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Timeline of Ibu (Mother) Robin Lim's life:

 



Her parents met and married in 1954, in the mountain city of Baguio, on the island of Luzon, Philippines. Lim's father, Robert Arnold Jehle was of Irish~German~Native American descent. Her mother, Cresencia Munar Lim is a blend of Filipino~Chinese ancestry. Robin Teresa Jehle was born in 1956, in Ft. Huachuca, Arizona, as their first child. The next year the family moved to New Jersey, where Robin's sister, Christine plus three brothers, Robert, Carl and Gregory, were born.

Due to Robin's father's work in the US Army, the family moved often, in fact each time CW3 Robert A. Jehle got new military orders. While Robin was in grade 1 the family moved to Seattle, Washington, where she attended Our Lady of Lourdes elementary school. Here Robin and her sister, Christine, learned what it was like to be half Asian children in the political climate of the 1960s. Lim has a clear memory of the lunchroom trauma when it was announced that President John F. Kenedy had been shot.

By 1964 the family was moved to Okinawa, in the Ryukyu Islands. Here Robin and her siblings enjoyed an enchanted and perilous childhood. Military housing was close to the East China Sea, where a wonderland of creatures could be found and explored in the mudflats at low tide. Okinawa's venomous Habu snakes, unexploded bombs leftover from WWII, typhoons, earthquakes, and many forbidden caves, gave children growing up on the island a feeling that they were living on the edge of danger. Robin attended 4th grade at Kadena Elementary School. While standing at the bus stop each morning Robin saw the crowded ambulance busses transporting injured soldiers flown in from the conflict in Vietnam, to the nearby hospital. It was these desperate faces and broken bodies that taught her to abhor war.

In 1967 Robin's father took orders for Clark Air Force Base. Robin's mother, now Cresencia Jehle decided not to live on the military base, but to bring the children to the mountain city of Baguio, her childhood hometown. CW3 Jehle commuted up Zig-zag road each weekend to spend time with his family.

It was in Baguio City that Robin began to write. The day-to-day Lim family drama, the mountain springs, forests carpeted with pine needles, red poinsettias, and yellow sunflowers amid the clouds drove her out into nature to explore. The often rainy cooler climate would alternately drive her indoors, to make her first attempts at writing poetry.

Vicenta Munar Lim, Robin's maternal grandmother nursed young Lim through a life threatening kidney infection with massage and herbal decoctions. The respected elder "hilot" (Filipino healer) refused to allow the military doctors to medi-vac young Robin by helicopter to Manila for treatment. Ten-year-old Lim bonded with her "Lola Nanang" and learned to trust traditional cultural medicine.

While living in Baguio City Robin experienced the loss of friends she had played with when a typhoon caused a mudslide beside the family home, which buried several people along with their shack homes. She watched as her "Lola" then already in her seventies, dug with her hands through the mud and debris, attempting to help the buried souls. She knew that his old woman, her grandmother, was a legendary traditional midwife in the Barangays (villages). When a neighbor's cleft palate baby was dying, Robin learned from her Lola, to help as well.

By 1969 CW3 Robert A Jehle received orders to serve in the war in Vietnam. He moved his family to the then small community of Goleta in Southern California. In Goleta Robin and her siblings attended El Rancho, an experimental elementary school that encouraged creativity. As a schoolgirl coming from the Philippines, Robin was quite frightened by the "bigness" of the United States of America. It was her friendship with Sandi Coe, and the Coe family, that sustained her. While 11 to 12 years old, Mrs. Coe taught Robin to sew, and skill she till treasures when she must suture people.

When Lim's father returned quite traumatized by the Vietnam war, the family moved to Ft. Ord Military base. Robin and her siblings kept a pet California King snake. Imagine a middle school girl's sorrow seeing battalion after battalion of young privates, marching daily by her home and school. Lim knew that each of these young people would be , by deployed to Vietnam, following a brief Basic Training. She also knew by age thirteen, that some of them would not return home.

