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2nd February 2008 - Funfair of life, and a mosquito-repellent treat from TOC Aromatherapy!
These past few days have been like a roller-coaster ride for my conservation trip efforts, with both ups and downs... One of the downs where the roller-coaster temporarily came to a big clonking halt was via an email from Lush - a reply to my investigation of if the Lush prizes I'd been given were palm-free or not. Iíd suggested some products that might be ok in my past letter but said that if they weren't palm-free to knock them off the list, but it turns out that unfortunately at the moment, Lush canít guarantee if any of their products are palm-free, never mind the prizes, which means sorry folks, they won't be appearing in the palm-free competition! Sadly, they said that it takes months and months to get information from their suppliers on this topic. It could be that the prizes are palm-free, but since I just don't know, they are not going in the palm-free competition. Now I have to decide what to do with them. The shampoo bar may end up coming with me on the trip since it looks faded on one edge and has a chunk missing1. It has some apparently bug or mosquito repellent ingredients in it although I'm not sure about the other ingredients. At least it will do some good for my trip, since I'd have to buy some biodegradable shampoo otherwise and if it does have palm in it, we can't do anything about it now. In this twist of fate I can still put it to good use.

Now for the excellent up! I went to the Farmer's Market to get some TOC soap for my trip with as many insect-fighting ingredients as possible, but due to the bad weather everyone had to pack up before I could get there... doesn't sound that excellent does it, but since there's a month until the next market, I decided to write an email to Maggi from TOC Aromatherapy. I asked if it was possible for her to make me a special soap that will help repel mosquitoes and bugs on my trip, or advise me of which one of her soaps to use, and I got a reply very quickly. Maggi is going to make me my own soap, and also my own oil! She already has ingredients that mosquitoes and bugs hate, but she is combining them to make things especially for my trip! The oil will be safe enough to put directly on my skin - I'll still need icky DEET repellent, but with the amount of bugs out there, the soap and oil should be a big help! Maggi is kindly giving me a large discount because of what it's going to be used for too, so now my soap is sorted! Just so you know, the money for the oil is not coming out of the fund-raising money; it should help a lot but since it is not on the kit list I'm going to buy it myself.

Well, I tend not to like roller-coasters, but at the end of this ride I still get off determined and optimistic!

1. not the best specimens I've seen but it smells fine and should work for its new purpose.

5th February 2008 - "Rag Tang in Africa"? Civic centre talks rubbish.
(Note: I am annoyed by several events today, so it may be best to ignore the anger in my ramblings, but take close note of what has happened if you are planning to do a similar thing to me. I'm sure my steam will have been let off by tomorrow).

Someone's not listening... After going to the doctors today I used some more of my half-day-off to visit the civic centre1 and find information on how to be allowed to raise funds in the city. I'd heard I had to get a licence and that that was the place to go.

Well, I got a number from a ticket machine and then came to the numbered desk when called, and tried to explain what I wanted. The person at the desk didnít appear to be listening very much. He talked to another person behind the desk whilst getting my address so had to ask me again, then when he got to talking to the licence people on the phone, my quest suddenly changed to "Rag Tang", in "Africa". Africa? Who on earth mentioned there, and please tell me what a rag tang is?! If I end up in Africa, there has been some big mistake.

Then it got worse. Having been given the phone by the civic centre person2, I tried to explain to the licensing lady on the phone about my conservation trip, and what I needed the raised money for. I got told that I was not allowed to raise it in Newcastle because the money was for "personal gain". If I had been doing a similar thing under the name of a charity I'm guessing it would have been a different matter, but Frontier is a not-for-profit organisation. Maybe I didn't explain myself very well. Maybe "accommodation" and "plane" are swear words where they come from but I wanted to be truthful. Forest hut and sleeping bag - who needs those? And injections to protect me from extremely nasty diseases while I'm helping out the orangutans are obviously too good for me, and transport? Pah! I'll just walk and swim to Indonesia... sigh... the problem is I need food, and ways to travel, and jabs and basic accommodation and all that to be able to actually help conserve things. One of my friends said that the government were wrapped up in red tape. I think they are so wrapped up in red tape that they canít actually move.

