Robber fly - Nature photographer Thomas Shahan specializes in amazing portraits of tiny insects. It isn't easy. Shahan says that this Robber Fly (Holcocephala fusca), for instance, is "skittish" and doesn't like its picture taken.

Eye-popping bug photos

Nature by Numbers (Video)

"The Greater Akashic System" – July 15, 2012 (Kryon Channelling by Lee Caroll) (Subjects: Lightworkers, Intent, To meet God, Past lives, Universe/Galaxy, Earth, Pleiadians, Souls Reincarnate, Invention: Measure Quantum state in 3D, Recalibrates, Multi-Dimensional/Divine, Akashic System to change to new system, Before religion changed the system, DNA, Old system react to Karma, New system react to intent now for next life, Animals (around humans) reincarnate again, This Animal want to come back to the same human, Akashic Inheritance, Reincarnate as Family, Other Planets, Global Unity … etc.)

Question: Dear Kryon: I live in Spain. I am sorry if I will ask you a question you might have already answered, but the translations of your books are very slow and I might not have gathered all information you have already given. I am quite concerned about abandoned animals. It seems that many people buy animals for their children and as soon as they grow, they set them out somewhere. Recently I had the occasion to see a small kitten in the middle of the street. I did not immediately react, since I could have stopped and taken it, without getting out of the car. So, I went on and at the first occasion I could turn, I went back to see if I could take the kitten, but it was to late, somebody had already killed it. This happened some month ago, but I still feel very sorry for that kitten. I just would like to know, what kind of entity are these animals and how does this fit in our world. Are these entities which choose this kind of life, like we do choose our kind of Human life? I see so many abandoned animals and every time I see one, my heart aches... I would like to know more about them.

Answer: Dear one, indeed the answer has been given, but let us give it again so you all understand. Animals are here on earth for three (3) reasons.

(1) The balance of biological life. . . the circle of energy that is needed for you to exist in what you call "nature."

(2) To be harvested. Yes, it's true. Many exist for your sustenance, and this is appropriate. It is a harmony between Human and animal, and always has. Remember the buffalo that willingly came into the indigenous tribes to be sacrificed when called? These are stories that you should examine again. The inappropriateness of today's culture is how these precious creatures are treated. Did you know that if there was an honoring ceremony at their death, they would nourish you better? Did you know that there is ceremony that could benefit all of humanity in this way. Perhaps it's time you saw it.

(3) To be loved and to love. For many cultures, animals serve as surrogate children, loved and taken care of. It gives Humans a chance to show compassion when they need it, and to have unconditional love when they need it. This is extremely important to many, and provides balance and centering for many.

Do animals know all this? At a basic level, they do. Not in the way you "know," but in a cellular awareness they understand that they are here in service to planet earth. If you honor them in all three instances, then balance will be the result. Your feelings about their treatment is important. Temper your reactions with the spiritual logic of their appropriateness and their service to humanity. Honor them in all three cases.

Dian Fossey's birthday celebrated with a Google doodle

Dian Fossey's birthday celebrated with a Google doodle
American zoologist played by Sigourney Weaver in the film Gorillas in the Mist would have been 82 on Thursday (16 January 2014)

Monday, November 18, 2013

‘Sokola Rimba’ Shows What School Can Mean in a Sumatran Jungle

Jakarta Globe, Lisa Siregar, November 18, 2013

A still from ‘Sokola Rimba,’ starring Prisia Nasution as Butet Manurung, a
 teacher who has lived with indigenous people in the Sumatran jungle for
14 years. (Photo courtesy of Miles Films)

An 11-hour drive from the city of Jambi in Sumatra brings you to the home of an indigenous community called Orang Rimba , or the people of the forest.

Living in an isolated area deep inside the jungle of Bukit Duabelas, the Orang Rimba have been largely untouched by modern values, peacefully going about their traditional way of living.

But the world has been changing, making it more difficult for them to hold on to their way of life. For the past 14 years, environmental activist Butet Manurung has been slowly transferring much-needed knowledge in literacy and advocacy to help the Orang Rimba deal with these changes, but without affecting their local wisdom. Butet’s Sokola Rimba , or Rimba school, serves nine indigenous communities around the 60,000 hectares of the forest.

Butet also wrote a book about her experiences, whose English version “Jungle School” went on sale last year.