After one year at Ft. Ord, the family returned to Goleta, where Lim attended Middle School and soon entered Dos Pueblos High School. The students and staff of Dos Pueblos are to be congratulated for the inspired way that school was running. Lim participated in student government, girl's swim team, wrote poetry and joined theater arts. She became impassioned with "Puffets" a puppetry performance group, which toured local elementary schools. Her favorite subject was "Family Life Education," taught by Lee Beckom, where she became excited about reproductive health, a passion she never lost.

At age fifteen Robin ran away from home. During this time she worked as a maid in a hotel and picked blueberries in Maine as a farm worker. She missed her family terribly, especially her sister, Christine. Due to Robert Jehle suffering from Vietnam stress syndrome, it was a difficult time for the family.

While still in high school Lim met her first husband, Ed Bernhardt, who at that time was the school student body president. The couple lived in France after graduation, where the worked on staff for Transcendental Meditation courses.

Lim (who was still using her paternal family name of Jehle) and Bernhardt attended Santa Barbara City College. They rode bicycles to school daily. Ed worked at the Santa Barbara Botanical gardens and Lim drove the 1/3 scale model train, the C.P. Huntington at the Child's Estate Zoo. Lim graduated from SBCC with an AA.

In 1976 at the age of nineteen, Robin became a mother. Dj Cresencia Jehle Bernhardt was born at home in a small 35' by 8' trailer on Punta Gorda St. in Santa Barbara, California. The midwives Debby Lowry and Mary Jackson were in attendance. For Robin childbirth was quick and blissful. Breastfeeding was challenging the first few days, but then became easy and she breastfed Baby Dj for four years.

While Dj was an infant the small family moved to Iowa, where Ed Bernhardt attended Maharishi International University. Lim stayed home and was a nursing mother and did free lance worked stringing beads and making shawls to support the family.

Lim studied the TM Sidhi's course during which she fell pregnant with her second child, Edward Nol Bernhardt. "Nol" was also born at home in Santa Barbara. While Nol was still a toddler, Ed Bernhardt left the marriage.

At age 24 Robin found herself a single mother with a broken heart. She moved with her two small children to Hawaii. On the island of Maui she took her mother's family name, Lim, and reinvented her life. She supported her children by retailing crystal jewelry, which she crafted while the children slept.

Lim briefly married a doctor in private practice, but this relationship lasted but a few months, as Lim was still too shattered from her first divorce. She did however learn to do simple lab work. It was during this time in Maui, in her mid 20s that Lim's first article was published by Mothering Magazine.

By 1982 the legendary science fiction author, Theodore Sturgeon offered a course for writers through the "Maui University of Humanistic Studies." Lim was taking creative writing and modern dace classes at Maui Community College when she heard about the opportunity to study with Sturgeon and his wife and gifted co-teacher, Jayne Sturgeon. It should be noted that most of the participants in this course went on to become published authors. Sturgeon was said to have put "Love" into the Science Fiction genre. He taught Lim to write and to live from her heart. Ted believed that being a good neighbor was a wonderful way to live, day to day.

It was in Sturgeon's class that Lim met Margo Berdeshevsky, who would become her life-long friend and sometimes a creative collaborator. Another classmate, John Briley M.D., a children's book author, became Lim's dear friend and advisor in pediatric care questions.

In 1984 Lim met Author Lee, with whom she had two children. Amanda Zhu Lee was born at home on April 9th, 1985 in Kihei into the loving hands of Sunny Supplee, assisted by her dear friend Rose Momsen and her seven year old daughter, Dj.

Zion Pao Shun Lee was born on a warm windy night, under the stars into a warm tub of water that the midwives, Jan Francisco and Tina Garzero had set out doors beside the night blooming jasmine. It was August 17th, 1989. Lim had already parted ways with Lee, and found herself a single mother with four children and a very supportive community in Maui. Lim was the soul support of her family, making crystal jewelry and selling retail and wholesale, while dreaming of becoming a writer.

