Trina Noonan, Health In Harmony's Managing Director, is currently in Borneo visiting our pilot program Alam Sehat Lestari (ASRI). Seeing the beautiful new hospital building, and signs of economic development in Sukadana, along with ASRI's successful reforestation initiatives, Trina reflects on how the region has developed over the years.

When my boat driver pulled out his smart phone, it was a bit of a shock. He casually scrolled through Instagram as we sped past the dense mangrove forests and wooden homes perched on stilts over the river.  That's when I realized how quickly things have been changing.
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Dr. Krista Farey is a physician from California who has visited our pilot program Alam Sehat Lestari (ASRI) on several occasions.  Here is a recent update from Dr. Farey:

Greetings from Sukadana, West Kalimantan, Borneo, Indonesia, where I have the good fortune and privilege to be serving for a third time as teaching support for the excellent team of young Indonesian doctors at ASRI clinic.  The environment is as luscious as ever and my work at ASRI clinic, a non-profit linking human health and planetary health, is fun and gratifying.  Medicine here remains a calling and is not just a job.
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Guest blog by Andrew MacDonald

Andrew with tree

Me with a tree, circa 2009

How in the world can I express what that time meant? It has been almost four years since I arrived at Sukadana, and my memories of it are still treasured and vivid: I can still recall many heartbreaks and joys from my time there. When I look back, I particularly recall certain things that were said to me -- words which, through the following years, would become symbols of my time in and around Gunung Palung. They are not direct quotations, of course (and my apologies to anyone who feels misrepresented!), -- nevertheless I want to share some of them with you, because I hope they will recall your own memories of why you loved your time with ASRI.

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We got it! The hospital permit is in hand!

A building permit for ASRI’s hospital is in hand! YES!

We have worked long, hard and patiently for this moment. There have been many memorable milestones and many hurdles - from vague regulations, to difficulty with our "no-bribes" policy.

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Orangutan Mother and Baby

Orangutan Mother and Baby. Photo by Sachi Oshima.

SAVING LIVES AND VITAL HABITAT ONE PRECIOUS STEP AT A TIME

At Health In Harmony, with our partner ASRI, we are forging a model that is measurably changing the face of global health and conservation. How? By saving lives and restoring vision at Klinik ASRI, while simultaneously working side-by-side with and training health care providers, traditional birth attendants, and midwives in exchange for restoring the rain forest, protecting critical orangutan habitat with community-based guardianship, teaching healthy, sustainable organic agricultural methods, and providing goats to widows. And, we are getting ready to build a beautiful community hospital that will serve as a center for conservation education, training, and a foundation for replicating the Health In Harmony model.

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