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2nd June 2008 - Medical knowledge
Today has yielded success in the area of medi-kits and raincoats. I am saddened to say that before now I didn't have a raincoat for my trip and was mourning the loss of my old one1. This new one I've just bought may be lighter than my old one anyway. Like a lot of my conservation trip clothes, I am paying for it out of my own pocket; I got about £20 off the normal price, but I can't expect you to pay for a coat for me since it's something I really should have anyway!

My medical kit is getting full; I had a scout around and came home with some bargains. One of the pound shops sold sterile gauze sponges, which I've been told are the same as sterile gauze swabs so I can tick them off the list. They certainly look the same. I could have bought them from Boots, but they had less swabs, less variety of sizes, yet a larger price.

I also have some Imodium capsules from Wilkinsons because they were cheaper there than anywhere else I've seen. Chris donated some £1 vouchers he had, so I got them even cheaper. I was annoyingly told I could only use one voucher per purchase, so I went back and forth, using a voucher on that purchase and using the other on another conservation kit purchase when I return to the till later on.

The later purchase was some stretch, or conforming bandages. The separate ones were labelled as stretch, and the one in the medi-kit they sold was labelled as conforming, although it was too small. Stretch bandages and conforming bandages are the same thing. I wasn't sure if they were so I asked a guy in the shop. He had no clue and told me to ask another guy who I couldn't find, so I scurried off to a nearby chemist. The lady at the chemist said conforming bandages didn't have another name such as stretch bandages, but they looked the same to me. Boots was my next stop, where they sold stretch bandages too, so I asked there. I was right; I was informed they are the same thing, so I zoomed back to Wilkinsons and used the voucher to pay for most of the price of the bandages I needed. Not bad, eh? They only cost me 38p overall because of Chris's voucher, and again they were cheaper than in other places.

So there you go; I'm passing on the knowledge I learned so you can use it if you ever need to look for medical kit bits.


1. More like mourning the loss of a functioning zip and the waterproof coating.


4th June 2008 - More medical knowledge
Boo, hoo, I've been told I have minor Tendonitis. Still, it could be worse, and it's not bad enough to endanger my trip. I have to do special stretches each day and lay down with an ice pack on my leg each day too. If I have to do walks I have to keep them below two hours for two weeks, and then build up afterwards, although it won't give me much time to build up.

I did some clever shopping and so have managed to "buy" bits for my trip using points I found on my Boots card. After that I purchased some rehydration sachets. Boots brand was cheaper than the suggested brand, although since they only sell them in six-sachet packs, I have twenty-four sachets instead of the suggested twenty. I'm keeping four sachets at home which I've paid for myself, and have stuffed the other two sachets in with the other three, six-sachet packs, so that I have twenty sachets but only have to carry around three boxes. Ooh it's a little maths lesson! The points that those gave me along with my leftover points gave me enough to "buy" a 25p tube of toothpaste in the clearance section. Its box was squished at one end but who cares about that, since the toothpaste tube inside seems fine!

If you're very squeamish, miss out the next two paragraphs. You have been warned.

The hardest thing to find in my medical kit list has been five sterile needles. I might get little scalpels instead, as suggested by the chemist1, since there are so many different needles and they seem hard to find in small packs, but I've been doing a little researching and now I have more of an idea how to use them, so maybe I can find the right kind of needle. They are needed, by the way, for removing parasites; normally tiny, weeny ones. My pen knife type thing does actually have a needle on it if I did ever need one, but I would have to sterilise it if I used it for something like that.

An article in the local newspaper on that kind of subject made me go "eek". It was about nasty icky things called jiggers. I knew about them anyway - I might have even mentioned them before - but reading up about someone's encounter with them makes it scary all over again. Who knows what will happen on my trip but I'm praying nasties like that won't get me! I've been told to wear shoes to prevent them, but the person in the article was wearing slip-on shoes, so I have never been happier to have socks and leech socks too... and insect repellent, and a mosquito net... I don't know if jiggers live in the rainforests I'm going to, but there'll be loads of nasties and I'd rather be safe than sorry.

Ok, squeamish people, you can look now.

I asked Frontier some more questions about the kit list. I was told apart from the compulsory things, the list is a guideline, although, um, the kit I was asking about is compulsory but anyway... I'd been considering other small things that might be good to bring in my medical kit before I rang. Tweezers? I even considered salt since leeches hate it and it's antiseptic. It has many uses, although saying that, I want to find out the most up-to-date information about what I can take on a plane.

