Orangutans, some last words!

This is (maybe) my last post about the research about orangutans that there will be. Most of it was written one week before I headed to Sweden:

My time on Borneo is coming to an end. From counting down the days until I could leave because I miss Sweden, I now count down the days because I know how precious my last days are.

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Lately I’ve been following Juni, Jip & Jane and Jane continues being ridicolously cute as she holds on to her mother while the mother is swinging from tree to tree. Jip came really close to me the other day. I guess we should have backed off but he wasn’t really interested in me at all, rather he wanted to eat some leaves close by and showed no signs of stress. He would just hang up side down, feeding on leaves in the most relaxing way.


The camp has started to get empty of people as a lot of people are getting finished with their research and the new people hasn’t arrived yet. Now at the end I just got sick. I woke up feeling nauseous and an hour later I was vomiting like crazy. It would go on the whole night mixed with diarrhea.

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The Indonesian friends gave me some local treatment of the Dayak people. They heated a tiny bowl with a lighter and put it on my back. While the thing was cooling on my back it would create a vacuum and suck my skin into it. The Indonesians took the thing of with a hard pull which hurt and repeated this procedure about 50 times until my back was totally soar. I don’t know if it really worked, but I won’t complain since I’m still alive! Although..for a moment I was scared, what if this is bad? If things escalate – it escalates fast. You really don’t want to get sick here – then you’re in bad trouble. There is an airplane that can land on the river and bring you back quickly to the hospital, but that is if you can reach them. I’m doubtful they will answer during the night. Anyways I’m all good now.


There was an orangutan party with Juni & Co the other day too. Jip got to play with the teenager Mawas while Mindy and Juni who previously been fighting a little bit were more tense in their body language. All five orangutans were feeding in the same tree – something that rarely happens (first time for me). Also, the kids playing is something I’ve not seen much of so it’s fun to see now when I’m getting ready to leave.

The time with the orangutans have made a big impact on me. The challenging work in combination with the amazing experience of being here, with the orangutans in a tropical heart of Borneo. The orangutans are all intimate, fierce, boring, funny and daydreamers, but most of all they all have their own personality making every individual unique to follow. Everyone of them are different from its neighbour, just like a person. They are complex. And wonderful.


Back to today in Sweden:
To come home again has been a great change. Some things I miss, while some things are good to have once again in Sweden. The toilet paper felt more like sand paper after not using it for a long time, but to have some good food is probably the nicest thing. I’ve had two exhibitions with pictures from Borneo since I came home, and now I’m heading off to Zambia on Tuesday, for photography and relaxing.

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