Friday, September 23, 2011

INDO DIARIES 2010 - Friday 16th July

From the moment the taxi started driving, we felt much calmer indeed. Before long, we were driving up green hills. We saw many eateries and promised to return, not realising that we still had further to climb.

Welcoming us to Batu was a hideous resort hotel which stuck out like a sore thumb. The landscape was cloudy and didn't need such a building, but it always meant we had a fall back option should we fail to find a hotel.

Our driver seemed to know where to go. We were on the main strip, which according to our book was where the hotels could mostly be found. Our driver continued, however. he turned right at the top of the strip and stopped at what seemed to be a luxurious hotel - The Orchid Hotel. We had read about it, but we just weren't sure.

Inside, we were welcomed by janitors and staff all ready to take our booking, our luggage, anything. In the centre of the uncomfortably large hotel was a big swimming pool, onto which all the rooms seemed to look.

We were shown a mountain view room (no pool views available). For an Indonesian hotel, it was a really expensive room, even for UK or Japan, yet the room had twin beds! Hardly welcoming for a couple.

The atmosphere was cold and not truly Indonesian. There was a caged cockerel in the entranceway, yet it was so out of place amongst the 'resort' feel of the hotel. Even the batik uniform seemed forced, along with the service.

We promptly left.

Just a stone's throw away, and the next hotel on the jalan was the Kartika Wijaya hotel, which is at the top of the hill on the main strip. It is from here that I now write this diary. It had also been mentioned in our guide book as having a colonial feel to it. We were less convinced having seen what 'Oen' had to offer us. But, at the hotel, in the lobby, there was a map of old Indonesia and it felt so much more like what we were looking for.

We checked in early and they gave us a lovely room. They even swapped a booking around so that we would not have to change rooms during our two night stay.

We left our bags and headed down the hill to Batu. It was time for lunch. The streets in Indonesia are always a nightmare to walk down. Single file is usually a must.

The town of Batu is cute. As you enter, a park welcomes you. We walk straight past to find a very colourful shop. There were costumes, was a festival costume maker shop! The colours and costumes were simply wonderful. The even had the woven horses that the girls had used on my first night at P wec.

You can see 2 sets of gernongs, ( 3+2)
They had some percussion instruments too, so Ian was in heaven. We played around a little, liking the gernong, in particular. On a base of wood, there were spaces for either two or three gongs, which were placed on strings. With a rubber beater and a little bit of rhythm, you have music!

Empty stomachs made us deliberate and we left the shop looking for food. And, what could be better than traditional sate overlooking the lovely park of Batu. You actually have to write down your own order. You also get the pleasure of watching the chef cook your breakfast.....on the street!

park & mountain view!

Cooking sate

Happy shopper

We were happy that the happy shopper had made his decision!

We went back to the costume shop, fiddled around a bit and finally made the decision to get the gernongs. We headed back to the hotel and got ready for a quick dip in the pool.

It was 3pm but the sun had already headed west. It was very cool and the water was cooler. Swimming and eating and reading and swimming and eating and reading....that was about it for the evening.

sumptuous strawberry juice

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

INDO DIARIES 2010 - Thursday 15th July

At 6am, we woke to the soundtrack of the couple talking next door, so maybe not an entirely sound sleep, including the 4.30am call to prayer, but we weren't going to complain.

With a toaster at our table and a box of brown and white bread with homemade (!) jams by our side, we were very happy indeed. 

At our round table, we were joined by two elderly men. I said 'Good morning', three times before I was heard, so I wasn't sure what to make of them. BUt, then Eric, the man to my left started up a conversation with us about our holiday and theirs too. He was travelling with Gerard, and 84 year old(Dutch) war veteran who was in Indonesia 60 years ago. They were on a tour revisiting old memories and seeing the sights to create new ones. Their story was interesting to hear and we talked of Malang and the things we should see and do. Again 'Oen' was mentioned as was Mount Bromo. It was all food for thought. I was inspired, quite literally too. Gerard's personal story, the war connection and the setting - Indonesia, it could be a veritable Faulk's moment! We exchanged emails and parted company with the promise of a lunch in Ubud at thhe end of the month.

Suddenly inspired, Ian and I were so grestful to be on teh travelling road, to be able to have such encounters, to be able too make plans to see things so bizarre, so new....We made some plans about the things we wanted to do in Java. The problem? There are so many things in Java and Java is so huge. We were both keen to travel down to Yogyarta, the culture capital, but East Java too had its pull on us, and for now, Malang.