In 1991~ 92 Robin Lim's midwife, Sunny Supplee, her dear friend, Brenda Swartz, and her sister, Christine Jehle Kim, died. http://www.dailykos.com/story/2010/10/16/9593/6079
This trinity of loss forced Lim to deeply into her self, where she saw she was not fully devoted to living in her heart. From tragedy Lim decide to live her life, each and every day, only for love. Lim threw herself into finishing her first book, After the Baby's Birth A Woman's Way to Wellness (Celestial Arts, Berkeley, CA, 1992). She loved living in the country, off the grid, milking goats and growing her family's food. She then contemplated becoming a midwife.

From this decision, to live only for love, Lim found many blessings began to unfold. William Joseph Hemmerle Jr. Returned from New Jersey to Maui, a single father, due to the death of his wife, Brenda Swartz. Wil's children, Lakota, age five and Thoreau, age three, were already very familiar with Robin, due to their mother's friendship with her. Living in the Huelo area of Maui, Wil and Robin fell in love amid the waterfalls, and farm animals. One rainy morning Robin and Wil's shared children watched a goose egg hatch. Soon Wil was writing songs for Robin and serenading her in the wee hours below her window.

William Hemmerle threw his heart into Lim's "Live only for Love" circle. Soon they were a married couple, moving their shared children to Bali. After arriving on the island called, "the morning of the world" Wil and Robin conceived a baby. This son, I. Wayan Hanoman Eka Bumi Saputra Hokulani Hemmerle, was born in Bali, at home, into his father's hands, with the help of Aile Shebar, on February 2, 1993. In Bali Lim became best known as, "Ibu Robin."

Ibu Robin worked for Linda Garland as a teacher for a few children in a small school Linda had built on the River Wos in Nyuh Kuning, Bali. The experience of being pregnant in Bali and searching for clean, kind midwifery care drove Lim to brainstorm with her husband Wil, friends, Loren Blair, Sophia Galen, Linda Garland and Wayan Budiasa. From these wonderings, and after a woman across the river died in childbirth, before help could be called, the seeds of Yayasan Bumi Sehat (Healthy Mother Earth Foundation) were planted.

Prenatal care began in Lim's home. Soon she was accompanying women in labor to the hospitals in Bali, as a doula (someone who mothers the mother). Sangla, Dharma Yadnya and Puri Raharja Hospitals in Denpasar, Bali began to call Ibu Robin in to help when they were short handed in the delivery rooms. Then the few surviving "Dukun Bayi" (traditional birth attendants) in the area began to send expectant fathers to Lim's home, to fetch her to help attend homebirths in the villages.

June Whitson CNM came to Bali many times from 1995 to 1998, to train Lim as a midwife. This blessed apprenticeship with June led Ibu Robin to turn to the North American Registry of Midwives to review her experience and education. After passing the NARM skills assessment and completing extensive study and application in the "Challenge program" Lim sat for the NARM exam and became a Certified professional Midwife. Latter Lim's midwifery qualification from NARM was recognized by Ikatan Bidan Indonesia, (Indonesian Midwifery Association aka IBI) and IBI made her a member.

In February of 1997 Ibu Robin was midwife for her own daughter, Dj, and received her first grandchild, Zhuie into the world.

In 1998 what is known as the "Krismon" struck down the Indonesian economy and the then President, Soharto stepped down amid civil unrest that led Wil and Robin to take their family to the Philippines where the family resided for a year. There, the family got to know the extended Lim family in the mountain city of Baguio. Robin continued to practice midwifery, helping the underserved people in the Barangays and upcountry regions. She also taught Natural Family Planning (Lim is a certified teacher of the Billing's Ovulation Method on Natural Family Planning) in remote mountain villages where there was no access to other methods of birth control.

In late 1999 the family went to Iowa, where Robin practiced midwifery in the small town of Fairfield. In 2002 the terrorists bombings in Bali left the economy so damaged that pregnant women had even fewer resources for care. This prompted Lim to return to Bali and open the Yayasan Bumi Sehat community health clinic and childbirth center, in the small village of Nyuh Kuning, just south of the Ubud Monkey Forest.

