Tuesday, August 23, 2011

INDO DIARIES 2010, Wednesday 7th July

Sleep was interrupted by two harsh wake up calls. One, I can accept, even get use to. The second, I'm going to have to find out more about.

A call to prayer at 4am or thereabouts was the first eye-opener, but, as I learnt last year in Jakarta, it is a nice reminder of exactly where you are ad help you to respect that.

Now, the second noise came form loudspeakers. It was some sort of music. It began at 5am and continued blaring out for an hour or so. I had heard that there was another festival in a neighbouring village. There had been music the night before, but I was tired that I ignored it quite easily. I guess I will have to get used to it. Lucky the music isn't so bad.

It's 7.40, and it will soon be time for breakfast. There is a group of people gathering in the hut. It's a large wooden hut, very open and light. The kitchen is underneath. I am impressed with the whole camp. There is electricity everywhere, heaps of toilets too.

Now...time to figure out what I should do!!


I still didn't have a schedule. The CEI group of people were still there, and it seemed that they were the ones who needed entertaining, not me. The day was arranged around them, so I sauntered off.

P Wec have a massage service. I thought it would be a great idea to have one.

Asti, my counterpart for my stay at P wec, brought an old lady from the village to me room. She asked me to strip down! The door was wide open, and I was a little perturbed, but the blissful massage made up for it!      

I went along to a small presentation afterwards in the meeting room. Again, it was for the benefit of the big group, but it was to explain about Pr Fauna and their work in Java and the rest of Indonesia.

It was good to see that their campaigns to save the animals were often hard hitting and effective. Over 15 years, they have built up the support of the locals and even some members of the government, but there is still a long way to go.

Afer all this, they were divided into three groups. The activities for the morning were 'green art' with Harry, reforestation and preparing the 'Tumpung'. 

With Asti
Actually, Asti and I got to do all 3 in any case, in the above order too. I had tried the art the day before, so we headed down to the river to plant a tree.

Then we headed to a bamboo house where we needed to prepare the 'Tumpung'.

First we needed to make the dishes on which to put the offering. (Tumpung is food on a bamboo dish.)

We used the trunk of a banana tree and woven bamboo for the base. Then we used a big banana leaf to provide the surface.

After that, we could add the food.

The first layer is rice, then, on top of another leaf, is a mixture of spicy  noodles (flat, like tagliatelle), spicy potatoes, deep fried tofu, which tasted rather sour. there were beans too, and a spicy egg.

While we made the offerings, we were fed snacks of deep friend banana chips and a yummy green cake, apparently made with the dye from the bandan leaf, which was the same leaf Harry had used.

We made ten plates in total and there was a main plate with two sticks of fruit.

Ten or so men from the village came and chanted some prayers. They were the oldest men of the village. Then, they handed out the dishes for us to try. and that was it. That was the ceremony.

Once again, I couldn't help but feel it was all a show for the big group of people.

Over lunch, Rosek was telling me about the corruption in parliament with the government officials selling off confiscated animals so as to make a profit.

There is also a  problem in the law that only endangered animals can be rescued from the harsh conditions that  we may find them. 'Regular' animals not on the protect list cannot be rescued by Pr Fauna or anyone else who might care.

Pro Fauna do work closely with the police and are able to train new officers about the issues of the animals. It is very important to have the police on their side and working with them, but it doesn't mean it is the end.

Illegal poachers and the illegal pet trade all run amok in Java, Borneo and Sumatra, as well as the smaller islands.

It all stems from long, long, ago when having an animals showed your high social status. There were animals in the kingdom and poor people wanted them too. It is for this reason that keeping  an animal in a cage is so common in society. Even without money, a house with an animal is seen to be higher up on the social ranking than one without.

There are 5 main things a Javanese man looks for in life.
1. A woman
2. Money
3. (once upon a time) a Horse -These days it's a car
4. Social standing
5. An animal.

The acquisition of the latter raises the state of the former.

Pro Fauna are attempting a new approach. A leaflet to teach people how to be kinder to animals. It should have been released last summer, so let's hope it works.

After lunch, I had a long 2 hour nap. After dinner, I had a bit of shut-eye. When it cam to the real bed time, I surprisingly slept brilliantly for a good 8 hours!


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