Formerly senior communications manager at CIFOR, Christi Hang is now senior associate at CGIAR.
The email said to prepare for five days of “flying camp.” In other words, we should expect to live aboard a bare-bones patrol boat.
I was about to embark on a journey with Yusuf Samsudin, a researcher at the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), and a skeletal film crew. We were searching for a herd of wild elephants on the Musi River in the Indonesian province of South Sumatra.
Little did we know at the time that we would never actually set foot in the boat.
“Finding the elephants was the hardest thing,” Samsudin said.
“The boat stalled the day before we were supposed to take off and they needed to get a new part, which didn’t come the whole time we were scheduled to be on the river. And then the next boat, which was supposed to take us to the next destination, also stalled out and we had to go by road, and that wasn’t great. We got stuck in mud a couple of times.”