I have bought a mini version of my SAS survival guide - yay! I like reading things like that. There's also an item of clothing winging its way to me soon, but I'll tell you more about that later since this diary entry is getting very long!


1. She said they can do the same kind of thing


5th June 2008 - Round in circles
Salam. My Indonesian phrase book came through the door today, and it is so much fun! It looks ever so useful because it has a little dictionary in it too. I can even talk about emergencies and taxis, and local delicacies... and say about being vegetarian too. There's even some local talk including the odd insult, but I'm not going to use them!

After my competition, since I was given so many, I'm going to still have the odd Montezuma's Orangutang chocolate bar left. The best before date is at the start of September this year, and I don't want to give people out of date chocolate bars after that. I don't want to give them away, or eat the ones left myself either1, and I'm certainly not going to waste them. I've sold one to Chris on the condition that he answer an orangutan-related question, which he got right, so I have some more money to add to my conservation trip fund.

My medical kit has been added to. It's almost complete, but hunting for sterile needles is getting annoying. The chemist needed to know the exact size and name of the needle I needed, but I rang Frontier to ask about it again and I just got the same reply; being told what the needle is used for, but not what name or size would be good. I know nothing about needle sizes, so it's getting frustrating.

I had just hoped that either the chemist would be able to suggest an appropriate needle, or Frontier could, since they're the one writing it on the kit list - they even supply almost whole medical kits with them in, but I wasn't told what ones are in there. I was told to try a different chemist and get them to try and show me different types. If I can't get sterile needles I'm going to fall back on sterile scalpels, although I've been told by the person on the phone at Frontier that they are both a little heavier and more expensive than needles. If you think about it, most of that is obvious.


1. Ok I do, but I'm not doing that because it would seem unfair and immoral to me. The choccy bars are there to help me get money for my conservation trip, so every single bar will help to do that!


8th June 2008 - Roomy rooms
Things are a little quiet around here at the moment. I found a few places I could stay in in Indonesia for the night before the pick-up, then I asked Mum and she found some places that were more like what I was looking for. I've picked one near to the airport, with a complimentary shuttle to and from it. If the rooms are as clean as on the photographs, I will be happy.

Rooms over in Medan are a lot cheaper than I thought. I did find a hotel that specifically mentioned vegetarian food, but it was further from the airport and a lot more expensive. I'm just looking for a nice, clean place that I would be happy staying over a night, and I think Mum found it for me. Breakfast is included in the price, so I won't go hungry in the morning!

Other than that I've been getting on with my life, trying to do my physio exercises and ice-pack wearing. I've been for the odd small walk around. I'm currently still waiting for pet photos, so my pet portraits are on hold until I get them. Oh yes, and a few places around town have put up pet portrait advertising posters. Have I written that before? If I haven't then it's in my diary now. The shops that wanted to be in my Thank You list are mentioned in there.


10th June 2008 - My roomy room
Yee, my hotel is definitely booked! I get a free pick-up from the airport too, as long as my plane flight isn't delayed. Even if it is, it shouldn't take me long to reach the hotel.

I've also got my last long-sleeved shirt, in a sale. Now I have three different types of long-sleeved shirt to try out in the rainforest, so if one type isn't so good I can wear the others. This shirt is made mostly out of bamboo. I found out about it when I was searching for ethical and environmentally-friendly clothes. You can find more about the bamboo clothing here. It will be interesting to see how it holds out in rainforest weather because the company haven't tried it there1, but it sounds great for the job to me. I said that I'd try it out and let them know how it goes.

Frontier has received my proof-of-being-a-student letter. I'd received an email a bit ago asking for one. It would have been better if they asked for it when they sent the list of documents they wanted rather than asking for it afterwards separately, but at least I've sorted it out now. Since I don't have my own scanner I had to use someone else's again.

I had a little disappointment today visiting a market that was on. It was different to the normal market. All the disappointment was, was that I tried to barter over an apron that I thought a family member would like, trying to see if the person would drop the price a little, and I put that drop in price into my Orangutan Conservation Trip fund, but the lady didn't seem to want to. She said that she just worked for the company and so the money-loss would be hers. We decided she was either sceptical, wasn't bothered about poor orangutans, or just wanted/ needed all the money she could get. In the end it is the seller's decision in what they do, but sometimes people will barter. It's not as if the world will come tumbling down because she didn't. In the end I didn't buy the apron because even though I liked what it had written on it, I felt that I didn't want to pay the price she was asking for if the orangutans wouldn't get anything out of it either.


1. I sent an email and got a reply via phone. The lady sounded cheerful.


11th June 2008 - Thank you Amandas Organic Store!
A quick diary entry today, mini celebration; one of the stalls at the fancy Newcastle Market (I found out it was called the Keen Green Festival) aided me with my Orangutan Conservation trip. The stall was called Amandas Organic Store, so thank you to them! You can see the kind of things they sell, on their website. I'd visited their stall them a few days ago and told them about my trip. I noticed the lack of palm in their products; there was some in the odd bits, but I was told that the company who used palm got it from an ethical source. I was happy that they seemed to know about the palm problem - I'm trying to get into the habit of investigating things like that!

So far I've bought a deodorant from Amandas Organic Store, as well as some different-tasting toothpastes and some fruity night cream. I was going to rely on Lush's powder deodorant to get me through the trip, but if it got damp I'd be done for! I didn't quite fancy being chased around the rainforest by a swarm of bugs because of sweet or perfumey deodorant either, so I'd been thinking for a while that I should get some other deodorant too. I was imagining one with an ethical lean and a scent that did not attract bugs, then voilà, one appeared at the stall! The powder deodorant is still coming with me, but its function is now more of a back-up system and anti-bacterial talc to help keep me dry. I've tried my new deodorant now; it's scent is herby and fresh without being overpowering.


15th June 2008 - Little things are important too
Yeee, I bought some more little bits and pieces for my trip today. I say that literally because they were things like hair bands and hair clips. As I don't want to have my hair cut really short, I decided it was vital to get some things to keep my hair well out of the way. I only have a few odd (again literally) clips, and I've lost most of my old hair bands, so I went to the factory shop to buy some more. Just for fun I got a pair of snake and butterfly hair bands with the others too, but I made sure they were all fine to wear under my brimmed hat. My collection of rainforest-suitable underwear is almost complete too, but no way are you getting photos of them!

Mum has donated some more medical kit essentials, and some tweezers too. I thought that they would come in handy.


21st June 2008 - Busy busy - yay for McMurtry and Harding vets!
It's been a while since I've posted a diary entry, but that's not because things haven't been happening, so I'm splitting this one up into sections of things I have done this week at Mum's.

Thank you McMurtry and Harding, Derbyshire Vets!
If you haven't seen already on my Thank you and Links page, my local vets have helped my trip by donating some medical kit bits. It meant the world to me because as you may have known if you've been following my diary, neither Frontier nor one of the Newcastle Chemists had been very helpful in my quest for sterilised needles. The vets suggested some of the best ones for my trip1, donated them, and even gave me some tips on using them. I also got a 100ml bottle of iodine which had been proving a pain to obtain, most bottles seeming to be tiny and most likely costly to purchase many of them. They're going to get given pet portrait information to store in the book visitors read too, soon.

It's Camera Time!
You may have realised my lack of photos in my recent diary month entries. Now I have my own camera that should be sorted. I'm going to take it with me on my trip so that I can take some beautiful orangutan and rainforest photos. It runs on batteries because there may not be a place to plug in and charge my camera in the middle of the rainforest!

My fun competition
I haven't put it online yet, since I haven't got photos of the prizes or of the item the competition revolves around, but it has started. This competition may end up being available to people nearby rather than all over Britain since it's been open offline for a while now2. Do not despair if you want to enter a competition but can't meet me face to face though; you may be able to enter the competition later, and if not, there are other competitions still to come!

Since I have ten or more entries I am adding an extra prize to the prize list, even though it's not actually up yet! So far the list has been the beautiful endangered animals book that the lady near the Post Office donated, Montezuma's choccies, and solid perfume and palm-reduced soap from Lush. Something I have personally created will be added onto the list now.

I'm rather tired now, so I'll continue in my next diary entry, in a day or so.


1. If you've forgotten, they were for removing parasites.
2. I've been able to carry around the important competition item around with me so that they can enter


23rd June 2008 - Revision and notes
I'm currently jotting down notes in my recycled notebook to take with me on the trip1. The first few pages will be full of contact details, Hotel information, and medical notes. The medical notes are there not just as a helpful reminder but as revision - I'll have a small medical knowledge test on them when I get to Sumatra, so now I can do extra revision on the plane.


1. OK I'm not right this second; I'm writing a diary entry but I was writing down info and I'll continue to do so after my diary entry.


