The future is in our hands

Stories from Batu Kapal

By Tesse, March 2019

4 weeks stay



The things I remember most from my time at Batu Kapal are monitoring and cleaning the river of plastic. We did a lot more, but these activities just stuck with me. And how happy I felt there. I enjoyed the evenings where we just had fun with everyone so much! Playing Uno, charades, or the ”hand-slapping game” (with the lack of a better name for it haha).


While monitoring daily, we were searching for monkeys and orangutans. We wrote down information such as the time, coordinates and the activity they were doing. They are really magnificent and we got to watch them just ‘doing their thing!’ They were eating mainly, or little wild juvenile Marley would be playing around in the trees. It gives me such inspiration to want to conserve them. Knowing that this species is going through hard times, it would be a great loss if they would be gone! We should help them, just for their beauty alone! I felt so humble that I had the chance to watch the orangutans everyday.


On my very first day there, we already spotted Kentung, the big male in the area! He was beautiful and had a perfect disc around his face. I didn’t get to take many pictures of him at that time, but two weeks later we spotted him more often! I was so lucky to see him so much!

Two weeks into my stay, one of my fellow volunteers noticed that wild adult female, Aaron, had had a little baby over the weekend. She named him Suri. It was adorable and we all felt blessed that we were able to spot a wild new born cute little baby orangutan!

A couple of times during my stay we went down to the river do plastic collection. On the way to the river we would find straws, candy wrappers and plastic cups. At the river it was even worse. This was so sad, the nature is stunning and the fact we would even find plastic, being in the jungle! At the weekends the locals would go to the river to relax and swim, but because of a lack of plastic bins, the rubbish would just stay behind. The plastic we would collect was used to make rubbish bins and teach the children at local schools about the impact it can have.

I spent a whole year travelling, but my time in Sumatra at Batu Kapal was one of the best!

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Batu Kapal
Bohorok, Sumatera Utara, Indonesia