Hiking forests with elephants in North Sumatra

An elephant checks out my camera in Tangkahan, North Sumatra. Located on the edge of Gunung Leuser National Park, Tangkahan offers elephant trekking and hiking to visitors as part of an eco-tourism campaign to preserve the local forests. When they aren’t giving rides to tourists, the elephants patrol the park with rangers to prevent illegal…

Culture shocked in Indonesia

“Culture shock does weird things to people,” said one of our presenters during orientation. Despite having spent a fair amount of time in Indonesia before my Fulbright grant, he was right.  Case in point: Sometimes when I’m lonely, I talk to the geckos. “Killing roaches” sounds like a normal way to spend a Friday night.…