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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.

I’ve learned a lot about orangutan and human connections. In terms of human health, it is imperative both to address the situation of education from a general perspective such as malaria tb, and hepatitis, and then to raise awareness about how each spreads between human and orangutan.

I hope very much that Yayasan Palung is successful in helping save the last wild orangutans, their habitats, and forest homes of folks that live in Kalimantan Barat. I must send a sincere gratefulness to all the friends for treating me, roti bakar, jus alpokat, rambutans and pisangs, your hospitality has made the journey much easier. Thank you all and Cheryl for letting me swing by, and warmest regards for the holiday season

Terima kasih lagi, Arnab Saha

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