When the evening comes and the heavy raindrops falls heavily like frogs, people gathers closer under the roof. A blue centipede with a venomous sting, climbed up on the dinner table. It wandered across the landscape of plates and cutlery. Yann grabbed the matchete and cut it into three pieces. While front part was still running forward, I curiously poked its back with the painful spines. Unaware of the danger that it could still sting me, I luckily avoided the quick strike from the headless creature.
It might seem cruel to chop it, but we don’t want to take any risks (although I obviously did). Afterwards we had some nice birthday cake to celebrate Yann who celebrated his 32nd anniversary. The evenings are nice at campTuanan.
We had some snakes another evening coming to camp. A puff-faced water snake (Homalopsis buccata) swam through the water in the flooded camp, trying to catch catfish. It was hard to get a good photo of it, since it’s black like ink in the forest after 6 pm.
A flying squirrel sometimes shows up at night to lick some minerals at the laundry-place. I wonder how it ever can be healthy (or taste good) to lick up washing powder but I guess it knows better what it needs than I do.
Other interesting animals coming to camp are of course insects! Some hornets (wasps) in the size of a (big) lipstick! I haven’t dared to try flashing it with my camera yet.
For people who doesn’t like spiders or bugs, this is not the place to be. Spiders persistently makes new nets when you remove them, so you’ll constantly walk into them. They are quite big to be your free-walking-spider-pet and have a painful bite. The positive part is that they catch and eat a lot of the other things that may come into your room (As writing this I just saw a huge spider catching/fighting a 1.5 cm beetle).
It’s also not recommended to get here if you don’t like mold and sour, yeasted stuff. Sometimes when I open my lunchbox at around noon, the food which was cooked 10 hours ago, has already yeasted. The buildings are full with mold and the clothes are hard to dry due to the humidity during rainier periods.
Electricity hours are 16.30-21.30. This means you always have to wake up and prepare the last things in the night with a headlamp. There is no phone connection inside campus. A little bit outside you may get signal but only if no rain is incoming. As you hear, things are rustic, but my intention is not to complain. The other way around, I think that things are getting better and better with time, but the living conditions might not suite everyone.
Mosquitos are a pain – of course, like anywhere in the world. The other day I woke up with a new itchy bracer around my hand-wrist. However, other parasites are quite rare. We had one guy with a worm in his foot a week ago, and I did get a few leeches, but nothing too serious…or actually if it was serious I wouldn’t have a clue about it yet… it seems there is nothing to serious!
We also have orangutans coming close to camp sometimes. We have Niko, who I already introduced you to, and then we got the male orangutan Ted. He is friendlier than Niko (who usually charges people) and likes to hang around and eat some berries while we watch him. As you can see, he has not developed any flanges yet, even though he has been mature for a long time. He and Niko lives close to each other, which might be the reason why.