Location: Kumai, Borneo, Indonesia
I gotta say, today was a good day. We saw EVEN MORE orangutans than we did yesterday. The day started with some delectable ramen omelet thing for breakfast and only got more interesting from there… After stop #1, which was another orangutan watching area, we went to a small park where a man showed us various types of trees. Then we got to plant one of the trees he taught us about! It’s part of a reforestation effort to make up for (recently illegal) logging and forest fires. We helped save the rainforest! Then we ate lunch and off we were to a village. Between 200 and 250 people lived in the village, and the primary means of transportation was a motorbike. The villagers were friendly, and we even witnessed a few minutes of a game of football. We had the opportunity to buy souvenirs from the locals, and many of my compadres took that opportunity, thereby supporting the local economy. Then we were off to the third, and final, orangutan watching site, where we saw the alpha male chase off a young challenger who got too close to his territory. While most of us were watching the excitement above, Kyle, Alec, and Jack played with a stick bug that was as long as their forearms. The river tour ended with dinner lit by fireflies, aka natures paparazzi, aka lightning bugs, aka those shiny things in the trees, aka sparkling stars that came down just so we could see them. On the way home to Argo from dinner, our boat could faintly make out Tor and Hannah leading their boat in some sort of tribal dance. All in all, the river cruise was a miraculous learning adventure during which each of us experienced something new and exciting. I personally learned more about orangutans than I ever could have hoped, and I have an even deeper respect for forest preservation and the people that protect the rainforest than I did before. The guides were quite obviously passionate and prideful about their land, and that passion was inspirational.PHEW. That was a pretty big blog post, but it did not do justice to the indescribable activities that took place today. I guess you’ll just have to visit Kumai and this national park to see for yourself. Now, off to bed. Watch, as it always seems to be, is in a few hours. Te Amo, Reets.