The courtyard at Fendi's
We changed hotels as planned. It was an easy task as they were not far from each other. 
Fendi's was different, the room was much smaller, but it would do. We were off to see the city in any case. (I wasn't much impressed by the bird in the cage, but the singing was delightful.)

The cathedral
We walked the long and dusty Jalan that led straight to the centre after twenty minutes on foot. We found 'Oen' very easily. It was opposite the cathedral in the main square.
And, welcome!!!


Lots of Indo snacks on display

Indo snacks

Toko Oen from post war times, People from today times
Toko Oen, (tok meaning shop) is a wide and tall restaurant with a great cake display to lure you in, There were sweet and savoury pastries on offer. I ventured to try something like a sausage roll which proved to be really delicious. 

After lunch, we decided to wander down to the markets. The area was really dilapidated with some homeless people begging on the pavements. We saw the location of the 'blind massages' (something we had read about, very cheap apparently, and very effective) and we continued down to the most exquisite flower/plant market I have ever seen. Just have a look for yourself.....

 No wonder Enny's had the most beautiful gardens. I wanted to buy everything in sight! Imagine if that was your local garden centre...!

Further down, the road joined the bird market. I braced myself. I understood the need for pets and I knew there would be many tears I would have to hold back. I didn't actually realise ho w bad it really would be. The birds were almost the best looked after creatures in their over-packed, dirty cages. We saw hamsters for sale, but they looked cloned. There were 15 in one box, and all exactly the same. There were chickens crammed into really small cages. There were squirrels, cats, thoroughbred cat, so beautiful, I had never seen them before. They looked so sad, but I couldn't dawdle.

We carried on. The cages continued. On the bridge, there were puppies, that was cruel. Then I saw the monkeys in the cage next to them. Ian spotted a wombat-like creature and there was also a kitten-like cat that was most certainly not a domestic cat. I did some research since, and I believed it to be the leopard cat (( Wild Cats | Wildlife Conservation | Endangered Wildlife|Leopard Cat (Prionailurus bengalensis)))

I was stupid enough to loiter, such was the shock. I could barely believe what I had seen and was trying to take it in. I left just in time for Ian to tell me off for not paying attention. The sinister stares from the sellers could have easily turned into sinister actions.

I couldn't and still cannot get those faces out of my mind. We went for a massage. My body was wrecked as I lay down and my mind occupied. Towards the end, as I sat up, I felt some clarity and definitely felt better physically. I knew I would have to talk with Pro Fauna, but it made me wonder what they were actually doing to prevent this. The fact that the market existed in Malang, like their offices, yet no one was patrolling the place. It was time to find out more.

In Malang itself, we wondered through a book store, a batik shop and that was it. The city itself didn't have much too it except hustle and bustle. We needed to be more relaxed, much more relaxed, so we headed back to the hotel. We needed dinner, despite eating heaps for lunch. We needed something good. We needed local cuisine.

En route, we stopped at the shopping centre. The food didn't delight us, but I did get a haircut (much needed!) and just 300yen! Bargain.

So much yummy food!

There was the best little street resto opposite our hotel where we had the best strawberry juice and an array of delights like deep fried prawns, noodles and various dumplings.

We also came to the conclusion that we were done with Malang. We didn't need to be here right now. Even Mount Bromo wasn't our vibe for the time being. We needed quiet. We figured Batu was the place for us or even Selekta (based solely on the name), but we needed to change scenery.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

INDO DIARIES 2010 - Wednesday 14th July - Hello Malang!!

The taxi journey passed quickly enough and we were more than ready to jump out at the hotel, exact cash in hand.

Quaint room
 The hotel, Enny's Guest House had reserved for us a very cute bamboo room on the second floor. The door was decorated with traditional batik and lead into a beautiful wooden room. The beds, the floor, the walls, even the decoration of the shower room were all bamboo. Outside was a cute little garden area with bamboo (of course) table and chairs waiting for us to enjoy.

Cheers! A well deserved drink!
 The garden was beautifully decorated with bansais and lovely greenery, all made to relax us. It worked! As we talked about our situations, venting at what had been, marvelling at the current turn of luck and guessing at the weeks to come. We still had a few weeks to go, with a flight out of Surabaya airport on 24th and then out of Bali on 30th.

