The Gift of Sight

Eye examination at the clinic. Photo by Katherine Homes, 2012.

Eye examination at the clinic. Photo by Katherine Homes, 2012. Click here for more photos!

As a small example of what your generosity meant in 2012, we want to share with you the story of the cataract surgeries we did in December: the gift of sight. As for 2013, stay tuned – so far, Health In Harmony has already launched a new look to our website including a new blog to keep you – our community – more involved and connected.

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Chainsaws & Stethoscopes

“Ideas worth spreading” is the motto of TED and TEDx. This could also be Health In Harmony’s tagline, as presented recently in a TEDx talk by Dr. Kinari Webb.

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Today, we are delighted to announce the release of our 2011 Annual Report! Long-awaited - and for good reason. Health In Harmony's 2011 Annual Report lays out a year in accomplishments: results from all our programs at ASRI, from the Clinic to the Forest Guardians to the Goats for Widows program! Download the Report here. Should you prefer a beautiful printed copy, please contact us at info@www.healthinharmony.org or (503) 688-5579.

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Read about Dr. Bunawan’s life-transforming experience at Klinik ASRI and as a life-long learner of medicine. Health In Harmony thanks Yale New Haven Hospital/Global Health Program under the direction of: Dr. Asghar Rastegar; Laura Crawford of J&J Scholars; Board Member Kathleen White; and, Dr. Ewen Wang of Stanford University Medical School, and all the friends of HIH & ASRI who helped Nur out along the way.

Guest blog by Nur Chandra Bunawan, MD

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Guest blog by Janice Winemiller

Do you know that I frequently go through my daily life doing my job, my tasks and even my social activities without deeply thinking about the significance of those moments and the words I hear and use.

Recently, while working on a Rotary grant for Health In Harmony and having to do rewrites, the words Health In Harmony began to sink in, to stare back at me. The significance of those words together began to have real meaning to me. They became powerful - A connection and code that brought inner harmony to my thinking about health and a greater appreciation of how our global environment impacts each of us.

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DIANE DAKIN – Physician

Diane Dakin in Sukadana

Diane in Sukadana

"I have volunteered in health projects in Latin America where I felt comfortable with the language and the culture for 40 years. The decision to volunteer in Sukadana with Health In Harmony/ASRI represented, initially, a testing of my comfort levels, challenging the familiar. Yet, perhaps because it required a leap of faith, it gave me one of the greatest rewards, in terms of feeling useful,appreciated and seeing  that I could contribute to the learning experience of the next generation of Indonesian doctors. I was inspired by ASRI's mission and how it functioned on a daily basis, and by the wonderful people with whom I worked every day, who made me feel so welcome, and who quickly became an extension of my family. I gave the clinic a few months of my sabbatical but I received an invaluable and heartwarming lesson in commitment, dedication and human understanding."

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Midwifing New Doctors

Photo courtesy of Diane Dakin, 2012

Practicing delivery. Click here for more photos from Diane's time in Sukadana!

 

Earlier this month, I spoke with Diane Dakin, a family doctor based in Olympia, Washington who recently volunteered at ASRI, helping to train newly-graduated Indonesian doctors and organizing a training for local midwives.

She's been working as a family doctor for the past 28 years, including over 25 years doing low-risk obstetrics. She estimates she's delivered over 1,000 babies! I asked her how she heard of Health In Harmony, and she told me the story of chance connections that led her to volunteer. In her own words, "It was a coming together of all sorts of little connections, that made it seem like, 'I should look into this place!' … I was reading the Yale alumni magazine, and I saw an article about a woman – Kinari Webb, the founder of ASRI - who initially had been an orangutan researcher. Since my youngest son was studying chimps, I was interested, so I read it… Later, after medical school, it turned out that she had gone to the same family practice residency that I had gone to many years earlier. I thought, 'the ASRI program sounds really interesting,' and knowing that I had a sabbatical coming up, I wrote and asked if they needed a Family Medicine volunteer and they said 'sure!'"

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All photos by family doctor Diane Dakin, a volunteer with Health In Harmony at ASRI. Click on any photo to see slideshow (you may need to wait a moment for photos to load).

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Rosevan is taking the Borneo Bicycle Challenge, and will be blogging about it on Health In Harmony’s website throughout the fall. Want to do it yourself? It's not too late to take the challenge – register now!

Me on my way to work at the Health In Harmony office during summer. Photo by Michelle Bussard.

Me on my way to work at the Health In Harmony office during summer. Photo by Michelle Bussard.

Every day in October, November, and December, as part of Health In Harmony’s Borneo Bicycle Challenge, I'll ride my bike to work, home, the grocery store, you name it. I’ll do it rain or shine, but mostly rain, because this is Portland and we get 42 inches of rain on average each year. Near our own patches of temperate rainforest, I ride to support a project in a tropical rainforest halfway around the world.

