Indonesia – Hoga Island (Part 3)

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Indonesia – Hoga Island (part 2)




A monitor lizard casually passing me on the path one morning, it was huge (140 cm)! They were usually basking in the sun, not moving much, but if you got too close or surprised them, they sure knew how to run and hide incredible fast!


I was so lucky to get to join the cultural group for a trip to a neighboring island a day when I had nothing else planned, were all the following pictures were taken:






















This Island did not have fishing as their main income, as most other islands do, but seaweed farming! They would grow seaweed on long ropes floating in the warm waters, collect it, dry it and then ship it off to the bigger islands where they use it in food and medicine.


















We also visited a huge cave on another small island where the locals would get rain water/drinking water. It was also home for a bunch of bats, don’t be fooled by the picture, that’s my flash, it was really pitch dark and kinda scary.







Part 3 coming up soon. Need to finish the Indonesia posts now, cause I have so many new photos from the rest of the summer + coming back to Edinburgh that I want to share!

Indonesia – Hoga Island (part 1)

On the “slave boat” on our way to Hoga Island. A 9 (+/-) hour long boat ride where we were sleeping on mattresses that covered the whole floor. Pretty much everyone got seasick, and all we had to eat and drink was a 1.5 L of water and some pastries with banana & chocolate filling.























Even though the boat ride was hell, it was definitely worth it when we finally arrived at Hoga! Just look at this place, it’s a PARADISE!






My home for the last two weeks, that I shared with another research assistant, Hannah. Our house was named Seahorse!

















Arriving at Hoga was like another world compared to the jungle site, although the jungle was amazing, Hoga had that paradise feeling that really just gave me the greatest feeling I’ve ever had. It was so BEAUTIFUL! I took so many photos of the nature, not so many of people, since we were mostly in/under water the whole day!

There will be a part 2 & 3 from Hoga as well, hope you guys enjoy!

Indonesia- Buton Island- Labundo Bundo (part 3)





We got a quick lecture in Indonesian language between all the rice eating and jungle hiking. Terima kasih!



Also did a butterfly transect one day, where we walked a certain distance in the jungle, identifying and counting all the butterflies we saw. We would  also stop at certain times and try to catch and identify as many butterflies as possible. Since a lot of the Indonesian islands have some incredible biodiversity, the chances of finding endemic species are really high, and there was several new species identified just in the two weeks I was there. Pretty neat!

















Kat made some really awesome drawings of us!


I’m the one down in the left corner, haha.



One day was spent following a pack of macaques for the whole day, writing down all aggressive behavior, as well as the sex and age of the members. It was a lot harder for us down on the ground to move through the thick jungle vegetation than it was for the monkeys to jump from branch to branch up in the canopy, so this day was a true workout!














This was all the photos from my two weeks in the jungle! I’ll be posting the pictures from my two weeks at the marine site, Hoga, this (and next) week 🙂 Hope you guys like them!

Indonesia- Buton Island -Labundo Bundo (part 2)











Tiniest little hermit crab I’ve ever seen. It was the size of half a pea!



A Mudskipper sitting on a piece of coral. Look how cute he is!






Week 2 – The Civet team 🙂












A civet (sedated) being measured, weighed and photographed for research purposes. They were so pretty! The fur is really soft, and it kinda looks like a mix between a ferret and a cat if you ask me. More about Civets here.



Their neck pattern is unique for each individual, making it easy to use this for identification of the captured and already  examined animals.
































I know I said there would be two post for each site, forest and marine, but I still have a few photos left from the jungle that I would like to share with you guys, so there will be a third post from the jungle site soon 🙂

Indonesia -Buton Island – Labundo Bundo (Part 1)

It’s been a while since my last post here, I kinda like having my summer completely blog-free and share photos throughout the autumn. This summer’s been rather hectic, lots of work and boring uni stuff, but it’s also been one of my best summers! I got to travel all the way to Indonesia and live in the jungle and on an exotic island, for four weeks. This was as a volunteer research assistant with  Operation Wallacea, which (at least for me) is great to add on your CV as relevant work experience since you get to deal with animals and scientific research first hand. I went for 2+2 weeks, where two weeks was in the jungle working with terrestrial species, and two weeks on an island working with marine life. For anyone considering joining any of OpWalls project: GO FOR IT. It was truly one the best experiences I’ve ever had, but not because of OpWall and their management, but because of the social aspect. The bonds you tie with other people doing the same project as you are really strong, and I do believe I’ve gotten friends for life.  I brought my camera, of course, so you can all imagine how many pictures I ended up with after a month away! I’ll try to limit the crazy photo flow down to four posts, two for each site, forest and marine. Hope you guys enjoy the photos!

