Disconnected yet connected. Empty yet full. Uncomfortable yet comfortable. The first few days at the Kopel Eco Camp have been full of dichotomies. In a world where we are subjected to sensory overload on a daily basis, I feel so fortunate to be in such a serene and peaceful place. Initially, it was very disconcerting to be so disconnected from our normal routines. However, I have never felt more connected to the Earth than I do right now.
Our gracious hosts, Martin and Janet Vogel (with the rest of the Kopel team) have created a magical oasis in the middle of this expansive jungle. I find myself increasingly inspired by their passion, dedication and humility. Their dedication to a cause greater than themselves is infectious and I hope to take it back with me in some measure.
The biodiversity in this place is breathtaking. Day 2 was comprised mostly of acclimation and orientation. One of the highlights of day 2 for me was seeing Proboscis monkeys on a river wildlife cruise on the Kinabatangan – Proboscis are endemic to this amazing island. The first few days here have been full of ‘firsts’ and I trust this trend will continue for the next two weeks.
(pic 1: Paula Pereira, pic 2-3: Gretchen Coffman)