Her unique experience with the Rimba people was the inspiration behind an upcoming film by Riri Riza, called “Sokola Rimba.” It took Riri and producer Mira Lesmana several months to prepare to produce the film. When they met at the Ubud Writer’s Festival last year, they agreed to go on with the project. Prisia Nasution (“Sang Penari,” “Laura dan Marsha”) assumes the role of Butet in the film.

Beyond the theme of deforestation, “Sokola Rimba” is a film about the daily routines of the Rimba people and about one woman’s choice about what to do with her life. Just like in real life, in the movie Butet works as a volunteer with a local conservation nonprofit organization as a teacher.

The movie, which will be released on Thursday, portrays Butet’s first four years with the NGO before she finally sets up “Sokola,” a group of people who aim to continue assisting with educational activities for indigenous and marginalized communities. The organizational conflicts portrayed in the movie are fictional, Butet said, but she gave her blessing to Riri and Mira to develop their own plot.

“The place where I worked didn’t have the same problems, but I think Riri tried to make the story easily digestible for everyone,” she said. “He interviewed me so many times, and I felt that Riri captured the essence of what I am doing.”

Like his previous works for the films “Atambua 39 Derajat” and “Laskar Pelangi,” Riri is once again using indigenous cast members to play local characters. Another protagonist in the movie is Nyungsang Bungo, who plays himself as a young Orang Rimba man who thirsts for education. Though he was restricted by the law of his local tribe from receiving a modern education, Bungo had a hunch that his people were being cheated by palm oil planation owners who force them to keep moving around.

When casting for the film, Riri said he had his eyes on six Orang Rimba children that he felt had a natural talent for acting, story telling and responding to camera movements.

“Climbing trees, walking and running around, nothing I asked them to do in the movie was difficult for them, because they are used to it,” he said.

In promoting his films, Riri said there is a common problem among urban film enthusiasts who expect his indigenous cast to act. But, just like in his previous movies, that was exactly what Riri was trying to avoid.

“I want them to play their own story,” he said. “We don’t want to change them to fit our perspective of actors.”

Bungo’s character in “Sokola Rimba” is inspired by Butet’s real student named Gentar. But since years have passed since she first worked as Genter’s teacher, he is now too old to play himself in the movie. Butet has known Bungo since he began learning to walk.

“She’s just like my own mother,” Bungo said shyly at the press conference.

Riri visited the Orang Rimba three times last year before he finally began filming in the jungle with a crew of 25.

He took time to sit down with the Rimba people, sometimes for hours, to understand their lifestyle and later incorporating everything into the screenplay.

There was no electricity where they lived, so sometimes, Riri said, he and a few Rimba people would talk to each other in the dark. Even so, he wouldn’t call the finished film a documentary. He prefers the term neorealism, which is inspired by the Italian neorealism movement, a film genre that emerged after World War II and usually portrays the stories of lower-class people using non-professional actors.

“I relied on their proximity with and honesty towards me, but working deep inside the jungle, there was only so much that I could control,” he said. “There were a lot of retakes and remakes because we had to adjust to their way of life.”

Every dialogue that involves indigenous cast members is delivered in the local language. It took Prisia one month to learn the language, while the shooting took three weeks to finish. Around 80 Orang Rimba helped during the filming.

For Riri, the movie shows the complexity of Indonesia as a nation state. The difference between urban and jungle people is very wide, but it’s not in our place to see them as “inferior,” he said.

If anything, “Sokola Rimba” fights the notion that we should feel pity for the Rimba people, who live inside the forest with no modern facilities. “We cannot apply the same pattern of education and development for every group or community in this country,” he said.

Riri’s stance in this regard is similar to Butet’s. Having been with the Orang Rimba for more than a decade, Butet said their biggest challenges are religions, politics and commercial offers from the outer world, which is confusing for them.

Orang Rimba do not use modern measurements and events, rather than numbers, mark their lives. According to Mira, Bungo and the other indigenous actors involved in the film were not paid with money. Instead, they were given things they consider valuable, such as cloths.

In the end, Butet said, the Rimba people must decide on their own whether they want to adopt a modern lifestyle.

“The education that I gave is a tool for them to deal with changes, but whether or not they want to follow our way of living, it should be their call,” she said.

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