Guest blog by Tea Chandra

What is the thing in the world that makes you most happy? To be in love? Maybe. To have lots of money? Yes, for many people. Well, I think a little differently…

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Guest blog by Felona Gunawan

Sometimes I wonder what life would be like if I never moved to the United States. It was partly to satisfy this curiosity that I decided to go to Sukadana, Indonesia for my rotation as a Johnson and Johnson Global Health Scholar. I was both nervous and excited. Nervous because I was not sure what to expect: will people still be able to understand my elementary level Indonesian? Have the social and political climates changed much from when I moved in 1999? How much can a doctor with Western training that depends so much on technology contribute? Thankfully, a lot of these fears quickly dissipated soon after my arrival in Sukadana. Not necessarily because these challenges were not present, but more so because of the amazing and dedicated staff and community. Moreover, my experience in Sukadana has allowed me to reconnect with the humanitarian aspect of medicine that is often lost in the practice of Western medicine.

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“Capacity building” is believing in and creating the means to fulfill and express great potential. While it is a phrase that gets thrown around a lot, it’s something  to which we and our project partner ASRI are deeply committed.

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Guest blog by Josh Fleming

Josh and Etty pose with ASRI Kids.

Josh and Etty pose with ASRI Kids.

So what is ASRI? I find myself contemplating this question upon arriving back home from my time spent away. Trying to properly convey to myself or furthermore others not having been a witness to the beauty and scope of ASRI, is no simple feat in itself. It is hard to easily define and put into words ASRI’s full magnitude and the breadth of complexities of this intricately designed program, but I wish to be so bold and try to articulate the essence of what I believe ASRI to be in my most humble opinion.

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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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