UpdateSunday, August 12
So I'm sitting in a tiny internet stall between a coconut seller and a bootleg dvd stand in Ketapang. It's been an interesting first week to say the least.
Yesterday, we were thrown into a massive trench to start the dig of a kilometer long stream to keep the Orangutans from swinging out of the sanctuary (because Orangutans can't swim). Though it's crazy hard work, it's also quite satisfying, though I'd rather be creating puzzles for the Orangutans who are caged in awaiting a bigger pen (and guilt tripped me into submission). Right now, I feel like scaling the walls of the IAR adult Orangutan enclosures, and giving them giant bags of leaves, bananas, and twigs, so they don't have to sit in the same place staring out into the street...though it might be an elaborate ploy to kidnap me for their Orangutan prison break. They're humans...plain and simple, they just have Orange hair, can't talk, and live in the trees. The fact is, just like us, they need intellectual stimulation, or they go crazy, start plotting revenge or escape, or resign themselves to laziness. It's strange that often U.S. prisoners in California are kept in the same environment as Orangutans here, with not as much food or stimulation, and longer prison terms.
I could go on an on about what I've seen. I'm one of the only white people (Bulays) in Ketapang, so I get cat-called by Hundreds of locals with a "Hey Mister!".
As for the toiletries, there's a bathtub sized water resevoir, a smaller tub, and two buckets. One is for showering, the other bucket...for splashing the bum after dropping (more like squatting) the kids off at the pool. Though I would still prefer toilet paper, or the Malaysian toilet hose (which is awesome), this is endurable for the time being. It's still better than every gas station bathroom.
There's so much serious, sad things about Orangutans to talk about, since they are so close to being wiped out it wipes every ounce off smile off your face..but for the time being, let me post something that might elicit a chuckle.
Orangutans: THE CHEEKPADSMany folks ask, why do Orangutans have a face shaped like a pancake? And that is a very interesting question, since we share 98% of Orangutan's DNA, and yet we do not have enormous faces shaped like a satellite dish, though that would make things interesting.
The answer to why Male Orangutans have those "cheek flanges" is straightforward, and kind of awesome.
You see, unlike us, Orangutans don't have flashy cars, skinny jeans, or fancy flats to impress females with. Orangutans don't need to prove that they're a big man...because they GROW into one. Literally, like a transforming Pokemon, a male Orangutan 'upgrades' to be maximumly attractive when he develops his massive cheekpads, and grows about 2X as Big.
These cheekpads don't just upgrade the size of the the uber Orangutan, they give him near superpowers. With cheekpads, he amplifies his calls, which literally stunts the growth of any other male orangutans who hear it That's why these playa's of the jungle need 500 HECTARES each. That's heaps.
Just imagine now if you're a female Orangutan, the Angelina Jolie of the Sumatran jungle...
|You want this?..you can't haaave this!|
A prepubescent male Orangutan is like this: And the human equivalent....
But all of a sudden, that chubby man-boy Orangutan might all of a sudden bust out cheekpads...
In the eyes of a female Orangutan, that's like going from this: