Bamboo; that fast growing, highly invasive species of woody grass that is found in the tropical regions of 5 continents, it really has its uses. Whether it’s as a nesting site for birds, a food source for pandas or a highway for lorises, bamboo is vital for the survival of some species, and I am pretty sure that the people of Cipaganti are no exception.

– Dans homemade bamboo bench; looking out over the kingdom.

Scaffolding, clothes lines, houses; bamboo is used in all corners of this little village. I too have found the wonders of bamboo both fascinating and useful. I like to think of myself as a logical man, and a logical man who has access to some bamboo and the ability to swing a hammer really has some potential. After drawing up some blueprints, and a little discussion with the manager Pak Dendi, I was ready for my first bamboo building experience; a bench. The 10 hours I spent measuring, sawing, splitting, carving, nailing bamboo was some of the best hours I have spent here. That was back in October, and the bench still stands, in prime location overlooking the whole kingdom. Since then I have conjured up; a bedside table, a clothes rail, repaired a chair and even carved an ashtray for Mr Robbie’s secret santa.

– Bamboo ashtray.

Obviously, there has to be balance; we have to replace what we have used – and that’s what our Agroforestry programme is about. But I just like to think that that scaffolding holding up nextdoors house that once housed a loris, now has bamboo children housing another loris, and will have future children housing future lorises in this sustainable, useful cycle.

2016 Jan Geerah - Pride day Dan Panjat P (4)
– Dan demonstrating the ‘Panjat Pinang’. A traditional Indonesian game to climb to the top of the bamboo pole.
  • Dan Geerah, Volunteer

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