Written by Alizee Martin (will be helping to support BNF’s volunteer, field course and school expedition activities)
One year ago, when I was about to leave Indonesia after working in the jungle for 1.5 years, a friend told me he won’t say goodbye. Instead, he said, “Now you have drunk water from a Bornean river, you’ll be back.” He was right. Here I am, back in Palangkaraya for another adventure with Borneo Nature Foundation!
After a few days in the office, meeting my new colleagues at BNF, it was time to discover the Natural Laboratory of Peat-swamp Forest (LAHG) Camp and the forest within the Sebangau National Park. The short klotok trip was the moment where we left the city behind us to enter the forest, and it brought this great feeling of being back home, back to the jungle…
What blew my mind upon my first step in Sebangau were the colors. Lis, LAHG Camp’s wonderful cook, has another talent: landscaper! Your eyes are first attracted by bright pinks, light purples and dark reds. Then a closer look will bring many flowers to your attention: white, yellow, blue… And finally, you’ll notice this rich green color palette. By walking around, you’ll also realize that this garden is not only beautiful but also full of food resources
As a conclusion to this first blog, I have learned that being in Sebangau means using all your senses, including smelling the rain coming, watching the trees move to determine if it’s an animal or just wind, hearing the gibbons singing in the morning, walking barefoot on the boardwalk. All of these expériences just while drinking a cup of coffee or tea. Being in Sebangau, as Karen, a researcher with BNF, said, is being feral.
Ready to go back to the wild?!