Tag Archives: Borneo

Wwoofing at Lupa Masa

They want to accommodate more and more guests here at the Lupa Masa Rainforest Camp – up to 25 at a time. To get food from the market it is half an hour walk and a 20 minutes drive, mostly by taxi to a village called Renau. From there the same distance back to the camp – with the shopping bags. This makes the provision of food an energy and time consuming undertaking. The solution is growing food, and that’s Lucie’s and my job here.

When we applied, we didn’t know that there was no garden in place. There are some banana shrubs, oil palms and a few other fruit trees that grow here naturally. There are also a few signs of an earlier attempt to start a garden. Apparently two girls, wwoofing here before have tried to grow some veg of which most was eaten by the hundreds and thousands of ants that live here with us. So basically we’re starting from scratch, which is a challenge but also a great chance for us to do our first land-based permaculture design.
We’ve been here like 10 days, checked out the place and think there is a lot of potential. We’ve started off with planting some corn, pumpking, beans, lettuce, chillies, sunflowers in pots as we were arriving during the first week and started the Survey phase and the observation for the permaculture design. We’ve introduced compost and we’re about to start a test plot for growing out vegetables whilst doing the design.

Charlie has taken us for some treks at night looking for the details and observing the beautiful wildlife while the day treks show the pattern of the forest, the broader picture of ungle, rivers and waterfalls.

Besides building up the garden we’re supposed to take in guests, now that Charlie’s gone for two to three weeks, will do a lot of cooking (which is good), cleaning and we’ll basically look after the place (which is also good and, t think, has already made it more welcoming).

There are quite a few things we would change here but I guess this Rainforest Camp is not the dream that we live. It is called an eco-camp in the Lonely Planet, and yes the have hydroelectric (which is broken at the moment) and most huts and structures are built of bamboo and wood only, however, they use non-biodegradable soap in the river and spray insecticide on the termites and ants coming into the huts. We thought we might be able to have a word and inspire them in some of those things. Do we ask too much from people if we want them to recognise that everything in an ecosystem is interrelated – seeing the world not just as a shared habitat, but rather as our larger body!?