I am trying hard to bite my tongue, or rather fingers and it's not working, but I'm just frustrated for a moment - work went excellently, lunch was lovely, but just after then bad karma and negativity seemed to bombard me in hailstone-shaped bits. On a non-conservation-related topic, apparently the reason for the weird mouldy bits on our house walls is because the house is cold. Who'd have believed it, I thought that the reason my hands were like ice was because an invisible snow cloud had decided to live with me! On a conservation-related-topic, if I want a passport photograph at my students union they charge the rip-off price of £4, which - any licensing people reading this - would come out of my own pocket, not the fund money. Ouch. Good news is, comparing it to the passport fee I'm going to pay; the photo price suddenly doesn't seem so bad.

Well, it'll make me feel all the better when I raise all the money knowing I didn't even have to raise money in Newcastle centre to make some orangutans' dreams come true.

Fssssss; that's the sound of steam being released from my ears. Everyone breathe, the anger is dissipating...

1 .Newcastle civic centre looks a bit like a nightmare post office with numbers everywhere. Do not lose your numbered ticket whilst you are inside at all costs! Maybe a black hole may appear in the floor and suck you up... maybe a monster roams in there that preys on people with lost tickets... who knows... but DO NOT LOSE YOUR TICKET!
2. probably because the lady on the other end wouldn't have had the faintest clue as to what the man on the other end was going on about. I bet she was just as in the dark as to what "Rag Tang in Africa" was as I was.

9th February 2008 - Long Live the Orangutans!
After the setback on my last entry, things have been chugging along quite happily; slowly but surely. I had a bit of a problem organising a travel nurse appointment because of the small amount of days they were open and the times colliding with work, but I had a talk with my work and they have made me happy. They said that I could either make up the time I spend at the nurse, or just use some time off. I ended up just taking half a day off for Monday afternoon because I didn't want to delay it any more trying to get a super early appointment, and the other times suggested were when work would have partly started anyway! Someone suggested another place but said things might be a bit more expensive for getting sorted out travel-wise, so I just went to my normal doctors. I need my doctor to sign something from Frontier anyway so I might as well go up that way.

Another thing - if you feel like donating to the Orangutan Foundation, please spare some money on this page - any money I make after my trip that is below the £2000 target will be going to them, but if you want to give some money to them now, you could help my wonderful boyfriend's Orangutan Foundation fund-raising! I think it is sweet how we both inspired each other to look deeper into the world of orangutans - him inspiring me, and then me inspiring him when I planned this trip and researched. As you can see, I left my £10 mark, although if you are a tax payer you can get Justgiving to reclaim Gift Aid so as far as I understand, the Orangutan Foundation can get extra money on top of what you give!

Recently I have been looking at my kit list and on orangutan conservation sites and I have found where I would like to buy my sarong! It is more expensive than some but I think it is worth it, including the proceeds going "directly to help conserve the critically endangered Sumatran Orangutan" - actually I have been looking on the web and there are also sarongs that are a lot, LOT more expensive than this one. It is here, on the Sumatran Orangutan Society shop - it has orangutans all over it and helps them too - isn't it perfect? Because I could have bought a cheaper sarong but I would like to buy this one, I am paying for most of the price myself( although it is on my kit-list so I need one). Some people might have just wanted me to get a really cheap sarong with the fund money rather than this one, I don't know. Well, this way we can both feel good about helping orangutans even more, I get a lovely sarong, and only the money for a cheaper sarong comes out of the funds. The people whose money has helped fund this sarong can feel even better because of the sarong money is going to help other orangutans as well as the ones on my trip, so this way everyone should be happy1!

I've also made a company called Autodesk donate the cost of planting one tree to a non-profit organisation called Trees for the Future. Not much, but every little helps. Along with the Heaton Park trees and the trees I'm going to plant in Indonesia, as well as lots of other good things it goes towards offsetting the carbon it'll take to get me to Indonesia and back just that little bit more2.

This is turning out to be a monster diary entry! I've also been looking more into plane flights, improving my fund-raising box for my boyfriend to take to his work tomorrow, and lots of other great things that Iíll tell you tomorrow - I think thatís enough for today!