WEEK 1 & 2 – The village Labundo Bundo











The first meet up with all the other research assistants. We played the name game, my biggest fear since I am the WORST when it comes to remembering names. We were in a circle, and the first person would say their name, then the second would repeat the first persons name then their own, and so on. I was….the last one. The very last person in the circle, which meant I had to repeat EVERYONE’S name before saying my own. I completely and utterly failed to do so, of course, not one of my proudest moments.














_SMD1264-1wmThe locals had some small shops with snacks where we could spend our money, this was pretty much the only thing you could spend money on in the jungle! After hiking every day for hours, the rice wasn’t really enough to keep me from losing weight, so a pack (or 10) of Oreos really saved me!



_SMD1265-1wmIndonesian rupiah! 100 000 rupiah equals about £5 (or 50 Norwegian KR).  A pack of Oreos was 10 000 rupiah, a coke or fanta was about 8000 rupiah.



_SMD1211-1wmA typical dinner. Lots and lots of white rice, some overcooked vegetables and tofu (sometimes fish or meat). After two weeks in the jungle we’d had 42 meals containing rice.



_SMD1231-1wmMy toilet while staying in Labundo Bundo. We lived 3-4 people with a local family, two at each room. In this picture it does look absolutely disgusting, and it was, at least the first couple of days. The “bathtub” in the corner was filled with rain water, and you would use the little green scoop to pour water down the toilet to flush…things. Haha
The bin bag was for the used toilet paper, again, disgusting, but it’s incredible how fast you get used to things. After a week it all just seemed normal. Even showering, which was done by using the same scoop to pour water over yourself while standing naked in this room, became normal. After hiking for 8-9 hours a day in +40 degrees, sweating like crazy, this “shower”  (or mandi, in Indonesian) was the best thing ever!








_SMD1293-1wmWe had some heavy rain during the two weeks I spent in the jungle, so whenever we were out hiking our boots would get completely covered in mud. So for anyone considering doing any work in the rain forest during their winter months (which is summer months in UK/Europe), be prepared for some crazy rain and muddy ground! I bought some cheap boots at Mountain Warehouse in Edinburgh (£20 on sale), so I decided to just leave them in the village after my two weeks instead of trying to clean them and bring them back home, giving them to one of the local guides.





Part 2 of the jungle will be posted by the end of this week! 🙂

Bye bye, Norway






I am leaving my safe, little home in Norway in only four days, travelling all the way to Indonesia for a month. I’ll be working as a volunteer research assistant, handling wild animals in both terrestrial and marine sites, diving in some of the worlds most species rich waters with the most amazing coral reefs and getting my diving certificate. It all seems a bit unreal still, there’s been so much to pack and prepare for this trip that I haven’t had much time to think of the actual trip itself yet! I’m bringing my Nikon D7000 + a GoPro 3+ Black camera so that I can get some cool underwater shoots, but there’s no internet where I’m going, so all the pictures and videos will be uploaded here after I get back. For the first time in years I finally feel like there’s nothing keeping me here in Norway, and that it’s time to do whatever I want without having to consider anyone else. The feeling of no strings attached is both extremely relieving and a bit scary, but right now it feels kinda nice not knowing what the future brings. This is going to be an adventure for life, and I can’t wait to get there!

Dyreparken i Kristiansand – Norwegian zoo in Kristiansand







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Summer means our yearly visit to the Norwegian Zoo in Kristiansand, with my two dear friends Camilla and Elisabeth! We always try to go before the busiest summer months start, simply because it can be so stressful to walk around and look at the animals when there’s literately thousands of people trying to do the same. Just like last year, we picked a perfect day! There were so few people, and the weather wasn’t too hot and sunny, so the animals were all active and easy to spot. We even got to see some proper lion action (as well as the tigers!), which rarely happens since they usually just sleep in the shade when it’s hot. I’ve been to quite a few zoo’s, but I got to say that there’s no other zoo that can even come close to the one in Kristiansand! Always a great success, as it was this year as well (:

Lily of the valley







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Ever since I was a little girl, a spring time tradition has been to pick a huge bouquet of Lily of the Valley and give to my grandmother (and usually also one for mum!). After she passed away, the tradition was still kept alive, and every year me and my dad go out together and pick the biggest bouquet possible and put it in a vase on her grave. This flower means a lot to me, it is one of my favourites. When I was 18 I got a  memorial tattoo for grandma of this flower, and whenever I see them or smell them, I think of all the nice memories I have of her.

Oh, please tell me, how deep might these seas be



















Me, my dad and my sister went on our first boat ride for the summer a couple of days ago, and I actually remembered to bring my camera with me! It’s so nice being back home and breathe in the fresh salt water air again, I wasn’t aware of how much I actually missed these little things while staying in Edinburgh. There is truly no place like home, especially during the summer!