Deep in the jungle, surrounded by nothing but trees that seem to reach far in to the sky, vines, countless plants, mosses, insects and the most amazing animals truly living in their natural habitat, evoked an emotion I've not felt before. Excitement, mixed with love, compassion and anger towards our own race who have single handedly destroyed so much of this.
Passing through the village we watch the long tailed macaques enjoy some morning play and picked up water and supplies for the day. The locals all smiled and practiced their English with us as they did every day that we wondered through the village. Ari and Juli exchanged friendly remarks with them as we headed off.
We began our trek up a steep climb, feeling tiny in the vast 2,000,000 acres of wild jungle.
We talked with Ari about how happy he looked and he made the point that for him, a full tummy and some nice jungle is all he needs. It's not the simplicity of his needs that is important, but the fact that he is not always greedy for more. Like humans. When we have shelter, food, friends and family, enough to do and enough income to survive - we should be happy. But humans are greedy and it is this greed that drives us to destroy our very own planet, relationships, lives.
As we continued we climbed, walked, descended (in a mixture of controlled falling, abseiling on vines and the occasional somewhat uncontrolled fall!) and the sounds of the jungle took me in.
I thought about how the animals see us and how we see them, and in turn how those that have grown up in Bukit Lawang see westerners and what they think. Their thoughts on masculinity in western countries was interesting, and I think fairly spot on but that is food for thought for another blog!
We’ve got a few more places to go in South East Asia but the next big destination has to be India – I think the heart lies in India. Two hundred languages, a billion people. It's the heart that keeps it together – I am interested to discover for myself if it is true that there is no heart like the Indian heart.
Until then, I will enjoy the thoughts of Orangutans, pam oil, the jungle, and our newly found Orangutan Soup (don’t worry – it contains no Orangutans!).