Indonesia Pt. II // The Hulu

 photo hulu1_zps095e8e82.jpg The Hulu is a series of villages surrounding the exterior of Gunung Palung National Park. My last week photographing for ASRI I went into the field with 5 staff members to witness these communities.

 photo hulu1-2_zps20f2ffe5.jpg  photo hulu1-18_zpsba3ce2f1.jpg  photo hulu1-14_zpsb33e25d8.jpg  photo hulu1-4_zps9ff2d1b5.jpg  photo hulu1-5_zpsbb307717.jpg  photo hulu1-7_zps0c925ba3.jpg  photo hulu1-3_zps3eb4f265.jpg  photo hulu1-6_zpse9a5bedf.jpg  photo hulu1-10_zpsfcf1b1b9.jpg  photo hulu1-9_zps1922e912.jpg  photo hulu1-11_zps5efa22da.jpg  photo hulu1-15_zps9012374b.jpg  photo hulu1-13_zps62ac1692.jpg  photo hulu1-16_zps5b927348.jpg  photo hulu1-17_zps8d67c6ee.jpg  photo hulu1-21_zps1340889a.jpg  photo hulu1-19_zps2da2f02e.jpg  photo hulu1-23_zps102d0b66.jpg  photo hulu1-20_zps5c1cef61.jpgThis was on of the most challenging and eye opening weeks of my life. I experienced extreme isolation with minimal Bahasa Indonesia language skills and no contact with the outside world. There were times when I wasn't sure if the water I was drinking was safe and I had little control over the food I ate. It was like camping in the backcountry except I was surrounded by tons of people and a natural landscape that had been destroyed.

Throughout this week I learned what it really means to be still and live simply. There was no social media, sometimes no electricity or running water. Some communities did not have schools that went past elementary education and water in many of these areas is being polluted due to palm oil and mining drainage. Yet, the people were so happy. They didn't care if I spoke their language, we communicated with body language. This resulted in a volleyball game with the women of one village and soccer ball play with some children.

I witnessed the devastation that the Indonesian rainforest and rural communities are facing. We drove past hundreds of hectors of palm oil plantations, once beautiful lush rainforest. Wildlife was not present until our last day out in the field. On our last morning we spotted a hornbill pair that seemed to be wishing us well travels.

One of my greatest lessons from is this trip is that everything in life is relative.

"Einstein, in the special theory of relativity, proved that different observers, in different states of motion, see different realities."
-Leonard Susskind

To find out more about the incredible organization I worked for check out their website here or their partner's here.

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