cut, and Philips visit, but find the Port, Vopak, & Kuhne+Nagel visit lacking something.

The lecture by Prof. McKinnon enforced my believe that climate change is a global problem and need to be addressed not only by governments but also corporation. Corporation have an even bigger reason to act proactively to safeguard the earth. The visit to Vopak validate that thought, by seeing their "sea wall" being completed and a couple other initiatives that serve to safeguard their interests. To some extent, Airbus also try to contribute to reduce greenhouse gases with its NEO initiative, reducing its reliance to aluminum and other metal by substituting it with carbon fibers.

There are more that can and should be done by the industry to help mitigate and combat climate change, before it affects the way supply chain companies operate.

On Automations

One thing that surprises me in this visit is how low automation is used in the companies that we visit in Hamburg. With all the talk about it in class and the articles that paints automation as the big thing in supply chain. Especially in The Port, where when compared to the to automation in the port of Rotterdam, felt like the port of the early millennium. It could just be that the particular terminal that we visit hasn't been automated yet, but even the talk given by the port consultant doesn't signal much confidence(?) toward modernization and automation of the port operation. The only kind of automation that we witness at the cargo terminal is the sorting and loading of containers to truck. But from STS to storage yard seems to be reliant to the ATAT's operators.

The logistic operation in Kuhne+Nagel are not as automated as I expect either. One could argue its very much a manual operation assisted with heavy machinery. No robot in sight there either. Especially compared to what Amazon has accomplished in the last decade with regard to automating their warehouse. But then again, I also saw the case to keep the system that's employed by Kuhne+Nagel for Yamaha distribution. With the degree of variety of products being handled and a sort of treatment that each item need to be handled before being sent out to retailers and end customers, it make sense to keep the existing system.

The only glimpse of automation is at the Airbus factory where they automated the welding of the fuselages of the A380 and the automated pumping station at Vopak.

To be fair, one of the mantra that seems to be repeated a couple time during the week is "Logistic industry is traditionally slow to adapt new tech and often time than not will reinvent the wheels"

On Farmer's Cut

The visit to Farmer's Cut re-invigorates my interest to the problem in agriculture and the industry, as well as Rumah Kebon, my family owned urban farm school. Initially I felt a bit skeptical from their website, but after seeing their operation and the fully build cell, I'm more intrigued and curious on how well their business going to be in the next 6-9 month as they go into full scale production.

As an advocate of small/family farm that can be set up in an average family outdoor space, the idea of massive indoor farm fascinate me. Combined with the modularity of the cell system, the degree of automation, and machine learning employed on Farmer's Cut grow system, I could envision putting multi sized farm cells in buildings around the world where there is demand for round-the-year vegetables. The system could eliminate seasonality variance for vegetables. Not sure how would felt about not having seasonality in restaurant, but I would imagine consumer would benefit for it.

The idea of limiting the distribution range to 10-20km from the cell is baffling to me, where I've been grown accustom to the idea of having my food coming from all around the world. It's an interesting idea to say the least. But with the variety of vegetation that Farmer's Cut able to grow in their cell and their vision of delivering "live vegetable to the end consumer", the restriction starts to make sense.

On a personal note, the Farmer's Cut idea for climate controlled, industrial scale, automated farming facility, runs against my personal believe that urban farming should be more personal and much smaller scale, but I also see what Farmer's Cut trying to achieve.

The execution and marketing of the Farmer's Cut farm cell would be an interesting topic to track for the next crucial first few months after the completion of the full size cell. If they indeed can maintain that ~20 days cycle of the specified greens and supplied it to their customers consistently, I foresee a bright future for the endeavor. And if they can convince restaurant to prominently display their branding inside the restaurant and not obfuscate it with multiple branding (as I heard Daniel mention an existence of a second/consumer facing brand) that might serve as barrier for consumers and potential partners to find out more about Farmer's Cut.

On tea and other Hamburg oddities

It delights me of the variety of tea that's available in the hotel as well in the shops around town. Until I got reminded that Bremen, a city just a couple km from Hamburg, is basically the capital of modern tea trade and most of the tea that came there must've pass Hamburg in some way or another. I wish I had more opportunity to explore the rich history of the shipping route and old market of Hamburg.

