Forest Fun

I’ve been at camp for the past few days, but we had to come back in to go to Immigration for our research permits, and to do a bit of shopping for supplies, so I thought I’d throw up a quick post to let everyone know what I’ve been up to and explain a bit about what we do every day.

I usually wake up around 5:30 or 6, which is usually earlier than others in camp.  Often there are people who go out following orangutans, gibbons, or kelasi (red langurs), and they leave much earlier than that- usually around 4 am- so camp is quiet when I get out of bed.  It’s a nice time to drink a cup of coffee and read a book while listening to the gibbons and birds sing.  Breakfast is around 7:30 and shortly after that we go into the forest to do our work for the day. Lately we’ve been working on some of the volunteers’ projects, which include plots for non-tree vegetation, taking trait measurements for some of the dominant tree species, and surveying butterfly diversity on the edge of the forest.  The volunteers are still quite enthusiastic about everything so they are happy to work long hours in the forest and come back for a late lunch.  We’ve also had some good luck with orangutans for the past couple of days, and about half of the vols have gotten a chance to go on a follow.  This is very exciting, because most of them came here to learn about primate research, and so getting to go out and see data being collected and observe the orangutans themselves is a cool opportunity.  We’ve also seen quite a bit of wildlife thus far: monitor lizards, pit vipers, macaques, kelasi, orangs, and of course our resident bearded pig at camp.

In the afternoons after lunch we usually have some free time, and we do data entry/office work, talk about projects, and just generally hang out. Yesterday I made a massive vocab list so we practice speaking Indonesian as well.  They’re learning quickly and have started trying out sentences with the field assistants, which is definitely entertaining for everyone!  The rest of the day goes quickly after that, as we eat dinner around 6 or 6:30, play some cards, and then people start getting sleepy.  Hopefully next time I’m in town and have internet access I can post some pictures of what we’ve been up to!

Oh, and if anyone is curious, my Indonesian number (if you’re trying to reach me from from outside of Indonesia) is +62 81251190719.  Okay, time for lunch here, sampai nanti everyone!

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