Crossing the tarmac at Ketapang’s outpost airport, I am momentarily caught in a gulp of sadness. I follow my traveling companions Nichol Simpson (Health In Harmony’s Development Director) and Toni Gorog, Ph.D. (Health In Harmony’s Program Director) on board the 138-passenger Aviastar Airbus to "Fly Safe and Comfort" back to Jakarta where twenty-one hours later and a time zone or two, we’ll reach our homes in Oregon and California where winter awaits. My sadness is not because I’ve gathered up a ring of new friendships I wistfully leave behind, though that has happened, but because I know in the deep well of my heart that I’ve stepped across an invisible threshold and will never be the same again even though I know I don’t completely know how so -- yet.
Not long ago, Health In Harmony and ASRI founder Dr. Kinari Webb, was joined where she sat in the shade, admiring the forests of Gunung Palung National Park. A man approached, sat down, and sighed in satisfaction.
"That's my rice field," he said.
Guest blog by Jessica Crawford
Having heard wonders about ASRI since beginning medical school at Yale in 2006, I am now delighted to be the first American medical student to participate in ASRI on the ground in Sukadana and other small villages around Gunung Palung National Park. Here are some of my reflections from an incredible six weeks in Indonesia.