The large park behind the hotel begs to be explored, which I did. In the first night upon arrival to the city, after foolishly going Apple Store on Sunday (why oh why do shops have to close on Sunday?), I venture around the park and enjoy the sights in it.

In my mind, the farewell dinner at Wasserschloss is the perfect end for this lovely trip. It represent the historic side of Hamburg that we see glimpses of during the week, and the meal was magnificent.

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One year anniversary

I'm still alive!

I just reminded by Arum that it has been a year since I got diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia. I haven't pen down what happened last year in details, and after a couple close brush with death in between then and now, I figure I should start writing it before I completely forgot everything. This time, I want to recount some week leading up to the first day I learn that I have Acute Myeloid Leukemia.

Last Year

It all started with a string of headache, a fever that comes and go, and a celebration of Indonesia getting a gold medal in Badminton in 2016 Rio Olympic. Looking back, I think the symptoms started well before that, I guess the first week of August I start having night sweats and fevers that come and go, thought it was just a mild case of seasonal fever or some sort. After a lot of hemming and hawing, and lots of stern talking from my loverly wife, I went to the doctor a couple days before the badminton final/ Indonesia independence day. Dr. Schenk initially thought its your garden variety every and prescribe diclofenac, a lot of liquid, and a lot of rest. That's exactly what I thought as well, as we watch Tantowi & Liliyana won the mixed double at the olympic. We were having an independence day party at Septian's place that day, Raili had her day out, and overall a lovely autumn Wednesday. But by Friday, the fever and night sweats streak still going strong, and as prescribed by the good doctor, I call his office and set up another appointment for the following Monday. Came into the doctor office, got my blood drawn on the lab, and finger crossed for good news.

Then the call came, it was 5PM, end of business day, and the news was grim. It was bleak. He basically told me to go to Erasmus MC emergency room immediately, with full set of clothes change. He didn't tell me what the diagnose is over the phone, just that he consulted with his friend in EMC, and that the doctor in EMC will explain further, and I should go there as soon as possible. So I did.

I went there with a set of clothes, phone charger, and a set of IEM, with the hope of being back home after a day or two in the hospital, as the week after I was supposed to head to Hasssel, Belgium to drop Arum & Raili at Dina's before starting term 4 of my RSM MBA journey with a week long study trip in Milan, Italy. O how wrong I can be.

When I get there, admitted, and blood drawn again. After some time has pass, a group of doctor came in and ask me, "Do you know why you're referred to us?", which I reply, "not really, my doctor told me to come here ASAP, so I did, but I do know there'e some problem with my blood result". Then the hammer drop. "You have leukemia" and that I'll be transferred directly to the hematology ward that night and tomorrow morning they will explain it further. The only thing I can think of at that time, is to call Arum to let her know that I'll be spending the night at the hospital and that she should come to the hospital the day after so the doctors can explain the situation.

In the back of my mind, my concern at that time is, "Can I get out of the hospital by the time for the study trip", and "Can they be wrong?". As well as, "Can I have some dinner?" I haven't had the chance to eat since the doctor call, and its already 11PM. Then the nurses came to the rescue with some food! YAY! And that's the first day I learn that I have leukemia.

One year later

It has been a year and spare since I learn that I have Acute Myeloid Leukemia. After 3 round of chemotherapy, a fight with the insurance to cover the treatment as well as the subsequent allogenic stem cell transplant, and said transplant, last week the doctor call me to inform me the result of my 6th month post transplant bone marrow puncture. The bone marrow is currently populated with 95-98% of the donor cell. YAY! It's another milestone in the journey, with the support of Arum, Raili, Mom & Dad, Mami^2 & Papi^2, Grandpa & Grandma, and the rest of the extended family, without them I don't think I would survive.

I'm eager to rejoin the class fully this fall! Itching to dig back into revenue optimization, sustainable supply chain, strategy framework, as well as devising the tactics to negotiate all that jazz. The next week I'll be immersed in supply chain topics in Hamburg. The 2nd largest port in Europe, Rotterdam still is and will be in in the forceable future the largest ;) Currently, I'm on the train to Hamburg for the long postponed study trip. This year, RSM MBA is not going back to Milan, which peeves me a bit as I really want to learn more about luxury marketing. But then again, Hamburg & supply chain was was my second choice last year.

