The future is in our hands

Stories from Batu Kapal

By Sophie and Carina, March 2019

Part 1


Selamat Siang! (Good Day!)


We are Sophie and Carina from Germany, we are both 18 years old and currently spending three weeks at the Batu Kapal Conservation project in the Jungle of Sumatra. We would like to give you a little insight in to our time here and we hope to spark your interest to help in Conservation and Sustainability


A Typical Day:

Usually we are woken up early by the rising sun and the sounds of the jungle and our first monitoring activity starts around 6:30 am. Monitoring is when we record all wildlife that we see; orangutan, monkeys, birds, mammals and tracks etc.


Equipped with GPS, cameras and data sheets we leave the camp with one of our guides; Embera, Jimmy, Yoki, Rizal and Abadi have a great knowledge of the surrounding area and always bring us safely through narrow caves and overgrown jungle paths. It is always an adventure! We definitely recommend long sleeves and trekking boots – mosquitoes and leeches are not a rarity over here!


The usual morning activities are planting trees or plastics project. We collect plastic together to help keep the area pristine and share with local women in the village who up-cycle and make bags to sell or build eco-bricks which are filled with plastic we cannot up-cycle. Last week they were used to build the first recycled bins to put down by the river! This will be a great help as it is visited by many people at the weekends!


Around 1 pm we have lunch together which is always super tasty. Abadi is the best cook and we love helping him in the kitchen and learning new recipes.


Until 3 pm we have free time to rest, go for a swim in the river or play cards and in the afternoon there is usually a second monitoring activity. Some days you can also choose from other afternoon activities, like teaching English to the children in the village, going to the market or exploring the big bat cave 🦇(we definitely recommend going there!!).


Extra activities like trekking in the national park, water rafting and much more can also be booked anytime – so there is definitely a lot to see and to experience!


We unwind in the evenings together with dinner, some games, singing to Jimmy’s Guitar-playing or learning a little Indonesian, which was one of our favorite things to do.


In general, everybody is super friendly and we enjoyed all the different activities, even cleaning and doing the dishes!

Part 2


“Our mantra is “Tersenyum Selalu” (Always Smiling)! 


Whenever we have questions or any problems there is always someone there to help us. We really feel like a part of the Batu Kapal family here.


Working together for the same cause brings us all together and it is really special for us to actively take part in all the changes and improvements around here – we can see the project growing and growing every day.


This place in the middle of the Jungle has shown us what is really important in life and what needs to be protected.


We gained a new perspective on the way we think, we learned to worry less about unimportant things, to generally enjoy little moments more and to consider our actions and their consequences a little more.


…”Kami memperoleh perspektif baru tentang cara kami berpikir, kami belajar untuk tidak terlalu khawatir tentang hal-hal yang tidak penting, untuk secara umum lebih menikmati momen-momen kecil dan untuk mempertimbangkan tindakan dan konsekuensinya sedikit lebih banyak.”

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Batu Kapal
Bohorok, Sumatera Utara, Indonesia