Epcot – 14/8/2012
On the 14th of August, 2012, we went to Epcot, to see the local Ikat weaving. We saw a local Catholic church where up to 5000 locals attended in the village of Maumere.
Next we went to the weaving, where we saw them picking cotton off the cotton plant. First it was cleaned, and then stretched slowly by a spinning wheel to make wool. The wool was wrapped around a frame. The wool was then marked by small bits of dry grass tied around it, to make a pattern after it was dyed.
Meanwhile, some natural dye had been dying the wool for the colours. The indigo colour came from the leaves of the indigo plant. The wool had to sit in it for three years for the indigo colours and an extra year for black. The brown came from the roots of a plant, and the green came from mango leaf. Once the wool was dyed, the bits of grass were untied, leaving undyed bits creating a pattern.
Another lady had to rewind it around the frame, lining up the pattern. Finally it was made whole by a woman using a stick to move the top layer into the bottom layer and over again and again, etc. Finally the weaving was finished.
It takes five years for the whole process. You can make scarves, skirts, shorts, dresses, rugs and shirts.
Rinca Island – 27/8/2012
We went on a boat to see komodo dragons with Miss Behaving and Relapse, we saw komodo dragons, monkeys, deer and poo. Mom nearly got eaten. We saw baby komodos.
Rinca Komodo Dragons
On the 27th of August, 2012, we went to Rinca, home of the Komodo dragons, in a small boat with Relapse (Katherine, Ash, Mark and Cameron) and Miss Behaving (Justin, Deb, Riley and Hayley).
Here are a few facts about Komodo dragons. 1) They are the largest lizards in the world. 2) They have bacteria and venom in their saliva which kills their prey. Talk about super spit! 3) Their prey is monkeys, buffalo, wild pigs, the occasional tourist and CANNIBALISM! 4) The mothers look after their babies till they hatch, protecting them from other dragons, snakes and pigs, then, when the eggs hatch, she eats them. A few escape and hide in trees for 2 – 3 years. 5) The adults can travel 18 km per hour, while the babies can travel 20 km per hour. 6) Rinca has 1387 Komodo dragons living there. 7) Mating season occurs in July-August. 8) Females lay 15-30 eggs, which take 9 months to hatch. 9) Sometimes the female Komodos use discarded Megapod nests. 10) There are more males than females, and the males are larger. 11) The temperature and climate determine the sex and number of babies.
When we first arrived we saw a monkey in the trees and a Komodo Dragon by the sea, waiting for fish scraps. On a muddy bank was a lot of signs, which we were told were the graves of tourists who got too close to Komodos, but they were actually mangroves donated by tourists.
In a village we saw lots of Komodos underneath a house, so naturally we were puzzled, but understood, when they said that the house was actually a kitchen. On the walk we saw lots of Komodos and Komodo/Megapod nests.
All together the walk took two hours. In the end we saw a deer tied underneath a house, a monkey with her baby round her belly and I bought a carving of a Komodo dragon.
Surf Lessons – September 2012
We went to Kuta Beach to do a surf lesson. I got taught on the sand and then we learnt to stand up in the waves. It was fun.
Surfie Chick Ava
The Boys showing their moves
Barong and Kris Dance
On the 21st of September, we went to the Barong and Kris dance at the ARMA museum, in Ubud.
At first it was a lion-like creature named Barong and a monkey being chased by Barong as entertainment.
Then two kings came with a pretty angel and started fighting over her. The white king turned into a witch and the red king ran away. Barong sent soldiers to fight the witch, but the witch cast a spell on them to make them try and commit suicide, so Barong cast a spell to make their body resistible to their knives and the witch ran away and they all lived happily ever after. It was a pretty good dance.
My favourite character was the Barong, which was like a lion but with white fur, a traditional mask and was played by two people.
Tanjung Puting, Borneo – 5/10/2012
On Monday, the 1st of October, we went on a trip to see the orangutans. We travelled on a Klotok (a boat made out of ironwood) up the Sekonyer River. After 3 hours we reached Tanjung Putting National Park, after seeing a group of proboscis monkeys and a stork-billed kingfisher. After disembarking we walked out onto a wooden platform and saw an orangutan named Percy. He started climbing up the side pole and onto the walkway. He walked past and slowly reached out his hand to grab mine. His hand felt sort of leathery. He pulled my hand to his head, starting to walk with me along the platform. He let go and climbed back down to the ground.
After Percy we saw an orangutan lying on the ground, covered with a few leafy branches. Her name was Sumi. She didn’t look like she wanted to be bothered so we went along. We saw another two orangutans. One didn’t seem to mind us, but the smaller one was climbing in the trees, snapping off branches and blowing raspberries at us. None of us were hit by the branches except for the big orangutan underneath, but she didn’t seem to mind. We next saw an orangutan nest high up in a tree. It seemed pretty small for an orangutan, but definitely larger than a bird’s nest. Later we reached the Camp Leakey Feeding platform. It was a raised platform with stairs leading up to it and hundreds of bananas on top. We saw a few orangutans eating and one orangutan grabbed an armful of bananas and climbed away up a tree. A gibbon jumped down onto the platform and stole a banana.
The orangutans were very smart. They knew how to climb up the stairs. There were some cruel boars who liked to chase away the orangutans and guard the stairs, trapping the feeding orangutans, but the orangutans were quick and managed to slip away.
On the way back we saw Sumi again, lying on her back, listening to a man playing a guitar. She was smiling. Suddenly Tom came. He was the dominant male and was huge and scary. We snuck past him.
Tanjung Keluang – 5/10/2012
On Friday we went to Tanjung Keluang at the end of the Kumai River with some boats on our rally. Everybody planted a tree. We each picked a Hawksbill turtle, I called mine Shelly. Tristan called his turtle Sheldon. Then we took our turtles to the beach on the sand and they crawled into the water.