We are welcoming our new intern, Nity, to join the Red Langur Monkey Project Team. Nity will work with us for the next 2 months. Here she gives her first impressions of the forest.
It was a treat to hear the sound of gibbons singing and to have an orangutan visit the camp on my first morning in the Sabangau Forest last month. I know these things happen often, but I see it as a tiny welcome party from the forest, welcoming me as the new red langur monkey (or kelasi in the Dayak language) intern.
This is my first time to work with primates, and it’s a dream come true to be able to work with the wild animals in the forest!
Although I’ve been to different types of forests, the peat swamp is by far the hardest to walk in. I have lost count of how many times I’ve tripped and fallen into holes. Despite wearing boots, I rarely get back to camp in a dry condition. Eventually, I learned to love walking in the Sabangau Forest and I am now used to walking around with my boots filled with peat water.
It’s only been a month, but I’m really enjoying my time here. Not only do I learn about kelasi, I also learn about other primates, the forest and the people involved. Despite being Indonesian, I know next to nothing about the local culture. There are so many ethnic groups just within the local field staff!
This is a great opportunity for me to gain some experience and I hope it is useful for my future career in conservation. I am really grateful to all the staff members for welcoming me as part of their big family and I look forward to working with the kelasi team in the coming months.