We had indeed lucked out; our little courtyard was idyllic. It faced towards the back of the hotel and was shared with the room next door, although there was no one there, and even if there had been, there was enough space for privacy. the plants were impressive. One in particular always catches my eye in Indonesia, it is the spiky bush with pink and yellow flowers (I still don't know the name). And, another fat-rooted one, from Africa, we are told.

To bring us fully back to life once again, we need food, dinner, and, as delightful and healthy those meals were, we wanted anything but organic and anything but tembe.

We had heard a few good words about a Dutch place in town 'Oen' (pronounced 'un'). Apparently, the mix of Indo / Western food was perfect and their ice cream very popular indeed, so given our 'trauma and need for decent food, we set off in the direction of the city centre.

The street that led us there was a busy one with cars and mopeds rushing past our bodies as we tentatively trod on cracked paving and tree roots. We found a couple of hotels that we want to peek at as well. (We could only stay at Enny's the one night as they were fully booked; it was the weekend soon enough.)

Fendi's guest house was the first hotel we found. It was plush and very clean. The room we were shown had chairs outside where the breakfast was to be served, looking into a clean and beautiful courtyard. I noticed some bird cages too. We made a reservation there, promising to return after dinner to pay the deposit.

As we continued down Jalan Kawi, we found one more hotel where the rooms they showed us stepped out onto a delightful terrace. They had shown us the superior rooms, which were pretty lush, but were only available for the one night. We couldn't be fussed with moving night after night, so we would be at Enny's tonight and then Fendi's the next two.

We continued with our journey for a mere couple of footsteps. As Ian bounded out to cross the busy road, something caught on my foot. We had both stupidly worn flip flops out to walk the unfinished streets of Malang. It looked like something was caught on his show too as he was struggling to get across the road. I managed to  free myself from the thread or wire that had bee holding me back. Ian made it to the island in the middle of the road but was hobbling. The wire had ripped right through his flip flop. I giggled. He would have to (hip) hop back home. What a nightmare, but what on earth was this massive wire doing lying in our path? The streets of Indonesia are as mad as the wild forests.

We turned back. We could not really venture any further away. Even getting back would be hard. The staff at the hotel we had just been to rushed out to help us when they saw us coming. Luckily, we were still laughing and were not too fussed. They even offered to buy Ian some flip flips (from where? I certainly couldn't see a shop!) for 50, 000 IDR. When we mentioned Ian's big feet, they weren't too sure of success either, so we left it. Good job too for we found a supermarket not far from Enny's and bagged us some flip flops for 25,000IDR. You see, those dudes would have pocketed the difference and we would have been none the wiser (albeit 500yen versus 250yen).

We collected some fruit and snacks and also found a restaurant serving steak. We couldn't ask for much more.

Smothered in sauce
Accompanied by avocado shakes, (with chocolate sauce, the only way it should be served), prawn cocktail starter,the steaks, potato salad, and weren't amazing, but having not eaten since breakfast, I wolfed it down.

Back to the bamboo heaven for a solid and sound sleep!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

INDO DIARIES 2010 - Wednesday 14th July - GOODBYE P-WEC! (2)

So, the four of us headed into Malang on the scooters. The ride was awesome. not only was it refreshing to leave P wec, but it was the first time for Ian to see true Indonesian countryside.

Indonesia is one of my favourite countries to visit, it is so magical, so beautiful....but sadly, so corrupt as well.
There were mountains all around us. it was a lovely day too (It always is in Indonesia!).

We went straight to the Pro Fauna offices where we had to explain and wait and explain more our situation. Finally, Butet said we could leave the programme. Yatta! ....So long as we paid them the missing money....! back to square one.

We were even offering security, phones, anything. We just wanted to leave P wec, not even leave Malang.  utet said she would let us stop at P wec today, and then, if we popped back into the office on Thursday, we could sort it out again. It would give me the chance to send some emails back to Japan at least. I emailed a really good friend, who happened to be online and who is a miracle worker. She was able to make some calls, but without being being, I am not sure how much she could find out.

Back to  P wec? I was keen to put al this behind me. My bags were ready (thank goodness as it was now late).  ES DEGAN!!! There was a solution! That dreamily deliciously refreshing drink able to right so many wrongs!

