Students, parents and teachers from Cranbrook School with staff from the SATWA Eco-Lodge, Way Kambas National Park, South Sumatra
Students, parents and teachers from Cranbrook School in Sydney are still reeling from their recent two week tour of wild Indonesia. The action-packed itinerary had the students trekking through the jungle, rafting down the river, and learning about the rainforest of Gunung Leuser National Park. They visited wildlife sanctuaries and Rainforest Rescue sites, and encountered a myriad of creatures in the wild.
However, the real challenge had begun well before the adventurers left home, with each participant set the task of raising $500 in support of Rainforest Rescue’s Orangutan Habitat for Survival Project in Sumatra. The overall outcome of their efforts is that not only do the students appreciate the conservation threats facing Indonesia, but they now know how to ride Elephants in the water and remove Leeches. Welcome to the Cranbrook Indonesian Wildlife Safari Charity Challenge 6-18 April 2012.
Isaac Elias, Year 9 Student at Cranbrook School, plants a tree in the Way Kambas Bungur Restoration Site, South Sumatra
Year 9 Student
“The trip was really fun. I experienced a lot, getting into a different country, I have been overseas before but this was my first time in bushland, in an undeveloped country.
For me, the best part was seeing the Orangutans for the first time in their natural habitat. I saw a group of two in the wild, in the trees.
I learned about the people’s lifestyle, how the people there don’t really know about conservation.
To raise money, we sent a funny message, an email, to work people, friends and family, facebook… things like that. I set up an Everyday Hero account and people could click on a link back to that – that’s how they could donate. I haven’t done anything like that.
I never thought $1500 was going to come out of it. It was three times what I was aiming for.”
Mathematics Teacher and Housemaster
“The trip was amazing. We had wall to wall experiences, some of which were planned and plenty which were not.
We saw wild Orangutans, seven other species of primate… We also saw Helmeted and Rhinoceros Hornbills, many other types of bird, wild Pigs and Elephants, Sambar and Barking Deer, several Snakes, 10 Komodo Dragons and saw footprints of Tapiar, Sumatran Tiger, Sumatran Rhinoceros and Sun-bear.
My camera trap also caught a picture of a Malay Civet. We scuba dived and snorkelled with Manta Rays off Komodo as well as Black-tipped Reef Sharks, Hawksbill and Green Turtles and a school of Humphead Parrotfish and some Dogtooth Tuna.
Cranbrook School Housemaster Robin Nagy (far right) with students from Cranbrook School and staff at the Way Kambas Bungur Restoration site in South Sumatra
I learned much Indonesian which I had forgotten since the last time I was there. There are some amazing projects and educated Indonesians who are doing something about protecting the rainforest and its animals.
I love seeing things through new-eyes – taking students to areas of the world which I have already experienced is like reliving the first time experience.
I had been given a Skydiving package as a leaving present from my ex-head boy (I am a Housemaster at Cranbrook) and in order to ensure I did it, I used it as a focus for sponsorship (that is, once people had given money for the cause I couldn’t get out of doing it!). I raised $1,000 easily using the Everyday Hero site which Rainforest Rescue set up.
Rainforest Rescue would like to thank Cranbrook School for choosing to devote its energy to achieving rainforest conservation. The $10,000 raised will help the conservation of Orangutan habitat in the Gunung Leuser National Park, North Sumatra and also fund additional work in the Way Kambas National Park in South Sumatra. In particular, we would like to thank John Baptiste, teacher at Cranbrook School and co-ordinator of the trek, and parents of the students, in particular Jennifer Atkins who inspired the tour. Thanks also to International Park Tours for facilitating the tour and tour leader Claire Oelrichs.