25th June 2008 - Everyone's a winner baby (in a manner of speaking)
And now for the moment everyone (ok not quite everyone) has been waiting for! The winner of my second (offline) competition is... Siobhan King! Apologies to any people that might have wanted to enter it but weren’t nearby; you can probably enter the next competition when it comes along!

I've just managed to stuff my medi-kit into the top of my large rucksack. It was a squeeze, but it's in. The time for setting off to Indonesia is almost nigh, and I didn't want to leave it to the last second to pack my bags. I'm trying to follow the suggestions the guy in the Mountain Warehouse shop told me, and also order my bits as much as possible so that the medical bits are all in one area, the sleeping kit is all in another etc... it's like a giant puzzle!

I've now got some non-English money for my trip, since I have to pay the visa in dollars, and the departure tax in Indonesian Rupiah. I haven't got a tonne of money with me because that's not safe, but it's sensible to have some, especially since the nice lady at the post office warned me that some banks charge quite a hefty sum each time you get money out a cash machine in a foreign country! I'm glad I ordered some "just in case" Rupiah too, because I only found out about the departure tax today! It would have been horrible to slip up right at the end of my trip because of not knowing about that. It would have been nice to find out about it a lot earlier, but at least I know about it now, no harm done.

Now's not a good time to have wisdom teeth wanting to come through, but that may be what I've got. They've been bothering me for a few days on and off, but not as much as they normally do. They tend to hurt loads for a few days, and then calm down with the aid of Bonjela and painkillers, but this time they are hurting less, but hurting for longer. I don't know whether that's a blessing or a curse! It's especially annoying since as well as being bad timing, now that I've been taking my Malaria preventatives for a few days, it'll be harder to tell whether it's the preventatives causing any mouth ulcers that appear, or my wisdom teeth causing the swelling. Yuck. I'm slapping Bonjela on and taking even more care when cleaning my teeth at the moment, since that's all I can do. You don't want to know the trouble I had when I wanted a Newcastle dentist's appointment because of my wisdom teeth being nasty last time; it was horrendous and I never actually ended up being able to get one. The soreness is happening at the very back of one side of my mouth, where the wisdom tooth is coming through, so it's probably that. Touch wood it's not hurting as much as it was last night, so my methods seem to be doing the trick.

Don't be surprised if you don't get a diary entry for about two or three weeks - once I'm on my trip I won't be able to post diary entries, but I'll be writing them in my notebook to copy onto the web when I come back to home sweet home.

Just for piece of mind I wrote to SOS to ask who to call if I spot an orangutan being kept as a pet1 in Medan. They've given me a number to ring and the name of one of their English speakers, so that I can tell them and they can contact the correct authorities. They told me to also contact them if I suspect any other particular animals being kept illegally as pets too. Excellent work SOS!

Socks and trainers - washed. Undies - packed in a Ziploc bag so that they don't get wet or invaded by bugs. Soon it'll be time to rock and roll!


1. For those who don't know, it's illegal... read my "The Plight" website pages, darn it, you should know that already!


28th June 2008 - I'm off!
Prologue
Pretend this bit was written yesterday. It would have been if I hadn't been so tired and excited. I've got most things packed in ziploc bags, so many that you'd think I was paranoid about germs or the plastic bag rule in the airport. I weighed my bags at Chris's Mums and Dads' and shuffled things around so that the weights and sizes of both were definitely below the max. The bag isn't too bad to carry once it's on my back. OK now forward time again to tomorrow, uh, today (28th).

Heathrow
Stop one is successfully reached. My big bag is checked in and I don't need to do anything with it until I reach Medan. The flight was fine. I looked down at green until we had a little turbulence. By that time the sky was white, then we were above the clouds and I saw sun and bright blue. It looked beautiful, especially considering it had been tipping it down with rain the night before.

I'm glad, even though the first flight was short, that the plane had a "washroom", aka "loo", because I had drunk so much water!

The clouds were greyer when we landed in Heathrow. My stomach got fuller too - I feel like a water balloon - since I had to either drink or throw away my second water bottle when I reached the next security area. I drank it. I'm now sitting in the large waiting area of Heathrow airport. In a few hours it'll be the big flight - over twelve hours! I'm going to try and stretch my legs more during that flight. Oh yes, and I'm wearing stockings to help the circulation in my legs since short socks squeeze my legs a bit. I'm using them instead of flight socks. Love you Chris :-D

Kuala Lumpur
Well now I am in Kuala Lumpur, and full of food! Apart from one blip where a staff member forgot my drink when they were busy everything has gone fine. The staff were ever so friendly, and I got as much free water and orange juice as I wanted. I'm glad I didn't have to pay extra for it because it would have cost me lots.

