Journey to Borneo FAQ

WHY DO YOU COORDINATE THE JOURNEY TO BORNEO TRIPS?

We started leading these trips due to overwhelming interest from our supporters. They wanted to see first-hand how we design solutions that save lives, livelihoods, and ecosystems, and they wanted to take their investment in planetary health to the next level.

WHY SHOULD I JOIN THIS TRIP?

This Journey is also an adventure with a purpose—it’s an investment in Health In Harmony’s programs and the future of planetary health. Our planet is facing many pressing challenges, and the trip exposes you to an approach that prioritizes community needs and demonstrates impact. You will engage with our programs, have conversations and form genuine connections with our patients and participants, experience the incredible beauty of the rain forest, see orangutans and other creatures in the wild, and learn more about how you can become a partner and supporter in this work.

IS THIS TRIP RIGHT FOR ME?

The Health In Harmony and ASRI teams make every effort to ensure the group’s comfort throughout the Journey, but we recognize this trip is not right for everyone. Past participants have described some elements of this trip as “camping plus.” For instance, you will be exposed to hot sun, high humidity, rain, and mosquitos. You should have reasonable physical ability and be comfortable occasionally using squat latrines and taking bucket showers. Those who have a spirit of adventure, and are not intimidated by long car rides, trying new foods, and changes in plans will get the most out of this trip.

HOW LONG IS THE TRIP? CAN I STAY LONGER OR COME FOR A SHORTER PERIOD OF TIME?

The open group trips are 12 days. We encourage participants to come early or stay late to visit other parts of Indonesia, but they are responsible for coordinating their own arrangements. Unfortunately, due to the long travel times and/or amount of coordination, we do not recommend people only join a portion of the trip. If you would like to do a shorter visit to our site, we do offer custom itineraries for 5-12 days.

Be prepared for heat and rain. Borneo has a tropical climate with temperatures ranging between 72-90°F (22-32°C). We intentionally schedule these trips in the “drier” season, but downpours can happen any day of the year.

WHAT WILL THE ACCOMMODATIONS BE LIKE?

We will be staying at simple but comfortable accommodations throughout the trip. The type and quality of room provided may vary from location to location. Accommodations on the wooden klotok boat at the end of the trip will include a shared sleeping deck and shared bathroom.

WHAT WILL THE FOOD BE LIKE? WHAT IF I HAVE DIETARY RESTRICTIONS?

The food in Indonesia is usually a highlight for visitors! The cuisine is predominantly rice-based, with meat and vegetable sides, usually cooked in rich and flavorful sauces. Sambal—delicious spicy chili paste—is always served on the side. Proteins include seafood and chicken, and on occasion, beef and goat. It is not hard to find good vegetarian options, as most meals will include freshly made tempeh or tofu, eggs, and vegetables. There will be a wide array of seasonal fruits, though fresh salads and other raw vegetables are uncommon.

Please be sure to inform us of allergies or restrictions well in advance of the trip. Food choices are somewhat limited, and strict dietary needs should be discussed with Health In Harmony staff prior to trip registration.

IS THE TRIP SAFE?

We do not anticipate significant threats to safety or security on this trip. The areas where we will be traveling -- and the country in general -- are considered safe and have been politically stable for some time. Please review the U.S. State Department website for the most up-to-date travel warnings, advisories, and other precautions. We will also give a more in-depth briefing of how to prepare for and address routine safety concerns involved in international travel.

We do require that all participants carry temporary medical and evacuation insurance for the duration of the trip.

WILL I NEED VACCINATIONS OR MEDICATIONS?

We suggest you check out the CDC website to see what is recommended for travelers to Indonesia. We also suggest having a travel medicine consultation at least 4-6 weeks ahead of your departure, to get guidance about your trip and the vaccinations and medications you may need.

WHAT IS APPROPRIATE ATTIRE FOR THE TRIP?

We will be in a conservative area, so although the weather is hot and humid, modesty is extremely important. Respect for community beliefs is a guiding principle at ASRI, and we ask visitors to dress accordingly. Specific guidelines and suggestions will be discussed in our pre-trip orientation.

WHO WILL LEAD THE TRIP?

Journey to Borneo trips are co-planned and co-led by one Health In Harmony staff member and one ASRI staff member.

HOW MUCH INTERACTION WILL I HAVE WITH ASRI PROGRAM PARTICIPANTS AND ASRI STAFF?

A lot! Connecting with our patients, program participants, and program staff are at the heart of this trip.

Do you have additional questions that weren't answered here? Let us know!

 

*Photo credit: Katie Homes