Coming home has felt like waking up from a dream. Once I arrived I immediately became adjusted to my daily routine and everyone around me continued their day as per usual. The familiarity of being home has made my trip to Indonesia feel like a wild fantasy. Indonesia is a country filled with immense cities and hidden natural beauty. Everyone flocks to the city for a better future which is understandable, however I feel that it is important to educate how necessary the rain forest is to their well being. As more trees are cut down, the less resources the forest has to offer to the villages that solely depend on it. Fortunately, the President of Indonesia has taken measures to decrease the rate of habitat loss.
During my time in Indonesia I greatly appreciated how kind and welcoming everyone was. No matter where we were everyone carried a friendly smile. Even complete strangers were more than willing to help with directions and translation. The most amiable and selfless people were the Indonesian students. They gave up all hours of their day just to be with us and guide us through the cities. The girls were upset to see us go because we know it was unlikely that we would never see each other again. Thankfully for today’s technology it is easy to stay in touch and we write to each other almost every other day.
As a scientist I feel that I have progressed in terms of field experience. Working at TORP (Tuanan Orangutan Research Project) is an opportunity that few undergraduates receive. I had the opportunity to observe orangutans up close and study how they interacted with their environment. For this opportunity I have to thank Dr. Erin Vogel for taking the time to invite us to her research station and educating us more about her work. I also want to show gratitude towards Dr. Wendy Erb and Dr. Vogel for their lectures and guest speakers which made me realize how much I have left to learn about conservation ecology and primatology. This experience has left such an impact that I am now searching for more opportunities similar to this one so that I can build myself further as a scientist. I feel that the more I involve myself in fieldwork the more I can contribute to academia by dispersing the knowledge I have gained.
Ultimately, I would like to thanks SEBS travel for supporting me to go on this unforgettable journey. Out of many students, they decided to give me the chance to make the most out of my undergraduate career. I would like them to know that they have not only changed my life, but that those around me who are proud of the work that I have done. This experience is one that will be told many times in hopes of inspiring other students like myself to do the same.