1. including the Sumatran orangutans!
2. I've been thinking about that for a long time now so have been looking for extra things I can do to balance the carbon. I already recycle loads, use energy-saving light bulbs and turn lights of when I'm not in the room etc, so that all helps too.

10th february 2008 - Plane flights booked!
The weather today has been absolutely marvelous; it wasn't too chilly and I love the sunshine! I didn't manage to get the booklet for my big orange fund-raising box done for my boyfriend to take to work1, so the box might be going on its trip next week instead. However, I do have plane flights booked - about time! I looked round several travel agents but ended up finding a flight that was a lot cheaper than last time. I'm setting off from an airport near me. Heathrow airport flights were cheaper, but by the time it would take to get me TO London, the cost would have been about the same as my current flight price of £829, if not more. Some flights were a lot more - way over £1000!

I had tried to email and then phone Sidhu fights which were mentioned by Frontier, although I had also been told to shop around which was a very good idea. The reply came on my second attempt at phoning a few days ago. I told them about my Frontier trip like I was told to, but I was saddened to find that they said they didn't give discounts. I asked about normal prices, but all they said was that it was expensive and I'd find the same prices on the internet. I'd already fished around on the internet, and so off I toddled today to check out the prices on the street travel agents.

After exploring several agents, I ended up getting my flights from Dawson & Sanderson. The lady was friendly, and very patient and thorough when looking for the best flights. My flights get me there a day early, but it was either that or risk missing the Frontier pick-up - I'd have to be superwoman to get off the plane, find my luggage and reach Frontier in a place I've never been before2. Instead I will end up paying for a night at a nearby hotel or if worse comes to worse staying in the airport all day. Any money for a hotel will come from me not the funding, along with my travel insurance. At least it will give me a day to rest, get used to the temperatures, and possibly explore for a little if I feel awake enough.

I am really getting excited about my trip now that my flights are booked; it is yet another hurdle out of the way and a few steps closer to my goal! I'll also have a Sumatran Orangutan Society sarong winging itself to me along with an Orangutan book and a giftset. The giftset is because I paid for fifteen rainforest trees to be planted for the orangutans and most likely any other forest inhabitants that like trees, ook ook!

1. nice booklets take a lot longer than I thought to make, especially when I have a lack of orangutan conservation-related photos to add - ones that aren't someone else's copyright that is, and I'm not using copyrighted photos without permission. I am looking forward to having vast amounts of photos and pictures to show when I come back from my trip, if I can find a good camera that'll withstand rainforest conditions and not be too energy-hungry. At least I have my artistic talents!
2. having said that, if I were superwoman I would choose to fly to Indonesia under my own steam!

11th February 2008 Ė Jabby jab jab jab!
Iíve had a busy afternoon off today. I had my first travel jab appointment which went a bit awry, although I still managed to come out with my first rabies jab and my first Hepatitis A and B jab. The rabies jab cost £42! I have to have two more jabs of them before I go, but those are booked in Ė the second lot is next week.

The appointment didnít go how I expected because Iíd informed the receptionist of my presence, filled in a form and got told to wait in the specific room, but communication hadnít relayed to the doctor that I was actually here! Hence to say I waited around in some time vortex of a room (because there was no clock and I couldnít check my mobile for the time) for what felt like half an age1. Before the other half an age happened I was about to get up, but then I was met by a confused doctor. I ended up getting an apology and a double-sized appointment next week to make up for the lack of time I had in this one2.

Since my travel jab appointment slid, I am going to have to hand in my passport renewal form in later this week because I thought by the time Iíd have got to the post office it would have been shut. The passport photo machine at university had broken too, but my boyfriend and I just decided to make some passport-quality photos at home instead which is what weíd planned to do before anyway, only they needed really specific paper. We have the paper, and the photos are done.

Iíve also been on a walk with my boyfriend which canít do bad things for my poor, almost non-existent training. Partway through I had the choice of steeper or not so steep Ė I chose steeper!

I am awaiting special things in the mail...

1. but then when youíre waiting for a doctor, it always does feel like that.
2. I also had the front door sticking and someone else having to yank at it before we realised it was very stiff, but we wonít go into that... oops too late.

