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Pk Jai

Pk Jai
Pak Jai
General Manager

Born 1967, Pak Jai (seaeted,right) manages Vila Botani from day to day, including personnel, finances, security, maintenance, and reception of guests. Has held this job since 2006. Originally from Bandung, where he finished high school, he has long lived in the village of Sukatani in Sukabumi regency. He is married with 4 children. Pak Jai connects to the internet but does not speak English. He is at Vila Botani daily except Thursdays and Fridays.

His story: "I enjoy working at Vila Botani because of the fresh air. This work has also given me the opportunity to acquaint myself with people from various backgrounds in Indonesia and even with foreigners with various manners and temperaments so that I have learned much about human character. It has also been a pleasure to learn more about organic farming, medicinal herbs and native tree species and to share this knowledge with visitors, including school kids and students."

Dr. Alex Korns, PhD
Occasional Advisor
(Seated left in the picture)

American Dr. Alex Korns, PhD from Harvard University was born in 1941 and has lived in Indonesia since 1987 and Bogor since 1998. He continues to pursue his interests in hiking and nutrition, enjoys spending time at Vila Botani, and occasionally advises the staff of Vila Botani in regard to the collections of trees and medicinal plants. Alex is divorced with one child. His story: "I became used to living amid a garden while growing up in New Orleans. I moved to Indonesia for work in 1987 and began to enjoy life more fully than I had while working as a statistical expert at the US Department of Commerce in Washington DC. As years went by and I worked less, I got interested in mapping hiking trails near Jakarta and participated in the publication in 2007 of the Puncak Trek map series for the foothills of Mt. Gede and Pangrango. More recently, I began to focus on achieving better health by means of yoga and other daily exercise and good diet. Vila Botani has been a superb vehicle for this objective as it provides an excellent base for hiking inside and outside the National Park. Vila Botani is also a great place to practice yoga, which I have studied since 2011, and produces many kinds of organic vegetables, which underpin my current diet. In January 2015 I began a diet to reduce inflammation by eliminating excess body fat and reducing waist circumference. For now, I'm delighted to have shrunk my waistline to 34 in. (85cm), and to have brought my blood pressure down from borderline high to normal. The herbal garden here also provides remedies for occasional complaints."

Pk Oting
Pak Oting
Manager of the Arboretum

Born 1965, Pak Oting has managed the arboretum since his arrival at Vila Botani in 2007. He has an elementary school education and comes from Sukatani village in Sukabumi Regency. He is married with one child. Upon his arrival at Vila Botani he was already familiar with more than 50 species of endemic trees from his own wanderings on the southern slopes of Mt. Salak above Sukatani in search of useful plants and animals. At Vila Botani he has learned to identify all of the 200-plus species in the arboretum. He is proud of having planted so many species, nearly all of which now thrive.

Pk Acep, yg urus kebun obat di Vila Botani.
Pak Acep
Manager Herbal Garden
& Compost Unit

Born 1967, from Tajurhalang village, Pak Acep has worked much of his life on the Vila Botani property or its immediate vicinity so he is our main source for the oral history of the period before 2006. He makes compost and takes care of the goats and sheep, and of our herbal medicine garden.