Project Update: June 2017
For one year I have not seen any babirusa around our home and along my trails, but some people reported they saw some at the west region—has not been penetrated by my trails—of the island. The macaques and monitor lizards are also decreasingly seen around. I have no doubt that the dogs, feral or belong to the new resorts, are the cause of the increasing deaths of the wildlife around and their migration to the west region. I will address these killings and habitat loss with the owners of the resorts.
I have branched off the loop trail to the west. The denser undergrowth and the limited length of time—the end point is 3 hours walk from our home and therefore I should be careful not to be in the darkness on the way home—causes the progress slow: 20 to 30 meters per day. To prolong the working time, I leave very early, sometimes 4 o’clock when Meidy still sleeping, but still back home around 4 pm, which honors me an unhappy face of Meidy’s.
Some of the funding I have just received will be used for paying a local assistant to speed up the work. If the weather is good over the next months, my trail will reach the west end of Malenge Island by March 2018, under one condition: my left eye is not worsening.
Meidy is still enthusiastic in teaching English at the Primary school of Kadoda village, so are her students. They come to our home on Sundays for out-of-classroom lesson, swimming, picking young coconuts, and barbequing. People inform Meidy that the children talk English to the visiting tourists in the villages; Meidy is very proud of it.
Gardening on the ground in the yard is clearly impossible. The chicken eating our vegetables plants and the invasion of coconut roots into the soil beds force us to grow the plants in unused canoes—bought from the villages.
Gardening on the east hill has different challenges. The lack of spring and unpredictable rain cause most of the seedlings die, or even do not grow at all. For the time being, only the water-crest, chilly, and sweet potato grow well. And, the gigantic mango trees skipped their fruiting period this year, which never happened before.
I received some donation from Nat Cohen (again) together with Anthony of Ubud Oberoi and Dr. Jane Goodall. Some other people (Chets and Trudy, Claire, Vero) have given me money too, but this money has been used for covering the cost of my right eye operation, so was the money from Jane Goodall and loan from Nat.
The glitter is the incoming funding from the Primate Conservation Inc. It is not much, but enough to build a simple training center on our yard and to provide training sessions to the locals.