12th February - Going bananas over Wicknwax's scrumptiously scented prizes!
May I introduce Wicknwax's contribution to my palm-free competition! Wicknwax's candles and wax tarts are made from soy, purified paraffin wax or a mix of both, instead of palm. The soy doesn't come from Brazil either so it shouldn't accidently contribute to the destruction of the Amazon instead.

Prizes from Wicknwax
The unwrapped banana candle here is actually mine because I bought one too. I thought it would be easier to see unwrapped but the prize one is still wrapped up prettily.

Here we have the prizes. There are so many that like Montezuma's, they will be split between competitions! First up are the wax tarts1. We have a little gingerbread man tart that smells as he looks (yum!), and a pink tart that to me looks a bit like a flower but smells like raspberry brûlée.

There is more; I am adding some green heart tarts from my order which you can see in the picture - I ended up with some apple pie hearts and they are actually jungle green, so the competition gets some of them because everyone wants to be green at heart!

A blue "Witches Brew" tart was also donated but I just need to ask Wicknwax a question about it - it may be palm-free but I recently found a surprising article on the Borneo Orangutan Survival UK site which mentions patchouli along with some other products as "products to avoid". It's a shame because I like patchouli. The Witches Brew tart scent mix mentions patchouli, so I want to check if it is real or synthetic.

The last and most certainly no means least donation is a beautiful candle that smells and looks like banana smoothie. It even has a little wax "banana slice" in it! I showed it to my workmates and it's already been commented on how gorgeous it smells! Now this donation is going to be kept for the next more fruity competition, so if you don't win the first one you could still win some Wicknwax in the next one! Whoever wins these; remember to read and follow the safety instructions and also don't try and gobble them because they do look good enough to eat!

1. If the only tarts you know are the ones you eat, even though they smell lovely don't try to eat these! These tarts come in lots of cute shapes and can either be used with an oil burner, or used to scent drawers - whichever you prefer!

13th February - Flying Tart!
Well, I didn't win in the competition at work but I didn't expect to, what with me not having much time to dedicate to my entry, and then being ill on the day I was going to work more on it. Still, I've had a really fun evening because I've been doing a play-through of the game we are making. I still have to keep my mouth shut about what it is about, but I'm sure work won't mind me saying that the game was really fun - I found it hard to leave the computer and go home!

I have picked someone to help me judge the entries of my very-soon-up-and-coming palm-free competition; I asked my boyfriend Chris if he would like to be a judge, and he said yes! Since he was the one that helped get me really interested in orangutans, I think I made an excellent choice!

Forgive the Faulty Towers reference in my diary entry title, but on the subject of the lovely Wicknwax wax tart prize donation scented with "Witches Brew", it popped into my head and I just couldn't resist! I've asked about the patchouli scent mixed within it and Wicknwax passes again with flying colours - the patchouli in Witches Brew is synthetic, and so there is no worry as to if the patchouli has endangered any forests. Woohoo! The Witches Brew tart joins the ranks of the orangutan conservation competition prize elite - you can see it on my competitions link along with the other tarts!

15 February 2008 - Guardian of the Trees, and Annajack's excellent orangutan prize!
Ahh, time to catch up with the past few days. First of all, I sent off my passport renewal form yesterday, so all is well there. I should get my new passport within three weeks. Chris is now a foster daddy of Violet the orangutan, and I've given the trees I planted in Heaton Park a checkup whilst out walk-training with him. They all look fine, I think they have grown a bit, although they were obviously still too thin to take good pictures of without going into the bog or stepping on where the bulbs would be, which we didn't want to do! With the bulbs I couldn't tell if they were all still hiding in the soil for now or if some had popped up to say hello. Whatever flowers they were, they looked pretty!

I also got a parcel delivered at work yesterday. After coming back from my day off, I opened it up to see two bright orange eyes peering back at me.

The cutest oranguteddy in the world!

This is the icing on the palm-free competition cake; isn't it so sweet? It was made by my friend Annajack who as you can see is skilled at knitting! Vegan-friendly, orangutan-friendly and just plain friendly, this little ape is going to help determine the winner of my first ever competition. It looks very happy to be around the palm-free stuff and should obviously be palm-free itself. All you have to do to stand a chance of giving it a home along with lots of other goodies is to think of a name for it! Have a peep on my "Competitions" page for more information - there may only be one oranguteddy to win but there are two orangutan teddies to name and so two prizes being offered. The competition is almost ready...

