Indonesia pt.1- Jungle


16 months after the trip- you’d think this blog would be written to perfection. Actually, a wild notion just came into my head to write about it and I thought, why not? Well I know why not, I have a report to do… But that’s probably why so.

Spectacular scenery

A Two month trip is a fairly long time to log up, so I thought I pick out a brief outline of my journey, with a few stories along the way that would epitomise the experience… enjoy!

(fyi!)To those reading who know me now in my walk with Christ, this trip was less than a year before I became a Christian. Also, the camera used for these pictures was taken using Sony alpha 330.

There are Man Utd fans in the depths of the rainforest!!

And so the long-awaited travels to Indonesia arrived. One month of ‘research’ in the Sulawesian Rainforests, followed by a flight to Bali with only a returning home flight booked a month later. What to do in between? The worlds my oyster, as the saying goes.

L: Use your head! TR: Our band wagon BR: praying mantis modelling

First impression of Indonesia? Small people! One of the Western students that I met up with at the airport was about 6 foot 3, and a group of Indo men were surrounding him, pointing and laughing at how tall this ‘giant’ was.

L: Nina with a cat; R: a coupla cats

One thing I quickly learnt was that there was an abundance of cats in Indonesia. The Islamic prophet Mohammed was fond of them, and being a predominantly Muslim country no one is allowed to kill them (it doesn’t stop them being abandoned though!). This one struck me in particular- I named him Hitler. Or is that offensive?

L: Hitler; TR: mini bananas! BR: a growing pineapple!

We stayed in Labundo-bundo! A very small village with rustic houses planted on either side. I was adopted into a family with a balcony- not too shabby after all!

That is, until I saw the (outdoor) bathroom… A hole in the floor, plus a ‘mandi’ – a tank of water that you scoop water out of to wash, well everything (using left hands only please). It was one of the best in the neighbour hood though, and they did feature some toilet roll for us westerners! But if they survive without it, why should I need it?

Our house! Our family! Our mandi!

My host family, and most of Labundo couldn’t speak English – what a great incentive to learn the language! Each villages has its own dialect, although they all speak the one universal, or Indonesiersal language- Bahasa Indonesia.

Why are Indo kids so adorable?

The first week was spent in Jungle training… One of the best weeks of my life! Made some great friendships and life-lasting memories.

Elliot in awe at jungle fire

The second week I was planning on doing the advanced jungle training course! But after learning that no previous group has ever survived the week without gout, or some sort of foot disease, I decided to embark upon a ‘culture week’… So much for the research!

Fish market yo!

No regrets though- that week I had the best time with my friend Nina… We made quite a pair- the gila gila girls they called us… ‘Gila’ is indonesian for, er, ‘crazy’.

I must mention Fifin- one of the english speaking local staff. He was an awesome guy!…he would even climb 20-odd metre coconut trees on demand!

I often got called ‘putih banyak’ by the locals…putih = white, banyak= very. I find it strange how people in the UK paint themselves darker/orange, whereas in Asia they have whitening kits. Why is it that people find it hard to be content with what they have?

L: The gila gila girls! TR: Me and Fifin, BR: 3 legged race with the locals

That week I soaked up the Indonesian language, in preparation for the travels ahead.

Bats! Climbing coconut trees! Rice drying! Canopy access! Face wash!

We cooked some traditional foods, explored the medicinal plants, went fishing in the next village, visited the rice makers, not to mention teaching English at the local school!

Bottom left: showing local kid the western gaming technology!

I’ll always remember lying on a wall with Nina while watching the night sky. So many stars! I’d never seen a shooting star before- but to see a few all in one viewing certainly made up for it! … How can we humans, so called ‘meaningless pieces of protoplasm’ be struck with such awe?

Then Nina left…

The next two weeks were a bit more higgledy piggledy… I got a great taster of the different research projects going out there. I helped out with maquaque behaviour, fig wasps, bats, tarsiers, herpetofauna and civet projects.

Spying on macaques in the forest!

Young coconut milk/water is one thing I often crave since Indonesia. It was the most refreshing, thirst quenching drink I’ve ever experienced… Haven’t managed to to find a similar coconut drink like it anywhere else thus far.

'...Nobody suspects, the butterflyyyys mwahahaha' (Bart Simpson)

My time in the rainforest was soon over, but I was glad I didn’t book a flight straight back to the UK. I hoped to return again, but until then, on to Bali it was!

Can I take one home?

Stay tuned for the island hopping!


Categories: Travels | 5 Comments

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5 thoughts on “Indonesia pt.1- Jungle

  1. Hello!
    I have truly enjoyed some of the posted pictures. Fascinating pictures. Thank you. Indonesia must a extremely interesting country. I don’t why but some Australians have low perception of Indonesians. There must be some misunderstanding or miscommunication between Aussies and Indonesians.

    Once thing about cats. A cat is like a bank account never getting back unless you put something in it.

    • Thanks!

      I’ve never been to Australia, but from what I can gather they are two completely different cultures… I can’t pinpoint exactly why there would be a rift between them though. I suppose when Australians visit Indonesia, they would mostly go to places like Kuta where there the Western culture has taken over i.e. there’s alcohol and bikinis etc. Things that we (Westerners) would consider ‘normal’ in society whereas the rest of Indonesia largely would be quite shocked. What do you think?

      I hope to post about the next part of my Indonesia travels soon, where I’ll talk about what the Indonesians were like with me when I travelled alone.

      Thank you for dropping by!


      • I see your points. You seem to know where the feelings and spirits are.
        Starting at birth we grow into a culture through assimilation into a certain life, without choice. Slowly we learn to make our own choices. Even when we begin to evaluate our choices that act is influenced by our upbringing and the environment in which we live. In the reality of day to day life, there is not much freedom in a sense. Perhaps, we respond unconsciously to that which lay dormant deep in our hearts

        Looking forward to your next set of images and commentary.

  2. Fabulous Pictures, and your blog has a terrific visual presentation also! I grew up right next to Indonesia — it looked a little bit familiar!

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