16/31 There’s a hole in my bucket, dear Liza

16. What’s at the top of you’re bucket list?

I have a vague idea of the kind of things that are on my bucket list but I’ve never really sat down to write it and put everything in an order of things I’d want to do first. But, with that said, the things that have always remained a constant on my list have been…

  • Travelling to Borneo to see wild Orangutans
  • Heading to Uganda/Rwanda to track wild gorillas
  • Entering Tutankhamun’s tomb and retracing the steps of my relative, Howard Carter
  • Meeting all my favourite queens at RuPaul’s DragCon in L.A

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On the road

#273: If you could pause real life and spend some time living with a family anywhere in the world, where would you go?

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Easy… Borneo or Rwanda to live with a family of Orang-utans or Gorillas. It didn’t specify that it had to be a human family! I’ve always dreamed of seeing these fascinating primates in the wild, so this would be ideal.

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Image: Orangutan – www.worldwildlife.org. Gorilla – wildography.co.uk

Do you hear the people sing?…

#72: (Silver screen) Take a quote from your favourite movie — there’s the title of your post. Now, write!

…Singing a song of angry men? It is the music of a people who will not be slaves again!

Ok, technically not a quote but Les Miserables is a film that’s sung, so I couldn’t really help that. I chose this quote in particular, as not only do I love singing, I also love the powerful message in it, which is the unity among the masses when standing up for what’s right instead of bowing down and conforming! It’s a shame that it doesn’t happen more often as I can think of quite a few causes that would benefit from a strong, united front… the fight against the widely used Palm Oil which kills many Orangutans in it’s production process, the scary truth and the planets concerning future if we don’t do anything about the retreating glaciers (please spend a minor 90 seconds to watch this incredibly moving and inspiring video created by a very passionate and dedicated individual) and of course, the preservation of all of the incredible species on this planet, regardless of how big or small they are – they all deserve their place here!

 

Places

#61: Beach, mountain, forest, or somewhere else entirely?

Even though I hate creepy crawlies, I think I’d always choose forest for the incredible sense of adventure and simply the sheer wonder of it all. I’ve never been a lounge on the beach/by the pool kind of girl and I’ve never felt the urge to conquer a mountain (although if the opportunity arose, I would well and truly grab it with both hands!). I have two big travel dreams that I’m hoping to achieve whilst still in my 20’s; that is to travel to the depths of Borneo to witness wild orangutans in their natural habitat as well as to volunteer at an orangutan rehabilitation centre/sanctuary. My second big dream is to fly to Egypt, not only to enter King Tutankhamun’s tomb (due to my connection with Howard Carter) but I’d also want to embrace all of it’s famous ancient landmarks – the Valley of the Kings, Abu Simbel, The Temple of Karnak, Pyramids of Giza, Luxor Temple, Deir el-Bahari, Ramesseum… the list goes on and on!

If anyone’s been to either of these two locations and has any tips or recommendations, I’d really appreciate it 🙂

Think global, act local

#33: “Think global, act local”. Write a post connecting a global issue to a personal one.

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After some thought, I realised that the answer to todays post has been a part of my life for quite some time now. Ever since I discovered my passion and love for all primates, I have been trying to do my bit to save the above enchanting species … the Orangutan!

Orangutans have seen a rapid decline since the introduction of palm oil plantations, mainly within Indonesia, due to the destruction of their natural habitats. Mothers and their babies will often return to where there once was dense forest, to find themselves “trespassing” on a palm oil plantation and prone to being killed by the plantation owners. Being in such an open space has also made it easier for hunters and traders, which has resulted in the mothers being killed and the babies, sometimes only weeks old, being taken alive for the illegal pet trade. Below is a palm oil plantation. The acres you can see all used to be dense forests, home to thousands of different species, including these gentle orange giants. It is believed that 300 football fields worth of forest is cleared each hour, so that more plantations can be built.

'New Britain Oil Palm Limited' palm plantation, near Kimbe, West New Britain Island, Papua New Guinea, Wednesday 24th September 2008.

For those of you who don’t know what palm oil is, it is a substance extracted from the fruit of the oil palm tree and is used in an unthinkable amount of products that everyone uses on a day-to-day basis across the globe. To put things into perspective, it is the second most widely produced consumable oil. Products in which palm oil has been found in include food (bread, biscuits, crisps, chocolate and batter mix’s) as the oil gives the product a longer shelf life, toothpaste, soap, shampoo, various cosmetics, and most recently, biodiesel.

So please, spare a few minutes to check your product labels and please seek better, palm oil free alternatives. If it lists any of the following ingredients, then it contains palm oil and subsequently you are unfortunately and unknowingly contributing to the demand of palm oil production: Palm oil kernel, “Palmitate” or “Palmate”, Elaeis gunieensis, Hydrated Palm Gylcerides Hexadecanoic or Palmitic Acid. Unfortunately, there are lots of other names for this, which are no doubt ways in which the producer is trying to con us into believing they support the protection of endangered species, which can be found here.

By making this one small change, you are taking a stand against the destruction of our beautiful planet and the wonderful species that live on it.

Please start by signing this petition. I was the 7,507th person to sign it, but it needs a lot more. It takes 5 seconds to do – it is most definitely 5 seconds well spent!

First ranting blog, officially over. Promise.

Images – Orangutan: theguardian.com. Palm Oil plantation: blogspot.

Kick it

#3: What’s the 11th item on your bucket list?

I don’t actually have a physical, written down bucket list (although maybe it should be a 2014 resolution?)… it’s more along the lines of several mental post-it notes of what I want to achieve in my lifetime! My main one though is to travel to Uganda and Borneo to be face-to-face with Mountain Gorillas and Orangutans, since for as long as I can remember, I’ve had an extreme fascination with primates. I have visited Monkey World in Dorset, on several occasions (as they are a rescue centre, not a zoo!) and to show my support I have adopted Bart the chimp, donated unwanted sheets and towels as well as purchasing a paving brick for the ‘Walk of Thanks’ (which can be found near the mischievous Capuchin Monkeys!). I also got the chance to meet a hero of mine in December last year, as mentioned in previous blog posts, in assistanting Dr Jane Goodall on stage at her Roots & Shoots Awards Ceremony – I must admit, I was completely awestruck! 

… I’ll keep you updated if I do ever make a physical bucket list!