As for the rest of today, I was dissapointed to find that I couldn't place a little fund-raising box in the café below my work; the staff member I began asking was apologetic but said they're only allowed to collect money for specific charities already chosen by their company. Unfortunately as nice as it was that they collect for charity, the charities didn't seem to include anything to do with orangutans. I began to feel a little bit desperate about the current state of my fund-raising1, but then got a wave of triumph as a housemate of mine gave me a "late Christmas present" - £50 towards my fund=raising! Hoorah, a victory for the orangutans2!

1. Although I am still cooking up ideas for the not-so-current
2. Oh yes and I have now had a compass and whistle sitting in my OOACC drawers for about a week thanks to Chris. It will soon be sitting with me in the rainforest.

18th February 2008 - Orangutans in the Mist
Newcastle seemed to be enveloped in what could only be described as orange mist this afternoon. My boyfriend pointed it out to me yesterday as well. Apart from work, it has been a very orangutany day. I've had replies back from all the orangutan charities that I emailed, letting me use their logos as a picture link to their websites. I've also written an email to my Students Union, asking if they would let me plan an orangutan awareness day at my university. Hopefully they'll say yes; I've been thinking of all the fun activites I could plan, like collecting money to see how many orangutans our Students Union could adopt at once with it.

I've also had my second visit to the travel nurse but due to reasons beyond my comprehension, the visit seemed even shorter than the last one. It was supposed to be longer1. This time it was a different nurse that didn't realise that I hadn't had my proper chat about Indonesia last time. I was told I could have the extra time on the next visit... haven't I heard that before? If I don't get the time I'm owed next time, I will complain.

All that happened was I:

1) Got jabbed in the arms by a second lot of Hepatitis A and B protection and some more rabies protection
2) Collected a print-out of all the jabs I'd ever had instead of going through them on the screen to see if there was any on my Frontier list that I'd had already
3) Got a nasty shock when I was told that the £42 I'd paid last time was actually only one rabies jab's worth, instead of for the whole rabies protection

Also a note for you; a Hepatitis B vaccination costs money, yet for some strange reason if you have an A and B combined jab, it is free2. Make sure that you are not charged for only a B when you have had a free A and B jab. That almost happened to me except for I'd remembered the free-ness of my last A and B jab, and politely pointed it out.

So here I am. The nurse said she'd pass on the exact location of where I will be staying to the other nurse, but at the moment I still don't know if I need Malaria pills or not, because the nurse either didn't know and/ or wanted me out the door as soon as possible. So much for the lengthened hour visit.

Good job everything else made me so happy!

1. to make up for the lost time when the receptionist forgot to tell the nurse I was there.
2. well it was in this surgery.

21st February 2008 - Northumbria students unite?
It's very early in the morning, and so I am in bed working on my lappy, about to snooze, but here is a mini update.

I've been wanting more and more to set up my own university society. It started off with my ideas of a university activity day to bring awareness to the orangutan's plight, with all sorts of fun ways to help out1. I'd been thinking about it loads at work, but I was disappointed to find when I got to look into it at home that a similar-but-not-quite-the-same society already exists in my uni. You might be thinking "well, why don't you join them?". I'm looking into it but the problem is I only found out about them via the university website, and they hardly have anything on their page. I would understand not hearing about a football club, or a dance club, but if this a university society that is supposed to be raising awareness, it perplexes me that before a brief chance encounter on the union website, I was not aware even of THEM within my own university; I'd have hoped they would have put their names to some events by now2. They have been going over a year now but in their news they have one post which is for planning their first meeting, with nothing after that. It doesn't mean they haven't been doing anything or that the society is boring; it's just it makes me wonder if they have survived their first year as an awareness-raising society. It's a mystery to me what they're wearing awareness of at the moment. I would like to know! My boyfriend is going to go into uni to see if they are extinct. If they are gone or are have deviated from what I thought they'd be doing, I am going to snap up the chance of another way to learn about orangutans in a fun way, faster than an ape scoffing their favourite fruit.

