Thursday, 10 December 2009

Arriving in Paradise

Arriving in Bali was like stepping into a totally different country. Indonesia consist of 17,000 islands and the difference from one to another soon becomes clear, especially as you leave Sumatra behind and head to the tourist paradise that is Bali. SOS has an office in Bali, which is where I am working from for the next month or so. The rationale behind the Bali office is quite obvious: there are enough ex-pats and tourists here to keep you fundraising for a lifetime. Because there is such a massive amount of foreigners that have moved here to Bali, there is also a massive opportunity for SOS to go into both private schools and work with classes on a long term basis. We already do a lot of work with local schools, but with fundraising opportunities this would allow us to work with schools on a more long-term basis, and who knows, perhaps the next school trip could be to the jungle to see the Sumatran orangutan?
Bali is not just famous for its epic surf, but is also a hub for craftsmen that create lovely merchandise for SOS and helps us spread awareness and raise funds on a global basis. We reach a massive international audience here, and loads of people come into our office wanting information on the orangutans and how best to consciously go about visiting the orangutans. We help them with general information, work with companies in Sumatra who donates a cut to us and also generate awareness with the tourists before they even reach the jungle
Bali has also been identified as a hub for illegal trade of protected animal species, so it is extra important that we are generating awareness to make sure Bali is not involved with trading of the orangutan or other endangered wildlife.
Since we got to Bali we have also been able to update the Flickr site, so have a look if you want to see more photos from Sumatra, including replanting, school visits and of course Bukit Lawang.
Right, off to see the SOS ‘Jungleshop’ now, will tell you all about what this is in the next blog...

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