First impressions of Borneo

The following are the first impressions of Dr. Nick Aloisio, a physician at the University of Rochester Medical Center the Seneca Park Zoo Chapter of the American Association of Zoo Keepers sent to Borneo to the Health in Harmony Clinic. We hope you enjoy hearing about his travels…

Photo by Kari Malen

Photo by Kari Malen

“After five flights, three taxis, a train and a boat, and over 60 hours of traveling, I’m finally here…

And my first impression is: it was worth it.

I feel like I’ve stumbled onto the pages of one of Michael Crichton’s novels, or maybe this place really is…real. But I guess we’ll see if this mystified feeling wears off after I defeat this jet lag. Truly though, I’m loving this place so far. There are sounds of the forest everywhere; birds, rustling wind, the nearby river and crickets who sound like they’re probably the size of a horse! The vegetation around here is thick, as is the air. Just sitting here, I’m still sweating as bad as when I was hauling 65 pounds of luggage through the Jakarta airport! On the bright side, when I finish with this email, I’ve got a nice cool bucket-bath waiting for me.

I’ve had a brief tour of the clinic, which is inspiring and amazing all by itself. I can’t wait to see it tomorrow when it’s full of patients. And apparently there’s no rest for the weary here – they’re putting me to work bright and early tomorrow! It looks like I’ll be seeing patients side by side with one the Indonesian providers and I believe I’ll be helping to manage their emergency area, if the need arises. I’ll send you guys another update with more impressions about the clinic itself, once I see it all in full action, and pictures too, when I can.

Alright gang. Thank you all for your support in getting me here! I’m so glad I’ve finally made it. Everyone has been super welcoming and friendly so far, and they’re making me confident that I’m going to have a great time; and that the long journey to get here, will be well worth it.

Talk to you again soon.”

– Nick