*later on...*

Hallelujah! My angel of a boyfriend not only investigated the society, but got permission for me to set up my own society too! He brought all of the documents home so that I could fill them in; one of the only times I'm enthusiastic about filling in forms! It turns out that the other society was very small, and I suppose it helped that ours will be slightly different. Now I just have to find a treasurer and then find seven other members, and then we are off! Time to think about worthwhile places for the start-up money to go on... I am ecstatic!

On a more disturbing note, there has been an earthquake in Indonesia; Chris told me about it yesterday. I read that a few people have died and some others were hurt - poor people! I bet the other inhabitants of Indonesia were scared too. It's not the first earthquake they have had, and I am a bit scared because of the recent-ness of this one, but this changes nothing in the case of my trip - nobody short of Indonesia actually forbidding me to go will stop me, and touch wood that won't happen!

I've decided that I can only properly train physically for my trip when I have finished my placement, although I only have about a month to go in it. I may not be Superwoman yet, but the odd walk here and there and my constant climbing up and down stairs are definitely improving my health. I can go up and down the stairs carrying a heavy bag much easier than I could go up the stairs without heavy bag when I first started. One little acheivement will lead to another!

1. I'm still awaiting someone to rescue the little email from its email box because nobody has read it yet.
2. Also they have very good intentions but reading their introduction, they seem to be spreading out their efforts rather widely.

23rd February 2008 - Post!
Yee! My passport yesterday; how quick was that?! It was supposed to take up to three weeks with the passport service I paid for, but it only took just over one - that's what I call good service. Now I have a new passport, I can get my visa. I'm still waiting for a reply for some questions that I emailed to the visa people, but after that, sending off the correct visa form will be next on my list of things to do.

I also received an order confirmation email from the Sumatran Orangutan Society few days ago1. It was for my sarong and other bits; I'm really looking forward to seeing inside my parcel when it arrives. I also can't wait to see replies to my charity emails that I sent during a lunch break late last week - the thing is, I have to!

1. I did mean to tell you in my previous diary entry, but I had been so tired and then so excited that the email slipped my memory.

24th February 2008 - Good organisation and... poor silkworms!
As you may or may not know, I'm living my life happily eating and washing as a vegetarian, but I learnt something new today1. I may not buy silk again unless it is "peace silk", because I have found out that to get normal silk, the worms are boiled alive! They may not be the cutest creatures in the world, but poor silkwormies! I feel sorry for them. I haven't bought anything from here, but I thought this would be a nice reference page for you to read up about silk.

I'm also trying to look into wool, merino wool and "cruelty free wool", amongst other things, because I don't know much about it; here is one discussion that I found online on the subject of if the wool business is cruel or not, or only sometimes. Researching also reminded me that wool can come from other animals, like angora bunnies. It's up to you to research more and choose what you believe, but beware of biases.

You may be wondering why you're seen me in leather boots if I care about this kind of thing. I try my best not to buy any leather - except for I have a footwear dilemma. I prefer to buy vegetarian shoes, but I have noticed recently that some are not good for my feet - some make them hurt, or make my shoes smell easier (lovely!) if they are made from less-breathable materials. Some also fall apart really easily, which can also lead to sore feet, and if I ruin my feet that will do no good at all. I have trouble finding comfortable shoes at the best of times due to my slightly awkward foot shape - I'm glad I've got my feet but they are not the easiest to find shoes for. summer vegetarian pumps seem fine, but if someone knows where to get good quality, long lasting vegetarian autumn/ winter shoes that are breathable, please let me know! I've heard my leather boots I have at the moment should last for ages, but I'd prefer to have good vegetarian ones than have to buy leather.

As a note, my jungle boots are mainly fabric apart from a bit of leather. Most jungle boots Iíve seen2 are either fully leather or partly leather, but that doesn't mean for sure that totally vegetarian jungle boots donít exist. As mine are second-hand that means that someoneís used them before, so I get to make even more use out of them so it's less of a waste.

I read on this Charity Challenge website in their downloadable Trekking Expedition Training guide3, about the difference between leather and fabric walking boots. It is a very interesting guide; maybe you should have a peek!