Supported by Yayasan IDEP, under the leadership of Petra Schnieder, Lim led a team of medics from Bumi Sehat Bali in response to the 9.3 earthquake and subsequent tsunami that struck in Aceh, Sumatra, Indonesia on December 26th, 2004. Lim's team established a Tsunami Relief Clinic with a focus on general and reproductive health and birth services for the survivors. The IDEP disaster relief field team headed by Christine Foster, built a temporary clinic in the village of Gompong Cot, Aceh Barat, close to the epicenter of the disaster. In 2006 Rotary Club S.E. Asia built the Bumi Sehat Aceh Clinic, which remains open and serving the survivors of the tsunami, though other NGOs left long ago. Direct Relief International, in Santa Barbara, California partnered with Bumi Sehat to provide operational funds for the Tsunami Relief clinic in Aceh for three years.

Reviewing Lim's disaster relief work; Ibu Robin was an early medical responder to the earthquake in Yogyakarta in 2006. She sent a Bumi Sehat medical team to Padang following the Earthquake in 2009. Lim helped a team establish a birth center in cooperation with the Dept. of Health in Jacmel, Haiti after the earthquake in 2010. This facility was later handed over to another organization to run for sustainability.

Ibu Robin and Bumi Sehat are planning to build a "Disaster Relief Gudang (warehouse)" in Bali, which will be called, "The Bumi Ark". This will enable the team to respond more quickly and efficiently, thus preserving life, when disasters strike in Indonesia. In 2005 Lim and Bumi Sehat were joined by humanitarian, Katherine Bramhall, CPM, of Allies for Trauma Relief. Bramhall worked with Bumi Sehat Bali and in Aceh post tsunami. in 2010 Bramhall became the team pillar at Bumi Seht Haiti. To support Bumi Sehat Bramhall invented "A Million Mothers." www.amillionmothers.org
Eventually Katherine Bramhall helped establish Bumi Sehat International a USA 501 C3 and she serves on the board.

Sakthi Foundation in Fairfled Iowa has been a supporting 501 C3 umbrella organization for Bumi Sehat since 2003. Their support has been very important in keeping Lim's projects alive and well.

In 2007 Ibu Robin again became a grandmother when her daughter-in-love, Wine Pramiyanti Bernhardt gave birth to a son. Bodhi was born at home in Bali, into his grandmother's loving hands.

In 2009 Lim's first novel, Butterfly People, was published by Anvil Press, Philippine Islands.

Lim was nominated, elected and recognized as the #1 CNN Hometown Hero, on December 11, 2011.

Robin Lim's Family:
Husband, William Joseph Hemmerle Jr.
Daughter, Dj Cresencia Jehle Bernhardt, born in 1976
Son, Edward Nol Bernhardt, born in 1980
Daughter, Amanda Zhu Lee, born in1985
Son, Zion Pao Shun Lee, born in 1987
Step Daughter, Lakota Moira Hemmerle, born in 1986
Step Son, Thoreau Joshuila Hemmerle, born in 1988
Son, I. Wayan Hanoman Eka Bumi Suptra Hoku Lani Hemmerle,
born in 1993
Adopted daughter, EllyAnna Elfaba Hemmerle, born in 2006
Granddaughter, Amanda Zhu Martinez, born in, born in 1997
Grandson, Bodhi Padma Edzra Banjo Bernhardt, born in 2007


IImportant Links for ibu Robin Lim:

 

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2010/10/16/9593/6079

the above will take you to a piece I did with the help of Jim Luce about my Sister's death.  

 

Below are links to an article Jim Luce did about Bumi Sehat

 

         The Huffington Post:       Balinese Natural Birthing Center Threatened by Global Downturn

         Stewardship Report         Balinese Natural Birthing Center Threatened by Global Downturn

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PonnMMrNAMs

The above should take you the Al Jazeera People & Power piece that my husband worked on with Jungle Run Productions. Some of it was filmed at Bumi Sehat, and I consulted on the story.

www.skwattacamp.com

is my Daughter's website, where you may see her trailers for the films, "Guerrilla Midwife" and "Tsunami Notebook"


 

 
 
     
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