Day 2 on Paradise Island aka Borneo

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.

The beautiful Vogel family

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.

Kinabatangan River Wildlife Cruise
USF Tropical Restoration Ecology Class takes wildlife cruise down the Kinabatangan River.

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.

Proboscis Monkey
Proboscis monkey!!!


(pic 1: Paula Pereira, pic 2-3: Gretchen Coffman)