With Wi-Wi, asti's mum
We hit the road again, but not to return to P wec. Actually, we went back to Asti's parent's house! She wanted to see me again and to meet Ian. She had heard about what had happened and wanted to make sure we didn't have a bad impression of Indonesia from all this.

She had a little batik gift for me as she had seen me with a baby carrier the other day (traditional Javanese material wraps around the body to carry a baby. She had an even nice one to give me and showed me the proper way to use it.

We ate crackers - she had a huge selection, tembe crackers, gassava crackers, sweet potato chips and cakes, yummy cakes, but we were too polite to finish them all off, so we shared one.

We were so happy to receive such lovely hospitality from Asti's mum. She even fed us with black bean soup, so we were ready for the journey back to P wec.

Local children came to say 'Hello'.
Asti's cats

We also stopped by a hotel recommended by Butet, where we thought we could at least stay for the first night 'post-escape'.

As we drove back, I contemplated my ten days at P wec. They would have been very dull indeed had it not been for the wonderful characters of Harry, Wi-Wi & Asti. Without them, I would not have experienced a more real and genuine side to this part of the Javanese countryside.

Back at P wec, we were good to go. Asti had found a number for a taxi firm (40 40 40 - so simple!), so I wasn't really sure why everyone was faffing with the yellow pages pretending to not find the number for over ten minutes.

We were told to go and get ready. It was 2.20pm. We kindly asked for the taxi to arrive at 3pm, giving us more than enough time. We scuttled back to Mess parrot. I was still convinced something was amiss. why hadn't they ordered the cab straight away? I had a niggling feeling something would still stop us leaving at 3pm, despite our arrangement with Butet etc.

We got the bags, checked the room was empty and made our way back to the information centre. As we swapped email addresses with Asti, Irul, the main organiser said something in Indonesian to Asti. She translated it very formally to us, thanking us for coming to P wec, and apologising profusely for things not having worked out.

Then, out of the blue, he suggested that we call Butet back t confirm everything. I agreed to it, but not really sure why I did, as things had been arranged face to face. But, it was not the case. Clearly word had come down from a higher source since Butet and I had spoken.

When I spoke with her, she was very aloof and asked to speak to Irul. goodness only knows what was said, but after Irul put the phone down, he was expecting a payment....!

Basically, Butet had suggested that we pay for the time we had slept and eaten at the P wec compund, so in other words, pay twice as Rosek had wanted us to. It was all about MONEY...It was appalling.

Thinking about P wec and money, I suddenly realised a few things. The massage I had for 50,000IDR, I had paid directly to P wec and not to the little old lady from the village. A genuine massage at a hotel in Bali is 60,000IDR and that is by the pool! I think I had been ripped off, so had the little old lady.

Somehow we had the American dollars on us to pay for the stay so far, but this was money supposed to keep us going till the end of the month. Now we were without P wec, we were on our own in Java.
Irul, Ian, Lee, Asti

The taxi came at 3pm! A miracle. We were out of there. Poor Irul was genuinely upset. He was a really nice guy. 

P wec and Rosek are at fault here for bad, bad, bad organisation of their volunteers.

- no volunteer co ordinator to co ordinate with
- no schools to go and teach children at 
- no fixed schedules, plans constantly changing
- no real work planned
- volunteers ignored, not brought in to interact and help
- no materials to make anything, despite out main job being to make stuff
- no wildlife learning / teaching 

On the plus side, we had a great counterpart. Thank you Asti! Now it was just Ian and I and the rest of Indonesia!

INDO DIARIES 2010 - Wednesday 14th July - GOODBYE P-WEC! (1)

The foul mood and slight sickness (on Ian's sniffly part) continued. We woke to the early music from the village, raging and feeling very trapped and confused. We had no idea what to do. Any attempts we had made to organise a trip into town took hours to knock down the walls of resilience and responsibility.

This morning, we had finally made a plan to go to Malang with Asti; to go to Pro Fauna, print some pictures, buy some materials (with our money) and get the work done finally. We went down to breakfast - I knew it would be a great day.Even just one morning in Malang would provide a much needed change of scenery.

Rosek, the founder of the organisation was in the food hall. I wondered why. I offered him water which he refused, but he sat with us at our table ad rudely chatted to Asti in  Indonesian (he speaks good English...).

Ian had 'a look' in his eye and I could tell that something was about to unravel.

'We still haven't received your money, so we want you to pay again and if the money comes, we will send it to you.'