For dinner? Lunch? I got veggie dumpling and noodles, with a milky redcurrant dessert which was rather tasty, and some salad too. I wasn't sure if I'd been asked about vegetarian food when I booked the flight, but all is well. The man said they only had one variety of meal left when they got to me. I was worried it would be chicken but it thankfully was vegetarian. I got a goody bag with cake, choccy and allsorts - the crackers were sweet but the herby soft cheese I couldn't pronounce was delicious. I got peanuts too, and after THAT, breakfast! Fruit, croissant, they heated up a veggie breakfast just for me, and I had a yoghurt but unfortunately I couldn't manage it all. The breakfast was beans, potatoes and something...

Medan
... spicy. Oh, I'm here! Had to fill in an arrival and departure form in Kuala Lumpur, then it was more or less time to go! I'm in my hotel room - they got it ready earlier than expected. I had a drawback getting here; since nobody could tell me where the shuttle was I took a taxi. The porter at the airport carried my bag even though I could have perfectly well lifted it on my own, was all friendly, then asked for a tip which I wasn't expecting. Because I tipped, the communicator that helped me get a taxi, asked for one too. All that and I should have got here for free - I didn't like the taxi either because although there was a seatbelt, the place it clicked into didn't seem to be there. From what I've seen of Medan so far, there seems to be parpy, honky, busy cars everywhere. Thanks goodness the girls at reception didn't ask for tips too.

I'm glad the hotel took debit card. First I was worried about carrying too much money, now I'm worried I'm not carrying enough. I might look for a cash machine once I've settled down. I've felt a bit emotional - probably being away from Chris, even though it's only for a fortnight, having to travel, and the up and down experiences of travelling somewhere unfamiliar on my own are making me that way. I might have a shower too since it'll be my last chance in a while, plus the cigarettes the men smoked outside the airport stank. The taxi took me to a money exchange shop because he said dollars are more for tipping and I should have more rupiah, so now I have more rupiah and less dollars.

I feel more relieved now that I'm in my room; it's not luxury but it seems fine for what I need. I'm hoping I will get picked up tomorrow since Frontier/ orangutan people said they'd pick me up at my hotel in the morning, but not what time. By the way, the tall, tropical-looking trees outside of a Kuala Lumpur Gate waiting area look gorgeous.

At the hotel at last
My hotel. I'm only staying here one night... hopefully!

A room without a view
There's my soap and stuff in the bottom left.

Evening
Thanks to Chris I have overcome my first obstacle. It doesn't sound big, but it was to me. I was getting hungry so asked for directions for vegetarian food. The lady at reception said left until traffic lights, then more directions followed. I went left and never saw any lights, only big piles of rubble, people saying hello and trying to get me in taxis, and big holes in the pavement, I mean big, huge, deep holes, you could get your leg trapped. I'm half wondering if you could fall down some altogether but it would have been stupid to try it1. I found a hospital - good to see how close I am to one! - and turned back into a food court. It was more or less abandoned, and "chicken" isn't veggie. The shop only had drinks, unhealthy sweets and things I'd have to microwave (something I didn't have!). I bought some "lemon pie" which turned out to be sugary, non-lemon tasting flaky pasty, and went back to my room.

After a while I was totally starving and feeling a bit ill because of the hunger. I had a rest on my bed. As I lay there I wondered if I could get through the day without food... then I heard Chris's voice in my head, telling me not to be so silly, and to ask again about veggie food. I drew a map and showed it to the receptionist. She must have got "left" and "right" wrong, because she drew me going right2. I followed the path and found a plaza. The roads there were terrible; packed with honking cars and bikes again. You couldn't ask for a green man at the crossing - you had to wait for the cars' light to go red, and even then it was scary because some cars didn't stop!

At the plaza I went to Pizza Hut3 and had a drink too. The waiter spoke some English to I got along with that and gesturing to things. The drink cost more than the pizza I think, unless the price of adding tomato to the pizza just topped it. I thought I could use my card to pay, but was told afterwards you had to spend over a certain amount, so I had to pay cash. Still, I was fed - a triumph!

