Sunday, May 8, 2011

KALAWEIT , Indonesia, 29th December 2009

There's a new couple arriving today, so I have moved into Adam's room, into the bed where the snake was found!!!!

The couple will complete the camp as there are three rooms, each with two beds for the maximum of 6 volunteers.

This is a great balance because we get to work closely with the members of staff and get a much more hands on experience.

Adam has volunteered at 2 other gibbon places in Thailand, where there are as many as 30 volunteers at one time. It was much harder to get more directly involved.

In Thailand and Vietnam, there is a big market for gibbons as pets. Atrocious.
I had thought that, like the orangutan, that gibbons were limited to the Indonesian islands, but this is not true at all.

The pets are kept in cages outside houses in Thailand and Vietnam so that when visitors arrive to the house, the poor gibbon makes noises, most probably feeling threatened by the new visitor. Such cruelty.

I felt super tired today, but dragged my lazy body out of bed knowing that I could see Tongki. He was, as always, so cute, holding my hand, like he does all the time now.

Then, a spot of laundry. I rather enjoyed doing the towels, it's very therapeutic, especially to the sound of the gibbon song and in the heat of the sunshine.

So now, we await breakfast followed by the arrival of the newbies...busy, busy!!

Still very knackered, I am now sprawled on the veranda half dozing. I was about to pass out when, at 11am, we decided to go and check on the gibbons and collect the garbage from their cages. The garbage is mostly strong, or empty cartons from their strawberry milk treats, but we managed to load up an wicker basket.

Then, the banana delivery came...! By boat! So, we loaded them into the hut. Hopefully, there will be some lengpek for tongki too! Ayung and I ate some fresher than fresh rambutan..YUM!

It is bliss out here. Right now, midday, some of the gibbons are calling to one another, the birds are singing and the frogs are ribbiting. Simply wonderful; a great time to let you mind wander.....

When I woke up, it was so hot I could barely move. but, I could hear that Rio was leavng to go back to Sumatra. He would often help at Hampapak when Nanto, the local vet wasn't on the island. Some other staff leave too, and camp feels very empty.

The stillness and the peace are quickly shattered by young Ayung shouting BERNANG!!! to me at the top of his voice. He wants to go swimming. Everyday, he wants to go swimming!

Boiled bananas!!
Now there is a treat! Plus a few regular ones for desert. The taste is amazing, so sweet, so fresh.

There is a gentle storm brewing, imagine this - sheet lightning across the forests of Borneo. For once, it is not a scary storm, more one that you can marvel at and enjoy for the distance adds to the safety. It's not even raining here yet, but I am sure it will by bedtime...

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