Gearing up in my effective but extremely unflattering rainsuit, I'll remind myself: I am doing this to reduce my own environmental impacts, and in solidarity with the communities around Gunung Palung National Park in West Kalimantan, Indonesia. They not only get around by bicycle every day, for every purpose, but also - thanks to the efforts of our partner ASRI - contribute to the conservation, reforestation, and stewardship of one of the most biodiverse, and carbon-absorbing, rainforests on the planet.

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Introduced to what would become the backbone of her life’s work, Clare Wolfowitz first experienced Indonesia as a 16-year old student-participant in AFS (formerly the American Field Service). Her destination, Jogjakarta, located in Central Java, a “beautiful, old city” that captured her intellectual, spiritual and anthropological curiosity.

Clare with homestay sister Rini in Jogjakarta, 1962.

Clare with homestay sister Rini in Jogjakarta, 1962.

Her homestay father was a doctor who served as head of a major hospital, while also running a clinic for those who couldn’t otherwise afford high-quality healthcare. “It was an amazing, amazing experience that made such an impression on me,” Clare said. “And I’ve been giving back ever since.” She and Rini, her homestay sister, remain lifelong friends.

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Dining for Women, established in 2002 by Marsha Wallace, a nurse and mother of four from South Carolina, funds programs that foster good health, education, and economic self-sufficiency to make a positive difference through the power of collective giving.

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All photos by Patrick M. Ryan, a volunteer with Health In Harmony at ASRI. Click on any photo to see slideshow (you may need to wait for photos to load).

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"Well-Received" - Clean water innovation around Gunung Palung

Guest blog by Patrick Ryan

The first time I went to ASRI, late last year, I brought goodies to the ASRI clinic in Sukadana. Stethoscopes, sphygmomanometer, oximeters, and other medical equipment, and also my favorite travel gift- crayons.  Kinari thanked me for the gifts and at some point I let slip that I'm a birder in my Puget Sound home.  She said, "I have a job for you!"  - A Bornean bird survey in the areas ASRI has been reforesting.

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Earlier this month, ASRI's Education Coordinator, Etty Rahmawati, spoke with two women who live near the ASRI clinic about their uses of, and feelings about, water. Give now to support a system of wells and water for women like Nur Hayati and her family. Read on for profiles of these strong and capable women - and look for more stories of remarkable women in September's issue of the newsletter.

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Dear Friends,

I want to send you some love medicine. I want to share with you some of the amazing healing that has been happening in Borneo over the last five years.

I am stunned by the changes we've accomplished with your help.

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Guest blog by Antonia Gorog

Imagine! Since 2007, there have been 23,000 patients visits at Klinik ASRI, and another 1700 patients seen in remote villages via our mobile clinic; the Forest Guardian program was launched; 250 organic farm trainings have led to the establishment of over a dozen organic farming cooperatives; 71 goats have been distributed to 44 widows; 42 acres are actively being reforested; and, 25 children participated in the inaugural ASRI Kids program - providing a poignant link to the future for all.

Thank you for your generous gifts that have made these achievements, and more, possible. The July 2012 newsletter is devoted to sharing this amazing story and Health In Harmony’s great appreciation and open invitation to continue to support our work.

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Guest blog by Deepa Agashe

Too often and in various ways, our species has trampled over other life forms, perhaps forgetting that we are all intimately connected. I do not use “connected” in a hippie-holistic way – I say “linked” in the scientific sense, with a long legacy of previous research supporting my choice of word.

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Volunteer Coordinator Kari Malen discusses reforestation plans with project staff. Photo by Jessica De Jarnette.

I often joke that American citizens should have to spend time abroad – preferably in the developing world – before being given the right to vote. But, I am only half joking.

I started my affair with ASRI as a volunteer three years ago, with a desire to get more experience in forest restoration and to visit an exotic place called Borneo – but not be a tourist. And, well, I am still here. My role has shifted a bit but my desire to help has only grown. For some of my friends and family it is hard to understand why I would choose to live in a rural village, in a remote corner of the world, to plant trees – for free! But, if you have been fortunate enough to have an experience like volunteering with ASRI or a similar organization – I bet you understand. It is hard to put those feelings into words, but I can try to give you a sense of it.

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Kari and Loren pay their respects at a temple in Bali.

This summer wonderful Volunteer Manager Kari Malen will be moving back to the U.S. with her husband Loren Bell who, in his own words, has been pursuing a graduate degree in "ecology, free-lance writing and chasing gibbons" in the rainforest near Sukadana. Loren has also helped ASRI in many ways including by providing fire suppression training for our reforestation crew.   As Kari and Loren contemplate their leaving, I asked her what she would most love as a parting gift.

Will you join me in giving Kari a gift of thanks?

What Kari really wants is a bit unusual: the gift of knowing that the ASRI conservation program is in good hands. With Kari moving on and Pak Ngalim, our current conservation manager and organic farming coordinator, moving to a consulting role, we want to combine their jobs and hire a new conservation manger who can act as liaison and ASRI conservation staff manager. There are two ways you can help!

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