A nice surprise presented itself as well, when Prof. Wynstra announce that there are two slots to tackle the challenge presented by Farmers Cut. An innovative vertical indoor farm that aims to feed city population with fresh produce, produced in the city's building.

Listening to Hamilton, I got reconnected with "Who lives, who dies, who tell your story" as well as "What a time we are to be alive right now". Can't wait to see what the future holds!

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Going back to normal(ish)

Its been an interesting 2+ months after I got my transplant. My blood doctor is happy with my progress, my eye doctor is concerned with my sight, and my lovely wife is concerned about my weight.

Re-start doing yoga again... I forgot how hard it was to do a proper downward dog >_< 

Cooked more food in the last month than in the last year... I think... still doing Italian and Indian mostly, with Indonesia and Mexian mixed in every other day...

re-start the job search process. Looking at more opportunities in Netherlands as well as the one back in Indonesia and SEA region. Maybe expanding to AU & CA as well...

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I'm diagnosed and treated for Acute Myeloid Leukemia

It's been 2 years since the last update on this blog. My apologies for not updating the blog, not that anyone read it :d I really need to set up some IFTTT action so that our activities in other social media platform push thru here as well.. O well, I'll do it tomorrow!

A lot has happened since our marriage started in 2015. I quit my job in RadioDFM then start my journey in the FT MBA program in Rotterdam School of Management. I went to MBAT and swam for RSM. Ratri got pregnant in October of 2015 and Raili born in 20th June 2016 :joy: Indonesia won another gold medal in the Olympic, and we watch it live with our lovely new family and friends in Rotterdam. More post on Ratri and Raili soon-ish. Hi-jinks during the MBA program are catalogued in my hand-written diary, I caught the fountain pen bug, blame reddit. >_< 

Then in mid August 2016, I got high fever and night sweats, on the 20th the doctor told me to get my blood checked. He proceed to call me on the same day to get my self admitted to Erasmus MC. There, I was told that there are some abnormalities in my blood, and that I'm diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia.

The treatment started immediately, starting with a round of chemotherapy, some episode of hallucination, a couple day in intensive care , another round of chemo, a string of negotiation with the insurance company, another round of chemo, and finally an allogenic stem cell transplant this month. The prognosis started good, then bad, then good again. It has been a good roller coaster ride this last 6 months.

So far the new stem cell looks like its been working as expected and seems to be compatible with my body, as in no apparent rejection nor an apparent Graft-Versus-Host decease. :yay: the next couple of weeks would be crucial to see if there's any GVHD developing. There are a documented 70% of successful ASCT for patient in my age group, so hopefully the AML would keep in remission for the rest of my life. 

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We are moving out of Kemayoran

New year, new chapter. I'm moving out to Rotterdam, Ratri is waiting for her Visa to come out. In the mean time, she is moving out of Kemayoran and moving back to Lenteng Agung / Buncit. I hope the visa process is going along smoothly.

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We're expecting :)

A baby is in the way :D Rartri is 13 weeks pregnant this week. Hopefully all is well and the baby will be born healthy next year.

On the last checkup, we found out that the baby size is already in the average for a 14 week old fetus. Gosh did they grow so fast. Doctor said it was only 25g last time we met, and now its already 75g.

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We're Married

Late post are comming! 

On the 18th of January 2015, we are officially married!

it was a big wedding, just like my mom and dad wanted. Even then, we couldn't invite all of our friends.  

The wedding ceremony it self was religious and small, with only 100ish in attendance. But the reception was awfully big. The last headcount report ed to us says there's about 1500 in attendance.

anyway, it was deemed a succes by my mom. We're happy that our core group of friends are there. And we get to spend the night cleaning up our makeup.

 

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We're Engaged

It's been over a year since we commit to one another.

Last month we finally took the plunge and got engaged.

I'm grateful that you allow me to be your future husband. Love you Arum :*

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