Here I am at last with a stable connection that allows me to share my experiences with you guys! I’m living in a small village, Tamanjaya bordering the Ujung Kulon National Park, at the north-western extremities of the island of Java, and includes the volcanic archipelago of Krakatoa and other islands including Handeuleum and Peucang. It was the first national park in Indonesia, and has been declared patrimony of humanity by UNESCO. It is the only area in the world where it survives the Javan rhino, a species threatened with extinction, where there are about 50 pieces. My task is to follow the rangers in their activities in order to promote the park with audio visual elements. Begins with a hike in Handeuleum Island. Provided with accommodation for tourists, I have a room all to myself, from humble conditions but the friendly atmosphere warms the simplicity of the environment. It's like stepping back in time! Cooking with fire with blackened pots, electric light there only at night, powered by a generator, water is scarce, and if I have to tell the truth I did not understand the origin, and perhaps best not to speculate too much, and of course there is no signal, the line goes in fits and starts, but the nature of fills the eyes of joy! The activities of the rangers are divided between canoeing in the mangroves with tourists and those that include patrol. They monitoring by GPS of animals, plants, and trees. I'm surprised how much energy have these "men of the jungle", never stop! They are perfect housewives! Good cooks, sailors, fishermen, carpenters, guides tourist ... full power!
Life in the village goes slowly but among Italian lessons given to the ranger and activities in Rumah Tukik, with local children, they are always busy! I took part in a camping in Cilintang with these bright kids, and together we have planted mangroves to protect and repopulate the forest. Rumah Tukik is managed by an exquisite pair of guys who take care of these children, with manual activities, such as creation of coconut jewelry, musical activities, and simple English lessons.
Activities with Rumah Tukik
I live in full this small reality by taking part in a traditional cerimoia called Kuda Lumping. . It’s a kind of celebration of a special event, such as a boy s circumcision or rite of passage. Is a traditional Javanese dance depicting a group of horseman Dancers °ride° horses made from wooden bamboo and decorated with colorful paints and cloth. They use traditional instruments such as the angklung, gongs, dog dog drums.
I'm sent to do a story that involves the construction of a barrier that prevents the habitat contamination Rhinoceros of Java by the buffalo. It call JRSCA, JAVAN Rhino CONSERVATION AREA dealing with habitat management, population, eco tourist, Respect and development. The jungle adjoins the village of Cegog, the most remote village bordering the National Park Ujung Kulong. From here begins the work of some guys who is to carry on their shoulders, heavy concrete pillars, 40 kg each, for more than 3 km through the jungle, walking barefoot! I am amazed by the speed in which these trails run through, if you can call it so, with my camera I cannot stay behind them! Literally they run in the mud! In seven days resulted in the jungle 576 pillars. I spend with them five days, and I was guest in one local family that took care of me.
And then the time comes that much expected! 10 days in the jungle with Rhino Monitoring Unit! Their task is to monitor the cameras that are in the jungle, or rather replace the memory card, change the batteries may be discharged, in short check the perfect functioning of the infrared cameras. Every 2 days we changed the base, equipped with simple tents, we patrolled the areas of Cidaon, Cibunar and Citadahan. It was amazing to hear, in the silent night, broken by the sounds of nature, the steps of the rhinoceros that approached to the base camp! The earth trembles, almost like an earthquake, the heartbeat accelerates, the adrenaline takes over! Well as the first time I was lucky! Some rangers who work for 30 years in the park have not yet seen! I cannot wait to go back for that paths wrapped magical and surreal atmosphere where the man is insignificant and powerless in the face of nature!
I'm busy working on my blog posts. Watch this space!