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Reisverslag Welcome to Bogor
11 mei 2014
Welcome to Bogor
Now 3 weeks ago, I arrived in a city called Bogor for my internship with ICRAF (more about that later...). There is two things that define this city. The first is Rain, and the second is Traffic (jam). The former, fortunately is concentrated in a dailly thunder storm. The latter, unfortunately provides an never-ending point of frustration, no matter what the time of day.
I'm still getting used to the buzz and chaos of Bogor. Although it's a relatively 'small' city (1 million people), it's location on Java, one of the most densely populated islands in the world, and right under Jakarta, make 'crowded' an understatement. Every day, I see more motorcycles than I would in Wageningen in a whole year.
I've been staying with my Indonesian supervisor Ni'ma so far (so good). She lives in a nice little house, wifi and everything, so I have nothing to complain :). Every morning we take the 'Ojek' (motorcycle taxi) or walk to the main road. Here we take the "Ankot" (an open small minivan that stuffs between 4 and 15 people), and breath in fumes for approximately 30 minutes, depending on the traffic. Finally, a shuttle bus takes us to the CIFOR/ICRAF offices, which are located on the outskirts of town. The quiet location, in a little bit of tropical forest, the gardens (the grass is daily sweeped by at least 5 people), swimming pool (!), and of course Air-con, make it one of the nicest (and quietest) places in Bogor.
The office is modern, but of course, as 'the intern', my office ("the aquarium"), is a glass cubicle without daylight. However, when I get sick of it, I go outsite and read my papers under a palm tree :).
The people are really friendly, and helpfull. However, I'm the only intern/international student in the office. 98% of staff are indonesian, so I struggle to understand their small talk during lunch (correction; I understand nothing, but smile and nod).
The food makes up a lot though. We eat breakfast and lunch at the cafeteria. My Dutch sandwiches are now replaced with fruit shakes and warm lunches. I love Indonesian food, and eat out often at the local restaurants. This is not without risk though, as I experienced with my first stroke of the 'dehli belly'. My food poisoning coincided with the Forests Asia Summit we visited in Jakarta, so I spend half the conference on the toilet ;).
Back in Bogor, evenings and weekends can be slightly boring. Even Indonesians can not come up with more than 1 or 2 things to do (1. Shopping, 2. Botanical gardens, I've done both). Of course, as a hard-core Islamic country, bars/clubs/parties are not really an option. It's hard to explain, but every movement that involves traffic takes a very long time and is very uncomfortable. Also, the "Ankots" are plentiful, but there is no time table, and you have to remember their routes by head.....So I find myself going to the office on Sundays, which is no punishment, considering the pool :).
My actual internship project is still a bit undefined. I'm meant to be working on assessing/modelling CO2 emissions from tropical peat. This will mostly be a desktop exercise. However, the best part is coming up; we'll go to Sumatra the next 2 weeks, to measure and sample the peat!! I've packed my anti-mosquito gear (saved from Siberia) and am very excited to see this new tropical ecosystem! Will take some extra pictures and hopefully share these with you soon!
Selamat Malam (good night :))
Foto's bij verslag (8)
12 mei 2014 11:37 | Door: Kim
Leuk dat je weer begonnen bent met je blog, Judith! :) Maar, ik mis de foto's nog ;) En btw lezen onder een palmboom, heerlijk!
13 mei 2014 11:11 | Door: Suzan
Juud!! super leuke blog! ook in het engels herken ik je schrijfkunsten :) kijk uit naar de fotos! dikke kus!
18 mei 2014 22:37 | Door: Gatske
Leuk om wat te lezen over je belevenissen in Indonesie. Vooral het verkeer/vervoer is niet wat we in Nederland gewend zijn. Veel plezier