“With only 2 more exams to go, I am now beginning to think about my trip to Indonesia. I have had some vaccinations already, and I’m starting on the first of three Rabies jabs!
The kit list is building up too – thanks to mum, I now have new walking shoes, a wet suit, a sleeping bag and am waiting for numerous other things to arrive from Amazon! We had a meeting at school last night to learn how to pack three weeks worth of clothes, diving equipment etc. into 15kg which is the bag allowance on the internal Indonesian flights!
We also discussed how much money we would need for the trip as most of the activities are covered in the cost of the trip… it would seem we only need to take about 3 million Indonesian Rupiah (£200).
The first week we will start by staying in the village of Labundo which is the main Forest research site. Accommodation is in picturesque local village houses, which are usually wooden or attap (dried coconut leaves) on stilts. Apparently we will be invited to village events and will eat with the local people.
Each room has a mattress with mosquito net and there is a mandi (bathroom) in or near the house. During this first week we will join teams working at remote node camps across the forests. At each node camp sampling sites have been marked out, andwe will be experiencing habitats of differing disturbance levels. The node camps are set up with hammocks, tents and communal eating areas. Field toilets are built at each of the camps and shower systems are built into waterfalls on the rivers next to each of the camps.
The experience of living and working at these remote forest camps will definitely be an experience both in terms of fieldwork and forest living. The practical sessions will include mist net sampling for birds, checking pitline catches, nightime frog and reptile transects and bat netting.
The second week is at the main marine site which is located on the idyllic tropical island of Hoga… surrounded by white sandy beaches and pristine coral reefs where much of the marine research is focused. Here, we will be staying in traditionally built wooden houses which are complete with their own bathroom and private balcony.
The research station’s main building contains a large, open-air study area, a computer laboratory, email and extensive library facilities. During this week I will be completing a full PADI open water dive training course.
The weather is likely to be hot and sunny during the day (around 30° Celsius) but it will be cooler at night (18° Celsius).
I will send you photos and another update on my return. Thank you so much for helping to make this trip happen – I can’t wait to get involved!
The Anglian blog team would like to wish Iona good luck, and will look forward to hearing about the exciting trip on her return.