On the way back I realised Indonesian ATM machines don't like my card, but some young men/ teenage boys like me, or think I look funny... they wanted me to pose in a picture with them. I politely declined and they were polite too. It sounds terrible but I was worried in case they were intending to steal or pickpocket. But off I went, heart in my mouth because of the traffic, back to the hotel.

I'm sitting in my hotel with a cake in my bag because I seem to get full easily then hungry easily. I'd like it to be my temporary emergency supply. Oh yes, and I'd seen a lady with some big bats in a cage on my way outside. I felt sorry for the them - aren't they nocturnal? - and tried to contact SOS to see if they were illegal or not, but I don't think I managed to get my message through and the bats had gone when I walked back later; I wish calling from my phone worked, but I'm happy I can text. Tomorrow is when my next adventure begins!


1. Note from the future - some of these may have been open water things although it was hard to tell at times where it was safe for people to walk - Medan is certainly not pedestrian friendly!
2. I did wonder last time if she'd done that.
3. Not very cultural I know but I'm going to have rice coming out of my ears by the end.


30th June 2008 - The wood hut
I've finally arrived at the wood hut! It's very hot and sticky; my fingers are almost sticking to the paper1. It was a long trip, travelling with four other volunteers, the supervisor and two helpers. We had the windows open all the way, and no seatbelts were in sight. I wish Indonesian vehicles had seatbelts - most people on bikes don't wear helmets over here either. Along the way we actually saw a man laying on the road. I don't know what had happened exactly - most likely a driving accident. People moved him off the road and I was glad when I saw him move.

View from the hut
View from the wood hut; our hut is surrounded by paddy fields.

Don't fall off!
The board walk between huts. Don't fall off!

During the journey I saw something; lots of trees! But... they all looked the same and I realised that they were in rows. Our supervisor piped up, saying that they were oil palms. There were so many all over, we drove past more, and more... and more. One time I saw some fruit in a tree and wondered what they were, but there were so many oil palms that it took ages to even see the same type of tree again2.

I found the reason for my phone not calling was that I needed "+" in front of the number. All that and that was the problem!

The cook here made some tasty food - aubergine curry type thing with spicy tofu and rice. I ate some bread kindly supplied by the supervisor in the car because I had a weird problem eating the hotel breakfast. I don't know if it was the texture or what but it was hard to swallow. I sometimes had to eat it like tablets washed down with water else I was almost ill; I really wanted to eat it all but I physically couldn't. I began to feel a bit ill and shaky so was very glad of the supervisor's supplies - she brought lots of water for us all too!

The group seems very friendly and from different places. I'm the only one from the UK!

By the way, I've used the traditional-type loo over here now. Once I learned the "basics" of what to do it was fine, but I'm sure you don't want to known any more!

Our bathroom
Our bathroom - there are two overall. No flush (pour water down it manually). No loo roll (that's what the water and handled jug is also for).

Frontier got it wrong; there is no test. The people were surprised when I asked about it. The people I'm with - Orangutan Health Project - are separate from Frontier - Frontier only organises bits. I'm glad I'm here but it sounds like some of the things Frontier say/ send are confusing.

The base is simple but nice. There are ants all over the place but they are small and touch wood, most don't seem to want to bite me. If you have a fear of bugs, this place is definitely not for you.

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaants
Ants on the table. If you spill food or don't pick up your plate, the ants will be all over it!

Yay, my phone works here! I think it's sporadic; I've been told about people wandering around the huts searching for a signal.

I have my own bedroom with a pink mosquito net to match the bed. Most people have to share but I ended up with the single. A few people have come on the trip together.

My bedroom
My bedroom. The bedroom doors are cloth like a curtain, and the window is a shutter, not glass.

Oh yes, and there are cats around here3, I can hear an insect chorus, birds, and something I'm not sure what it is. There are frogs, one is supposed to sound like a toy machine gun, and there was a toad in next doors' room.

As evening approaches, it gets cooler... slightly. So far this is exciting! See you later.

Note to TOC - the supervisor smelled the scent of my soap after I'd used some, and loved it! I gave them an orangutan postcard that I made before I came (well, I drew the picture then scanned it in, and a company printed it on postcards for me); they like that too.

I can't resist this post4. I'm listening to "Mission Impossible" near the rainforest - we have power... at times. There are lots of power cuts, but the power sort of splurged to life a bit ago.


1. Paper diary converted to internet page, remember?
2. Turns out they were coconuts, but not the type I'm used to. They were yellow/ green, and large.
3. They are so much smaller than my cats.
4. Post? Too much time at a computer!


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