I had landed in Borneo. After 18 months of waiting, I was here. This bucket list item was about to be ticked off. And I was petrified.
I hadn’t given it much thought over the past six months, travelling around it seemed so distant in the future. It didn’t seem real. Suddenly, I was on a plane, headed there and it was all I could think about.
What if I’m awful at it? What if the people judge me? What if they all hate me? What if I hate them? What if I accidentally hurt an orangutan? What if, what if, what if…
When I met my fellow volunteers, that anxiety was all gone. A mixture of all ages and everyone is awesome. We have eight weeks together in our little guesthouse and we already feel like family.
This week is about our induction; getting to know each other, getting to know the surrounding area and training starts on Saturday. Then on Monday, the real fun starts. Working hands on with the Orangutans! Everyone is buzzing with the excitement and you can feel it in the air.
So far I’ve been to see the Orangutans at feeding time, done a 6.2km trail walk through the jungle to a waterfall (that I’m sure would be much more impressive in the wet season (but the wet season also brings with it more leeches so… I can take or leave a waterfall)), had a tropical storm (I haven’t seen rain since Vietnam) and unpacked. You’ve no idea how exciting it is to have unpacked my bag after six months!
There are also Bornean sunbears on site that we can work with in our free time. I went over to see them today and a worker told me that if we have another tropical storm, we should all run over then as the bears get really excited about it, climbing trees and playing together.
I also found out today that there are six baby elephants on site that we can work with! Walking through the sunbears observation deck this afternoon, I could hear the elephants in the distance. It sounded like something out of Jurassic Park.
I’m secretly wishing it was baby raptors we could nurture back to health. I suppose elephants will do ;).