In a matter of hours I will be boarding a 15hr and 55min plane ride to Hong Kong and then a 5hr and 5min connecting flight to Jakarta Indonesia and I couldn’t be more excited! It’s been a long journey already to get to this point so while the real trip is just beginning there is a sense in which so many hurdles have already been surmounted. From making sure I have the necessary watertight cases to protect my equipment in the humid jungles, to an unexpected mad dash up to the New York City Indonesian consulate to obtain the correct visa in time, the challenges have already been many but so has the accompanying sense of adventure.
Back in February I had the privilege of hearing a guest lecture in my principles of Ecology class given by Dr. Erin Vogel about her work with the Bornean Orangutans of the Tuanan jungles in Indonesia. Beyond the fascinating nature of her work, her passion for the research and commitment to her project was so evident in her manner and it was infectious. As I mentioned in my bio, while at Rutgers I’ve been able to partner with many researchers here to make films about their work and the thing that has made each of those experiences so memorable and enjoyable was sharing in a passionate professors’ joy as they explained what they had devoted years of their life to. I saw the same excitement in Dr. Vogel as I had seen in them, and knew right away I wanted to make a film about her and her Orangutans. I reached out to Dr. Vogel proposing my idea to join her on her study aboard trip to make a film about her lab in Tuanan and after reciprocated interest from her the snow ball of events that has led to this day began.
As I make my way to the airport with a backpacking pack, checked duffel, day hiking pack and camera bag all stuffed with filming equipment, mosquito nets, an air mattress, first aid supplies galore and so much more I muse over what the next three weeks will bring. I can’t wait to share with you all the ups, downs, challenges, successes and unforgettable memories as they come, so selamat tinggal untuk sekarang (good bye for now) and catchup with you all later from Indonesia!