Aloha, my name is Elsa. I am a University student who came to Cipaganti to join the LFP team in June of this year. I volunteer at LFP with my friend Endah to finish my final project for my university. My project in LFP is to observe infant development and dispersal. So, I have to follow uncollared baby lorises and I have to say that it’s a little bit hard to do because if the baby was hiding or goes to the area that I don’t know, I have a hard time finding it again. Sometimes, when I go to find the baby, I fail. Because the mother is not always with the baby. But, it’s still fun when I go to the forest to observe lorises because I have trackers that always help me.
Two weeks ago, the LFP Team and the trackers went to the local hot springs together. It was partly a goodbye present for Laura who was leaving after she finished her work in Cipaganti. We went to Darajat Pass all in Aconk’s family car, squished together because the car was a little bit small for all of us. We arrived at 6 pm and then we were playing together and taking a lot of photos until 10 pm. I had so much fun because we can do something together with all of the members. I always hope we can go to another beautiful place together before I go back home to Jakarta.
The LFP Team at the Hot springs
Another exciting moment was Indonesian Independence day on the 17th of August 2016. We made a parade with the students from MI Al-Hidayah school all the way until the football field in Pamegatan. Alex and Nadia wore Tereh’s and Bunga’s costumes to make the parade more fun for the kids around the villages. We played an Independence Day song and the school’s song all along the march to draw attention from the people along the way and finished with a unique display of performances from all of the villages.
Alex and Nadia with the slow loris costumes
Thankfully, the weather was so nice so we were able to make a great parade with two giant lorises at the front of the march. Along the way, we also shared stickers with the kids and people who watched us at the side. I feel happy because a lot of people were so enthusiastic about the Independence Day. They made a lot of accessories which hung up along the way or on their own house and they also put the Indonesian flag in front of their house. The village chiefs made a lot of tournaments such as football and volley ball matches. It made Independence Day very special for the local people.
Me and the MI Al Hidayah parade
One last memory that I want to share is how I got to teach the MI students aerobics routines every Friday morning, when I didn’t have a shift late on Thursday night of course. The MI students were so cute when they tried to follow my instructions. They followed along perfectly! I became so close with the kids and I will find it hard to leave them when I have to go back to Jakarta. I always want to play with them. Should I move to Cipaganti and live here for the rest of my life? What do you think, my friend?
The students when they do the aerobics
There have been so many happy and fun moments that I can’t count since I got here. I will never regret my decision to join LFP in Cipaganti and volunteering for three months. I found a lot of new experiences and knowledge that I received from all of the members. There is so many people to whom I want to give my thanks. For example, I thank Marie for teaching me the way to analyse the data with RStudio and many more people that I couldn’t count but who are so precious to me. Thank you for giving me this incredible experience!
LFP Team is my new family in Garut