Kalimantan, Indonesia: River Cruise

The word “cruise” probably conjures up a picture that is slightly different from our spring break experience.  We spent 3 days & 2 nights aboard a relatively small boat on a river through the jungles of Kalimantan, Indonesia (the Indonesian part of Borneo), and it was absolutely wonderful.

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Three friends and I embarked on Thursday, finishing our trip on Saturday.  We spent time talking, playing games, reading, and all around relaxing.  During the day, we would hike inland to see orangutans. One day, we also visited a Dayak village.  We slept on deck under mosquito nets and did our best not to let any possessions fall overboard (RIP Rachel’s toothbrush).

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When we began our adventure, the river beneath us was brown, dirty from the palm oil plantations and other man-made ventures in the area.  Part way through, we came to a bend in the river and suddenly the water was black.  At first we assumed more pollution, but our guide explained to us that the black water was actually the cleaner water, colored by minerals.  In reality, the water was clear, but the black appearance and smooth surface made it act as a mirror for the beautiful sky above.

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One of the most precious memories from this trip was Good Friday evening.  God painted an absolutely incredible sunset over the river in front of us, and we read the crucifixion story and sang hymns together.  Our captain parked our boat for the night underneath a tree that was full of fireflies, constantly twinkling hundreds at a time.  As we ate our dinner on the upper deck, we looked up at the tree and then beyond to the countless stars and the Milky Way swept across the sky.  It was definitely not a traditional Good Friday experience, but I will treasure it always!

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(no editing on the picture above!)

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