Preparing to Leave Medan
Saturday November 18th, 2006 -- Medan, Sumatra -- After breakfast there were many goodbyes to the folks heading home. Dr. Gary and I do not leave until this evening.
Internet access in the hotel was not working so we headed over to the SOCP offices. While we were handling the Conference, Workshop & Summit (CWS), SOCP had taken delivery of a new generator.
This one runs on diesel and is water cooled, plus it is in a sound reducing box. finally long running electricity.
Dr. Gary is discussing the accounting for the monies spent on the CWS. I am writing the blog.
I am going to miss the people and the opportunities to see the rainforest and of course the Orangutans. I am not going to miss the cigarette smoke, the paperless toilets or the dense traffic.
I am sure that I will be back either to represent OUREI or to assist on a documentary or educational film.
After the Awards Dinner
Friday 17th November, 2006 -- Medan, Sumatra -- To celebrate the success Dr. Gary, myself (John Page), Panut, Barita, Ridhwan and Andrea headed out in search of ...... yes Durians.
Barita said that he knew of the best Durians in Medan, for Dr. Gary the proof would be in the eating.
We arrived at the roadside stall, sat down at a table and the Durians arrived. Judging by the blissful look on Dr. Gary's face plus the fact that his eyes were either closed or rolled back in his head these may well be the best Durians in Medan.
We all climbed back into the SOCP vehicle and then realized that Dr. Gary was still savouring the aroma of the Durians.
Durian must bring out the superhero strength because Dr. Gary managed to pull the door handle off the car door. We all wondered how long it would take Ian Singleton to figure out the passenger door handle was missing. Of course we are an honest bunch and all wanted to tell Ian the Dr. Gary had pulled the handle off with his Durian induced superstrength.
The Awards Dinner
Friday November 17th, 2006 -- Medan, Sumatra -- After the Summit closed there was a break for about 90 mins before the Awards Dinner.
The event opened with a troupe of local dancers in costume.
There was musical inspiration from the Orangutan Caring Club members with guitar accompanied songs with an Orangutan theme.
Certificates of Appreciation were presented by OUREI Chairman Dr. Gary Shapiro to individuals and organizations that supported the CWS planning and operation. Other certificates were given to winners of OUREI sponsored competitions: the Orangutan Caring Scholarship (given earlier this year), and the Poster Contest first place winner.
The prestigious Pongo Awards for Significant Support to OUREI were presented to Mr. Soedomo, Mr. Ridhwan for himself and he also accepted the award on behalf of Angelina Sondakh, OUREI Ambassador.
The evening was a great way to crown the success of the last three days.
Friday November 17th, 2006 -- Medan, Sumatra -- The summit is opened by Dr, Gary Shapiro with a modified version of his speech that he used for the Conference opening. On this occasion he saves the Long Call for the end of his presentation where it is the sign that the Summit has begun. One of the goals of the Summit is to convey the results of the previous two days and to show commitment to ongoing education programs.
The goal of the education is to raise the awarenes and skills of not only the local people but also the palm oil workers, law enforcement and local governement employees.
Most people do not understand the Orangutans and therefore fear them. Education programs that have already taken place have shown that with knowledge the people react in a much more positive way when an Orangutan wanders into their area.
The education programs also have curricula that raises the awareness of the consequences of both legal and illegal logging.
Our belief is .....
Friday November 17th, 2006 -- Medan Sumatra -- I was up until 4am entering the data and running the analysis then creating the powerpoint presentation of the results. At 8am Dr. Gary calls to see if I am awake, I am now !!!
Quick shower and then down to breakfast. The morning's proceedings are going to take place in the same room that will be used for the summit this afternoon.
Being a Muslim country we need to be mindful of the need to stop at around noon for the Muslim attendees to go for prayers.
Computers are linked to projectors and sound systems (we are getting pretty creative with our connectivity). I turn on my laptop and it finds the WiFi network in the Coffee Shop one floor below. A stern look from Gary tells that this is not the time to check email, it has been 4 days without a connection and I am eager to see what is in my email box, but I resist the temptation.
The presentation of the results starts ...
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