I'm learning more and more about resources and I don't think everything is totally black and white in this world. I think it is extremely difficult to live a life where you donít cause any damage to animals, the environment or even other people whatsoever, but we can but try.

Well, what else have I been doing today? Improving my website and trying to think of reliable ways to get donations without being able to be there in person, is one thing. Organising my room and orangutan trip documents is another! I've been keeping the useful documents in my OOACC drawer, but if youíre doing a project like me, I strongly suggest getting a folder to put everything in.

Tip of the day over; bye bye until next time!

1. If you'd like to know some of my current vegetarian thoughts then here we go; I am a softie. I love animals (including fish and sea animals etc), and I feel that if I can live healthily without eating them, then I should try to. If I was stuck in the wild and found that I actually had to eat other animals' meats to survive, I would. Also in the case of other meat-eating animals, some animals are built to live on a meat-based diet, and I think it can be cruel to try and force them to eat other things that they are not meant to live on - the same goes for naturally herbivorous creatures.
2. although I admit that's not many due to them almost being extinct in Newcastle.
3. Thereís a link to it on that website page, just make sure youíre able to view .pdfs before you try and read it.

25th February 2008 - Love and orangutans
Chris was clutching handful of boot laces yesterday during his quest to tidy his room.

"Want any shoelaces?" He joked.

"Yes please" I answered, surprising him.

I'd been thinking about shoelaces for a while, wondering if I could get someone to donate a pair. They'd have to be just the right size to fit my jungle boots. The jungle boot laces although still intact, were a bit worse for wear. What I need, I thought, are two extra pairs of boot laces, and next thing I know, voila, I have some! By some fluke they were about the same size as the jungle boot laces. Donated shoe laces are a sign of true love.

SOS also contacted me today. They are sending me some bits and pieces for Chris and my society, and have said they'll keep me informed of any orangutan-related events. Yay! Also here is a useful piece of information from the SOS - the second weekend of November is International Orangutan Caring Week. Sounds like some nice things could go on then - you could plan some orangutan-y activites then too!

28th February 2008 - Love wasn't the only thing in the air
Boo hoo. I missed the leaving do of two of my work friends yesterday, because I was in bed, ill. I also missed going out for one of my housemates' Birthdays, because I was in bed, ill. An SOS shop parcel arrived on my work's desk yesterday, but you know what I'm going to say.

Blech. I hate viruses.

I had had a quick look online1 to check if I'd received any important emails. I received one from University mistakenly asking for an explanation why I hadn't been attending my English-for-International-students sessions2 (most likely that is because I am from the UK). I also received a more useful email from the Orangutan Appeal UK. They are also going to send some bits for my university orangutan society. Wahoo!

I collected my SOS shop parcel today. It had a good book in which to read whilst giving you interesting information, and my mind-blowingly fantastic sarong that I will be bringing with me on my trip. I've tried making batik before, and I'm impressed by such neatness and attention to detail. It's even got a baby orangutan on it, aww! I also have my rainforest gift pack. The photo the comes with it has the fuzziest orangutan know to man3 on it and all sorts of other bits!

One last thing. This "website prologue" must be the longest one ever, so enough is enough. I am certain I will get this orangutan website up by the end of the weekend. If I don't I'll... Iiiii'll... wear a banana-shaped hat or something for a day4.

1. In bed.
2. I know I've not always got perfect grammar, but my English isn't THAT bad, is it?
3. Or at least known to me.
4. I will. Honestly. Only for donations of course.

29th February - Excellent SOS, crazy croissants and a blight of nerves
The day or two before my website goes up is also the day I get my confidence crash. I don't know if you'll like my website, and I don't know what you'll think of my website entries, but they're going up anyway.

Today is also the day that I get my society bits and pieces from the SOS. We've got some nice bits there, including an orangutan-filled calendar where we can write important dates on it! I'm donating some money to help balance the cost of the postage and bits, but it's up to them where they want it to go.

Oh and thirdly it is the day that I celebrate both Breakfast Friday at work, and it being the last day of the 50 hour working weeks.

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Unless otherwise specified, all the work in this website is © copyright Joanna Wright 2008. Under no circumstances must anything from this website be used or reproduced without the owner's permission. The orangutans are watching you.