Back from the forest again! Tomorrow we (all Western staff) are taking a day off for a joint going away/birthday party, so I’m in town tonight and thought I would write a bit of a catch up blog post. It’s been a really nice week in camp, although VERY quiet. For a few days it was just Camille (kelasi intern) and I in camp, so we got to do all sorts of fun things like go swimming and make fried pineapple/fried every kind of food you can think of.
Research wise, it’s also been a really interesting week full of new things for me. I got two-day crash course in butterflying, and other than that have been helping the kelasi team with some of their stuff. We spent a couple of days searching for kelasi, which means getting up around 5 am to go to the forest at 5:30, then walking slowly and quietly for about 5 hours to see if we can track down the monkeys. We didn’t have much luck on our searching days, but of course the one day we planned to do other work, the orangutan team found some kelasi, which meant that we got to spend a day following them. It was my first kelasi follow- second overall primate follow- and very interesting to see what kinds of trees they like to eat and observe their behavior. Don’t worry though, I’m not switching research interests from trees to monkeys… everyone knows that trees are better!
Other than that, I’ve also been helping with some of the other ongoing research in camp. Yesterday Adul and I trekked to kilometer 5 to check the camera traps up there, and today I helped Santi with some seedling collection for the nursery. I’ve been using my quiet time at night to watch movies with Lis and Twenti, and recently Twenti has been trying to teach me the guitar. Thus far that’s been met with minimal success, but… baby steps.
Oh, and I’ve stopped speaking pure English and now just throw in random Indonesian words whenever I feel like it, no matter who I’m speaking to. All in all, I would say that so far September = success!