Travel Diaries #6: Medan, Indonesia

This post is long overdue but I’d like to share my recent trip to Medan as part of a ‘do-good programme’, in collaboration with AirAsia Foundation and APE Malaysia. It was a four-day trip, in which we volunteered to help build enrichments for Sumatran orangutans in captivity. I’d say our group was a diverse bunch. There were people from Thailand, India, Macao, Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia and more — all from different departments of our company. Despite the language barriers, it’s awesome to have met such lovely people during my time there, some of them I’m glad to call friends 🙂

The trip was great — I managed to do heavy work (for me it is lah haha) such as carrying around used fire hoses, drilling and screwing them together (they’re really thick so it was tough to do that). I think we managed to make all 4 hammocks (each team has to make 4 hammocks) in about 5 hours.

My team and our first hammock!
My team and our first hammock! (Photo credit: APE Malaysia)

We also visited the Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Programme Quarantine Centre to visit some of the orangutans there who are either sick, confiscated from smugglers and are in the process of rehabilitation. These hammocks will be put up their cages to mimic the natural environment in the forest. For example, the caretakers can “hide” food in between the spaces in the honeycomb enrichment (pic below) so that the orangutans can “work” to find their food, instead of just lying around waiting to be fed.

Baby orangutans with a honecomb enrichment made with used firehoses. (Photo credit: APE Malaysia)
Baby orangutans with a honecomb enrichment made with used firehoses. (Photo credit: APE Malaysia)

Initially, this programme was an excuse for me to travel to someplace new — I’ve never been to Medan before, and I thought it’d be a great experience to go there. Y’know, killing two birds with one stone — discovering a new place and contributing to a good cause all at the same time.

Check out the videos documenting my trip in Medan below 🙂

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