Basically, to volunteer with any organisation, you pay a nominal fee that usually covers expenses such as food & accommodation.

Actually, Rosek had brought up the issue of the money since day one (I didn't write about it as I didn't deem it necessary.) I paid the money later than I should have, but I made a money transfer at the Post Office near my work 2 weeks before my departure. Stupidly, the receipt was in Japan, or at least I hoped it could have been thrown out with some many other bits of paper....

Anyway, in the first four days I was at P wec, I had run up a huge bill calling Ian to ask him to locate the receipt. I knew I had paid it. And, each time I saw a member of staff, I asked if they had located the money, but to no avail.

And, here I was, at the breakfast table being given no chance. What did they think - we were made of money?? I have come to learnt that there is a certain type of person in Indonesia who seems to think that the foreigners are rich. (See my post on HAWKERS). Of course, this is not true. We had worked so hard to save the money for this trip, and after the success of my Kalaweit volunteering trip, I was so excited to be able to volunteer again. But, here we were, sat with Rosek, who wanted us to pay again. Sure, we had spending money for the trip - we were away for a month, but would we really carry extra cash with us like this???

I was mortified. I had promised to sort it when I got back to Japan, and of course I couldn't do anything from the jungle location we were sat in, but this was not good enough for Rosek. Oh, can I mention here that his wife, Mate is in charge of the finances? She seemed all friendly when I met her, but now I can see she is as deviant as her husband. All he cared about was the money. I was close to tears, but held them back to be strong.

As we ate our breakfast, very reluctantly at this point, Rosek had the cheek to inform us that the next week, we would be 'trained' for the outbound activities (the outdoor area of activities that includes the flying fox etc). Once again, while I am happy to help a cause, I did not come to Indonesia to learn how to harness people to jump off a ledge.

Inside one of the rooms at the Mess Parrot
Read a little more about my arrive - My first day
There's more - He then told me that all the vehicles were being used by the 'guests' to P wec (they were going to Bromo Mountain, a trip he overcharges for, naturally.) Remember the move we had helped with? Well, it was the Chiness investors of P wec who were coming to stay and they needed a nice hut. Interestingly enough, the Mess Parrot was available, but perhaps the idea of shifting furniture appealed a whole lot more.

I was livid at this point. I can understand the need to look after the investors, but to do it at the cost of the volunteers and the people who actually want to come and physically HELP...?!?! It is such a shame because Rosek has turned a great idea (the charity of Pro Fauna & animal rescue) into a hideous money making enterprise (P wec) and even has the cheek to label it with the popular term 'Eco tourism'. Of course you would want to visit it. The centre at P wec had nothing to do with animals save the cages at the back but I was never allowed to interact only sneak a few photos in when no one was looking.

As I sat there in disbelief, I was certain that one of the 'nice' members of kitchen staff walked past me with a scowl.

OK, this was the wake up call. We excused ourselves form the breakfast table. We left on the pretence of going to the village. Both Ian and I had made our decision. We didn't even need to share it. We were leaving, and we were leaving today.

We still felt trapped but, as we started talking, we realised we could ad would figure a way out of this. They knew we had transferred the money. Why would we have flown to Indonesia to VOLUNTEER if we were freeloaders. it simply does not make sense.

We were thinking we could sneak our bags to the front of the P wec compound and order us a taxi out of there (how? we knew no number.)

I was prepared to walk the estimated 3 hours to Malang! That is how badly we wanted out of this.

Back at the room, we threw everything into our bags. Ian suggested roping Asti helping us. She could take a day off and help us get the taxi. He did try, but any talk to anyone at pwec resulted in our words hitting brick walls. We carried on packing.

Then Rosek appeared and spoke to Asti (not us) saying he wanted the money by Thursday (!) I lost it. I didn't want poor Asti to be in the middle but as I cried and complained, she found herself having to translate to Rosek, who could very well understand in any case.

I told him that it was pointless us being at Pwec. Nothing had been done to prepare for our arrival. Even the volunteer co ordinator had never been around to actually co ordinate anything. Our schedules had changed and we were not doing anything worthwhile to help. I had come for the animals and not even worked with any.

Surprisingly, the message was understood and Asti reasoned with him that we should go into Malang and visit Butet, the volunteer co ordinator.

We were told that there was another scooter driver available. Actually it was his day off, but like ALL of the other P wec staff, he had to come in and do the garden (interesting how they are pruning everything for these investors...).

