About Me

Checkered FedoraHey everyone. My name is Batara Indra Soepraba but my family and the Indonesian Community call me “Obat” (pronounced Oh-Bot). “Obat” in Bahasa Indonesia means “medicine”. Why I was given such a nickname by my parents is a long story so if we ever meet, I can rant about it if you ever ask.

What I Do:

I’m a recent graduate from UC Berkeley, where I studied International Development with a regional concentration in Southeast Asia. I also pursued two minors in City & Regional Planning and the other one in Environmental Design & Urbanism in Developing Countries. Currently, I am a research assistant for a PhD student on campus in the College of Natural Resources focusing on resource conservation management strategies in Indonesia.

This Blog’s Purpose

I have a lot of thoughts and daydreams on various ideas relating to an article I read or ideas that can help communities. I noticed that I really didn’t have a space to talk about it and finding out that Facebook wasn’t really the best place for my rants. It turns out many of my friends were not interested in what I had to say or the articles I shared. Twitter is great  but 140 characters… really? With that said, my best friend told me to start a blog. I thought I would give it a try and see if this works. My hope is to share my ideas with like minded folks on the interwebs and maybe it can start a dialogue. My interests are in food, culture, Indonesia and development so I’ll be writing about these topics utilizing articles I’ve read or from my experiences. I called this blog Drifters because I love the ocean and cultures that engages with water. My thoughts happen so quick that it’s like floating on the ocean current so this is a space where I catch my thoughts before they drift away…

Plans & Goals:

I’m planning to go to Indonesia, either with a research grant or a solo endeavor, to survey and research rural villages in the island of Java in Indonesia in hopes to understand the physical condition of these communities and the problems they go through daily. Following this expedition, I plan on applying to a Master’s or PhD program hopefully focusing on my interests in poverty, food access and development intersect one another in Indonesia.

My lifelong aspiration is to help solve issues of growth and development in Indonesia deriving my experience working in sustainable agriculture, poverty and community organizing through some type of social enterprise. On the side I would like to write books on my research and experience and teach part-time at a university in Indonesia in order to share my wisdom to new youth.

Interesting Facts:

– I am a die-hard foodie. I love mom-and-pops joints and always looking for new spots in every town I visit, especially if they’re organic and local. To add, I love to cook as well so I don’t just eat but I also create, too!

– I worked at Honda as a Technician before I went to Cal. I was a motorhead, greasemonkey, or whatever you call it and still am just not for money

– I played 3 Varsity Sports in high school – football (captain), basketball, and volleyball. While in high school, I had the honor of working out with the Satria Muda Britama Indonesian basketball team. At Cal, I was a member of the Cal Dragon Boat team (http://caldragonboat.wordpress.com)

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