Week 2 consisted of much traveling from point A’s to point B’s. When we left Tuanan we spent a night in Palankarya then back to Jakarta and finally Bogor. In Palankaraya we visited the Nyaru Menteng Orangutan Rescue Center (a part of the Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation). There were over 400 orphaned or displaced orangutans who were rescued due to habitat loss or maternal death. To my surprise many had also been given up after their folks would realize a wild animal is not a very good domestic pet. I couldn’t help feel disgusted at human’s desire to possess every and all things, especially animals, for personal entertainment. Because many of these orangutans are blind or injured, they cannot be released back into the wild safely, so the project aims to re-establish a viable orangutan population in the forest and hopefully reverse the trend of population loss that has made the Borneo orangutan critically endangered. I attempted to make a small contribution by adopting an orangutan named Hope who had come into the center in critical condition. After a few weeks, I received an email in the States that he is now ready to be introduced into the Kehje Sewen Forest in East Kalimantan. How lovely! After a few hours in the rehabilitation center we made our way back to the homestay and that night went karaoking in the city! What a much needed night out.
Bogor, a beautiful cultural town in the island of Java was significantly cooler than other areas we’d been to thus far because of its location in the mountains. When we arrived we were taken to a lovely guest house within the Bogor Botanical Gardens. It looked like one out of a story book. And goodness were we being spoiled with these shower heads and queen beds! The first day was spent freely, with no actual activities planned so we relaxed and walked around the city, trying out food trucks, dodging vehicles, and stepping foot in the surprisingly Western-style mall. Along the way we spotted this field amidst the Bogor Palace filled with an innumerable amount of deer grazing. They were originally brought by the Dutch for sport but have multiplied ever since. The following day we were toured through the botanical gardens. Originally founded by the Dutch in 1817 for the cultivation of plants from all over the archipelago as potential for economic profit, it has since been inclusive of thousands of species of plants and I was amazed at how many there were from all over the globe! The gardens also provided refuge for certain species of bats and birds!
Before we knew it we were back on the road.