So the plan was for us to head into town on the back of two scooters.....Phew. Malang, here we come.

INDO DIARIES 2010 - Tuesday 13th July

OK, Tuesday began as normal - with the annoying sound systems blaring out from villages afar. Frustratingly, the music stops about 6.30, after you have woken up....hmmmmphh

Breakfast was good, as per. More Indo food. It's a good diet and a heavy meal in the morning, setting you up for the day (usually rice and vegetables, or fried noodles, mi goreng, my favourite!)

We continued with the signs once again. Today, was a matter of screwing them into the ground. It was rather fun for a while and we got quite into it. The team work and the manual labour proved to be really satisfying.
Sign were held up by piping. Everything was recycled here.
One good thing about  P wec!

Ian getting ready to drill holes

Asti putting the nuts and bolts in.

Ready to be attached to the poles!

Ready to go!
 When we were done, Warno, whose idea it was and whose job it is to know all the plant names, came with us as we went to add the signs.

Ian and I thought it would have been so much more fun has they just given us a picture and we tried to find the plants ourselves. Still, good ideas weren't exactly their strong point here at P wec.

Ian doing it wrong!

It seemed we weren't able to get too involved with the work, only the mundane tasks. The few occasions Ian had the sickle, he was told that he was doing it wrong. Instead of showing him how, Warno just took the sickle and the pole and did it himself.
Plant and sign united!!!

We had a list building in our opinion on Pwec, and it was getting longer, faster.

After lunch, we were supposed to organise the educational games....again! This was more than frustrating as we had provided them with many ideas (we are professionals, so it is not difficult work), but apparently our ideas were not good enough. Then, contrary to a previous promise of printing out pictures, we were told we had to draw the animal cards. I can't draw to save my own life, but I was pleased my husband suddenly revealed a secret talent!

It was all rather strange that an 'education centre', which is what P wec is supposed to be, couldn't print out simple pictures for us to make materials.

Of course, we will find out later that they are not an 'education centre' at all. It is, as I keep hinting at, an eco-tourist stop off for the more well off domestic tourist, or at least that is what it seems.

As if directed by someone of authority, Asti went to get us some drawing supplies. It took her a super long time and once again, like many a time before, we had to wait for someone to provide us with nothing to do.

Ian and I had a heart to heart about the situation. It was very off indeed. If we couldn't print pictures at P wec, perhaps we could go to the offices in Malang, to Pro Fauna. We could print the pictures, or even buy the materials to make half decent ones (so far we had been given no colour pens or pencils, nor paper).

So we decided (Ian and I ) that we should go to Malang tomorrow, Wednesday to get supplies. Annoyingly, we could have brought everything ready made from Japan or at least brought some great supplies had we been such informed.

On top of all this, we had no idea when these games would actually be used. We were supposed to go to a wildlife watching activity on Saturday and the mobile library on Sunday, but we still didn't know anything about the schools. In fact, those were the only two activities in the rather dull and depressing looking schedule.

We were supposed to go a one school today, but that had been cancelled. And, the rest of the week was simply 'educational game production'. Ugh. Friday was the one day off.

Ian was more than annoyed. He had not done one constructive nor interesting thing since he had arrived. the signs hardly counted. That was their work and it was hardly worth flying to Indonesia to cut plastic.

There was a great feeling of entrapment here. I was lucky enough to see a rainbow, it helped lift my spirits ever so slightly.

When Asti eventually returned, she just told us there were no resources.

Aaarg. It was all too annoying. We had just sat around waiting during time that wasn't 'free time' as it wasn't on the schedule, yet we were doing nothing, just waiting for a badly organised load of NOTHING.

So, we talked about the new plan of going into town and organising the materials. We continued with our jungle stories (we didn't have much else to do anyway.) In fact, we even had a laugh doing them. Asti is lovely. She was there to help us and she did. Our volunteer co ordinator was never there to help nor guide us. That was awful.

By the time we went to bed, we had decided enough was enough. We needed out. We were not being looked after at all. We had paid a lot of money to come and join the volunteering scheme, not to mention travelled from Japan to Indonesia. It was too disappointing.

Ian wanted to up and leave Thursday night, before our 'day off' and not come back....I thought we should hold out until the animal watching on Saturday and the mobile library on Sunday. At least then we would have done something....Staying the whole duration of 3 weeks was just out of the question.