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Monday, November 30, 2009

Blog of Smiles

I’ve had a nice and wonderful time here in Ketapang during these past weeks of volunteering. It’s sad to go and I hope that the friends I’ve met here have enjoyed having me on as a sidekick. Learning about both the research that goes on at Gunung Palung and the raising awareness about biodiversity, poverty reduction and educational activities on the ground have opened up my eyes to the potential and challenges of orangutan conservation.

I am happy to have learned so much about Borneo, village life, and of course, orangutans during my small time volunteering here. It would be nice to hear from everyone again. Since the last post, we went to the hutan kota to see a semi-captive and rereleased wild orangutan, went to Riam Berasap for a traditional medicine show learning how even small forest plants have nice medicinal value, and appreciated Samad during his wedding! After the wedding, many of the staff went out for coconuts, also known as kelapas (Javanese klopos), on the beach south of town.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Menyediakan obat dari Tanaman Sendiri

Riam Berasap Jaya, 14 Nopember 2009. Beberapa kelompok perempuan di Desa Riam Berasap Jaya mengikuti perlombaan Tanaman Obat Keluarga (TOGA) yang di usung oleh PKK Desa Riam Berasap Jaya. Kegiatan lomba TOGA di ikuti oleh 9 kelompok yang merupakan Dasawisma dan beberapa kelompok wanita mandiri di desa tersebut.

Mengenal tanaman yang bermanfaat sebagai obat adalah alternative pengetahuan untuk peningkatan kesehatan dan kesejahteraan keluarga. Negeri ini banyak sekali jenis-jenis tanaman yang bermanfaat menjadi obat herbal, namun hanya sedikit orang yang mengetahui manfaat besar dari tanaman- tanaman yang sudah biasa kita lihat tersebut. Tanaman-tanaman yang biasanya digunakan untuk keperluan sehari-haripun selain menjadi rempah ternyata juga mengandung nilai penyembuh yang besar. Selain itu nilai-nilai tanaman hutan yang dikenal masyarakat hanya sebatas kayunya atau manfaat lain, ternyata mengandung unsur obat herbal yang luar biasa.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Lubuk Baji and then to the Villages

Hi there, this is an update about Yayasan Palung’s trip to the Lubuk Baji campsite in Gunung Palung National Park. This site was set up in 2005 to promote community awareness among children, incoming visitors and teachers about habitat protection, teamwork and wildlife. The day started out in the early morning with a jump into the Yayasan Palung truck and off to the field. We came to a school where the headmaster greeted us and, surprisingly, asked me to introduce myself. It was special to see how hard students worked to learn English, and valued having a fluent English speaker to help practice English with.
The hike up to Lubuk Baji was hill upon hill, culminating near the top with a downpour of rain. We spent the day appreciating the rainforest atmosphere, cooking noodles and tempeh, and allowing the children to learn about how to work as a team to protect the forest. Activities in the morning included observation of wildlife including groups to observe flora and fauna.
We saw hornbills, cuckoos, an orangutan nest, among other insects and big trees. The orangutan nest made us feel very close to the wild. Pak Udin, our guide, took us to a splendid view from the Batu Bulan lookout. On the return journey, some of us took a dip in the swimming hole under the waterfall. With the clean mountain water, why resist?